The vast majority of our clients are new to the home renovation and extension process. In addition to this, the process is complex, and you have no choice but rely on the advice given by the relevant professional bodies and trades. There are lots of people who need to be involved in a home extension project and this can make the process look a little daunting. What if I miss something out? Where do I begin? What is building control and why do they need to be involved in my project? Sometimes, when one question is answered, it can lead to an entire new web of questions. Here at Home Tales, we pride ourselves on our client relationships. We feel the key to a successful, stress free project is clear communication. We are always happy to explain the process. We feel it’s very important you fully understand what is required, why it’s needed and how it will be executed.
If you are just starting out on your home extension project and don’t know where to begin, have a read through these FAQs. We also have a dedicated FAQs page on our website you can read through too. If you have any specific questions that aren’t on this page, contact us directly and we will do everything we can to help.
Where can I get an accurate cost?
Budget is a huge influencer to your project. It dictates what you can do, who you use, and when you do it. When it comes to architects’ fees, it’s pretty easy to get a definitive cost at an early stage. Lots of companies offer fixed fee prices (we do here at Home Tales), so you can have peace of mind during this process. For the build, most contractors can give a rough cost if you have scaled existing and proposed drawings. They shouldn’t be able to give a definitive cost until you have structural calculations, and we would be weary of anyone who would. The reason for this is that steel specification is a huge influencer on cost, so any reputable builder will want to see the steel specs before committing a final cost.
What do I need before I can begin my build?
For a ground floor extension, you will need three core items which we include within our design package. This includes architectural floorplans, planning permission and building regulation drawings. Architectural floorplans are floorplans of your property. These include existing floorplans, the proposed design, as well as sectional details and elevations so the planning department and builder can understand how everything fits together. Once we have these we can submit to planning. Permission is considered by your local council and requires an application to be submitted to them, along with the relevant drawings. The building regulation drawings include structural calculations and additional details noted on the drawings. These will be reviewed and approved by your building control officer and used by the builder during the build. In addition to these three items, you will need to assign building control. This can be done via your local council or via an approved independent company. You will need serve relevant party wall notice to your adjoining owners, and you might be required to notify Thames Water of your build too.
How long will the process take?
This question is tricky to answer, as it’s very dependent on you. For the Design Phase, we recommend 12 to 16 weeks at minimum. This is mainly because planning takes 8 weeks so the wait for permission is absorbed within this timeframe. You have unlimited amendments, so you want plenty of time to experiment with design options and ensure you are completely happy with your final design. For the Build Phase, a typical Ground Floor Extension or Loft Conversion will take around 16 weeks. If you opt for bespoke products (eg. an all-glass roof), it can take longer as the glass cannot be ordered until measurements are confirmed on-site.
I don’t know what I want from the design
No problem at all! It’s our job to guide you, and our architectural team have years of experience in designing home extensions. All of our designs are completely bespoke to your property and requirements. We will find out more about you at the survey, and what you want from the project. You have unlimited design amendments so you can experiment with lots of different options with your floorplans and take lots of time to consider designs. We also hold House Tours every couple of months so you can come and see some of our completed projects and get some design inspiration. These are great for putting things into perspective.
Here at Home Tales, we strive to ensure you are fully comfortable with the process and know what to expect. We are always happy to help with questions, no matter how big or small. Home Tales was created from a genuine excitement & passion for the industry and we feel this is demonstrated within our quality of work. Our clients are our top priority, and we always go over and above to ensure that all of our services exceed expectations.
If you want to receive a quote from us, we can book you in for a chat with a member of our team. Once we have had a discussion with you regarding scope of works, we are able to offer a breakdown of the services you will need. Contact our friendly team on 0207 043 2378 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.