With rising costs of living and borrowing, it might seem like a strange time to start planning an extension or remodel. In this article we examine why now might actually be a great time to start planning that home extension.
Projects take time, even the most simple extensions may have to go through a design process, planning, building regulations, planning conditions, water authority approval, party wall award, structural design and a tender process. Even then there is a chance you will need to wait a while for builders to be able commence works. These things don’t happen overnight, many homeowners do not realise that with so many variables in the initial processes the delivery of their scheme can take far longer than they envisioned. One good example is that in Bristol city council at the moment it is taking up to 6 months just to register a planning application, extending your home is certainly not like buying a product off the shelf and needs to be considered as a medium term project.
Planning lasts 3 years, when you receive planning from the date that it was granted you have 3 years to start the building works, it is important to note that this is to start and not finish. Whilst planning can be reapplied for and is usually successful many clients opt to make a meaningful start such as installing drainage or foundations for the works under building control supervision to protect against changing policies and additional planning fees.
Since Brexit, Covid and the war in Ukraine inflation and competition due to the excess demand for work, lack of supply of materials and specialist construction sector workers the cost to build in both materials and labour have sharply risen. We are finding some sections of contracting like sub contracting main contractors have suffered badly with rising costs. The good news is that the increase in the base rate is likely to ease the demand for building in the private sector slowing or even reversing some of the effects of inflation. As demand weakens availability and competition should increase, other factors such as the government considering allowing a greater numbers of EU workers would also fuel this. Ultimately this could mean that your home extension project may cost you less if procured in say two years time compared to when there was peak demand. Planning to be ready for this would seem a sensible option for those not desperate to extend immediately.
Whilst we don’t have a crystal ball most forecasters predict that the base rate will once again fall to a more sustainable level within 3 years. So if you plan to re-mortgage or borrow to fund the build it might also cost you less than at todays prices. Many home owners may have fixed rate mortgages and opt for a shorter fixed rate say for two years whilst prices are high with the aim of re-mortgaging to a higher amount once the rate has settled. For many the timings for planning will sit comfortably within this time frame.
House prices are currently dropping at a substantial rate according to data from Halifax, meaning that you may find if moving is an option, now isn’t the smartest time to switch. When you consider moving house can also be expensive with lots of wasted costs such as legal fees, estate agency commission , transport and packing, stamp duty and surveys amounting to a considerable sum that could be substantially more than the cost of a redesign of your property.
many of our clients reflect when a project is complete on the joy their newly architect designed home brings them in their everyday use of the space. That could be the joy of cooking, living and dining in a fabulous open plan environment or the physical need for space due to an imminent arrival, growing family or the need to house an elderly relative. Great architecture for people’s homes can help them enjoy the time they spend there and the financial implications of the work is unlikely to be the top priority for some homeowners where there is a practical or emotional need for more space.
If you decide that you would like to embark on a project, why not contact Western Building Consultants for a free initial consultation to find out what can be done.
Western were really professional, quick and went above and beyond to give us the designs we wanted as well as keeping us on track with our building plans. Thanks to James and all the team for the excellent work and affordable price.
Top notch service here from Paul Keegan who was super patient with us and when we finally got access for a building condition survey on our new premises, he went above and beyond the call of duty to get our report back to us over a weekend. Thanks WBC you came up trumps for us.
We want to say big thank you to western building consultants. We couldn’t be happier with everything they’ve done for us.
We are a small local building company that were looking for a similar sized company to work with us on many various projects from loft conversions and extensions to structural works of all sizes.
It’s been a relationship that’s worked great from day one. It’s been over a year now of working with western on at least a weekly basis. Whether its the office staff, architects or structural engineers they’ve been second to none. Always helpful and accommodating even throughout this pandemic which must of been a struggle.
I love that we can offer westerns services along side our own and the feed back we get from all of our customers when they’ve had contact with western is great.
In the 20 years I’ve been a builder this company is the best I’ve used and we will continue to use them for the next 20 years.
Tweedy Brothers Total Building Services
Exceptional service provided by Maria Simone; she incorporated as many of our requests as possible when designing a beautiful extension for us despite many limits and delays from the planning office. Her professional, thorough and friendly approach made us feel confident that we were in safe hands and we look forward to working with her and the rest of the team.
Have received a great service from Jo at Western Building Consultants so far. She is always very responsive, works extra hard for our tight timeline and kept me updated through out the process and was really quick to understand our project objective.
This is the third time I have worked with Western Building Consultants and as usual they have been a pleasure to work with. I dealt directly with Sam and Jo who did the Structural Calculations and the Drawings respectively for my residential to HMO conversion project. They were accommodating, engaging and professional.
I look forward to the next project!
I had a very positive experience with Western Building Consultants right from the start with requesting a quote from Ebony through to the delivery from Jo. Jo delivered exactly what i needed to a very good standard so much so that i’ve already booked in for another job. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend WBC to others.
Our journey with Western Building consultancy so far has been fantastic! Jo’s patience and ability to understand my scribbles and ridiculous ideas made designing our venture fun instead of daunting. Communication is always prompt, professional and most importantly sincere. I’m really looking forward to how the rest of our project progresses!
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”