A second storey extension project often comes to mind when couples and young families begin expanding and require more space. While the myriad of TV shows that demonstrate DIY building as a very easy and affordable way of achieving your dream home, DIY should be kept limited to small tasks and larger construction projects are best left to the professionals to ensure safety and quality.
Although a two-storey house extension may seem like a mammoth project and can be quite overwhelming, the following list of some DO’s and DON’TS when considering whether or not to take the plunge may make it worth your while and lay some concerns at ease.
Picking the right builder
Building is quite a dynamic profession and there are new entrants in the market every year. While the prospect of working with someone new who is in touch with modern and contemporary designs may be exciting, do understand that your choice of builder does not only include hiring a skilled tradesperson but also a crew who works together to achieve a common goal. Choosing an experienced team or a new entrant with strong credentials works well because they can be counted on for having a loyal crew and a clear layout of the action-plan for the project. Therefore, make sure you do your research before committing.
Get detailed plans drawn
Following on from the first point, you will have a better idea of the builder’s skill set and efficiency when going through the planning stage. Detailed plans for the home renovation must be made before commencing construction as this ensures that the design is well-thought-through and agreeable with both parties; the builder should be able to ensure its viability and the client should appreciate their chosen design. This will ensure less trouble, worry, wasted time and effort in the long run.
Get to know the contractor’s vision & avoid any unwanted surprises
Once again, T.V shows and social media accounts about home renovations have influenced public tastes when it comes to home design and people have become more adventurous with their choices in the products and materials that are used within it. However, it is essential that you discuss your wants and desires with the builder as their experience in the field will probably be best when guiding you on the limitations of the project. This will result in a reliable and sturdy extension project instead of introducing materials that are not suited for your project, which may act as variables in the building process and lead to nasty surprises in the future. Have a look at the top design-trends.
Get into the nitty-gritty of the cost
Cost is the most important factor when considering your dream second-storey extension build and to avoid a tense atmosphere when an unwanted amount appears on the invoice, both parties involved should be able to gain as much clarity on this subject as possible before commencing the build. Not only will this avoid conflict in regards to the client’s indecisiveness or the builder’s ineffectuality when conveying mounting costs, but it will ensure that your target completion date remains on the horizon. Maybe try using a budgeting tool!
Don’t make compromises on quality
While money and budgeting are significant parts of the building project, one must try not to rely on poor quality materials and fixtures within the home renovation to reduce cost, at least wherever possible. For obvious reasons, poor quality items can be a source of great grief in the later stages. The effects of these might not surface during the build or right-after moving in, but they can create unsafe conditions and serve as a site for potential accidents. You never know, the cost of fixing these errors might be higher than the cost of having used better material to begin with. Being mindful of the energy-efficiency may allow you to cut down on costs.
Lose track of cash-flow
Before committing to the builder, it is essential that you have an honest discussion with your significant other or family about your financial situation. After this, it is essential that you are clear regarding where the funds for each invoice are going to come from and have a timeline for yourself and the builder. Most problems on a building site relate to finances and can cause a lot of stress and anxiety if invoices are delayed or remain unpaid. So, try and be as clear as possible from the very get-go.
Don’t start work at the wrong time of year
Construction much like everything else in life is subject to weather conditions. One does not want to begin their construction project in the winter months where the low temperatures make the ground too frozen to begin digging. The project opens up your current dwelling to the elements and rain and storms may cause damage or result in the ceasing of construction altogether, thereby extending completion dates and resulting in disappointment. So, make sure you incline towards the summer months with consistent weather to avoid problems when planning your second storey renovation.
The best planners with the strongest sense of foresight can be impacted by external factors that are simply beyond one’s control. Unfortunately, these effects of these external factors often end up on invoices and can cost a lot of money. Therefore, it is in your best interest to seek out a reasonable insurance policy to help ease any concerns. You may want to begin by informing your current provider and after discussing the limitations of your current policy, it might be a good idea to opt for an additional insurance specifically for the second-storey extension project.
This is not much of a do or don’t, but try to keep the stress under control when doing the home renovation. Most builders have been in the industry for long periods and are very good at what they do. So, the fretting over the completion date might be doing nothing apart from giving you some sleepless nights. If you have done your research and have made the best decision possible when choosing the builder and quality of products, chances are everything will go smoothly and will be completed as per your wishes.
But, nothing is better than planning well in advance and making commitments and decisions based on research and knowledge! For single-storey extension tips, check out our other posts.