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Planning a house extension or loft conversion? 5 good reasons to start now.

2nd April 2020

Here are the top 5 positive aspects of starting your House Extension project now

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.

Home extensions architect brief

House Extensions architect western building consultants

1) Low Interest Rates & Loan Availability for House Extensions

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.

2) Availability and Cost of Builders for House Extensions

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.

3) Time to Plan and Brief Your Architect

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.

house extension, architect, bath, Bristol

4) House Price Changes & Refinancing for House Extensions

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.

5) Timescales to Construction

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.

Modern house extension, connection to outdoors, kitchen space, architect, Bath

How can Western Building Consultants Help?

Free quotations, flexible contracts & finance options for the initial planning stages of house extensions

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.

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