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Your Home Extension Project

The Home Improvement Market

The UK home improvement market is at least as large as the new homes market. Since the start of the economic recession it has probably become larger as people unable to find new homes, or obtain Home improvement loans or mortgage for them, increasingly turn to home improvements.

UK Home Imporvement Market

Home Building & Renovating

This means that homebuilding and renovating is now more about extending houses and adding extra space to existing homes than about building new houses, flats and apartments. Events like the Home improvement show Earls Court evidence this. It also means that as people become more interested in home extension costs, they are also commissioning an increasing number of home building surveys and looking for home extension ideas.  

Home Extension Teams

Growth in the need for home extension plans is leading to the need for architects and others to effectively create home extension teams. This is already leading to the formation of multi-disciplinary Eco Consultancy practices, discussed more fully under the Planning and Building Regulation sections.
 
In turn they are becoming served by specialist home improvement stores, like B and Q, HomeBase and the economy store Focus, whose growth is supported by the availability of home improvement grants. However, the market for home improvement building kits is still in an embryonic stage, due to the technical complexities, varied design and construction detailing, as well as significantly increased building regulation requirements.

Days May Be Numbererd

Extend Building Services

In many respects the days of the small local building firm, probably established by a tradesman carpenter, bricklayer, plumber or other experienced craftsman, may be numbered.

Quite apart from the way that the near abandonment of traditional apprenticeships has led to a severe shortage of comprehensive construction knowledge and skills, our recognition of the problems of global climate change have led to a new era of Carbon Zero, energy efficiency, and general all round environmental sustainability being progressively incorporated in town and country planning and building regulation standards. 

Extending a Bungalow, House, Flat, or Apartment

Now, if you want to extend a bungalow, extend a house outwards or upwards, or simply extend a room or rooms – as distinct from merely carrying out home improvements or house adaptations within the confines of the existing building envelope, (floor, walls and roof) - then you, your architect/designer, and your builder will almost certainly need professional technical advice in order to comply with the regulations and building control. Extending a flat or apartment holds even more complexity, including legal considerations.  These are addressed separately under the Extending an Apartment or Flat, section.

Victorian Properties

Purely because of the age of Britain’s housing stock, the majority of home additions will be of properties built in the last 120 -140 years. However, this does include a large number of Victorian properties.
 
Many people looking for larger rooms than those provided in homes built in more recent years, seem to find Victorian houses attractive.  The Victorian era, of course, saw Britain’s growth as a world power.  The British Empire prospered through the development and application of Victorian inventions and Victorian homes and households aspired to reflect this.  Victorian children were more numerous than in today’s ‘atomic family’, and many Victorian house plans, especially for those for the more ‘well-to-do’, tended to reflect this. 

Not only were rooms larger, Victorian homes were in themselves more spacious many, for example, having higher ceilings than those built today. Cellars or basements were also quite common in such homes, a feature often prized by house-hunters when looking at Victorian houses for sale. This seems especially the case in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and many of our larger cities where more of such larger homes still survive.

Voctorian Buildings

 

Home Extension PLans

Renovating Older Properties

Consideration of Victorian buildings introduces the question of renovating older homes, which is a subject in itself.  Although possibly fewer by number than Victorian town houses, the opportunity to renovate old cottages and old houses, often in a village or the countryside, holds a particular fascination.  Renovating property, as distinct from adding to and enlarging a building, is also a subject in itself and is not dealt with here. Instead it will be treated together with the renovation of historic buildings and the restoration of listed buildings in a different section.

 


Whatever your Extension & Renovation Aspirations …

“Simply Build Extensions” will be pleased to help you think through the pros and cons of embarking on your home extension project.

As you will have gathered there are a lot of things to consider and most people find that they can benefit from talking with a third party. This helps them to clarify their ideas, establish likely costs, and make sure that they can get planning and building regulation approvals as well as the funds to carry out the project.

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