How to Build your extension

So, you have decided on the plan, design, type of construction, and level of ‘green’ sustainability you wish to achieve for your extra space. If necessary, you have also obtained planning permission for your extension building. You are now ‘good to go’. But what is the best way for you to go about this, and where do you start? .

This section introduces you to the different stages of construction, how to manage the process, and some pitfalls to avoid. If in doubt just give us a call. We will be pleased to help.


Preparing & Programming Building Works

As with most projects, it pays to create an ordered list – a schedule of things that have to be done to achieve an end goal. Prioritising this and putting a timetable to it, turns this into a useful program of works.  

Using Your Schedule

Not only can this be used to help you pre-order materials, components, equipment and services, it can also be used to help you keep on top of the finances required, making sure that you have the funds available for each stage of the project as needed, and avoid many of the practical pitfalls of building projects.

Charting Progress

One of the simplest ways to do this is to create a "bar line", or "Gantt chart" giving a time element for each operation. Where operations need to be sequential, you can make sure that they follow on one after another. If they can overlap you can see at a glance where any conflicts with other operations might arise.

Example Gantt Chart

The following example of a Gantt chart for a building project was made using an industry standard program, "Project Commander", although other widely available programs, like Microsoft Project, can be used. It is also not necessary to use a program, since this can all be done using a piece of graph paper.

Failing to prepare and program your project could create time delays, supplier/subcontractor conflicts, and cash flow difficulties


This general heading of "preliminaries" covers all the things that have to be done in preparing the site and project before you can properly start work on site. The following list covers many of the key matters that should not be considered as exhaustive.
•    Site huts – secure storage, canteen, drying area, office, toilets
•    Site utilities – water, hot water, electricity, waste water/WC disposal
•    Security fencing – to keep people, particularly children, from harming themselves on site
•    Site notices – statutory, precautionary, advisory
•    Site first aid – easily locatable first aid kit and emergency contacts
•    Site lighting
•    Hardstanding areas – materials, vehicles, equipment
•    Telephones
•    Site induction/instruction for all new workers and visitors to the site
•    Health & Safety equipment – hard hats, hi viz jackets, etc.
•    Waste skips

Of course, planning for your "preliminaries" should be included within your bar chart or Gantt chart.

Ignoring, or paying too little attention to your "Preliminaries" could create unnecessary site hazards, work bottlenecks, labour difficulties, and issues with the authorities.

Site Organisation

One of the most important, but often overlooked tasks at the beginning of any project, is to organise the site properly. Making sure that site huts and specified areas for vehicles, equipment, materials, etc. are properly located is an essential requirement for a well-run site. The size of footprint required for each should be properly worked out and drawn onto the site plan, making sure that these do not interfere with the footprint of the building, the scaffolding around it, or the access routes for transporting materials etc to, through and across the site to the point where they are required.

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