Come the start of the new year there is no better time to sit down and start planning that new extension or conservatory. Or maybe you’re even more ambitious and in the market for building a new home?
Whatever your and your family’s home construction dream, in order to get the most for your money it’s essential to plan meticulously from the off. Enthusiasm to get started is great – but the build process has to be methodical and well-thought out from the very start. And that means covering a number of different aspects, such as:
- A site survey. This can determine what kind of soil the ground you plan on building on has and whether it’s really suitable for what you’re planning after all. Poor soil could lead to more expensive foundations having to be built or the land could be a flooding risk. You’ll also want to know if the land is on a slope and what the drainage facilities nearby are like. So, it’s essential not to skip this part!
- This is where you sit down with the architectural designer and explain what’s in your mind. You can then both work together and discuss what the finished outcome should look – and feel – like. A designer can provide you with ideas you may never even have considered. He or she can also advise you about new materials on the market, including eco solutions.
- It’s very easy when building a new home or extension to go over budget. And it’s why you need an experienced design company to advise you during the build. It all depends on what materials you plan on using and the type of fixtures and fittings opted for. A designer can ‘rein you in’ should you get carried away (and it’s extremely easy for this to happen!).
- Planning applications. You will more than likely have to apply for planning permission. This varies from council to council but there are uniform restrictions regarding how high you can build so that your plans aren’t intrusive to neighbouring properties. The appearance of your extension or home will also have to be ‘signed off’ by council planners. The forms have to be filled out in a particular style and tend to be pretty detailed.
- CAD plans. Design technology is pretty impressive these days. It allows you to see three dimensional renderings (representations) of your extension or property. This gives you a better feel for the space and means you can correct any inconsistencies right at the start (saving you money further down the line when a piece of wall has to come down etc). You can also alter the CAD drawing as the project advances eg change the window frames, add furniture for perspective etc. In many cases it’s possible to have a virtual walkthrough of your home before the first brick has even been laid!
- Drawings for building regulations. It could prove necessary to present documents to the Building Control department of the council. Whereas Planning deals more with the environment, physical layout and use of an extension, house etc, Building Control is more interested in aspects such as the materials being used, the building’s structure, insulation and access.
Find out more about what the planning and design of an extension or new home involves by taking a look at our planning and design section here.