Defining what you want and creating your building shopping list
So, you want to turn your home into the palace of your dreams. You have made a decision to take the first step to extend or renovate and you’re all hyped and ready to go…and then you think “Where do I start?”
Fortunately, you have just found this blog post and in it you will find the first of a series of five posts that will guide you with much joy and as little pain as possible through the first steps of converting your home in to your dream home.
So what is the very first step? This may sound a little obvious but surprisingly one that’s not given much thought: Why do you want to build an extension?
First to consider is: do you want a new home or do want to build on your existing one? An extension is a cheaper solution than purchasing a new home, and is certainly less hassle than having to move. But if you really don’t like the area you’re in or just don’t like your current home then an extension is probably not going to provide a happy long-term solution.
There is another reason we have come across before; you simply may have too much stuff – a secret hoarder perhaps. In such cases you’d have to think very hard about whether a new room or two is the answer. To extend your home is a very big and often costly commitment especially when the cheaper alternatives can be things like having a jolly good clean out, re-organising your existing home, putting ‘stuff’ into storage or even renting a 12 foot by 8 foot container to store all that ‘stuff’ in.
However, there are some great reasons why you should build an extension and if you’ve give it much thought then you’re probably at this stage. Maybe you need more space because family size has increased or those young ankle biters are now in their teens and space is too tight to mention. Maybe you want to increase the luxuriant living aspect of your home, or maybe you are even looking to sell and want to add more value to your home – it is quite often the case that a well designed and built extension will increase the value of a home by more than the cost of the extension itself.
So, life is great, you love your existing home and have no hoarding issues, and you’ve decided that an extension and/or renovation is required to turn your home in to what will feel like a brand spanking new one; next ask yourself what would you like? A new kitchen, a couple of extra rooms, a new single or double storey, a sunroom, a new garage or even a wall or two knocking through. The possibilities are endless but these are just the very high level design thoughts, and the ones that people often stop at before contacting a builder, or even doing the extension themselves. Like anything, really good planning leads to a final result that matches the original concept and also leads to a smoother running of a project.
The next step is to think about a building shopping list. This is a more detailed list of your building requirements such as the type of rooms you want, where they will be positioned, the size and shape of your rooms, and how your new rooms will fit in with the rest of your house.
So, you’ve decided why you want to extend your home, what you want to use it for and have compiled a list of attributes of your planned extension. The next step is to decide whether to build the extension yourself or whether you hire a design and building team. This will be covered in Part 2, so stay tuned.