So, you’ve decided to expand your home, you’ve chosen an architect to help bring your ideas to life and you’re ready to take the next step in building your dream extension. First of all; congratulations. This is an exciting time for you and your family and the possibilities that lay before you are endless. There are still a number of steps to take before your project build will be complete. Here, we help you to understand the various stages that will lead up to the completion of your project.
The first step in bringing your project to life is the creation of your drawings, building plans and specifications. Many architects, like Keenan Project Designs, will offer to create both 2D and 3D drawings. These drawings will not only help the contractor build to your exact specifications, but also help you – the client – to envisage what the end project will look like. Now is also a good time to make decisions on the materials you’ll use, from brick choices and rendering to windows and door options.
Not all projects will require planning permission, but those that do will require detailed plans to be submitted to your local Planning Authority. If you’ve opted to work with Keenan Project Designs, then rest assured that we know the regulations and process like the back of our hand, and will deal with any planning permission completely free of charge.
Find A Builder
Once your drawings have been produced and any necessary planning permission has been acquired, you can then invite building contractors to quote your project. Keenan Project Designs can happily recommend local, reputable builders, if required. When choosing a builder, don’t shy away from asking to see references and details of previous work. You could even contact their previous customers and visit previous projects, where possible.
This is it; your project is about to come to life in the form of bricks and mortar. First of all, your contractor will secure any access to the site and your home, whilst protecting any habitable spaces to minimise disruption to you and your home. They may also place any scaffolding, skips and access equipment, ready to begin. All site operatives will take part in a risk assessment and health and safety briefing, before getting started.
Groundworks and Drainage
Once the site is established, the groundworks and footings can be prepared. The installation of gullies and a soakaway will help to prevent any surface water and minor flooding, which is particularly crucial during these wetter months.
Next, the external finishes can take place, including any new walls, the roof and any new downpipes and drainage connections. If you’re adding bi-fold doors to your new space, these will be surveyed, measured and, finally, fitted. It’s typical to see a lead time of several weeks for the manufacturing of bi-fold doors, which are commonly made to order.
Once your external finishes are secured, the internal space will be reconfigured. This includes the removal of any redundant internal fixtures and fittings, the removal of any redundant walls and the erection of any new internal ones. At this point, in the case of a kitchen or bathroom extension, your contractor will set up any temporary cooking or washing amenities, for your comfort. See it as a small price to pay for your dream space.
From this point forward, you’ll start to see your project looking more like a home, with a little help from your sub-contractors and trades professionals. Your new space is now watertight, which means any electrical and plumbing facilities can be installed, as well as any plastering, carpentry, flooring, kitchen and appliances. Once the plaster has fully dried and settled – usually after one week – you can then paint and decorate your space, either yourself or by using a professional.
Review Your Paperwork
Once any remaining equipment has been cleared, your new space will be given a final clean and then handed over to you to enjoy. At this point, building control will sign off the works and you’ll need to review the building regulation paperwork. This should be kept in a safe place, in the event that you ever move house.
Put Your Feet Up
Finally, put the kettle on, put your feet up and enjoy your new extension. Having an extension built is one of the most rewarding things a home-owner can do, and we love sharing the experience with our customers.
To find out more about the building process or to discuss an upcoming project, talk to the professional and knowledgeable team at Keenan Project Designs. Not only are we a RIBA Chartered Practice, but also offer a company ethos of being reliable and trustworthy, with a focus on quality.