If you do not plan your home extension well, you could be in for some design disasters!
Extending your home can be a great investment, providing you with the extra space you need without having to move home.
For your project to run as smoothly as possible, it is important to plan and finalise the specification for the design at the very beginning of your project.
If you cut corners or just presume your builder will point out potential problems in your design, you could be in for a costly surprise late into your project.
This article explores the 5 mistakes you should avoid in the planning stages of a home extension.
- 1. Ignoring the design of the exterior – Many people are so focused on the inside of their home extension that they forget about the exterior. The design of a home extension should either : –
- ensure that the exterior of the new extension blends in with the rest of the house and does not look like a bolted on extra. This will take careful planning from the designer and builder to ensure the materials match.
- Or the alternative would be to create a contrast look. This would need to be carefully planned with your architect, so that the desired quality is achieved.
- 2. Failing to Consider Natural Light – some people sign off the design plans only to discover when it’s too late that their new home extension is dark and dingy. Think about where the sun rises and sets. What can you add to the room to flood it with natural light? Consider bifold doors, skylights and the positions of your new windows and how many you will add in your new extension. Natural light can completely change the feel of the room, so this is not something that should be overlooked.
- 3. Insufficient Electrical Power Sockets – In many home extension projects, customers get to the very end and realise that they do not have enough electrical points for their appliances. This should be planned out as early as possible in the build.
Write down all the essential and possible appliances you will have in your kitchen, where they will go in the kitchen layout and add some extra points as there will always be occasions where you need the use of sockets for additional or one-off items. If you have a breakfast bar with seating, is it possible someone might need to charge their phone or work on the laptop from there?
Once you have worked this out sit down with your builder and agree on paper where and how many points will go in. Double check the quotation as they will normally only include the bare minimum and sign off the price for the additional sockets that are required. Also keep a copy of the agreed socket positions to avoid any disputes later. You may also want to specify the exact location of the socket on the wall. The more detailed your agreement, the less chance of problems later in the build.
- 4. Insufficient Electrical Lighting – As clients taste vary and builders do not want their estimates to be too high, many quotations only include the minimal amount of light sockets, and many people do not question or think to add additional lighting until it’s too late.
Once they realise, additional work may be needed to add extra circuits in after the walls have been plastered and painted, causing unnecessary cost and stress.
Like natural light in the day, electrical light can also change the mood and ambiance of a room. Creating different circuits in the extension means you can turn on different lights when carrying out different activities. You can change the mood if you are reading, enjoying a romantic meal, relaxing, watching TV or you may need bright lights to concentrate.
- 5. Neglecting The Kitchen Layout – “as long as it’s the kitchen that I have chosen, and it fits in the space, the layout doesn’t really matter does it, these builders do this all the time” right? WRONG.
People get so wrapped up in the colours and look of a kitchen that they do not consider the practicality and layout. A kitchen layout should be carefully designed and tailored to you and how you will use that space.
Consider the following …How near should the fridge be to the area where you prepare food? Where will the kids want to sit whilst you are preparing dinner? When you open the cupboard doors will there be enough room? Can you fully open the washing machine door and get the clothes out without having to fight with the wall?
Watch our video below on designing your kitchen
An experienced design and build specialist will be able to help you to plan your project thoroughly and advise if there are areas in the design that might not work for you.
As long as you carefully plan and design your new home extension, thinking practically about day to day life and each individual making use of the new space, then you will avoid problems later in the build and the project will run smoothly.
Jeffery & Wilkes are design and build experts and specialists. We will be able to guide you each step of the way to creating your perfect home extension.
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