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Bungalow extension options

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We live in a small, two bed semi-detached bungalow in the south west of England. We need more space and if possible we'd like to stay where we are. We are on a hill, our land slopes gently from one side of our property to the other and from front to rear more steeply. There is a small garage at the side of the property, a good sized rear garden and a loft. I'd like to explore options for an extension/loft conversion and get some estimates so that we can compare with the local market and be sure what we're proposing to do makes financial sense. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to do any of the work ourselves and we have a two month old baby.

 

I have never had any significant building work done to a property. What should be my next step? Should I find a builder to discuss options, or would I be better going to an architect, or someone else? Coincidentally, a neighbour with a nearly identical property has recently extended. I have the name of their architect.

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I would make your first port of call that neighbour. Have a good look at what they have done and see if it would meet your needs. Ask them how much it cost in total. Find out who their builder and architect were and importantly would they recommend them.

 

When I first built an extension 20 years ago I did more or less that.  What surprised me is most people I spoke to would not recommend the builder they had just used. It took some while before I found a builder that actually came with a recommendation.

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Posted (edited)

If the peak of your loft from the joists to the top of the roof is less inside than about 9ft, you will struggle to get a non-compromised room or two in, without a new or raised roof. Can still do it, but more difficult.

 

Useful rule of thumb. Measure it.

 

It is because your roof will need a lot of insulation, plus the thickness of a new floo4 and reinforcement.

 

And welcome.

 

Your next step is t9 do the homework to the point where you have a confidence in evaluating what people tell yo7, and judging their recommendations wrt your needs.

 

A good place to start is to work to create a one paragraph then one page ‘statement of requirements’.

 

Ferdinand

Edited by Ferdinand
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ProDave, thanks for your advice. Viewing the neighbour's extension would be ideal, but unfortunately I don't think that will be possible. If that changes I'll definitely follow your advice.

 

Ferdinand, can you point me to an example 'statement of requirements'? After we have finished this what should be our next steps? Are we looking for an architect first and then a builder? And how should we go about deciding who to use?

 

Many thanks

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There are several contrasting examples on this thread. The idea is that it is a tool to think about what you want and need, that you can then feed into the process, and come back to to keep yourselves on track.

 

 

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Good luck on the extension - you have come to the right place for advice.  it has certainly helped me many times with all sorts of enquiries.  We are just finishing an extension to a bungalow for my parents.  we had to wait 6 months for the builder that we wanted but it was worth it as we knew he would be an excellent job. most builders are not as careful or exacting in their standards so take your time to find a builder wth a good reputation but then be prepared to wait for him/her.  if they are available to take on your job straight away, you have to wonder why - all good builders are booked up months in advance.

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