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Can you share your experiences of building a house extension please? I don't really have a clue...!

(7 Posts)
ilikeyoursleeves Thu 12-Nov-09 16:15:08

We are hoping to get a house extension within the next few years, hopefully next year though! We moved here a few years ago and the house came with planning permission but I want to tweak it a bit. We currently live in a teensy sqaure detached 1970's house comprising:

Downstairs: living room, kitchen, teeny hall with small cupboard & teeny 'utility room' (ie enough room for our washing machine & dryer only)

Upstairs: 3 bedrooms (2 OK size, 1 tiny box room) & teeny bathroom

We plan to extend to the side so giving us additional:

Downstairs: bigger area onto kitchen to make it kitchen diner, and also creating dowstairs loo and bigger utility room

Upstairs: master bedroom with big en suite

We have PP for the above but I've fallen in love with the idea of erecting another single storey attached to the rear to give us another living space where the garage currently sits. I dream of lovely patio doors opening to the garden and us basking in sunshine <sigh>. We will need to knock down the garage anyway for access (and frankly I'll be glad to get rid of it cos it stinks and is just a dumping groud).

So my qu's are.....

- have you done anything similar and if so how much was it? (roughly)
- how will I cope without a washing machine etc as they will have to knock down current utility room right at the start!
- how long should it take?
- how to find an architect? (i have set up 2 meetings for next week but I don't know how to choose the correct architect? Surely you hire them on the basis of what they come up with but then you'd need to pay them for their ideas in the first place??? Or do you?)
- do you need to chat it over with ALL the neighbours in the vicinity or just next door?
- what's the best time of year to do it? eg, summer for good weather & longer days?
- how do I cope with it all with 2 boys to look after too! (currently 2 years old & 3 months old)

Umm can't think of other qu' just now but I'd be grateful for any helpful advice or good websites / books!

Thankyou lovelies

Furball Thu 12-Nov-09 18:25:08

We had a single storey extension side and rear (L shaped round the house) a couple of years ago, to give utility room and a new lounge.

We moved our washing machine into the garage (just read yours is going to be knocked down)

In the beginning it's not too much hassle as it will all be happening outside, it's when they start to join it all up to the current build is where it gets messy.

They had to make a window into a door and the dust was really bad.

But, the result is well worth it, it took 3 months and now is a distant memory.

Go for it

ps - the architect was a friend of my dads so I can't help you with that either

morethanyoubargainfor Thu 12-Nov-09 18:38:41

what i would advise from when we had ours done, (although we had extension and complete structal refurb) is put money in the budget for a rental property.

Ours in all took 6 months, was only supposed to be 10 weeks.

Also use an architectual technian rather that an architect as they do just as good a job but for half the price!

ilikeyoursleeves Thu 12-Nov-09 19:01:53

Thanks for replying, yes I've heard to architect technicians so I'll def look into that given the plans won't be too complex and we already have existing plans too.

I've read to budget £1000 / sq m, do you know if that's for everything inc finishes, decor, fees etc, or is that just for the basic shell of extension?

And yes, we can't move the washing machine to the garage as it will be knocked down for access and I'm also now thinking how the hell we will actually get in / out the house because our entrance (front & back) will need to be knocked down for the extension ARGH.

morethanyoubargainfor Thu 12-Nov-09 19:37:19

i think that is for a basic liveable finish, it would be hard to estimate for everything as people have varying tastes etc, i know we spent around 20% on finishes on top of our original budget. By finishes i mean doors, floors etc.

l39 Thu 12-Nov-09 22:35:33

We had a two-storey extension added to our tiny 2-bedroom house a couple of years ago. We contacted the architect in August, got planning permission in December, consulted many builders in January. The builder we chose started work in late March and finished in the middle of May.

We were rather confused by the huge variations in the estimates, from 40 thousand pounds to over 70! The builder we chose was one of the cheaper ones, but the firm was great. They finished on time and charged exactly what they had quoted us. The most expensive quote came from a builder who seemed quite suspect - he hinted at cheating on VAT and told us not to trust any other builders. He also said his firm would take twice as long to get the extension built as the others and said we couldn't have the upper floor at the same height as the existing second storey, I can't remember why, but the builder we went with managed to match the floor level perfectly.

We did the decorating ourselves, and paid the inspectors from the council who came at the different stages to check all was well.

We just picked the architect whose office was nearest to us but we interviewed 9 building firms before choosing one.

ilikeyoursleeves Thu 12-Nov-09 22:52:13

Hi l39 do you mind if I ask you what you have got in your 2 storey exactly (esp what m sq it is) an how much it cost all in?

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