House extensions can seem overwhelming for the uninitiated. What happens first? What part do you play? When does the build start? Understanding the home extension process can really help in alleviating some stresses you have, plus it gives you an understanding of the role you play, as the owner. Read on for a rapid-fire education in all things house extensions.
Stage 1: Research
Research is vital as it shapes the direction for the build. It’s about you taking time to think about your goals, tastes and budget, so that you’re armed to talk to a designer and home extension builder and start the project. First, define your overall objective: what’s the main reason you want to extend? Then, expand on that: if your reason is more space, figure out where more space would be most valuable. If your objective is to increase your rental return, do some research locally and see what features are bringing in high rents. It’s also important to figure out a budget. Your builder and designer will guide you on costs of specific features later on, so make sure you’re equipped to decide on how much you can spend.
Step 2: Plan!
Now that you’ve defined your objective and budget, you need to narrow your focus and think about finishings, fixtures, and room size. You could start by creating a dream home wishlist – sounds fun, right? Make it practical as well by including some options that can be modified based on cost or time. Next, grab a pad and pen and draw a rough design of how you envision your extension – don’t be embarrassed if it looks silly! Your designer will love that they can gain an understanding of your vision right from the first meeting.
See more tips for the planning stage in our eBook: The Hille’s Home Extensions Ultimate Extension Guide
Get out the calendar too, to see if there are any important events or deadlines coming up that your project will need to work around.
Step 3: Meet the team
If you’re using home renovations builders like Hille’s, you’ve got the advantage of working with industry professionals who are all under one roof. First, you’ll meet the designer. Their role is key: without plans, the build can’t start! Designers also have an excellent knowledge of any structural considerations and regulatory requirements that need to be followed.
After your first site visit with your designer, you’ll get a rough estimate from them that takes into account your requirements and objectives. You’ll also have the option to get the design drawn up, usually via a 3D computer model. Before these official plans are created, you’ll work with the designer on hand-drawn sketches, perhaps modifying your initial scribbles to include their expertise on what will work spatially.
Your designer or project coordinator will also collect other documents that the builder needs. These include engineering documentation, and information about the materials, finishes, standards, and products used in your build.
In addition to doing the obvious – build! – builders are a key point in your renovation team, acting as the conduit between the design and the final product. They work closely with you, the designer, and other tradespeople to ensure the project is running on-time and on-brief. They can also offer valuable insight and opinions.
Step 4: Approvals
Hille’s will source all approvals and permits for your home renovation. Approvals can include council approvals, permits related to certain aspects of the build, and sometimes approvals related to the environmental effect of the build.
Step 5: The Build
Once everything is approved and the build commences, you will still be very much involved. You’ll attend regular site meetings with your designer and builder, which will give you a chance to check out the progress, and make any final decisions on fittings and finishes. It’s also very rewarding to watch your renovation take shape.
Get more of an insight into a house extension and download our eBook, or contact the team at Hille’s today.