House extension   UK
 Home extension guide - how to build a house extension and refurbish your home


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This is probably the most important first step so you need to interview hard and speak to as many home extension designers as you can.

You can select from a wide variety of sources from full time professional to the part time vocational designer. You can find them in the small ads of local papers to researching on the internet. Recommendations form friends, family and neighbours is another good source generally used very well provided you dig a bit deeper than the gloss paint of the extension (no one likes to admit that they may have made a mistake for their shiny new extension).

So who should you use? Many say that only qualified Architects should be used but this is not what happens in the real world. Are they too expensive? Too pompous? Not really interested? Are they no longer relevant to the lower end domestic extension market as some people suggest? Who knows but they do seem to come go at the same timings of the commercial economic cycles so that might be a clue.

I think it is fair to say that most ‘true’ Architects look towards the bigger development projects that the world has to offer for the scope, variety and challenge that this sector brings.

At one end of the home extension designer market is your ‘plans drawn’ agent. Usually self employed, part time and just does enough to get you the Planning and Building Regulations consents for a brown envelope payment. Your documents are probably not suitable to be used as the contract documents in engaging your builder so you run the risk of incurring excessive extra costs during the works on site.

The middle ground seems to be taken up by the Chartered Architectural Technicians or Technologists that seem to specialise a lot more in residential development and the home extension market combined with one off new houses is usually their bread and butter work.

I always say that its often a case of ‘horses for courses’ so simply make sure that your chosen home extension building design agent is able to listen to your requirements, provide a good degree of advice and opinions, has the resources, expertise and experience in dealing with residential extension design of at least 10 years, has PI insurance, belongs to some formal professional body that has a code of conduct, and is able to provide a full service from Planning, to Building Regulations to full Construction documents without subbing the work out to ghost designers.































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