With the New Year upon, homeowners in need of space may still not feel that the housing market is right for them to upgrade so an alternative might be to look at expanding their own living space.
“Although the selling market is still quiet, people are looking to improve their own homes as a way of changing their environment as well as adding value to their property,” says Marc Roberts, director of Casa Parisi, one of the leading building and design companies in the UK.
“Just because you might not be in a position to sell, it doesn’t mean you can’t alter the look and feel of your home. Also, it doesn’t need to be an expensive option because we can work to meet all budgets and any needs. We are not just about making money, we care more about keeping our customers happy.”
With this in mind, I asked Marc to outline the ten tips he would give to anyone looking to extend their home or upgrade their general accommodation.
Casa Parisi Ten Tips for Extending Your Home
1. First thing you need to realize is that planning permission may be needed but this often depends on the size of your intended extension. It might be a good idea to inform your immediate neighbours before they hear about it via your council because they will be told once you submit your plans.
2. If the extension falls below a certain size then planning permissions isn’t required.
3. If you are looking for a builder, before making your decision ensure that you get to see examples of their work and they provide you with references from previous clients.
4. Throughout the building process – especially if you have got planning permission – make sure that the structure is regularly checked by a building inspector. This will be a mandatory requirement from any council.
5. If you have an extension built and it hasn’t been checked and passed by the building inspector you could have a problem selling the property and in a worst-case scenario you could be forced to rebuild.
6. People often forget about the most wasted space in the home: the attic. Aside from storage, people don’t often appreciate just what kind of advantages can be gained from utilizing this area of the home. Size needed not be an issue here either because a dorma window can be added to increase the general area. If the loft is already large enough, the introduction of a few Velux windows can completely transform the room at little cost.
7. Rear extensions are another option for anyone who has space at the back of the property. You needn’t have a huge garden to achieve the extra room you are looking for and you can always look at building up as well as out.
8. Kitchen extensions are another way to increase the property size and add value. More and more of us are using the kitchen as a place to congregate rather than just cook and some people see it as a very social environment.
9. Many older homes could have separate living and dining rooms and the trend is much more towards open plan living environments so an easy win could be to remove existing walls and give yourself not only more space but potentially a lot more light.
10. Another popular options is to add an en-suite bathroom to the main or guest bedroom and this can be achieved in quite a cost effective manner.
Naturally there is a lot more to the process and any extension – large or small - provides a major change for everyone involved so a lot of thought and planning needs to go into it.
If you would like some impartial advice or have any questions about an extension – current or planned – or any other building work, then please feel free to contact Marc on his email address- firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, visit his website at www.casaparisi.co.uk and you can see why we at Women Talking not only rate him for any help or advice you might need, but have chosen him to be our new DIY guru for 2010.
George R Vaughan