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We would like to extend the house. We have never done my sort of home renovation except some simple DIY. How do we even start? We have potential money in place by extending mortgage preliminary agreed by bank. So what order do we do it in? Get architect? How do you choose a good one. Bonus points for doing this as cheaply as possible. Any parts we can do ourselves to save money, or tips on how to get plans drawn up without that costing a fortune. Depending on cost we want to at least double extend out the back to make a large kitchen/living area. But would love to look at seeing how we can fit in a utility room (the dream) and some sort of porch, quite simply somewhere to hold all the shoes!! Based in Brentwood, Essex it that helps. Any recommendations? Thank you!
I'm going to closely follow your thread as I'm in exactly the same position! Money sorted but dont know where to start. So far we've got a recommended (by friends & neighbours) builder coming on Tuesday to give a ballpark estimate of what we want to do to see if we can afford all of it. Hes going to tell me if it falls under permitted development and hopefully point me the direction of what I need to do next. Hopefully more knowledgeable posters respond so we can both be helped! Good luck
Unless you know exactly what you want you need an architect. I knew what I wanted so just got a surveyor to draw up specs for building control, and he specified foundations etc. The builder needs to work off these, plus you need them for building regs and planning permission. As you are a novice maybe look at a one stop shop that will also project manage it.
We are in the early stages of this. If you know what you want to do, you might want to try to get a steer from a builder as to likely costs but you won’t get proper quotes without drawings. If you don’t know what you want to do exactly, I’d start with architects.
You need someone to draw up plans - I would contact, say, three different architects. Most will offer a no-obligation initial meeting and will give you a steer on costs (this will be generic), timescales, etc, and throw some ideas around.
You may not need an architect - an architectural technician may be cheaper. But make sure you understand the qualifications of the person you’re hiring, and that you have a contract once you engage someone which sets out what you want them to do. (Voice of bitter experience here...) They will usually manage the planning process on your behalf.
Once you’ve applied for planning permission, builders are generally willing to give a steer on costs but our experience is that you’ll struggle to get proper quotes without building control drawings. Once you have planning permission, you have to apply for building regulations.
Good architects usually have builders they’re used to working with, and vice versa, so if you speak to one you like, ask whether they can recommend the other.
This means you end up in a situation where you’re not sure whether you can afford what you want to do as you can’t get proper quotes without the drawings and permissions, but you don’t know whether you can afford what you’re designing, to a degree....other MNers may be able to suggest ways round this conundrum.
Wow thank you for the in depth response, so helpful. I wish I knew what I wanted but I only have a vague idea. I know exactly what I like when I visit a house or see pictures but absolutely no clue how to recreate myself!
Glad it was helpful! A decent architect will encourage you to think about what you want out of the space and how you want to live in it, and draw up plans based on that. We had a bad experience with an architectural technician and are now working with an architect to try to sort out the mess, hence some of the above being from bitter experience 😫.
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