Comments0 by in House Extensions
July 12, 2016
The Different Stages of a Home Extension

If you are considering an extension for your home, there are a number of different stages of a home extension for you to be aware of. Having some knowledge of each of these stages will help you make better informed decisions along the way. In this article, we hope to inform you about the different stages that need to happen before a home extension can get underway.

The very first thing you should be doing however, is asking yourself what the purpose of the extension is and what you want to achieve from it?

Here are some basic questions to set you on the right track:

  • Do you like the neighbourhood you live in and for how long do you plan to live in that house?
  • Are you planning to put your house up for sale in the near future and are looking to add value to it?
  • How do you plan to pay for the extension and what is the broader budget you have in mind?
  • Do you have a Plan B in place, in case you overstep your budget?
  • Are there any major life events due to come up like the birth of a child or a wedding?
  • If the extension project is going to be a major one, where do you plan to live while the work is in progress?

Home Extension Stages

Once you have the answers to all the above questions, you will have the confidence to proceed and can go ahead with the build. Below we have outlined each of the starting stages of a home extension to give you an idea of what to expect:

Stage 1, Design and planning:

This is the very first stage of your home extension project. Once you have decided where you want the extension and what you want built, you need to focus on what the design and plan is going to be like. Keep in mind that extending the structure into the garden or yard is significantly less complex than adding a second storey to your home. The proposed scale of your project is very important and something that you would have to take into account from the start.

Stage 2, Hire an architect or builder:

You would first have to work with either an architect or draftsman to develop a detailed plan of the extension. The architect or draftsman will offer you very valuable advice on how best to use the available space.

In the early stages, you may choose to hire a builder for home extension. They will also be able to give you an expert opinion on how best to complete your home extension. In most cases, your new builder will also be able to work closely with an architect and interpret accurately what your needs are to them. This can remove a lot of the stress and responsibility from yourself.

Stage 3, Obtaining council permits:

You would also have to obtain the prerequisite permit from your local council to begin the build. This is something that you can speak with your builder or architect about and they should be able to assist you with this. Regardless of the type of home extension you are planning, it’s always a good idea to understand what the local council rules and regulations are and ensure that your plans are in line with these.

You may also like to keep your neighbours in the loop about your home extension plans. It’s not uncommon for people to object to home extensions built on properties in the neighbourhood and that will only impede the progress of your project and add to your budget as you will have to deal with unforeseen legal costs.

Stage 4, Extension cost:

Once you have detailed building plans in place, the builder will be able to provide you with an accurate quote. It’s simply not possible for any home builder to provide this unless they have a clear and concise idea about the size and scope of the project. At this stage you should also have the extension permit in order as discussed above.

Use our Building Cost Calculator to get an idea of the type of investment your home extension might cost.

Stage 5, Identify the right builder:

If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to look for a home builder. No matter which way you look at it, a home extension project represents a significant amount of work. This is why you should be very prudent with your choice of builder and make sure you get the right one.

When looking for a builder, here are some tips:

  • Locate a builder with experience and a good reputation in the field
  • The builder should specialise in home extensions and be able to show you their portfolio of work
  • One of the best ways to zero-in on a good builder is to check with friends and family who have had similar work completed in the past.
  • Check online reviews and testimonials on social websites to read about other peoples experiences with particular builders.

You may also like to read ‘How to check the skills of your home builder‘ for additional information.

Stage 6, Hiring the builder:

Once you have chosen a builder and understand whether they would be able to handle your project; Ask them for quotes based on the plans the architect or draftsman has completed. Once you find that everything is in place, ensure that a detailed contract is created.

The contract should have the scope and detailed specification of the extension which should include the complete details about the entire job. There should also be a timetable and mention of the scheduled completion date. They may also choose to include details of the payment schedule and the stages at which these have to be made.

The next stages of a home extension

As you can see, a home extension includes a number of different stages, even before a nail has been hammered. Once the home extension is underway and the tradesman are on site, you will be able to refer to your timeline in the builders contract to know what the next stages of the home extensions will be. However, if at any stage you are unsure of what is happening, it is important that you speak directly with the builder to gain clarification.

Additional tips

Here are some very simple yet important tips to help you through this period of your home extension:

  • Maintain very realistic expectations of the things that you want to achieve.
  • Start your house extension project only when you’re confident that it will fit into your budget.
  • It is very important to get your funds in order before you start the extension.
  • Keep a buffer amount, just in case some unexpected expenses crop up.
  • When you’re budgeting, include the cost of the planning permit in it.
  • Make arrangements for decorating the extended spaces; this should include any new furniture, décor, and features you might want to add to the room/s.
  • Check whether all the work has been completed perfectly and sign off with your builder.

  • We can help!

    If you are in Western Sydney and would like to speak about your potential home extension with a builder that specialise in extensions, then give us a call. We offer a free building consultation in which we can speak with you about the requirements and stages of your particular home extension and give you an idea of the cost that will be associated with it.

    Give me a call today on 0414 446 572 or use the contact form on our Contact Page to send us through your enquiry.

    Shane Caldwell

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