Why add a Home Extension Such as an Orangery?
Adding an extension or an Orangery (what is an orangery?) to your home is a great way of creating extra living space and modernising your home without having to move house. In the current economic climate, value for money is paramount.
Many home owners are taking the smart option by building an extension that not only improves the comfort and living space of their homes, but also their value.
But building an Orangery is not necessarily an easy task. There are many things to consider, and a great deal of preparation and planning must be undertaken before any construction work begins.
Plan ahead. Are there any situations in the foreseeable future that a major building project would interrupt? A wedding or a new baby, for example, could be difficult to manage while such a project was underway.
Stay within budget. Cost is possibly the largest factor in any decision to begin a building project, but do not start if you cannot afford to complete it. Manage your costs and ensure you can complete the extension within budget. Keep an extra amount aside in case you meet any unexpected snags.
General living. Is the project going to interrupt your life to a degree than you will need to live elsewhere? Can you remain in your house while the project is underway?
- Only once these problems have answers can you proceed. (check out www.orangerycosts.co.uk)
The next step is planning the actual extension. Remember, once it is built you cannot make modifications cheaply. Work out exactly what you require from the extension and be certain the design meets your requirements. It is too late to change your mind during the construction stage.
Some things to think about:
- Function. Does the extension have a specific function? Is it an extra bedroom or a study? Every decision concerning the design of the extension will revolve around what you want to use it for.
- Size. Will it be large enough to suit your needs? Plan it out, considering any furniture or other items that will by occupying the room.
- Access. Make sure any connecting rooms and halls aren’t blocked by the new doorway, and that the extension does not block pathways or access around the house.
- Planning permission is the next step. Once you have a good idea of what you want, you will need to acquire permission from the council to begin the construction work. The exact rules and regulations can be found on your council’s website, or by request to their planning department.
The final step in the planning stage is to find an architect and a builder. Some companies provide both services, though it may be preferable to split the tasks. Ensure the architect understands exactly what your extension is for, and your overall budget. The architect will be able to tell you exactly what can and can’t be done with the home and space around it, and will give you a solution that best fits your idea. Sometimes, the architect will stay on to oversee the project and ensure it is built to specification.
Choose a builder wisely. If possible, find a construction company who specialises in the type of extension you want.
Ask them if they have worked on similar projects. Ask them for testimonials. This is the physical part of the project, and cannot be reversed or changed like the planning side, so it is absolutely vital you find a builder you can rely on.
When obtaining quotes from different builders, ensure you show them your plans and permits. This gives everyone the same groundwork and allows you to compare quotes realistically.
Most importantly, once you have chosen a builder, write up and sign a detailed building contract which specifies exactly the work to be undertaken. The contract should include a timetable including a completion date and a payment schedule.
Make sure you have a signed copy of this contract in the event of any disagreements, and don’t be afraid to withhold the final payment if you believe the work is not up to standard.
Bear in mind, once the project is completed, you will still need to decorate and furnish your new extension. Keep enough funds aside to manage this comfortably.