Here at Home Tales, we specialise in home renovations around London. These renovations include internal modifications, kitchen extensions, first floor extensions, loft conversions, out-buildings and garage conversions. As home renovation specialists, we do not believe there is one time of year that is better to start a build then another. It really depends on your circumstances and personal preferences. Homeowners often ask us if it’s more difficult to build in the winter, and the brief answer is no, not really, as all of the seasons come with their own associated advantages and challenges. With winter fast approaching, we thought we would run through some of the pros and cons to building in the winter months.
Do you plan to live in?
If you chose to live in during the building works, we would generally set you up with a temporary kitchen. This includes a working sink and typically a gas hob and microwave to enable you to cook. The temporary kitchen enables you to cook relatively simple meals and it works well as a temporary measure, particularly if you don’t have the luxury of being able to move out during the building works. While the extension is being built, your central heating system and plumbing should remain in-tact and working for the vast majority of the build. There will need to be a time it will need to be shut off in order to connect everything together, however your builder should be able to give you plenty of warning and limit the disruption to a few nights. With some notice you could coincide this with a nice trip. Failing that – electric heaters are always an option! The downside of undertaking a build during the winter, is that you are more reliant on heating and will likely have it on at regular intervals. Having an on-going build might increase the likelihood of a malfunctioning boiler or electrics.
Planning permission and building control
From a design perspective, it’s worth noting that lots of firms close for a couple of weeks during the holiday period. We, here at Home Tales, close for a week. Local councils generally slow down during this period, which leads to delays on determination dates and response times. If you are keen to obtain planning permission prior to the NY, we generally recommend submitting no later then mid-October. In respect to building control, your officer needs to visit site at various intervals during the build phase to sign off on key milestones in your development (eg. steel installation). If they are delayed, it will delay your build, as your builder cannot continue until they sign off. It’s worth checking their Christmas opening schedule if you want to continue with your build over the Christmas period.
Each contractor is different and will have their own schedule over the holiday period. In some cases, homeowners might want to pause the works over Christmas. In this case, builders might be able to re-prioritise their workforce and make some quick progress on your build during this time. On the other hand, some builders might break for the holiday period. In this case they should secure the building site so it’s safe during the period of absence.
In our experience as an architectural firm, there is a fairly consistent flow of work throughout the year, which means our prices remain consistent season to season. Builders usually offer more elasticity on their cost structure, and they may price more competitively if the demand is lower. This doesn’t necessary correlate season to season, but it might have some impact. That being said, other variables might over-ride seasonal ones. For example, post COVID lockdown saw a huge increase in enquiries to both our architectural design team and our recommended builder, and this is carrying through into the Winter months (October).
Take a holiday
Some of our clients align the start of their build with a holiday. In most cases, this is in the summer, but it can be done at any time of the year. We recently undertook a ground floor extension project which started in July, and the homeowners went to France for the first three weeks, while the demolition and strip out was underway. The first couple of weeks is the messiest, noisiest and most disruptive. For this reason, aligning your start date with a holiday can be advantageous. Here is a blog article which runs through how long a home extension is likely to take.
If you are considering a home extension, call our team on 0207 043 2378 or email us at email@example.com. We also have an online booking system which enables you to book a telephone consultation directly. Our telephone consultations enable us to discuss your project and ideas in more detail. Following the call, we can issue you with a quote for the works. We also take the opportunity to explain more about how we work, as well as the overall process. We can also answer any initial questions you might have. We look forward to hearing from you!