Property Renovation in London: 3 Main Things to Consider

House extension companies in London should be familiar with period properties. When extending or modifying a period property, it’s important that you know what to look out for. These properties were designed and built decades ago. While they all appear to follow a certain symmetrical pattern, no two properties are the same. All of them have their own quirks. In addition to this, over the decades, they have all been cared for and adapted in different ways. 

Undertaking a home renovation or extension is a substantial project, both in a financial commitment and from a time perspective. We thought we would talk you through three of the main things to consider if you are thinking of undertaking a home renovation or extension in London.  

Budget

Budget is perhaps the biggest driving point for almost all of our clients, as it affects every single decision that is made. We offer unlimited amendments during the design phase, so we can produce multiple options for you. You can then get our recommended builder (or any builder) to give you provisional sums for each option. This can be really valuable as you are then proceeding into the next stage (planning) with a project that is feasible with your budget. 

We have a fantastic blog article which runs through the general cost of ground of a home extension in London which can be read here. 

One question that clients often ask us is whether they should have a contingency budget. In general terms, it depends on the project. For a ground floor extension, you are digging down into a territory that is largely unknown prior to the opening up works commencing. From time to time, there might be issues with the foundations or sub-terranean works which might mean there is additional work required for the contractor. When it comes to a loft conversion, there is generally very little that crops up unexpectedly. You aren’t uncovering much and so there is very little is unknown prior to the commencement of the works.  

Timelines

Timelines are nearly always a driving factor in our client’s decision-making process. Lots of our clients want to build before a certain date, and others want to align the start with a holiday so they can be out of the house for the strip out and demolition. In many cases, homeowners move out the property during the building works so in that case they need to align a rental or alternative accommodation. If you do plan to live in then it’s important you are properly prepared for the building works, with a functioning temporary kitchen etc. 

During the design phase, we offer unlimited amendments to our floorplans. This means you can consider lots of options and take as much time as you need. Some of clients want to start the build as quickly as possible, so in that case we can have you into planning within a couple of weeks. Others want to take their time and many of design clients take 6 months to 12 months before we move into the planning stage. 

In terms of the build – if you want to start your build quickly then we suggest getting our recommended builder round during the initial stages of the design phase. You can discuss broad budget estimates with him at this stage and get a feel for how he works. You can also understand what his availability is and register your interest for a particular month of the year. This would enable things to move quickly once planning is approved and you have your detailed drawing pack.

Additional services 

There are host of things you need to do before you begin your build. It’s important to remember that a home extension is a complicated project and requires various different expertise from different industries throughout the design and build phase. If you have a project manager, they generally ensure all of the boxes are ticked and everything is running smoothly and efficiently. If you are going to project manage the build yourself, you should be aware of a few items. 

Your building regulations pack are your detailed drawing. Your building control officer will need to sign off on this pack, and your builder will need this to build your scheme. This includes the structural calculations which outlines the method and steel specification of your proposal. 

Building control needs to be appointed before you start your build. You will get an assigned officer who comes and checks the build at various stages (generally 4 to 5 times for a typical ground floor extension project). They will check various items, such as the foundations and the steel installation. They are making sure building regulations are met and the scheme is safe and compliant. Once the build is complete, they will issue you with a building control certificate. 

Thames water might be interested in how your scheme will affect their drains and pipework. If you are undertaking a ground floor extension, you will very likely need to notify them in some way, either via a self-certification or with a full build over agreement. 

Party wall involves notifying your neighbours of your intention to carry out the works. They have various options on what they can request from you. It’s common for them to request that a survey is carried out of the party wall so that any cracks or issues that crop up during the building works are an obvious result of the work. 

If you are thinking of extending or renovating your home, get in touch with our team today on 0207 043 2378 or email us at hello@hometales.co.uk. You can also book a free telephone consultation with a member of our team via our live booking page here. 


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