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Improve, Don’t Move: Certass’ Guide to Planning Your Extension

26th May 2021 - By Lauren Doyle

With the nation bound to their homes for much of the past year due to the pandemic, creating extra space has never been so important, as homeowners look to make the most out of their indoor space. Building an extension is the best way of creating extra space in your home and can provide many uses, such as additional rooms for friends or family, or a new office or study.

However you want to extend your home, our helpful guide will give you all the advice you need for planning your extension. Here are five things to keep in mind.

1. Planning and Research

Planning and research is an important part of any home improvement project, and chances are you’ve already done some. However, you can’t do too much.

Try to have a good idea of what you want from your extension, such as how it will look as well as what purpose it will serve. Try to make a list and try to include all these features on your extension. Once you have this information sorted you can begin the planning process.

2. Designing your extension

The design process of your extension is very important and can involve a number of professionals, from designers to architects to surveyors. You can be involved if you’d like, or you could leave it to your chosen tradespeople to come up with a suitable design for your home.

All of them will be members of professional institutes and you can search for members on their website. Due to the regulations and legislation that goes into building extensions, choosing a tradesperson who is part of a professional body is crucial as they can help guide you through the entire process.

3. Planning Permission

You may not need planning permission for your extension, depending on the size and location as it could be covered by Permitted Development rights. There are several limitations to this though, so make sure you check the Planning Portal to see if your house is covered.  

If it’s not covered, you will have to apply for planning permission. You can apply for this online and your designer can help you or do it for you on your behalf.

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4. Choosing trustworthy traders

Once you have decided on who you want to work on your project, make sure they are signed up to a third-party certification scheme. The schemes work under Government license to make sure their members are working to high standards and following all safety regulations, providing homeowners with peace of mind that their job is being done properly.

Certass provide several certification schemes for the building industry.

Our Competent Person Scheme (CPS) allows members to register their own projects to get Building Regulations approval, so they don’t have to go through Building Control. The CPS covers glazing and insulation work.

For all other trades including carpenters, roofers, plasterers and joiners, we also have a Government-endorsed TrustMark scheme to give homeowners reassurance that they are choosing a trusted tradesperson.

Use our online members directory to find a Certass certified installer for your extension work.

5. Work closely with your chosen traders

Before finalising your choice of builders or installers, make sure you check out the previous work they have done to get a good idea of what they can do. Look at their websites for case studies or their social media pages to see examples of their past installations.

Make use of their extensive industry knowledge, as they will be able to offer lots of helpful advice on what the best products are for your project. Ask them for any advice they can give or ask for a brochure which will give you all the information you may need.

If you’re planning a major building project, get a minimum of 5 quotes to gauge the best possible price. Don’t always go for the cheapest option though, instead try to see two which are close together in price as this will give you a much more realistic idea of a price for a good job. Make your final decision is based mostly on service, as this is the most important factor to ensuring you get the most professional work.

Extending your home is an increasingly popular way of creating more space for you and your family. It’s important to do your research to make sure you’re getting installers who are part of certification schemes such as Certass, to get the best possible extension made.

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