Getting good value extending/renovating a house.

Secret Agronomist

Member
Arable Farmer
Are there any tips for getting best bang for bucks.
Basically a 2 bed cottage that needs doubled in size to give a good sized kitchen, dining, living area.
I don't intend project managing it myself as I would be working full time.
Is an architect a must.
Best value for heating systems, solar, air source etc.
We want a lot of glass so how does that compare cost and efficiency wise with block etc.
Is a degree of pre fab ok, such as SIPS (forgot what that stands for) something insulated system.
Any and all suggestions encouraged.
 

br jones

Member
Are there any tips for getting best bang for bucks.
Basically a 2 bed cottage that needs doubled in size to give a good sized kitchen, dining, living area.
I don't intend project managing it myself as I would be working full time.
Is an architect a must.
Best value for heating systems, solar, air source etc.
We want a lot of glass so how does that compare cost and efficiency wise with block etc.
Is a degree of pre fab ok, such as SIPS (forgot what that stands for) something insulated system.
Any and all suggestions encouraged.
well for a start here (wales) you are not allowed to double the size ,only 30 %.but that said under fllor ,mucho insulation a low epc,light airy and easy to look after
 
You don't need an architect for residential extensions but be clear as to the services the chosen professionals provide.

We compete with architects, cad designers, architectural technicians, daughtspeople etc. We can all draw plans for extensions but it is the services provided alongside the drawings.

A proper RIBA architect (anyone not ARB or RIBA registered is not an architect) will provide all the services you require including project management (they will probably sub out the structural engineer) but they charge an arm and a leg and will bill by the hour for anything outside the initial quotation.

A Draughtsperson, Architectural Technician or any other designers won't have the required expertise and insurances to provide anything other than the drawings for planning and building regs. They would have to sub out the Structural Engineer also.

My suggestion for project management is to either farm the whole job to a construction company on a fixed contract and they project manage or find an independent project manager/quantity surveyor to oversee the project.

As for the maximum you can build there are various permitted development rights that can be utilised to maximise the volume increase.
 
This.
It’s mad at the moment. Spend the time designing it, getting planning and possibly getting out of the ground if you really want to do something
Materials are mad at the moment and builders are so busy that they aren't scheduling new jobs until 2022.
If you secure full planning you only need to start the work within 3 years, however if you go down the permitted development route you must complete the work in 3 years.
 
When you plan what you are going to do, try to make sure it is in increments of full plaster boards/boxes of tiles etc etc that will save on having to over order and use labour on cuts, I know it may not be possible, but every little will make the labour cheaper. I often noticed architects can design things that are harder to do on site, where as architectural technicians (who did a trade first) often design in a way that is easy to build on site. And remember, the real cost are in changing your mind part way through! I remember the plastering lecturer at college saying, when he did his own house his mate saw him putting in Ogee skirting and said, Pencil round, otherwise you are eating into your profit!
 

Turnip

Member
Delay for now and buy most of your materials yourself. Shop around on the internet for finishing items that look good but are cheap.

Www.electricalcounter.co.uk

Www.Industville.co.uk

For bathrooms there are too many outlets to mention.

If you want glass, again shop around on the internet as you can find a lot more than your local builders usually can.

if you include a kitchen, wait until the days between Christmas and new year, they all have deals to make quota, especially magnet.

And of course
www.Amazon.co.uk

last year was able to add £100k value with £60k investment. Shop around and cutting out the builder and employing tradies is always an option, regret not doing that myself.
 
Last edited:
To
When you plan what you are going to do, try to make sure it is in increments of full plaster boards/boxes of tiles etc etc that will save on having to over order and use labour on cuts, I know it may not be possible, but every little will make the labour cheaper. I often noticed architects can design things that are harder to do on site, where as architectural technicians (who did a trade first) often design in a way that is easy to build on site. And remember, the real cost are in changing your mind part way through! I remember the plastering lecturer at college saying, when he did his own house his mate saw him putting in Ogee skirting and said, Pencil round, otherwise you are eating into your profit!
Totally agree. Changes cost money, the right time to consider your options is when it is still on the drawing board not when you have a 15k kitchen sitting in boxes in a storage unit.
When you choose your designer ask to see examples of their work, not just the stuff they are happy to put on their website but from projects similar to your own. If you can not look at their designs and completely understand what you will be getting then how will you know it is what you want? You may be familiar with technical drawings so seeing everything in black and white plan view so that is how you can visualise it best, but if you can't read technical drawings then someone who can do 3d work, or even physical 3d models might work for you best.

Also, if you have specific furniture you need to accommodate make sure they know. Only last week we had an extension that we had had in for planning for 7 weeks when the client suddenly said, is that wall long enough for two lazy boy recling sofas? Turns out it was but only by luck.
 

Still Farming

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Glamorgan Wales
Materials are mad at the moment and builders are so busy that they aren't scheduling new jobs until 2022.
If you secure full planning you only need to start the work within 3 years, however if you go down the permitted development route you must complete the work in 3 years.
If you get or already got full planning and started the job is there a compleation deadline or just when ever it is done?
 
If you get or already got full planning and started the job is there a compleation deadline or just when ever it is done?
Just whenever it is done. Get enough done to get an initial inspection from Building Control, take dated photos of that inspection as proof it was started within the 3 years and then you have eternity to complete it.
 

Hampton

Member
Location
Shropshire
Are there any tips for getting best bang for bucks.
Basically a 2 bed cottage that needs doubled in size to give a good sized kitchen, dining, living area.
I don't intend project managing it myself as I would be working full time.
Is an architect a must.
Best value for heating systems, solar, air source etc.
We want a lot of glass so how does that compare cost and efficiency wise with block etc.
Is a degree of pre fab ok, such as SIPS (forgot what that stands for) something insulated system.
Any and all suggestions encouraged.
You won’t get taken seriously until you have proper plans drawn up. In my experience the plans help the builders to quote for the job and takes out any ambiguity.
With regards to value, much of that comes down to experience and trial and error. Learning who is good at the job and who isn’t etc
 
As Hampton says, get proper detailed plans drawn up if you are not project managing it yourself, get all the details sorted before you go out to tender, then you have a level playing field and you will get accurate like for like quotes. You should then be able to get a builder secured on a fixed contract.
 
I was just talking to two carpenters/builders and was told, that materials are increasing in price so quickly, one said he will now only quote for his labour and the other said he is struggling to give prices for things because of materials increases.
 

womble8350

Member
Location
York
Don’t go for an extension. Go for new build. A new build will give you a better house built upto date with good insulation. You can claim the vat back on new builds but not extensions! This is the voice of experience. I really wish I had done this with mine!
 
Don’t go for an extension. Go for new build. A new build will give you a better house built upto date with good insulation. You can claim the vat back on new builds but not extensions! This is the voice of experience. I really wish I had done this with mine!
Great advice if the existing property owes you very little. Extensions always have compromises, new builds give a blank slate. On a planning side, a one for one replacement is generally acceptable providing the bulk, mass and design can be justified.
 
Don’t go for an extension. Go for new build. A new build will give you a better house built upto date with good insulation. You can claim the vat back on new builds but not extensions! This is the voice of experience. I really wish I had done this with mine!
Isn't this a ridiculous anomaly that we get taxed less for knocking down a building (with all the embedded energy and carbon in it's construction), then rebuilding new (again with all the embedded energy). It is possible to retrofit insulation to an old building to bring it up to standard by the way. I think as a country we do too much knocking down and not enough renovation/alteration, however I can understand why that is the case. One thing I loved about Denmark was the centre of Copenhagen had kept it's old buildings, where as British town centres seem to have been destroyed by our obsession with knocking down.
 

teslacoils

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Spend the £££ on making the outside look nice. It's the little touches on the brickwork that can only be done once that stops it looking like a cheap cardboard box. You can redo the kitchen many times, but the outside walls are a one off. Seen some new houses in lovely locations that's will be gash forever now they have zero external features and the most garish of white PVC windows.
 

LIVE - DEFRA SFI Janet Hughes “ask me anything” 19:00-20:00 20th September (Today)

  • 12,035
  • 115
Hello, I’m Janet Hughes. I’m the Programme Director for the Future Farming and Countryside Programme in Defra – the programme that’s phasing out the Common Agricultural Policy and introducing new schemes and services for farmers.



Today (20 September) between 7pm-8pm, I and some of my colleagues will be answering your questions about our work including the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Farming in Protected Landscapes, and our test and trials.



We’ll try to answer at least 15 of your top voted questions, so please vote on the questions you’d most like me to answer.



You can read more about our Future Farming policy on our blog.



I’ve answered some of your questions previously: you can watch the videos on...
Top