DESIGN WORK STUDIOS: How do you plan a home extension?

Building an extension can be a great way to gain more valuable space without the hassle and expense of moving house.

There are many reasons people look to get an extension – an additional bedroom to accommodate a new arrival, a bigger kitchen suitable for entertaining, adding value to a property before selling.

Whatever the reason, it can seem a daunting project.

It’s not uncommon for our clients to say, “I want to get an extension, but I have no idea where to start. Where do I start?”

Here are the top five things we recommend you think about first:

What is your main objective? 

You’ll likely have more than one, but it is useful to identify which is most important to you.

What is your budget?

Consider a ballpark figure for your total design, build and finishing costs.

As a rule of thumb, it’s wise to allow a contingency of at least 10%.

In a later column we’ll provide guidance around specifics to look at.

How soon do you need your project completed?

It’s important to be realistic.

As an example, for a standard single-storey extension you could expect around nine months from kicking off the first discussions with a designer, getting planning permission, through to the final brick being laid. 

What are your absolute ‘must-haves’? What are your ‘nice-to-haves’?

Although these lists will likely change as you progress, it’s worth thinking about early on.

How much involvement do you want to have in the process? 

It’s usually advisable to have professional help with planning applications, and there is an option to outsource the project management of your actual construction.

Design Work Studios Ltd are based in Peach Street, Wokingham. For more details, log on to or call 0118 357 0071

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