how hideous is it to extend massively?

(31 Posts)

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pepperrabbit Tue 02-Oct-12 11:16:42

Ah. Well, it is hideous. and costs more than you ever think, but afterwards it is worth it!
We had a big extension last year, it was probably a year from first thoughts, to getting plans we liked, the planning permission, then building regs then back to planning , plus finance sorting to the builders actually starting.
We stayed here throughout, which I would only recommned if you have absolutely no other option. We also had to have the house fully re-wired and the plumbing replaced, boiler moved etc. There was not a single room or space in the house that was not affected. I won't lie, it was truly grim at some points with three young DC, days with no water/electricity or both.
Budget wise, we had the cost from the builder plus a 20% contingency which included buying the new kitchen. Every penny went plus I reckon another 10% by the time you add re-decorating and flooring.
We took personal recommendations for the builder and architect and IFA.
We had the house back in time fro Christmas with just some snagging left, now it's fantastic, everything we wanted - we still don't have carpet, but we are where we want to live in a house we need never leave.
It will put a strain on your neighbours, you'll need a support network to help with laundry etc. We borrowed a camping stove and had a key for a neighbours house for emergency toilet trips!

SoupDragon Tue 02-Oct-12 11:26:26

I've been watching a house near DDs school get side extensions on both sides and an extension across the back - they have been out of the house for at least 18 months so far and it isn't finished.

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pepperrabbit Tue 02-Oct-12 12:04:57

There's no harm in getting an architect in, ours was great, he was about 400 years old and handwrote the plans hmm but he had vision. He suggested a layout we hadn't thought of at all which just made it all work.
Get a local one, who knows the local planners/buiding regs people and knows what is most likely to get through if, as you suggest, you'll be overdeveloped for the plot/locality.
Planning lasts a couple of years I think, I was advised to get building regs at the same time, even though it's costly, as even if you have pp, if the building regs don't get through at a later date you may have to start again.

pepperrabbit Tue 02-Oct-12 12:06:42

Also our builders worked like devils. They started 1st August and we were done with all the major stuff by late November. They worked 7 days a week for a while which nearly drove me insane from 7am.

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SoupDragon Tue 02-Oct-12 12:08:38

The house I'm "watching" has been gutted inside too I think - it has to have been as the outside seems to have been built fr a good while now. I expected them to move back in over the summer.

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TalkinPeace2 Tue 02-Oct-12 13:03:03

Ours took 9 months : from 2nd January to 15th September.
Standard 1930 semi.
1.1m two storey extension onto the drive (leaving a walkway)
3m single storey extension across the whole of the back
2m back extension of what was smallest bedroom.
Half of loft converted (so we still have storage)
Only one room did not have a wall knocked down.
Rewired, replumbed, solar thermal panel fitted.
Natural light in EVERY room - HUGE steels so that the kitchen diner is open space.
Never again.
Do not regret it for an instant.
Came in at £1500 a square metre start to finish including all decorating 4 years ago.

Bubblemoon Tue 02-Oct-12 13:25:01

Am also watching the Beeny show closely. Biggest question I have is why do people do it all at once, battle with budgets and create havoc in every room. Do the side one year, roof the next and maintain some control on budget and your sanity.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 02-Oct-12 13:29:47

Bubblemoon
When we did ours, only two rooms were left un decorated - one of them with a hole where a wall had come down.
It took us two years to face dust again and get it done.
And the only room to be untouched from the big work took us another year after that.
Get the mess over and done with at once.
Having the loft done over carpets that were on the way to a skip anyway made it much easier.
And the dust. Just everywhere. Took over a year to get it out of all the books - even though most had gone to storage as we moved out of most of the rooms.

And when you are putting steels in - removing walls later is MUCH more expensive than doing it all at once. (like £5k per metre of steel more)

Bubblemoon Tue 02-Oct-12 13:46:20

Yep, that would all make good sense.

RedBlanket Tue 02-Oct-12 13:56:14

We were 10 months for a double storey side extension and a smallish single storey at the back. We were out of the house for 6 weeks whilst they replumbed and rewired (I work from home, there's no way I could have coped).

Bubble moon - if we had broken ours into smaller bits we would never have finished. We did consider not re- roofing whilst they were building, but the cost of putting scaffolding up twice would make the roof job prohibitive. You can do stuff like carpeting and decorating in stages but you're just prolonging the misery if you spread the big stuff out.

CrannyFaddock Tue 02-Oct-12 14:17:05

Looking at some of these comments, I think we got off lightly. We have just finished a double storey rear extension including demolishing and re-building the kitchen, re-decorating every room and moving some internal walls. Started mid-March, finished beginning of August this year. We lived here throughout except for 1 week (half term!) when they were knocking down the walls upstairs.

We kept out of the house most of the time the builders were around (from about 7.30am to 5pm) - towards the end of the build this was 7 days a week which was grim but it was bearable as it was summer (kind of) so we spent most of the time having picnics in the park. The builders were amazing and we were never left without water or electricity.

At the time it was awful - no kitchen for 3 months and nowhere to prepare food and we did have a few weeks of the 3 kids sleeping on an inflatable mattress on the one bit of floor space while my husband and I slept in the bunkbeds... but it was SO worth it. As soon as it's finished you forget how bad living in a building site was and now we have a fabulous dream house!

SoozleQ Tue 02-Oct-12 14:58:43

I'm finding it hideous to extend minorly. Finally at breaking point with doing the washing up in the bath, builders taking forever and moving the goal posts re costs. We're only having a 2.5 x 2.5m extension on the back of the kitchen and a new kitchen installed. Started beginning of August and totally fed up now.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 02-Oct-12 15:04:48

we had six weeks of a toilet that you flushed with a bucket and a single cold tap for us and the 11 builders - two kids at school and DH & I working from home - all other plumbing had been ripped out.
It was hell
but at the end of it we survived and my kids have a better comprehension of 'necessities' than many !

the kitchen was a camping stove on a hostess trolley and the fridge freezer in the middle of the site and the dishwasher (THE MOST USEFUL THING TO KEEP ALIVE) - lots of salads and bbq - even in the snow !

it will be FAB when you are done

myron Tue 02-Oct-12 15:14:20

We have recently finished a complete house renovation plus a double storey rear extension (adding 70sqm) which required rewiring, replumbing, replastering and multiple wall knock throughs / doorway alterations. Amazingly efficient builders finished in 4 months. (Also changed all the windows, internal & external doors, new Megaflow cylinder, radiators, added insulation between the floor joists, new kitchen, utility, 3 bathrooms, restructured study, downstairs loo, utility etc.... whilst we lived in). Get a good builder is my advice.

Shodan Tue 02-Oct-12 15:24:14

This is exactly what we're pondering at the moment- I want a double storey extension to the side and back of the house but wondering if I can cope with the angst. We only had the bathroom and kitchen redone a couple of years ago and I nearly went mad with just that so I think I'd have to move out, going by what everyone's said here.

It's either that or find the requisite 200-300k to get even a bit more space around here.

AgathaFusty Tue 02-Oct-12 15:57:51

We've had a couple of big extensions and a smaller one. They all create a lot of dust all through the house, noise at times, disruption to main services, the annoyance of having builders etc around all the time for a few weeks or months, but they are great once they are finished.

I think that loft conversions require a bit more planning etc than you might be expecting. AFAIK you have to change all interior doors for fire doors, and possibly have a particular type of window as an escape route. We looked into this at a previous house a few years back. We were told that the roof would have to be taken off and all the supporting walls made higher to meet building regulations for head height. It would have worked out a lot more expensive than we had originally hoped.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 02-Oct-12 16:01:11

Loft conversion fire doors :
I've not had my house signed off because of exactly that bit.
You have to change the doors to 30 minute fire doors
BUT
you do not have to have any sort of closer on them - they can be kept wide open at all times.
When I pointed out that an open fire door is just a normal door they went into a sulk.
And put my rates bill up even though the house is not signed off.
Insurers are fully aware and happy because all other fire precautions are up to scratch.

Faxthatpam Tue 02-Oct-12 16:17:35

Grit your teeth and go for it OP.

We had a massive basement conversion and the ground floor re configured two years ago. It included moving the kitchen down to the basement, adding a ground floor shower room and a new megaflow system. We started with planning etc 18 months before the builders arrived on site, it took 18 months to finish and was, frankly, hell. We lived here the whole time bar two weeks when they had to take bits of the ground floor up.

Research your builders and your architect well, build in as much contingency as you can afford and keep a close eye on the budget which easily spirals. I would say your mum is right and you should definitely start planning it now.

We are so happy with the result and don't have to move again, plus have added to the equity in the house. Definitely worth going through the nightmare, but be prepared. Good luck! smile

Yorky Tue 02-Oct-12 16:40:56

You're making me nervous.

We're waiting for planning permission for a 2storey side extension to add 2 bedrooms, a long kitchen diner, a shower room and a laundry room. In theory, being a side extension it shouldn't have too much impact on most of the house - apart from the bit when they take out the wall in the current kitchen, and the existing dining room wall.... I'm kidding myself aren't I?

With 4 DC under 6 and nowhere else to go I need a straitjacket don't I.

SomeoneThatYouUsedToKnow Tue 02-Oct-12 16:46:02

We did a big extension and I loved it. Our builders were great and I found the whole process exciting and enjoyable and dusty There were no issues with cash or workmanship whatsoever.
I was at home the whole time which helped a lot and I did try and plan ahead and be organised. I also made the builders lovely tea and coffee so they liked me smile

It sounds like you can get the space you need without moving but I would check costs out very carefully before you decide. My sil is about to start their extension - which is basically a house rebuild involving demolition of current bathroom and kitchen and errection of new ones plus a living room and study. They reckon they will be out of the house for 6 months - but they could not buy a house of that sie with the garden they love so it's worth it.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 02-Oct-12 17:46:40

Yorky
think of it as character building.

We very nearly moved in early 2007, nearly mortgaging up to the eyeballs to get something with a smaller garden, less convenient location and somebody else's choice of decor.

Instead we had 9 months of hassle (about what many housebuyers go through) and I got MY kitchen - designed from the foundations up. MY bathrooms and my wonderful garden still.....

tricot39 Tue 02-Oct-12 19:11:30

Op your mum is absolutely right about getting started now. You have plenty time to get architect recommendations and then visit their past projects/take up references etc. - a proper beauty parade!

You can then take time getting the plans right before rushing to make an application. You have to learn how to.read plans to understand what you are getting. Don't rush because it is much cheaper and easier to make changes on paper. Leave plenty time for different options to sink in and imagine how you will live in the new space.

Once you have really thought it all through then fix your plans and move to the planning application. Later the architect will add more detail and again take time to.absorb all of this because changes later will cost more time and money. Dont go out to tender unt you are sure you are happy... Then go for it!!!!

Most people dont understand what they are getting then fiddle with the plans on site....... Grim. Starting now and taking your time will make the process much smoother.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 02-Oct-12 21:13:51

I had to fiddle with the plans on site - what we ALL assumed was a solid wall was rubble when the skin came off so we could not rest the steels on it
BUT we adapted and the place has more character for it.

Google sketchup is great
AND use the ikea online planners to play with all the spaces it will let you ...

Yorky Wed 03-Oct-12 09:43:15

The planners said Yes!!

Now starts the expensive bit!

Sorry, just needed to bounce, as you were grin

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Yorky Wed 03-Oct-12 13:44:08

For anyone like me who has a nosey streak 6 ft wide!

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