What you need to know before planning an extension

An old adage states that your home is your castle, even the most superlative castle could probably benefit from the addition of an extension. With property prices on the rise, many homes are having to work harder to house several generations under one roof, and the cost of moving means that extending may be the more affordable option.


However, deciding that you want an extension is only the beginning of the process; there is planning that must be done, there are things you need to know, and there are calls you will have to make. So, let’s take a look at exactly what you need to know prior to getting an extension added to your home.

1. Access

It is important to think about how easy it will be for workers to access the site. Is there a place for materials and various tools to be stored? Will workers be able to manoeuvre machinery without difficulty? Is there a place where lorries or vans can be parked so that items can be unloaded easily?

2. Insurance

You’ll need to ensure that you get in touch with your insurance provider and see if you can be covered while the work is ongoing. Some insurers will still cover you as long as you’ll be at the property to supervise the work, whilst others will require an extra fee to extend your cover due to the increased risk of damage.

3. Planning permission

Of course, if you want to get an extension added to your property, you need to consider planning permissions. Sometimes planning permission will not be required, but it is absolutely worth checking this out before committing to any work.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s always ok to apply for permission afterwards, either – retrospective planning permission applications can be very risky.


If the work that is to be carried out will involve any form of digging, requires foundations to be built, or will see you making use of a shared wall, then you will very likely have to ensure that you are in complete compliance with the necessary legislation for your area.

4. Design

Are you aware of what sort of extension you actually want? Have you considered the functions it will have to carry out, the size it’s going to be, how it’s going to impact the size of your garden, and what sort of impact it is liable to have on the overall value of your property?


Sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly what sort of design you require, as well as what materials to use, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice from experts who can do the research and offer you a range of options. Many homeowners are becoming concerned about sustainability, for example, and consulting an architect may be the best way to find out about the most eco-friendly materials for your job.

5. Budget

Of course, it is absolutely essential that you know how much you can afford before you hire contractors. This will not only ensure that you don’t end up facing unnecessary debt, but will also give you an idea of what sort of extension you can likely obtain for your money. Make sure to leave a buffer in your budget for any unexpected work.



Planning an extension to your home can, of course, be very exciting. But don’t get carried away – with the right research and preparation, the whole process is likely to go much more smoothly.