The Dos & Don’ts of Extending Your Home

You might assume that adding an extension to your home is simply a case of popping a structure onto the end of the house and having that extra space you crave.  The process of extending your home is one that needs some careful consideration and planning to ensure the end result stands the test of time.

The Planning Stage

If you use a designer to help plan the extension, make sure that they know about movement joints.  This is a growing issue due to the warmer weather we are experiencing and it can result in buildings moving more than before so new extensions need to take this into account.

The Do’s & Don’ts

Do put the structural work before any aesthetics.  Once you have the core elements in place, then you can worry about how it looks.  While aesthetics are important, they won’t give the extension the longevity you need.

Do set out a budget for the project and take into account any possibility of overspending so you can have enough funds available.

Don’t be tempted to change your mind once the work has started as this will cost a lot of money and drive everyone involved nuts!

Don’t ignore insurance.  You need to know everyone involved in the project has the right insurance and see if you need any extra provisions yourself such as site insurance.  What happens with your home insurance during this kind of work?  Find this out before you start.

Don’t get too excited with the addition of bedrooms without leaving space for extra bathrooms.  The general rule is one bathroom for every two bedrooms and an en-suite for guest bedrooms.

Hiring A Builder

When you start looking into hiring a builder to work on the project, do make sure you know the difference between and estimate and a firm quote.  The first is a rough idea of the cost involved in the project and can change depending on any number of factors.  A quote is a firm price that details what you pay for a specific job and shouldn’t change unless the specifications later.

Do look at the qualifications and experience of anyone you are considering for the job.  Do they have the right third party insurance?  Are they qualified and registered with the relevant organisations?  What kind of guarantee do they offer on their work?  Little things such as header paper on quotes, an office address and a website can help you make a choice.

Don’t always go with the lowest quote – look at what they offer for their price.  Sometimes, the cheaper option might omit elements you didn’t realise you needed while a higher quote might include them because the builder wants to do a top quality job.

Don’t forget to get a contract in place once you choose your builder to ensure everything is laid out in a legally binding document.


By working with the right people, you can get the perfect extension to your property. One that suits your purposes and that will look great as well as being durable.  Don’t be tempted to cut corners to get the job done quickly – it will be worth the wait!

Author Bio – Declan Small is the Digital Marketing Manager at Haldane Fisher, builder’s merchants with branches across the UK.

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