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Homeowners advised on extension considerations

UK property owners have been advised on the many considerations they should take into account when deciding whether to build an extension to their home or not.

Andrew Leech, director at the National Home Improvement Council, said one of the first places to start is to set a budget for the works, but once this is done, individuals should consider contacting their local authorities to get an idea of what all the construction work will involve and any limitations on their plans.

He commented: "It is a good idea to go to somebody like the Royal Town Planning Institute or Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - ask them about your proposals and they may well suggest an architect.

"On the other hand, if you decide roughly what you want to build and then ask a local builders to get involved, you may find that he has got the planning and design facilities in-house."

Particularly in conservation areas, homeowners will have to consider the types and sources of materials they are hoping to use - as any improvements they make will have to be in line with local vernacular.

Indeed, where property owners are ready to begin works, they are advised to get at least three quotes from prospective contractors, while taking the time to gain references from individuals they have previously worked for.

This will ensure they are getting a good price and it will also give homeowners the opportunity to check out their builder and to ensure they have the necessary competence and paperwork in place to complete the job properly and on budget.

Furthermore, Mr Leech recently argued that building a conservatory can be an easy way for homeowners to gain a bigger property, without the need to up sticks and move.

He claimed an extension can be the perfect solution for individuals, as this can be a relatively straightforward way to put their home design dreams into practice, while also giving them extra space in which to relax and enjoy their home comforts. 

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