The demand for extensions to existing properties in the United Kingdom has held strong in recent years, online searches, general enquiries, word of mouth recommendation and general marketing have served to enable people in Britain to find a good quality builder who will carry out their house extension to a good standard.
However for people new to this, it begs questions such as:
- How do I find a reliable company to carry out my home extension?
- What should I look for to determine if this building company is a good company to work with?
- What price is reasonable for the work I want done to my house?
Here are some key things to bear in mind:
First, you want to be sure that the building company you choose has a proven track record of success in dealing with home extensions, for this you should ask about the following:
Portfolio/Track Record: Do they have a portfolio of previous works? Can you see images of previous projects of this nature?
Web Engagement: Are there online reviews detailing the services of the building company? Do they have a profile on social media where the public are engaging with them? Are they saying positive things about the company?
Once you are comfortable that the house extension builders have a solid track record of producing quality work you should ask them to speak with you about the project in question, a good building company should be prepared to visit the property and survey the project and quote for free, consulting with you about what is possible for your home.
During the meeting (free consultation) you should ask what is a realistic time-scale to completion for this extension. You would want to know this because home extensions can be very disruptive and some people choose to live elsewhere whilst the extension is taking place.
You can expect draughts, cold temperatures, linen on the floor as covering for your carpets, dust, some rubble and people walking in and out of the property (however the end result if the planning and execution are done well, is generally well worth it). Plus, a lot of noise, scaffolding, and a skip blocking your driveway.
Matters of Pricing
Once you’re provided with the pricing, ask exactly what the pricing is detailing, ask for a breakdown of costings, so you have a detailed account of what it is you’re paying for, another advantage of having this kind of cost out is the fact that you can compare this quote with other building companies that you deemed suitable to do the extension, you can cross-reference the pricing between companies if you feel necessary.
Ask about if planning permission will be required for this project (check and double check) with the local building authorities regards planning permissions.
Building Regulations & Certifications
Check that all the relevant building regulations will be adhered to during the course of the extension build and ask to see certification to prove that the building professionals hold the correct credentials in order to carry out their work to a high standard.
Also make sure that both yourself and the builders are crystal clear on the requirements, this is highly important for obvious reasons but we will cover them here:
- Being clear on the architectural plans ensures that the workers know what is expected of them and gives people a good idea of what the end goal looks like
- It enables you to refer back to something in the original plan if something is not being done to specification (be sure to retain a copy of the drawings)
- In case of dispute, any query is easily rectified if there is a “master document” of how the house extension should be carried out.
Quick Checklist At-A-Glance:
To sum it up, here are all the things you should be mindful of:
- Portfolio/Proof of previous works
- Look for reviews/recommendations/social engagement online as commercial proof of ability
- Invite the representatives to speak with you about the project in question (they should offer a free consultation)
- During the meeting Ask about time-scales, costs, disruption, ascertain what is possible given the space available and the scale of the property, also bring up planning permission as a subject and check that all work will be carried out in accordance with building regulations.
- Ask about qualifications & certification
- Check and cross reference to see if pricing is reasonable (optional)
- Make sure all parties are very clear on what is expected of this project.
If you adhere to all or most of the above, you will maximise your chances of a successful house extension.