Top 10 building mistakes – part one

Photo of listed features in two properties, showing how to avoid building mistakesIn our many years undertaking building projects we have seen a wide variety of different building mistakes made by homeowners. To help you avoid them, we have compiled our top ten list of building mistakes to avoid. Here’s the first five:

  1. Not thinking the design through

A well-designed extension will add value to your home and make it more saleable. However, without a thorough thought-process you may end up with a design that does not work, such as a large space with no real purpose that doesn’t add value.

Creating an overly complicated design can cause delays and add unnecessary expense during the build stage. Plus, a badly thought through design can get rejected at the planning stage, resulting in a long-drawn out process with additional costs… and lots of headaches to boot!  

  1. Wasting existing space

We’ve seen a lot of loft conversions where a bedroom has been sacrificed to make room for the new stairs – losing a room to gain a room does not add value to a property.

An internal restructuring can make a house more liveable but bring on board an experienced builder or architect to help with this. The last thing you want to do is create wasted space in your property when you’re actually trying to achieve a more useable space. 

  1. Not spending time on finding the right builder

When it comes to finding the right builder remember that costs aren’t everything. Whilst you may have a budget, be wary of a quote that comes in much cheaper. Find out if they have undertaken similar projects. Ask to look at their previous work and ask for references. A good builder will be more than happy to share examples of their work with you. They will also be a mine of information during the design and planning application stage of your project.

  1. Ignoring rules & regulations

You’d be surprised how many people decide to ignore the rules and regulations. However, doing so can result in serious problems – from ruining a relationship with your neighbour to having to pull down your new extension. Plus, altering a listed building without consent is a criminal offence, and no-one wants a criminal record! Be sure to check whether you need planning permission or building regulations approval, a good builder who knows your local area can help you navigate these items. 

  1. Removing period features

Removing a property’s period features can reduce the value of your property, especially if they aren’t sympathetically replaced. It is always worth trying to repair original features to bring them back to their former glory rather than opting for a replica or something different altogether. If a building is listed, then in all likelihood you will need to request permission for alterations and additions.

Next month we’ll bring you the second half of our top ten building mistakes to avoid list.

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