Planning and designing a home extension or a kitchen extension

Planning and designing a home extension or a kitchen extension.

Architecture and architects

If you ask an architect or a building company at the end of a job ; Who built the house extension, loft conversion or any other building project, you get might a pause before the builder or the architect will adventure into saying ; I did.
There is a general confusion between Architects and Builders.They are both wrong and right at the same time. A diplomatic answer should be : We did. However, the Architects get the glory most of the time, like a general who’s army has just won a war. The builders just follow instructions and specifications set out by the Architect and in effect the Building Company becomes foot soldiers. The building project is built by the builders, their sweat and hard work. But without a good architect, most building project can result in technical failures. Only very experienced builders can undertake a building project without the professional guidance from an architect or interior designer.
architects

The Builders and Building Company or Contractors

Getting a good builder or a good building company to carry out the works sometimes can be a mystery for most home owners.Few years ago, the media hype used to describe and portray a good builder or good building company as a mythological figure or entity, like a figment of imagination. Most TV shows and articles in newspapers still do that.Even the cat can get confused.
robuild cat boss

Most people are saying that you should only use professional. It is good advice, especially for those who want to use amateur builders and architects. Then the general opinion is divided again. How do you know if the Building Company or the Architect is good for you and your building project ?

The professionals are saying : Don’t get recommendations from friends, neighbours and family. The reason for that is the lack of experience from the clients and customers. They are not qualified to express a professional opinion and recommend a builder or an architect. They might have had a job done recently,like a Garage Conversion, they might also be happy with the job done to their property, but how do they know if the job was done properly and in a professional manner ?
Most house extensions, loft conversions and any major building projects have to go through the Building Control, that means, a Building Inspector will inspect the job.
If the Building Control Inspector says that he or she – is happy with job before signing off the project in order to become legal and give you a Completion Certificate, it means that the new building is safe and built in accordance to the Building Regulations.

However, the devil is in the details. What makes a good architect or good builders, most of the time are the details, this is how truly professionals get separated from the less experienced. Small technical details that can easily go unnoticed by clients. The other side of the argument, getting recommendation from people you know, means that if they are happy with the builder or architect – it means just that. And if they are happy, you will be too.

Customers and Clients, the masters

What do you want ? Single storey extension, double storey extension, flat roof, pitched roof, loft conversion with or without en suite bathroom ? Brickwall or blockwall ? Concrete roof tiles or clay tiles ? Most builders understand that you have a budget and you don’t want to spend more than it is necessary, but can you back up your vision and requests with your wallet ?

Why do you need the extra living space for ?

Ultimately, the client pays for the Architect and Builder. Before starting off a building project or a home improvement project, the home owner should do his or her home work. The client is the master, the architects and builders just follow instructions and can advise from time to time.
Look for inspiration and be practical.

london

Foundations for home extensions and house extensions

Foundations for home extensions and house extensions are extremely important. The footings for a new home extension can pose a danger, not only to your home, but the neighbour’s house too.

Home extensions often cause some sort of conflict with the neighbours.
But residents living near this piece of botched building work might have complained a little more vigorously had they foreseen the results.
The extension to the semi-detached houses in Wolverhampton did far worse than just block out extra light – it looks to have caused the adjacent home to crumble.
The house collapsed into its foundations early this morning after work on the neighbouring property is believed to have made the ground unstable.

foundation

Most excavations close to boundaries ( 3m rule and 6m rule) are covered under the Party Wall Act, with notices having to be served by the developer on the neighbour. Providing what the developer is doing is technically sound the work can in due course proceed. The DIY world avoid this like the plague, and most will not know or bother with it, as it is viewed as an unnecessary and easily avoidable cost.

A good and safe practice for house and home extension builders when digging foundations for extensions in a very populated urban area and with properties very close to the new foundation is to use foundations walls support as soon is possible.
walls support foundation
Because of Building Regulations, a builder or a ground worker can not pour concrete and cement without a Building Inspector approval, as the footings for a new building needs to be inspected. The foundation work can take sometimes up to two weeks before is completed, and in most cases the Building Company or the builders, will make an appointment with the Building Control Inspector a day before ordering the ready mix concrete or starting pouring concrete if the concrete is mixed on site.
home extension foundation
Even when the soil is stable and the ground looks very solid, the foundations needs to be reinforced very quickly. Using external grade plywood, 22 mm and noggins, helps stabilizing a foundation before the concrete is poured into the footing trench. If necessary, mechanical equipment can be rented or hired.

If you want to read more about home extensions, you can do it here :

Building a House Extension in Acton, West London

House Extensions builders in Mill Hill NW7 North West London

Getting the right Building Company & Contractors to carry out the building works pays off on the long term.

Building a home extension in London

There are many reasons for building a home extension or a house extension in London,the most common one is to create more habitual living space. Buying a new house or moving to a new location is not always an option, and if more living space is needed, adding a home extension can be the right solution. It also ads value to the property.
home extension in London

Size does matter, single storey extension or double storey extension

If you don’t have the space or finance for a double storey extension, then a single storey extension could provide you with an extra bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom. Cheaper and faster to build than a two storey extension, one storey extension also limits the time you have to put up with builders working on your property. After few months of noise, dust and stress, you will appreciate some quiet and relaxing time within the confines of your home.

Planning Permission might not even be needed if the house has not been extended before and the loft or garage has not been converted. However, you will need to apply for Building Regulations and there is a fee to be paid to your Local Council, Building Department.
double storey extension London
You can always have a single storey house extension built with a two storey house extension in mind. The foundation needs to be deep enough and the openings to be bridged with strong lintels and metal beams (RSJ) designed for a 2 storey home extension – to withhold the future weight of a double storey home extension.
metal box lintel structural opening wall
London Builders