Extensions can be a great way of creating some much-needed space

Extensions can be a great way of creating some much-needed space in your home
Extensions can be a great way of creating some much-needed space in your home

Needing more room in the family homestead? Don't let your extension turn into a money pit with our handy checklist.

Extensions can be a great way of creating some much-needed space in your home, not to mention adding value. But failing to get the right builder to carry out the work or underestimating the costs can leave you with a room-sized headache.

To make it easier for you, we’ve put together a quick checklist. Before you start Do you need planning permission? Planning consent might not be needed for your extension as under permitted development rights a large number of extensions can be built without planning permission.

Check these conditions on www.planningportal.gov.uk However, it will need building regulations approval. The help of an architect can be invaluable in this respect as you will also receive detailed drawings from which a professional builder can estimate how much your work will cost. What’s your budget? If you are building an extension in the hopes of adding value to your home weigh up the cost of the work against the increase in value, remember to include full build cost, architect’s fees and VAT. That way you can decide if the project will be a valuable investment in your property, as well as giving you many years of enjoyment. Pick the right builder Choosing the right builder is essential when committing to costly building works. Try to get recommendations from people who have had recent experience with builders and look for a company with long established reputations. Many builders will be able to show you examples of work they have carried out before.

Weigh up the costs Remember, the cheapest quote is often not the best and may quickly increase when additional costs are added in throughout the job. “Be careful to analyse your estimates, request a detailed specification where necessary and ensure each firm has quoted like for like so you are not caught by unexpected costs when it comes to the final account ,” said Karen Goodman from respected local builders GeorgeStone.

Know the rules Ensure your builder is well aware of and adheres to all health and safety regulations. There are legal requirements placed on the client and a reputable builder will be able to talk you through these. Details can also be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/areyou/client.htm Paperwork before brickwork Finally, it’s important to ask for a contract to be signed before work commences.

The majority of reputable builders will also supply a full programme of works and not ask for any money up front. George Stone Ltd has more than 80 years experience providing dependable construction services and high class workmanship. For more information visitwww.georgestone.co.uk or call 01424 436166.