Top 10 tips for extending your home

Thinking of extending your home? Here’s the top 10 things to consider from the experts.

Download this Blog here

1. What is the aim of the extension?

The answer to this usually falls between one of two things. Number one – you simply need more space. And two, you want to add value to your home.

It’s important to understand the aim of your build as this plays a massive part into the overall design – and how much you’re willing to invest into the future. You need to make sure you’re building something that serves a purpose.

2. Think outside the box

Although a lot of your time will be going into the ideas of an extension some people may forget to ask themselves – is it possible? There are many things that may interfere with your plans. For example;

You should always prepare yourselves for any hidden costs that may spark up along the way.

3. Do I need planning permission?

That old chestnut! With the Permitted Development Rights System in place, it means that a large amount of extensions taking place can be done without any planning permission required.

Take a look at some useful guides.

4. Set a budget

If this is your first time improving your home then perhaps ask neighbours who have extended, to get an idea of how much you’ll be looking to spend. DHP will always offer advice on budgeting and what you need/what you don’t need to ensure that we are building something that is an affordable dream.

You should always be prepared for a few extra costs here and there (as noted in point 2).

Remember; the more you spend now will save you money for the future. In short, you want quality over quantity!

5. Planning is important, get your timings right

Most builders will pride themselves in getting the build done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Here’s an example of how long an extension may take prior to finding a builder

  • 1+ months survey and design time prior to planning
  • 2+ months in the planning process
  • 1+ months to produce working drawings and submit for building control for approval
  • 2 to 4 weeks to tender a project
  • 2 weeks to mobilise a contractor to start

Remember that the weather will almost always effect the lead time of a build, mother nature is never simple. For example, if you are to get your build completed in the summer, it may be too hot for labourers to use certain materials and tools – which may hold them back slightly. And on the other hand, a build in the winter can become too cold and weather such as snow can become hazardous to working conditions.

6. Pick a design style

Figure out your design style before its too late. Do you prefer classic or modern?

Visit sites such as Pinterest, Google and of course come and visit the DHP Showroom for ideas of your perfect home.

7. Don’t forget about the outside!

Sometimes the garden is overlooked when the house is getting a facelift. Is your patio looking a bit worn? or perhaps a new decking is what you need?

8. Find a good architect

You will need plans and construction drawings for the builder, and to show compliance with building regulations. Work with an architect or architectural technologist to provide these.

A good architect will be able to take your brief and come up with solutions you’d not thought of. What is most important is that whoever you employ to design your extension understands what you’re after, and that you establish a good rapport with them.

Look for practices that have designed extensions similar to the one you would like to build and ask for recommendations from friends or people in the area.

9. Bigger isn’t Always Better

Often extenders get preoccupied with only thinking of the project in terms of square metres, not in terms of what that size is adding to the house. Bigger is not always better when it comes to extensions, and there are often ways of creating the feeling of more space, without adding a large extension.

This is often achieved through clever design, not only of the new space, but also what is already there.

10. Choose the right builder

Crucial to constructing your dream home or extension, as with the wrong one your dream will very quickly become a nightmare! So make sure you research builder’s long and hard, visit previous projects they have done (see DHP here) and take a look on websites for reviews (See DHP Construction testimonials here).

Your builder needs to be accredited by nationwide and government schemes – giving you peace of mind.

Some examples of builders accreditations are:


TrustMark is the only Government endorsed scheme for trades in and around the home. They award registered firms with their accreditation after thorough vetting and on-site inspections to ensure the firm is raising industry standards.

This accreditation gives customers reassurance of quality and protection from rogue traders. TrustMark is the only ‘find a tradesperson’ scheme to cover all 3 cornerstones of quality:

The Federation of Master Builders is the largest trade association in the UK construction industry, representing thousands of firms in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Established in 1941 to protect the interests of small and medium-sized (SME) construction firms, the FMB is independent and non-profit making, lobbying for members’ interests at both the national and local level.

The Gas Safe Register is the official list of gas businesses who are registered to work safely and legally on boilers, cookers, fires and all other gas appliances.

By law all gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register. Trust the Triangle. Gas Safe Register replaced CORGI as the gas registration body in 2009.

NICEIC Contractors registered by NICEIC are assessed on a regular basis to ensure that they are competent and capable of meeting the relevant technical and safety standards, codes of practice and rules of the Schemes they are registered to.

(FYI, DHP are members of all 4 and more – but we’re not one to blow our own trumpet)

What should I do next?

If you do decide to speak to a us at DHP Construction we would be more than happy to meet with you and look over ideas/plans and provide a quote.

Extension work, particularly work on kitchen extensions, can involve re-configuring a property’s connection facilities, such as the water mains. It is therefore important that all work of this nature, as with all the construction work, should only ever be undertaken by professionally-qualified engineers, and not left in the hands of amateurs.

Enquire today


Our Accreditations