An extension or addition to your house is a major life change. You’re renovating to make life more comfortable for you and your family, and you want to keep expenses down and the construction on schedule by minimizing the number of hiccups that can arise along the way.
In order to increase the probability of success for your extension project, we have compiled a list of some of the most typical mistakes that can be encountered and how to avoid them where possible. Read on to find out more.
Have Detailed Plans Drawn Up
Plans should include specifics, such as the types of walls that need to be installed and the size of the window openings, so that the builder knows exactly what to do. When more information is included on the designs, the less likely it is that something will go wrong.
Making solid preparations is crucial. The more detailed your designs are, the easier it will be to explain your vision to an outside party like a builder, interior designer, or kitchen planner. Poor quality plans leave a lot of room for interpretation and misunderstanding, which in turn might affect what is presented and what is ultimately created.
An essential part of any successful design is providing a comprehensive set of plans for the builder to follow. If you have precise drawings, you can reduce the likelihood of things going wrong.
Choosing The Wrong Contractor
For building work, it can be tempting to go with the cheapest quote, but it’s important to think about why one quote is so much cheaper than another. What, if anything, are you giving up or missing by choosing a cheap price? No matter who you choose, it’s important to make sure you get a detailed quote and a good explanation of how the contractor will work. You need to know that if something unexpected comes up, it will be taken care of well and within your budget or emergency fund.
Before you hire a building company, you should always ask for references from their past clients. There is no better way to find out how reliable a company is than to ask people who have worked with them before. Plus, you should never be asked to pay the full cost upfront (although a deposit is usual). If a contractor does ask for this, be wary and ideally walk away to find someone else.
Not Having A Contingency Fund
Nothing brings you down like working on a project only halfway and having your progress halted because you ran out of money. If you can, try to get fixed quotations instead of estimates, and set aside a little emergency fund (about 10 percent) for when the unexpected happens.
It’s also a good idea to know what might go wrong in the first place. For example, bad weather could delay the work or add costs. Problems that a contractor encounters, such as foundation issue symptoms, can mean additional work needs to be done to put things right before the rest of the job can be completed. Suppliers might cause delays. When you understand where the problems might lie, you can have not just the money but some extra plans in place to ensure things run as smoothly as possible.
Don’t Forget To Future Proof Your Design
As important as it is to consider how your expansion will function right now, you also need to think about your long-term plans for the house. To make the most of the addition, it’s important to think forward about how to arrange the doors and windows so that the space can be used effectively now and in the future as the family expands.
You’ll need to make sure it’s safe and functional for everyone who might need to use the space. If you decide to sell the property at any point, is the extension something that will be a bonus to prospective buyers, or will it be so personal to you – and potentially difficult to use – that it could actually put people off?
Not Having Insurance
Your current homeowner’s insurance policy may no longer be valid after construction on your addition begins. As you get deeper into a construction job, it’s easy to lose sight of this fact because you’ve got so many other things on your mind. Or perhaps it’s not something that even occurred to you in the first place. When you bought your insurance, it was there to cover the property as it was at the time. If there are extra rooms, particularly if you are making the house worth more, that old insurance may not be useful anymore. Not updating all the information might even cause problems if you have to make a claim.
As soon as you begin the design process, it is highly recommended that you get in touch with your insurance company to get some assistance. That way, you won’t forget about it and won’t miss out on a good deal if you decide to shop around for coverage. Tell your insurer about the work you’re doing, and try to include an updated estimate of how much your home could be worth (ask a real estate agent to help you).
Choosing The Wrong Windows
Making a mistake in the design of the windows might completely derail a project. Attempting to create a seamless transition between the original structure and the new addition requires meticulous attention to detail, particularly in the windows. If you’re looking for an alternative to wood, don’t expect plastic imitations to do the trick.
Take into account how the new addition will alter the placement of windows and natural light. If you need to reduce the size of the windows in your home to make room for a new roof, for example, you may find that the room no longer looks quite right.
Don’t Use Unusual Materials
There is no way to ensure a flawless construction project if you insist that builders ignore their years of experience and develop something completely unique or utilize materials that are foreign to them. You are adding uncertainty to the plan, which may have financial and timetable implications you hadn’t anticipated. Accept the builder’s advice as it is usually the best option, and if they don’t recommend using something or they tell you they’re unsure about what to do or what the results might be, it could be time to have another think.
It’s great to want to make your home unique and to consider using unusual materials to make that vision happen. However, remember that tried and tested methods can often be better – they are more usual for a reason. You don’t want to make a mistake when it comes to your materials because that could mean having to start all over again.
Having An Unrealistic Schedule
The truth is that there will always be certain construction tasks that take longer than anticipated. You can’t know what will happen until you actually start building. If you keep this in mind from the beginning of your project, you will be less likely to get frustrated if it ends up taking longer than expected. Plus, it will improve your working connection with the contractor.
When you anticipate at least a potential delay in the event of an unexpected problem, you can approach the situation with a far more optimistic and relaxed frame of mind which is better for everyone and makes the project a much more enjoyable one to be a part of.
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