Tips To Consider When Choosing an Extension Specialist in London

Is this the year you take the plunge and build an extension on your London house? If you’re wondering how much house extensions cost and what’s involved in the process, this guide is for you. We’ll walk you through house extension design through to the cost of an extension. 

Advantages Of Having A House Extension

Save Time and Money

As families grow and needs change, many of us simply grow out of our homes. But searching for something new, putting down a deposit, and then spending thousands making it home is hard work. Instead of uprooting your family, building an extension can save so much valuable time and money. 

Personalize The Space

Unlike buying a new home, adding an extension means you can customise and personalise it exactly as you need. You can add in as much storage space, large windows, and make it a truly useful space. 

Inсrеаѕе Yоur Property Value

Adding an extension is a fantastic way to add value to your home. Adding another bedroom or more useful downstairs space will help your home stand out in the neighbourhood as well as adding more valuable square footage.

Sunroom house extension
Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash

Things To Consider Before Building An Extension

If you are going ahead with an extension, here are some vital factors to keep in mind. 

Planning Permission

Before you get started, check the planning regulations in your area. Not all extensions need permission, but any substantial building work definitely will. Head to your local council website for more information.

White couch in basement house extension
Photo by Taylor Simpson on Unsplash

Access

Next, think about how tradespeople will access the site. If you live in a terrace house without a driveway, think about where vans will park and how materials will be delivered. Even if you do have access, think about gateways, steps, and any other obstacles that might hinder tradespeople.  

Inform Neighbours

It seems obvious, but before going ahead with any type of building work, inform your neighbours of the disruption. The last thing you want to do is burn bridges with the people you live next door to.

Planning Tips

When it comes time to plan your extension, we’ve got some tips you should keep in mind for the planning process:

Identify Your Needs

Many people make the mistake of focusing on adding value to their house when building an extension. Although this is important, your main focus should be on identifying your family needs. 

Does the room need to accommodate bunk beds and wardrobes? Is it a kitchen extension that you’d love a pantry in? Make sure these needs are front of mind when planning. 

Planning layout design for a garage house extension
Photo by Marius Ciocirlan on Unsplash

Hire an Architect

If you want the best plan possible, working with a professional architect is a great option. Although this can be an expensive process, it’s worth the investment. An architect will create a plan that makes the most out of the space while taking into account all regulations in your area. 

Finding a Reliable Builder

Nothing can make an extension project go off the rails more than an unreliable build team. Make sure you find a professional team that understands your project and has a reputation for excellence.

House Extension Costs

You may be wondering how much house extensions cost. It varies depending on many factors, but the average cost of an extension in the UK is between £1000 and £2000 per square metre. 

The quality of the finish will drive this price up. A high-quality finish can cost almost 50% more than a builder-grade finish. 

Budget for a home extension
Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

Regulations To Be Aware Of

Depending on what extension you are aiming for, you may be able to complete the work under Permitted Development (PD). This means you won’t need planning permission as long as you meet the criteria which you can research here

No matter where you live if you are planning a large extension, you will probably need to apply for planning permission. A planning permission application in England costs around £206.

House extension permits and regulations
Photo by Beatriz Pérez Moya on Unsplash

House Extension Designs And Ideas

Still looking for inspiration for an extension? Here are some examples of extensions to get you started: 

1. Add a Conservatory or Sunroom

An affordable way to extend your house is adding a conservatory or sunroom. These cost significantly less than a full extension but still give valuable extra space. Plus, small conservatories and sunrooms usually don’t need planning permission, which is a bonus.

2. Extend Your Kitchen

Since the kitchen is usually on the back of the house, it’s usually one of the easiest rooms to extend. This is a great opportunity to create a spacious, modern kitchen of your dreams.

Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

3. Over the Garage Bedroom

Another affordable option is adding a bedroom over an existing garage. If the existing structure is strong enough, no foundational work will be needed. This is a relatively easy way to add another bedroom and increase the value of your home.

Bedroom extension over garage
Photo by Evan Dvorkin on Unsplash

Ready to Extend Your London Home?

If you’re reading this then you’ve already found your home extension specialist! Contact us today!

How to Soundproof Your Walls In London: The Myths and Reality

Noise complaints in London are up a staggering 86% since last year. And noisy neighbours are just one of many noise pollution issues making homeowners want to know how to soundproof a room. If you’ve thought about soundproofing your home in London, this guide will show you how to make walls soundproof. 

Benefits Of Soundproofing

1. Privacy

Everyone wants a peaceful, quiet place to unwind and relax at the end of a busy day. But when you can hear muffled conversations from noisy neighbours, music pumping, or even traffic driving past, your privacy goes out the window. 

Knowing how to soundproof a wall from noisy neighbours and other irritating noises will give you back your valuable privacy. 

2. Improve Health

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates over 1 billion people suffer from hearing impairment or loss globally. A major factor contributing to this is persistent exposure to unwanted noise. 

With a massive 10% of the global population exposed to excess noise, this is something that needs to be addressed. Soundproofing your walls reduces exposure to unwanted noise and gives you a peaceful space to recharge. 

3. Improve Your Quality of Life

Soundproofing your walls can drastically improve your quality of life. If you’re currently plagued by the droning sounds of traffic outside your window, soundproofing will let you get a sound night’s sleep. 

 
Multi colored London houses
Photo by Lee Jeffs on Unsplash

Mistakes To Avoid When Soundproofing

When it comes to soundproofing walls, here are the most common mistakes to avoid:

1. Buying Any Soundproofing Material

There are many different types of soundproofing material that work best for different noise pollution issues. You need to understand the cause of your noise pollution in order to get the right materials. 

Some noise variables to bear in mind are:

  • The pitch (e.g. birds chirping)
  • The loudness
  • Where the noise comes from (e.g. through an adjoining wall)
  • If the noise is continuous (e.g. busy traffic on a main road)

2. Using Ineffective Materials

Some materials are used for soundproofing that don’t stop sound pollution at all. In fact, using the wrong materials could make the problem worse.

Here are some materials that are useless:

  • Cardboard
  • Carpet
  • Thermal insulation fibreglass
  • Rubber
  • ‘Soundproofing’ paint
  • Pointed foam sometimes found in recording studios
Blue soundproof wall with decor
Image by Ferenc Keresi from Pixabay

3. Not Consulting an Expert for Installation

When installed incorrectly, soundproofing is not only a costly mistake but can actually make the problem of noise pollution worse. 

For this reason, it’s best to consult a professional who will be able to give you expert advice on the best materials and techniques for your specific problem. 

Know Your Wall

Soundproofing techniques will differ depending on the type of wall you have. Here are the different types of wall so you can figure out what you’re working with. 

Load Bearing Walls

A load bearing wall is structurally integral and helps to support the upper floors of your home. Load bearing walls tend to run perpendicular to floor joists but in the same direction as the ridge of the house. 

Non-Load Bearing Walls

A non-load bearing wall isn’t integral to the structure of the house. Usually, these are interior walls that divide rooms. They are built much lighter than load-bearing walls and can be identified by the joists and rafters.

Corner of soundproof walls
Photo by David van Dijk on Unsplash

Cavity Walls

A cavity wall is made of two masonry wythes known as the internal and external leaf. This type of wall gives good soundproofing when sealed airtight. They also give better thermal insulation than solid walls. 

Partition Walls

Partition walls are secured to the floor and ceiling and although it is integral to the structure of the house, it is strong enough to carry a load.

How Much Does Soundproofing Walls Cost?

The cost of soundproofing depends on several factors:

  • What type of wall do you have? Is it solid brick, cavity, etc.?
  • How loud is the noise pollution?
  • How large is the area you need soundproofed? 
  • What needs to be soundproofed? (e.g. wall or floor soundproofing)

These questions will affect the cost of materials and time needed to complete the job. On top of this, an expert will charge around £500 per day for a two man team.

Pile of money laid on a table for soundproofing costs
Photo by Colin Watts on Unsplash

Soundproofing An Existing Wall

One of the main questions we get is how to add soundproofing to existing walls. It’s incredibly easy to soundproof existing walls without losing precious square footage.

The easiest fix is professionally sealing the area where noise is coming through. This takes up no extra space and is a quick solution. If this is not sufficient, soundproofing panels are added that don’t take up space in your room.

Soundproofing an existing wall
Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

Interested in Soundproofing Your Home?

Soundproofing your home is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family, especially if you’re living in a busy area. Let us help you with that!