In this article, Western Building Consultants look at 5 great reasons why you might consider starting your house extension project in the current climate. It might seem a strange thing to start such an extensive project at this moment in time but there are many tangible benefits to as why you might consider starting your project now rather than later.
Whilst it will depend on your individual circumstances as to whether you decide to do this, one major consideration is that for most, carrying out a home improvement project is about changing their lifestyle and how they interact with their home, rather than profit. Whatever the housing market does over the next few years, should not affect the enjoyment of your home.
The base rate of interest is at an all time low and the market is providing historically low mortgage and personal loan interest rates, to residential customers. On top of this, loans and finance are still currently available – contrary to the 2008-2009 crash, where liquidity dried up, therefore it may be worth considering securing funding whilst it is available. One of the challenges with a mortgage finance application is that you are likely to need to secure planning permission for your house extension before progressing. Therefore it is worthwhile exploring planning permission or a certificate of lawful development as soon as possible. Planning permission lasts 3 years so there is plenty of time to implement the project. A good local and independent mortgage broker like brookfield finance can help discuss your options and will know the requirements of each lender in detail.
Prior to the Covid-19 crisis builders have been very busy in the South West. Making it difficult to secure build slots and competitive quotes. Builders are likely to be sharpening their pencils post-crisis to ensure they can fill their order books for the foreseeable future. Now could be a great time to pencil in a preliminary build slot with a local builder. ‘My builder’ is a good place to start and Western Building Consultants also keep a list of previously used contractors for their clients.
The increased time you are currently spending at home means you have the perfect opportunity to plan your remodel or home extension. By planning what you want from your project you can create an amazing brief for your architect, that ensures great value and a tailored design. Check out this article on how to create a brief.
If you plan to refinance your home via a mortgage you might worry about house prices dropping. There are two counter-arguments to consider here, firstly if the house extension or remodel is created economically there is a good chance that it will add to the value of the property and in most instances counteract some of the cost of the loan. Secondly, looking to the medium term, if you are planning a large house extension, it is likely that you will be planning to stay in the property for at least 5 years. We have been fortunate in Bath, Bristol and the South West that in previous financial crashes house prices have returned to pre-crash levels within this time period.
Even with greater availability of builders, it is likely that the planning stage and detailed design stages fo a house extension will take around 6 months. Delay in starting the design process will push the completion date out, when you decide to move the project forward. Because planning lasts 3 years and building regulations drawings can be designed to take account for future regulations changes, you may be able to secure all the technical and legislative approvals so that when you are ready to start there is little or no delay. (the exception to this is the Party Wall Etc. Act process, which typically need to be done within 12 months of the work starting). It is also worth mentioning that if you make a meaningful start to your build i.e install foundations your planning will last indefinitely, this is particularly useful if you plan to carry out a staged build.
Western are offering free initial design consultations in person or via video link, depending on current guidance, this can help get the process started and you can plan for the initial design stages with a fixed price quotation for our architecture services. Secondly we understand that people might be nervous about spending at the moment and that’s why we operate a flexible contract that allows you to hold off completing the next stage of works should your circumstances change. We will also be teaming up with a finance broker for you to break down the initial planning and feasibility design stages into manageable payments, and to help you to get started sooner.
Because of our unique multi-disciplinary setup of architecture, surveying and engineering professionals we can also package the costs of your house extension design into a packaged solution, making it great value for money, giving you cost certainty and more importantly less hassle. Contact us today to see how we can help get your project off of the ground.
I have enjoyed working with Western Building Consultants on a complicated project for about 4 years now. During that time they have without fail given me a high level of customer service, being welcoming, responsive and competent.
As a customer I particularly appreciate that WBC are value for money. They also stick to their quotes and don’t add a lot of extras. Help and advice is always forthcoming generally at no extra charge.
Thank you so much for all your advice today. That was so very helpful, not only with the structure of the property but especially with your comments about the whole set up. I can see that we were within a gnat’s whisker of entering a complete can of worms… Thank you so much for saving us from making a stupid mistake.
Thanks to you both your help in this matter – you were both extremely efficient and accommodating (more than I can say about other companies I contacted).
Your professionalism has been invaluable, thank you.
Thank you for your extremely comprehensive report. It will be of immense help when deciding on the works we would like to carry out on the property. We have decided to take your advice and move into the property and live in it for a while to assess our requirements.
Thank you for your prompt service, could not have asked or expected more. I note your comments and in an ideal world everything would have been 1.
Will not hesitate to recommend you, and will make a point of letting the estate agent know this too.
I just wanted to say thank you very much for your thorough and clear report. It is written in an informative and jargon free way which has made a pretty hefty document ultimately digestible and easy to understand.
Hello Kerry, Many thanks for the report and invoice receipt.
Please pass on my thanks to Paul for the survey. In my working life, I read many stock survey reports – I work with social housing providers to set up their asset management strategies – and this was one of the clearest and most comprehensive I’ve seen.
Dear Paul, Thank you so much for your fast response and the detail in your report is very very good and greatly appreciated. Thank you for your efforts.
Many thanks for your swift and thorough return of this report, we so appreciate you getting this back to us on such a tight turn around this week, and on the first read it seems extremely clear and comprehensive.
Hi Kerry / Paul, Thanks for sending the survey across.
I’d also like to thank you for your excellent service and professionalism. I considered many surveyors before choosing to proceed with you and it’s clear that I made the right choice. I won’t hesitate to recommend you to family, friends and colleagues in the future.
“We have commissioned three building surveys from WBC until we found the house that was right for us and all thanks to you”
I never expected so much detail, the report was really great and there were things I never even considered, even being in the construction trade
The report was brilliant and went into so much detail, having had reports from other surveyors in the past this report was far superior
“Highly recommended. Good customer service over the phone and by email. Very quick: from the initial phone call booking a site visit to me receiving the calculations took only 8 days.”
“We used James Dean …Western Building Consultants as an architect. Very good”
“Good surveyors & structural engineers that we used were www.westernbuildingconsultants.com
We were really happy with them, they came highly recommended by several people”
“Excellent service and help from the initial design/planning stage through to the end of all works”
“I can recommend Western Building Consultants. They are great on structural calculations, advice and technical drawings to whatever extent you want. We used them for advice and calcs for taking out our main load bearing wall downstairs. They were recommended several times over when we started looking.”
“Superb, professional, efficient, friendly, positive”