10 things you need to know before adding that dream extension

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Do you have your heart set on building a new extension for your home? If you do then it’s important that this decision is not taken lightly. There are many things that you need to carefully consider right from the initial idea through to the final build. Below we share 10 essential things you need to know before going ahead with your dream extension.

1. The cost.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, that of money. Adding an extension to your home will cost you a considerable amount of money and it is very easy for your finances to quickly spiral out of control. It is important that you set yourself a budget from the very beginning and come up with a detailed plan of all costs. You need to factor in any planning permission costs, architectural fees and hidden charges such as VAT. Take your time in setting a budget that is realistic and carefully work out all associated costs before you even begin the design process.

2. Why do you need an extension?

This should probably be your first question as the reason behind this will greatly influence the style and use of space. Do you simply want to add value to your home before you plan to sell? Do you want to create an additional living room? Do you want to extend a narrow galley kitchen? You need to know exactly why you wish to add an extension to your home and then build upon this idea in the design and planning process.

3. Room for access

One thing that many homeowners forget when planning an extension is that of access to the build site. This needs careful consideration, especially if you live in a terraced house and do not have a driveway. If this is the case, then builders will need to gain access through your property and find an alternative space to park their work van. You also need to consider ceiling height and if you have any low beams that could make transporting large items through your property a little bit difficult. So, think carefully about access and parking during the build.

 

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4. You need to consider your neighbours

When preparing to add an extension to your property, it is important that you consider your neighbours, especially if your property borders theirs and you share a party wall. If this is the case then you may need a party wall agreement. A party wall specialist can help you with this and complete any paperwork on your behalf. Even if you don’t share a party wall, it is only polite to alert your neighbours to any planned work and any subsequent disruption.

5. When the build happens

This may seem like the last thing you need to worry about, but it’s important that you think about what will happen to you and your family when the building work takes place. This is especially important if you have young kids and the builders need to turn off the water and electricity supply. Could you go and stay with relatives? Or perhaps book a week away somewhere local? Think about your options, and if you do plan to stay in your property, how best to achieve this.

6. The time it will take

Building an extension on your property will obviously take time. It’s important that you know how long the proposed work will take from demolition of any existing structures such as a garage or outbuilding, to the finished build. Not only do you have to factor in the paperwork, but you need to consider your own schedule and that of any builders or tradespeople who are working on your property.

7. Project manage the build

Every new extension project will need a project manager. You may decide to do this job yourself if you have the time and relevant skills. But, ideally, it is best to call in an expert to do this job for you. They are able to coordinate the work, schedule tasks and tradespeople, while ensuring the smooth running of the build. Having a project manager also means that you are more likely to stick to your schedule and have the extension finished on time.

8. Hire an designer 

If you plan to build an extension then it is probably a good idea to use architectural services. They will have the knowledge and experience to draw up plans that are both practical and safe. They know how to utilise any available space, where best to place windows and doors, and they know fire safety regulations and most importantly they will work with your ideas to create the space you need. Using an architectural designer and a structural engineer to draw up plans will ultimately keep you safe.

9. Planning permission

When planning your dream extension you need to find out if the build requires planning permission. In most cases, this is not required, but in some cases, such as when working on a listed building or when there are height restrictions, planning permission will be needed. It’s always a good idea to check with your local council about planning restrictions on residential properties and to gain advice from them. If you are using architectural services then they can also assist you with this problem.

10. The right builders

You really need to do your homework when finding the right builders. Always check that they have the right credentials such as building certification and that they are registered gas safe. Do some digging and ask around. Recommendations from friends are always useful. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s also a good idea to get several quotes before you make your mind up.

Here at AC Design Solutions, we can be with you at every step of your extension project. We offer a range of services including structural engineers, architectural design and party wall services in London. To learn more about our services and our interior design consultant London service, then please do get in touch with us today.

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After requiring a few quotes from several structural engineers i found that ac design to be the more communal and more competitive than other structural engineers on the market.After paying for my plans, I received my plans within a few days from payment. Plans seem to be very professional and as im not a builder i assume they look fairly easy to follow.But all seems vey good and good detail.It was a pleasure to work along side a professional designer and there was great communication from both parties from the start..Would definitely recommend this company and will deal with them in the near future if it comes to it......5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Excellent....
Robert Bage
Robert Bage
16:47 10 Aug 20
Zaeem was on time for our appointment and all through everyone has been professional. I will recommend ac-design-solutions anytime.
derin adesida
derin adesida
16:52 05 Aug 20
Fantastic service, fast, reliable and excellent communication. My repeat business will be given without hesitation. Glad I found AC Design Solutions. Thank you!!
Adam James
Adam James
18:53 01 Aug 20
We highly recommend AC Design Solutions who we used to design our 2 storey extension in a conservation area. We had looked at their previous work and spoken to neighbours who had previously used their services. As we live in a conservation area we wanted to hire someone who would not only understand the local requirements and regulations but also someone that had the experience and off course was reasonably priced.From first contact to final approval stage, Zaeem was extremely helpful and always made himself available to us.We highly recommend AC Design Solutions for any off your architectural planning and design requirements.
Waqar Asghar
Waqar Asghar
22:42 27 Jul 20
Prompt response and service. Would recommend. Thanks
Aysha Powell
Aysha Powell
10:28 21 Jul 20
Andrei Marin
Andrei Marin
13:26 15 Jul 20
AC Design were very quick in responding to my request, doing the inspection and deliver the report.I also found the pricing very affordable.
Daniel Malmvarn
Daniel Malmvarn
09:52 10 Jul 20
Dealt with Zubear with a couple of queries during house renovations, and he provided a very swift and professional service at a very reasonable price.
Lee Bright
Lee Bright
12:34 07 Jul 20
Very efficient, answered my query straight away
David Howard
David Howard
10:36 02 Jul 20
AC Design Solitons Ltd were introduced to us by our charter surveyors. We have used their service a few times now. Their work is of a very good standard and Mr Zaeem Chaudhry is very cooperative and understanding. There were no hidden extra charges and everything was done very professionally, at the same time with a personal touch. We had no issues in contacting Azeem. He produced our Drawings literally with in twenty four hours when we needed them quick. We have been very happy with their work, thecthe and their response. Being in the propeerty Managment we definatly be using their services frequently and would recommend them strongly.
durdana shakir
durdana shakir
09:51 25 Jun 20
We used AC Design Solutions for both our structural calculations and building regulation drawings.Both Zubear and Zaeem were super responsive and super efficient, which impressed us greatly. They were always happy to chat, provide more detail and go through any key concerns with us. We would 100% recommend. They are very good value for money and we have so far had such a positive experience with them.
Sanjay Raja
Sanjay Raja
09:57 23 May 20
Very good friendly customer service, the experienced architect help me take out a B2 license
Hider Same
Hider Same
18:37 05 May 20
AC- Designs are a very professional and efficient company. Very good value for money. Certainly recommend to friends and family. AC-designs got us planning passed for 3 apartments against very toxic neighbours. I am also using the services of AC Designs to extend our present house and then to convert into 3 apartments.
Meb Akhtar
Meb Akhtar
16:13 05 May 20
Professional company, pleasure do deal with, top quality service, thank you
Ftt Y4
Ftt Y4
16:10 05 May 20
These guys have been brilliant to work with. They were prompt with any questions I had (as it's my first planning permission application) and took care of business. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process of working with them and highly recommend them to anyone! I certainly will be referring them to friends, family and colleagues. Thank you guys, smashing job!
Manu K
Manu K
21:02 21 Apr 20
We cannot recommend AC Design Solutions highly enough. They are very knowledgeable and highly skilled in their areas of expertise. We had drawings, structural engineering calculations and party wall work all done by them. They were one of the most competitive companies that we got estimates from, and we were a little worried that they wouldn’t be up to the mark at such competitive rates, but we needn’t have been worried. We were surprisingly astounded. Their professionalism, prompt actions and prompt responses on top of being approachable and down to earth is hard to find. I will definitely be using them again.There should be more companies like them that put the customers needs first. They were really good with understanding customers needs and requirements, and go that extra mile for customer satisfaction. I will be giving them some more planning work and aim to keep them for our other projects as and when they come up. I almost want to keep them just for my work, but credit where credit is due, and I would highly recommend using them. We found AC design solutions easy to work with, even though contact with us has been difficult due to our working hours, they worked around our times which helped so much, and made the process so much easier and painless. You can almost give them something and let them run with it, they will touch base with you as and when required and keep you informed all along the process, which gives you comfort in knowing what’s happening at every stage. Although they are a young company, they will go very far, and we wish them the very best. They are hard working and good at what they do, and deserve a good review for the work they have done for us. We would like to express a special thank you to both Zubear and Zaeem for the hard work they put into our project, and for going that extra mile for full customer satisfaction. They are a good one stop shop to cover a lot of your needs during a building project, be it a small residential or large commercial, they can actually do it all which comes in handy with one point of contact, and not dealing with a separate person for this and a separate person for that. It’s all about the one stop shop which they cater to. Good luck with your project, and we would recommend using AC Design Solutions to help as building projects can get stressful, and they just help make the whole process a lot easier.
Vin
Vin
18:28 19 Feb 20
I have been dealing with AC Design for party wall agreement and i would recommend to anyone. Quick response even I sent emails over the weekend. Very professional and friendly team especially Zubear and Zaeem. Thank you again for everything.
dariusz wadowski
dariusz wadowski
21:53 12 Feb 20
Helped us with a very difficult and extensive alterations application with. I never had to worry because I always felt I was in good hands. Thank you.
Veronica Martins
Veronica Martins
09:41 26 Jan 20
Ac design solutions Ltd are a team of dedicated professionals. Zaeems outstanding knowledge of construction along with planning laws are amazing.Zaeem understood our requirements and delivered accordingly in fact he came out a few times without hesitation to advise and deliver accordingly, enabling us to move forward with the project.We would highly recommend AC Design Solutions Ltd to anyone looking to build.
Candy Zone
Candy Zone
13:46 21 Jan 20
I recently dealt with AC Design Solution to carry out my Party Wall agreement. I was very impressed with the level of service I received. All correspondences were dealt with promptly and was kept informed all along the process.I would definatley be using their services again and have already recommended them.
Anil Vekaria
Anil Vekaria
12:14 21 Jan 20
I have been dealing with AC Design solutions over two years now. The team is friendly and cooperative, they are committed to excellent quality and delivering on time.
Firas Awad
Firas Awad
17:32 14 Jan 20
Good company and very reliable, time very good and quality excellent.. we are builders so we will always recommend them ..
Romeo Popescu
Romeo Popescu
08:35 13 Oct 19
Efficient and professional. We used them as a one stop shop for Party Wall, Discharges, Structural and Building Control drawings. They really know their stuff and have good contacts. They even helped with stuff outside of their scope without any extra cost.
Hassan El-Kassir
Hassan El-Kassir
20:55 22 Aug 19
Needed a Party wall surveyor and AC Design came recommended by a local construction expert. Excellent company. Knowledgeable, experienced, hard working (often out of hours to meet my tight deadline) and friendly. Always available and responsive to my queries. Cost for service extremely competitive. No hesitation in recommending.
Tarique Musa
Tarique Musa
09:07 19 Apr 19
Had a very good experience with Developing drawings and drafting Party wall agreements . Zaeem was always at hand to answer any questions no matter how trivial and expedited a party wall agreement effectively and in a very timely manner. Even our neighbor had a great experience and felt that AC Design were through and professional. Would highly recommend their service.
mustafa rasheed
mustafa rasheed
20:39 10 Apr 19
Zaeem is the cream of the crop in what he does. He takes the time to understand what your needs are and delivers comprehensively on his promises in a timely manner. He is always helpful and he really knows his game.Overall ..EXCEPTIONAL.If you're looking for someone reliable, reachable, and ready to help you trust your gut and go with Zaeem.
Ali Asghar
Ali Asghar
19:46 18 Sep 18
I appointed AC Design Solutions to obtain planning permission for a flat conversion, after having been let down by another architect, who took the money but did not not complete the job.I have been happy with Zaeem's work. I find that I can always get in touch with him and he always tries to resolve problems as soon as possible. He has dealt with Ealing Council Planning Department effectively on many occasions. He completed as many revisions as the Council demanded, even when they were being unreasonable and dragging out the whole process.I find Zaeem professional and conscientious as such I would definitely recommend him in the future.
B Pavlou
B Pavlou
11:09 04 Aug 18
I am really happy with your service. I would recommend to my friends and family.
Vairavappillai Jeganathan
Vairavappillai Jeganathan
22:55 03 Aug 18
Good and speedy service. I would definitely recommend to my friends and family.
Shahina Mendonca
Shahina Mendonca
18:59 03 Aug 18
I found AC Design solutions very friendly, competitive and always available to discuss the project. Great service!
Niraj Chag
Niraj Chag
20:52 04 Jul 18
Great communication, provides us full supports with several existing projects and future projects. Definitely would recommend this company to anyone needs an architect!!
Chris Wang
Chris Wang
17:19 04 Apr 18
I have used their services for my house extension work(inlc design of floor plan, structure plan, planning permission for the extension), I have found them very friendly, helpful and professional. They have guided me very well for all steps during the project, would highly recommend them for their services.
Irfan Munir
Irfan Munir
15:55 06 Oct 17
I employed AC Design Solutions as I saw there previous work and was local to where I currently work. My house is located in the Ealing Borough it is a Semi Detached house. At the time I instructed AC Design Solutions i was getting an idea of what we want. They advised me on the layout of the interior and what would be cost effective. This was my first property and is the very first time I am planning to carry out a project like this. I didn't know any costs to how much things would cost. AC design solutions listened to my ideas and then gave me a break down on the best way to go about doing things and to keep the cost down. They put in plans for a 6 metre extension and a loft conversion which recently obtained approval and I am very happy with the service. I can count on them to do a good job. I have referred them to other families and friends.
Abdul Choudhury
Abdul Choudhury
15:36 17 May 17
Exceptional service, very polite and professional, knew what he was talking about. Guided me through the whole process. Live in Acton and Zaeem drew some plans for a single storey and done building regulations. Could not ask for more the whole process went through very smoothly.The 3 meters extension had uneven floor and had drains running through where the foundation was to be dug. Before employing AC Design Solutions I contacted a few other firms and did my due diligence. When they came no one mentioned to me regarding the issue with the drains and how the trees would affect the build. When AC Design Solutions came around first thing they did is look around the property and noted points for concerns which wereProximity of treesThe drains where the foundation would be dug. Another underlying issue they pulled out on was I had a two storey side extension already built and needed I needed a gable on the side to allow for enough headroom for the staircase. I am really happy with service and have recommended them to friends and family.
M K
M K
12:06 09 May 17
Plan agreed to my vision and passed.
praful kothari
praful kothari
17:55 12 Mar 17
Best work
Gagan Kumar
Gagan Kumar
15:38 03 Mar 17
Great service, drawings were done on time and submitted to council and approved with no issues. Would recommend.
sunny wmz
sunny wmz
21:15 23 Feb 17
gul deep
gul deep
11:43 20 Feb 17
1) Zaeem worked on my house extension and appeal successfully.2) Call out - has been Good3) Approachable and always hear what client say.4) Pricing - Competitive5) I am giving 4 1/2 stars as he is still young & can improve in review the designs with the client before submission. I will give job again to Zaeem for my house planning. ThanksSuresh Karanam
Suresh Babu
Suresh Babu
12:30 19 Feb 17