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Anyone starting / in the midst of an extension?

(135 Posts)
AalyaSecura Sat 17-Sep-16 20:35:07

I'm feeling in need of a support thread! We got planning permission for a big single storey extension 6 months ago, and are just finalising the builder's contracts after getting quotes (which were all at the top end of what we were expecting). So now we have lots of decisions to make before we start building proper - need to settle on kitchen, render, flooring, doors etc - as well as clear the madness that is our garage.

Anyone else out there?

neolara Sat 17-Sep-16 21:15:13

Yes! We are.. Was in the bathroom showroom this afternoon feeling confused. Are you buying bathroom stuff? If so, which brands have you considered? There's too much choice and I don't know where to start..

namechangedtoday15 Sat 17-Sep-16 21:26:28

6 months in (to a double storey extension) and 2 or 3 weeks away from the end!! It's been hard at times but so worth it - just keep remembering the dream when you're covered in dust and living off couscous and microwave meals grin

HomeIsWhereTheGinisNow Sat 17-Sep-16 21:27:26

Hah. hollow laugh. Week 18 of a 16 week build that will now go on until Christmas. Two extensions at the same time and gutting a whole (old) house. It's been appalling. And we lived out for 12 weeks in the middle! Toddlers, pets and building sites do not mix.

AalyaSecura Sat 17-Sep-16 21:32:58

Hi neolara - we aren't doing the bathroom, we did that a couple of years ago, and it was the hardest part of the renovation work in terms of making decisions! We ended up in Porcelanosa with a shortlist of tiles, and asked the salesman which he liked best, then just went along with that because we were paralysed! We went with an extra thick acrylic bath and Aqualisa shower over, and have no regrets.

So are you going 2 storey extension, or 1?

idontlikealdi Sat 17-Sep-16 21:35:22

We're a bit behind you - plans about to be draw and a full spec for final quotes. Builders booked in for April, earliest we could get! Already feeling overwhelmed with the upheaval. Will have to move to mil - I work from home two days a week which won't be great in a building site.

neolara Sat 17-Sep-16 21:41:41

We are only doing a little actual new building (extra room upstairs and new entrance and a little straightening up of corners downstairs) but we are remodelling the entire house. . Moving stairs, moving walls, replumbing, new electrics, adding bathrooms, new roof for extension, taking out chimneys. Is a huge job and we'll have to move out for 6 months.

AalyaSecura Sat 17-Sep-16 21:42:24

Nearly there, that must be a relief namechanged. And extra wine for Homels - yikes at the over run and volume of work! I'm v relieved that we did the seriously messy stuff involving chimneys and walls before we moved in and still had a rental a couple of years ago, and have the easier stage now. Though I have a touring caravan in storage up the road, which I hope we don't have to resort to!

idontlikealdi, how much work are you doing?

idontlikealdi Sat 17-Sep-16 22:02:16

We're 'just' doing a single storey - mid Victorian terrace but will be over permitted development. Current layout means whole downstairs needs to be redeveloped.

Excited for the more space but still a lot to take on.

We're in such a good area transport for my work and school wise just bigger houses are stupid money hopefully this will mean we can stay trot a good few years.

BestIsWest Sat 17-Sep-16 22:18:10

Yes, we've got planning permission but are waiting on quotes from builder. Also a small matter of getting permission to move inspection chamber from the water board.
It is only a small single story extension but there is some internal remodelling, walls to be removed etc.
Hugely stressful I find.

3kidsandus Sat 17-Sep-16 23:22:04

Hi all, week 7 of a 14 week build! Double storey extension. Yes, I sleep, eat breathe kitchens, bathroom, flooring!! So many decisions!! confused

superking Sun 18-Sep-16 08:01:23

Hi, can I join even though we are at very early stages (only meeting architects next week). We need more space and after originally thinking we would sell up and buy something bigger, we have realised that we are never going to improve on our location here, so it makes far more sense to extend.

Planning a double storey extension to our 3 bed semi to add an extra bedroom and proper family bathroom upstairs (can't swing a cat in the current one), and a kitchen diner, utility, wc/ shower and hopefully a study downstairs.

I am SAHM to two small DC so although I am excited about the project I'm dreading the upheaval. We did a lot of work to the house when we moved in so I have some idea of what's to come, and we plan to move out for the worst of it.

OnePlanOnHouzz Sun 18-Sep-16 09:00:08

A good tip is to try and plan every little detail before the builders start or get too far in - so you don't get rushed into making decisions in a hurry ! You will be living with the results of this for a long time !!!!

So choose your furniture and have your kitchen designed and work out where the sunny spot all afternoon /early evening will be so you don't put the TV cables in the wrong place ( sun glaring off TV so you have to close the curtains to watch it !! Rookie error !) etc etc etc try and be at least a couple of weeks ahead of your builder on decisions if you can !

MirabelleTree Sun 18-Sep-16 10:10:05

Yes, we have planning permission for a 2 storey extension, am waiting for the architect to get back from holiday to do building regs drawings and quotes for the foundations and blockwork. We'll need a chimney removing plus other internal stuff with a new front entrance. I designed the new layout and planning permission was granted the same day my Mum died a few months ago .

I have probably lost the plot as I'm planning to project manage it (I know, don't say anything). Not much of the original house layout remains as we changed a lot at the beginning. We have a new driveway which is a game changer to the plot and the house will be very different if I can pull it off.

Had to submit a hedge protection scheme to planning that recently got approved plus the builder potentially can start at the end of November. I only have one child at home who is a teen, so no worrying about tools lying around as it was when he was little. DD planning to move back in next June potentially, complete with boyfriend in tow so would like to have made some progress by then.

bouncydog Sun 18-Sep-16 10:19:12

The end of ours is in sight! We've knocked down the wall between our kitchen and conservatory and removed all of the concrete flooring down to the raft. Installed supporting beams and had all of the kitchen replastered. Moved the door so I could get the kitchen design I wanted and now at installation of underfloor heating. I've project managed it all myself rather than pay somebody else to do it - saves a lot!

Get quotes from at least three builders and read through them carefully. Ask them for copies of their public liability policies - and don't be fobbed off! Let your house insurers know you are embarking on structural work - you don't want to find that your cover is invalidated because you haven't told them.

I went online to Wickes and used their kitchen planner to get an idea of the design I wanted. Then go and speak to a couple of independent suppliers - we've had fabulous support from the one we went with. Several visits - bringing home sample doors and worktops to look at in different light. It took us around 8 weeks from initial visit/plan to ordering stage. We wanted all Neff appliances and they gave us a better price than we could source ourselves from internet suppliers.

Tip from our local flooring supplier was not to choose the flooring until the kitchen and worktops are installed. Means a couple of weeks to wait extra but better than an expensive mistake because the colour is wrong.

Set up a spreadsheet and record every single spend so that you stay on track with your budget. I've found differences of over £200 on the same tap so check prices. If you have a wall planner, mark the stages on that so that you can keep on track of everything.

So far we've been very lucky as we are using a team of independents and they are all working together. I pay them within 24 hours of their invoices being submitted (providing I'm happy with the work) so they all make an effort to come back when asked rather than making me wait.

chicaguapa Sun 18-Sep-16 14:49:49

I'm not sure if I'm envious or not.

We have PP for a second storey extension that we were given an indicative quote of £18k for. So we ploughed on with the planning application, tried to get other quotes but no-one would give them without detailed plans. Paid for detailed plans, applied for buildings regs, paid for a structural engineer's report and now getting quotes for £40k. So we've paid upwards of £2,500 to get to this point. Had we known it would be £40k to begin with we wouldn't have started.

I could project manage the build and save some of the cost, but I work full time. And tbh I've found it so stressful getting to this point I'm not sure I have it in me to go ahead.

Crisscrosscranky Sun 18-Sep-16 15:01:17

We're just in the process of having drawings done for planning permission to convert our loft. Currently in a 2 bed bungalow and by the time we're (hopefully) done we'll have a 3 bed chalet - we're looking to have got planning permission by Xmas to start work in March. Excited but frustrated there's no point in painting walls/replacing internal doors for next 6 months even though they are looking a bit ropey!

bouncydog Sun 18-Sep-16 15:07:39

I also work full time - but I love a project! I think the key is to be super organised and close your eyes to the mess that goes into the rest of the house. We currently have the contents of the kitchen cupboards stored in the dining room along with the conservatory furniture. Stuff is stored in the spare bathroom and we have set up a temporary kitchen in the utility room with a microwave, single hob and toaster. Fridge and freezer are in the study. Luckily there are only 2 of us and we can make do!

namechangedtoday15 Sun 18-Sep-16 15:24:06

Oneplan - I know you do this as a job, but I found that it was really hard to envisage the space, how we would use it, where we wanted everything until we'd got started. Maybe I'm particularly hopeless grin and lack vision very likely so as much as I thought I knew what we wanted in terms of kitchen / furniture / where everything would go, its only when we had the structure of the extension in, with roof light, bi-fold doors etc could I really see how we'd use it as a family - where the light was good, the actual size. I think there is some leeway - we changed the position of the electrics in the bedroom (turned bed 90 degrees from where we planned it) and position of radiators downstairs. Also turned the whole utility room 90 degrees too but as long as these decisions were made before the "critical" stage, it was OK.

And its funny how tips differ - we were told to fit the floor in the kitchen before the kitchen was installed because if you ever change the layout of the kitchen, you won't have missing bits of floor!

NotAPuffin Sun 18-Sep-16 15:28:55

We've just bought a 1920s 3 bed that has gone virtually untouched since it was built. It's gorgeous and full of original loveliness but can't be lived in till it's been rewired, and replumbed (though there's barely any plumbing anyway; there's a loo, sink and shower upstairs but not even a sink downstairs!) and had heating put in, plus the issus of insulation. Thankfully it seems fine structurally. We want to put a single storey extension at the back.

We haven't even contacted our chosen architect yet.

We're moving in with my parents the week after next, who knows for how long...

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 18-Sep-16 16:40:47

We are 3 weeks in and moved out this week. The project should take 6 months.

We're having a single storey extension but total house renovation. The builders we are using aren't cheap and have also used an interior design company who are doing the bathroom, kitchen and all flooring/curtains and cabinetry etc.

The costs keep me up at night but it will be worth it when done. Well I hope it will.

Children not loving the rental house and neither am I but needs must - there is no way we could have lived in the house whilst the work was done. I popped round this morning and foundations are all in and the house has been gutted.

Not looking forward to Christmas in tiny rented house.

TheMissMarple Sun 18-Sep-16 17:49:55

Yes, this is us! Going into wk 2 of a 6 month ext and renovation of existing house. Been a long time waiting to start so v exciting. Currently making no decisions which is worrying! Should we be?

johnd2 Sun 18-Sep-16 20:00:01

Yes we are too, currently waiting on the final approval for building regulations. We had all the quotes back, but when we chose one the builder needed to finalise the scaffolding cost. Of course both he and his scaffolder are super busy, but we are desperate to start.
I get the impression all the builders are just constantly juggling a few different projects and if they haven't even started work you're lucky to get a look in.

thelizard Mon 19-Sep-16 13:39:13

Hello everyone, we are just about (next week!) to begin a two storey side and back extension. Neighbours objected originally and although all fine with planning, they are not happy 😳. Build will take at least 6 months, we'll move out to my parents for probably 4 months. I am so keen to have it finished, love where we live etc, but now feeling extremely anxious about it starting. Please tell me it gets better!!! Would love a support thread to keep us all going...

OnePlanOnHouzz Mon 19-Sep-16 14:05:51


Easily fixed if you get it drawn out so you can try different options ... like this
So you can see what things might work like before you even brake ground ?!

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