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Extension - what will this budget get us?

(34 Posts)
BoyMeetsWorld Sat 15-Mar-14 21:41:19

We've just bought a house that is only really big enough for us if we add on an extra room to use as a playroom.

From keeping some equity back we have an absolute maximum budget of 17k but that has to include everything...

Plans, painting, floor, lights, door etc

Thinking 3m x 3m so don't need planning permission, with a laminate floor (with underlay I guess to be warm enough?), light & radiator. It's v important that it's warm enough in winter & cool enough in summer to be a year round playroom. There is an existing exterior grade door from the room it's built off so complies in that sense. In 2 minds whether to go for a 'garden room / sunroom' type conservatory ie not completely glass - part brick / plaster & with a tiled roof but still lots of double glazing. Or a full blown single storey extension.

What are your thoughts re what will make the most usable playroom & what can we expect for 17k? & any recommendations? (we 're in the Buckinghamshire area)


MillyMollyMama Sun 16-Mar-14 01:18:55

I would have thought a fairly bog standard off the shelf conservatory. Having had two garden rooms, I can truly say underfloor heating is way better for this type of room as it gives an all over heat. You will lose loads of heat through the glass though, but I think you should try and spend more and get a proper extension. You need to budget for foundations being dug and making good the garden afterwards.

Why would you want to keep an exterior door internally? Won't this look a bit naf? You can insulate far more effectively with a standard building and keep heating costs down. Why not have French windows? This would be a garden room but without the high heating costs.

ContentedSidewinder Sun 16-Mar-14 09:09:38

We had a conservatory as a playroom (inherited with the house we didn't put one in) and it was very cold in winter and baking in summer. It had a massive radiator and got lots of sun and we used a fan heater to help warm it up. Never again.

Go down the extension route, and like Milly says put in french doors onto the garden.

Typical costs for an extension are around £1200 pmsq so as your is 3x3 that's 9m x £1200 = £10,800. That is approximate.

I had a kitchen extension done last year, 2.5m wide by 3m long, massive velux in roof and plastered cost me £12k. I paid separately for an electrician because we were having other work done in the rest of the house and the plumbing (new larger radiator, and relocating water feed into the house as it was a kitchen extension) was added into the kitchen fitting costs. Then you have to add in all the internal fittings, flooring, decorating etc.

My architect fees were under £400 because I had drawn the plans myself, to scale which is easy, 1cm on the paper = 20cm in real life so 5cm on the paper was 1m. Architect just made them to the scale the Council wanted and he provided all the building regs drawings, so what insulation was being used, etc. Building control fees were about £400.

Don't think of it as an add on room, make it part of the house. And the best advice I can give is get a builder who is recommended to you, view his work. I had an amazing builder. I'm in Leeds.

Back2Two Sun 16-Mar-14 09:14:45

Do not get a conservatory

PostHocErgoPropterHoc Sun 16-Mar-14 09:24:03

ContentedSidewinder - please can I have your builder's details? We're in Leeds and although it's not going to be any time soon we're planning an extension at some point. PM me if you'd rather smile

AClassyMove Sun 16-Mar-14 10:14:26

I inherited a conservatory, I would never put one in.

BoyMeetsWorld Sun 16-Mar-14 10:41:39

Thanks all.

The existing doors are French windows do we're happy to have one set going into the playroom (from the dining room) & another set leading out to the garden from the playroom.

It's not a standard conservatory we'd be considering - its a sunroom / orangery or extension, I'm just not sure we can afford an extension for 17k. The plans alone seem to cost a fortune.

Also do you think 3x3 is big enough for a playroom? I have trouble visualising the size

RuddyDuck Sun 16-Mar-14 15:37:20

We inherited a large conservatory with our current house, it was a nightmare. It was freezing in winter and boiling in summer. We looked at upgrading it but in the end decided to spend the extra money and have an extension.

If you spend £17k on a conservatory you will effectively be throwing your money away. I would either spend more than you were planning and get a proper room added, or wait and do a proper room when you can afford it.

If you might sell your house in the next few years, bear in mind that a conservatory might be offputting to potential buyers. I would now think twice about buying somewhere with a conservatory.

ContentedSidewinder Mon 17-Mar-14 12:43:50

PostHoc have PMd you.

BoyMeetsWorld my last house had the orangery, so dwarf walls and then windows, still flipping freezing. I even put foils in the polycarb roof to reflect heat back in, it helped but still had to use a heater.

Where abouts are you in the country in case anyone can recommend architect and a builder?

My orangery/garden room was just that 3m by 3m. Best thing you can do is try to recreate it. If you can, go into your garden with some string and mark it out, remember that the walls are 20 odd cm thick once you do double skin brick work so it will be slightly smaller. Then work out where you will put your radiator, furniture, storage etc. Also that your garden can take a 3m extension.

Like I said, I'm in Leeds and you could do it for that price here.

ContentedSidewinder Mon 17-Mar-14 12:45:27

My plans were £400 then building control was £400, I have no permitted development rights to had to submit a planning application but you don't pay for it if that is the case. So that would have been £150.

foxdongle Mon 17-Mar-14 13:02:36

hi definitely go for proper extension with your glass French doors.
our conservatory, like others have said is too cold in the winter-we only use it march-november.

our playroom is 3m x 3m and it is large enough. we've got a built in cupboard and some shelves and also a white board. we have a table with 2 chairs (adult size) for creative stuff and wooden floor with a big rug on and lots of big cushions on that.(kids play on the floor 90% anyway) there's a blind at the window. dd 12 still goes in there with her friends as do our friends dcs.
it's a lovely room and it's south facing.

MrsTaraPlumbing Mon 17-Mar-14 15:02:01

Get in local builders (with experience of this work and word of mouth good reputation) who can give you quotes and listen to their opinions - as their are many ways of achieving what you want.

You do not want a conservatory you want an extension built with Building Regulations - even if it is "conservatory style".
Then it will be warm enough and you can take out the external internal door if you want to and you can have central heating in there.

A builder with experience shouldn't need drawings and will be able to submit the building regs details for you.
As said you don't need an architect.

I have just redesigned my website with useful clips about Building Regulations/ Control
you can see introduction to extensions here

BoyMeetsWorld Mon 17-Mar-14 18:28:52

Thanks all for some useful advice - I'm in Buckinghamshire if anyone can recommend good builders / architects?

Tara - is it not a bit risky for the builder to work without plans? Or did you mean a good builder would draw the plans themselves?

I'm glad it sounds like 3x3 is big enough. You've also confirmed my suspicion that we want an extension, not conservatory but DH is fixated on a conservatory. Just hope we can afford it.

Can anyone explain why people seem to think I shouldn't leave the existing external French doors in place? I thought it would look quite nice....

MillyMollyMama Mon 17-Mar-14 19:13:34

Do not use a builder without plans. Total recipe for disaster! We are in mid Bucks and there are plenty of small competent architects/architectural technicians who will do a reasonable job. In my view, a room of 9ft9in by 9ft9ins is not very big. I would be truly amazed if, in Bucks, you could get it all done for £17k. This is the Home Counties! Do you not have anyone advertising architectural services in your local town/village magazine? We have loads in ours. Unless you can afford the best glass and the heating DH would be well advised not to have a conservatory!

hiccupgirl Mon 17-Mar-14 22:23:58

We have a conservatory built by the previous owners - its 2.85m by 3m and is fine as a playroom. We have a sofabed, big storage unit and toddler table and chairs in there and there is space to play on the floor.

But I second avoiding a conservatory unless you can afford really high spec - it is freezing in the winter and so hot in the summer. We're just starting to look into whether to replace it with a much more high spec conservatory/loggia type thing or a proper conservatory. We've been given a base figure of £18k to replace it with a basic high spec conservatory of the same time - Essex here.

Our is off the lounge/diner and has the original patio doors to close it off. I like them there tbh as it means I can get away from the TV in the lounge but they don't block any light back into the house.

hiccupgirl Mon 17-Mar-14 22:24:29

Not proper conservatory....proper extension!

MrsTaraPlumbing Tue 18-Mar-14 09:23:11

Tara - is it not a bit risky for the builder to work without plans? Or did you mean a good builder would draw the plans themselves?

Yes that's what I meant, I didn't mean no plans at all - that's not possible if you are having building regs approval.

AngryFeet Tue 18-Mar-14 10:54:01

Really Tara? That sounds very dodgy!

For £17k you should be able to get a proper extension built. Just get an architectural technician to do the drawings as it is just a simple square. It should cost about £10k to build that plus any glazing so maybe £12k tops plus drawings. You shouldn't need planning permission at 3m but apply anyway so you have proof (not expensive but they refund if permission not needed anyway).

ContentedSidewinder Tue 18-Mar-14 10:58:24

A good builder will have probably done that type and size of extension before and so can advise you on approximate costings and find out what spec of finish you want. He may well be able to take you to view the extension he did.

Builders usually work with certain architects so he/she can advise you on that too.

No-one is suggesting working without plans, my plans were taken away by the builder so he could cost up how many blocks, bricks, insulation, concrete floor etc he would need. Plus how long it would take him so labour costs too.

Re your DH get him to read this thread where the collective MN has said, conservatories are freezing and then boiling. Like I said, we did use ours but we had a heater and were prepared to pay to run that, as well as a radiator.

We converted our garage into the playroom at this house, much, much better.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 18-Mar-14 11:01:27

It depends where you live. I've just built a 5m by 3m garden room/conservatory for £33k. No heating, no finish - all decor/flooring to be added later as can't afford it.


AngryFeet Tue 18-Mar-14 11:05:29

That's crazy Laurie. For some breeze blocks, flooring and windows?

AngryFeet Tue 18-Mar-14 11:07:55

Sorry roof not flooring

LaurieFairyCake Tue 18-Mar-14 11:17:55

bit more involved. Deeper foundations, a fair amount of earth removal - foundations were £15k and took about 9 days.

The glass was expensive I thought. Bog standard upvc roof and windows - same cost as the ground works

It's because of where we live, it's just really expensive in the south east. My SIL lives in the midlands and would pay less for a 2 storey extension.

AngryFeet Tue 18-Mar-14 11:34:20

Jesus that is a lot for foundations! How deep did you have to go?

I am in the south east too. We are hoping to start a 40sq metre single storey extension this year. Just got the preliminary drawings back. You have just terrified me. We are getting a shell built, doing the entire inside ourselves and using a friend to dig the footings but i am still worried about the cost.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 18-Mar-14 11:55:07

They used a digger, not very deep, maybe a metre? Then piled it up behind a new (£5k) wall

In asking around it seems to be about £5 k a week for 2 people.

We had much more expensive quotes though.

Ours is honestly not fancy in any way - looks no different really to a Wickes conservatory - but they don't do the size.

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