Talk

Advanced search

Total novice here, can people with experience talk me through the process of getting an extension done

(12 Posts)
Belleende Sat 14-Nov-20 10:12:09

We live in a small victorian end if terrace house. Galley kitchen, downstairs bathroom, 2 out of the 3 bedrooms are small. It works for now, but as the kids grow it will be a challenge. But fab location. Can walk everywhere. Lovely street, great neighbours. We can't afford anything bigger where we are.

So, we want to do a side extension downstairs, put the bathroom upstairs and do a loft conversion. I am clueless on how to go about this. Do we engage an architect first? Or do we find a builder tha can do the whole thing? Any pointers would be appreciated

OP’s posts: |
SourMilkGhyll Sat 14-Nov-20 10:21:06

Do you want to manage the project yourselves (lots and lots of work, and a bit tricky, cheaper) or do you want to pay an agreed price and someone else manage it for you (more expensive, far easier)?

Loofah01 Sat 14-Nov-20 10:23:23

First find out if anyone else up the street has done something similar (they probably have), then you can be reasonably assured there won't be any issue getting permission. Read up on permitted development.
Sketch out some ideas of what you might want. Look on the council planning website for past or current applications and nick some ideas. You'll also be able to see who they used and you can knock on doors to ask if the draughtsman or architect were any good and same for builders they used.
Get drawings done up and planning in, ask for recommendations on builders and use the drawings for quotes.
When planning is through, appoint the builders and go for it.

Loofah01 Sat 14-Nov-20 10:23:32

Do not rush!

Grobagsforever Sat 14-Nov-20 10:24:00

Yes, start with an architect. Once you have a design you're happy with it will go to planning permission. Then you need the architect to do technical drawings which will be used for builders quotes and building control regulations. At this point you'll also need to engage a structural engineer and possibly a building control firm if you're council aren't very good.

You will also likely need party wall agreements, your architect can advise.

Smallinthesmoke Sat 14-Nov-20 10:28:38

That's quite a lot of work.So your first job will be to decide on sequencing or splitting up eg you could get in a specialist firm just for the loft extension
Engage architect and or specialist companies. Bear in mind if you split it up work on one thing eg roof will affect sums for loads etc for the extension.
Get planning permission
Decide if you want to engage a project manager or do it yourself
Find a builder/ builders
Sign contracts inc payment schedule against results (lots of horrifying MN threads where people don't do this)
Wait until builder can do it

Somewhere in the middle of that is, see how much of a problem Brexit will cause for labour and materials. Also the scale of your work will presumably involve moving out?

Belleende Sat 14-Nov-20 10:46:15

Thanks for that. My partner is currently a sahd but 2nd DD getting 15 hours from Jan, so we could feasibly manage it ourselves, but it would be riskier and a steep learning curve. I think I would prefer the experts to do it.

People in our street have had similar done, so not expecting planning to be an issue. We do have shared access at the back which we will have to manage around but doable I think. Parking on our street is also an absolute arse, but others have managed so, so will we.

We will have to move out, which is a worry. Rentals are scarce and expensive.

Also need to accept that the build won't really add value. It is all about making rhe house liveable long term.

OP’s posts: |
Loofah01 Sun 15-Nov-20 14:47:12

Just to mention you don't have to use an architect, draughtsman can provide the drawings for much lower cost.
The build team will generally manage the build themselves so don't fret about that too much but do ask lots of probing questions when they pop over to quote. It's a lot of cash so be sure.

twolittleboysonetiredmum Sun 15-Nov-20 15:03:12

We’re trying to get our first extension done and so far we have:
Had an architect come round and do initial drawings
Had builders round to get a rough idea if we’re within our affordability zone
Architect has now submitted plans for planning permission. Once that’s granted we can then get a detailed spec from him. He is also getting a structural engineer sorted to go over the plans and give approval/info for builder (we haven’t a clue how much that will cost yet)
We’ll then give this to the builder who can give us a better idea of a quote

We’ve spent 750 so far. Still owe architect £250 once his services are done and then the structural engineer

Hope that helps a bit

Jaxhog Sun 15-Nov-20 15:10:29

Just to mention you don't have to use an architect, draughtsman can provide the drawings for much lower cost.

Well yes, if you just want a box thrown on the side of your house. . But if you want something that is designed for your family and for how you use your house, use an Architect. They are also a lot less expensive than you think.

twolittleboysonetiredmum Sun 15-Nov-20 15:21:40

I don’t even know what we’d have without the architect. He talked us through loads of options and what we wanted. He also knew our budget and designed realistic solutions around that so we didn’t end up with a project we can’t afford. His initial plans have lots of info on that we would never have thought of too. I think you’d be mad not to use one unless you’ve someone who can do similar for you

Loofah01 Sun 15-Nov-20 16:02:33

Jaxhog

*Just to mention you don't have to use an architect, draughtsman can provide the drawings for much lower cost.*

Well yes, if you just want a box thrown on the side of your house. . But if you want something that is designed for your family and for how you use your house, use an Architect. They are also a lot less expensive than you think.

With respect, that's crap. A competent draughtsman can provide all of the creative input an architect can, there's no reason to dismiss them out of hand. Both can be excellent options as well as both be a total disaster. Ask for comparative quotes, as always.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in