By Brian McKay

There are many reasons why you might be thinking about extending your home. Perhaps you have a growing family, and you need extra rooms to cater for new arrivals. You might want to sell your house in the future and are looking for ways to add value to your home. Or maybe you need a change, and giving your home a makeover will create new opportunities in your living space. Whatever the reason, there are some essential do’s and don’ts you need to consider before you get to work. Follow our simple guide to get you on the right track.


1. Ensure you are legally entitled to do so. You may need a building and planning permit before you begin, so contact your local government office for further advice about the application procedure.

2. Know your budget and set yourself realistic targets. You don’t want to get half way through the renovation project and run out of money.

3. Set up a contingency fund. There may be unexpected costs, such as having to make structural repairs or hiring extra builders, so put some money aside for emergencies.

4. Consult with an architect. There may be reasons why your extension is impractical for your property, so seek advice to avoid your home falling down around you.

5. Get a quotation from your building firm rather than an estimate. A quotation is the exact price you will be paying; an estimate is only a guide and is less specific. Go for a fixed price contract, so you aren’t faced with any nasty surprises from the building firm.

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6. Use the right people for the job. Shop around online, and ask friends for recommendations. Trusted firms such as DLL commercial plasterers are better than a company you may never have heard of before.

7. Use an extension cost calculator, so you have an idea of the expense you are likely to incur. Use this as part of your planning process when you are considering room sizes, etc.


1.  Go it alone. You may be good at changing a light bulb, and your skills with a paintbrush may be second to none. However, safety must come first, so hire the professionals.

2.  Pay for work in advance. You don’t want to be left out of pocket if the building firm fails to live up to their end of the bargain, and you are left with something unlivable.

3.  Change your mind halfway through the project. You will need to spend more money trying to put things right, and you will cause inconvenience to your workers.

4. Go for the lowest quote. Often you get what you pay for, so don’t cut costs when hiring other people.

5. Assume your extension will raise the value of your home. Do your research, and find out what buyers are looking for in a new property.

Final words

We hope our advice helped, but remember to seek the guidance of qualified professionals before you undertake your exciting project.

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