As many of you will be aware the cost of moving can be extortionate, maybe, the reason why many of us will choose to stay where we’ve already made a home ……and made friends, …….become a member of the local gym, ….and shareholder, I mean, regular, at the pub, plus always wanted, but never found the time, to try that Lebanese restaurant at the top of the road! This is exactly why a South London seller has decided against selling, instead, to stay where he and his family call home, just……. make it BIGGER!
Visiting different properties everyday across areas such as Battersea, Clapham, Balham, Brixton, Tooting and Croydon and continuously reading home and property related material- basically living and breathing property! – we have a good eye for interiors and furnishings. Here, we are going to look at how to make your home meet your expectations with some basic steps to planning an extension.
1. Architect- Speak to friends, neighbours and colleagues, research recommended companies, or individuals, check they are a member of a recognised body. A good place to start would be RIBA Royal Institute of British Architects. A quality architect will have knowledge in engineering and understand what can and cant be achieved with a building, thus avoiding costly surprises later in a project. A perfect example is surveying the ground correctly, being aware of drain distances and depths, or as I recently discovered, being aware a certain tree species in your garden could mean foundations have to be dug deeper than standard depth! Imagine the building officer visiting site and ordering foundations to be re dug……Eeeek!
2. Builder- Often your architect will be able to recommend builders suitable for your project. Tender the work out and again DO YOUR RESEARCH! (you’ll be able to sign up to Mi5 after completing your extension!) You could try recommendations, or on line reviews, check ‘Companies House’ if they’re Ltd to make sure they are still trading. Go to see recent work and get to meet builders face to face – seriously ask yourself ‘can I work with this person?’ A friend of mine recently instructed a builder only to find out later he was very domineering and overpowering with decisions being made. My friend found the whole process extremely taxing!
3. Design- Consider what you are trying to achieve. More space? More light? A more sociable area? What features would you like- roof lights? A wall of By-fold doors? Are you aiming for the Renzo Piano style of extensions? Perhaps designer chic, think of a BoConcept showroom? Further considerations, a flat roof will be cheaper, however the lifespan is only 10-15 years. A pitched roof? It is more expensive, though can be more attractive and should last 50 years+. Finishing the build, will you have the walls rendered or maybe have a brick facade? With high demands for quality insulation, what will be the most beneficial?
4. Materials- Whats your style? Mine’s a rustic french farmhouse style! Think exposed beams, exposed brick, flagstone floor, oh and lots of candles!….. Again, do your research and get ideas, designers will use a mood board, or apps such as pinterest to gather ideas. Some clever ideas include- Using tall cupboards- giving larder storage, this is ideal for keeping mops and vacuum cleaners hidden. Taking cupboards to the ceiling will give a seamless look and will mean less cleaning! Find a home for your washing machine and tumble dryer, no one wants to listen to the whirring sound of a washing machine during Celebrity Jungle! You may not wish to blow the budget on kitchen cupboards….so don’t! instead get the carcasses from a mainstream company, such as Ikea, then you can have fancy bespoke door fronts made! How about a show stopping piece? That decorative light fitting you remember from your favourite department store, a special piece will show your personality and creates a great talking point for visitors. The floor will subtly finish a room, why not take it into the garden to visually extend your living space? Look for a durable, waterproof tile, try porcelain which is hard wearing and can be digitally printed creating an array of finishes, including marble effect orwood effect. A Battersea Landlord recently used the porcelain wood effect tile and I could not tell the difference! Consider extending a kitchen worktop to create a dining space, keeping the look uniformed. Open shelving can soften your look, offering character, plus giving essential space for displays of books (hopefully you still have some of those!) or CD’s (hopefully those too?!), china, jars, bottles etc.
Now, go and try that Lebanese restaurant which you keep meaning to visit, then get researching for your new extension and…..good luck!
For further property advise please contact Melissa De-Vall and Bruno de Sousa at Revere- firstname.lastname@example.org