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Ten Top Tips for a successful home extension project



Embarking on a home extension project is a big investment in time and money. Therefore careful planning and execution are key to a  stress-free and enjoyable experience. so let’s  walk you through the essential elements for a building project to transform your living space. 


  1. Assessing your needs: It may sound obvious but the first step in any home extension project is to assess whether you truly need more space. Consider reworking the layout or adding storage to optimise your current living areas.

  2. Specific requirements: Once you’ve established that you do need more space the next step is to identify your specific needs. Do you need additional sleeping or office space? How will the space work as your family needs change? 

  3. Engage with  an Architectural Services company (ASC): Arrange a home visit or consultation to discuss your vision. ASC  bring expertise to the table, helping you to evaluate the feasibility of your project along with offering valuable insights into design possibilities.

  4. Concept Design and Alternatives: Once you’ve decided to proceed, discuss the cost of the concept design with your ASC . Work collaboratively to identify your needs and allow your ASC  to supply alternative designs. This phase ensures that the final concept aligns with your vision and importantly with your budget.

  5. Bathroom and kitchen Designs: If your project involves new bathrooms or kitchens, consider obtaining designs from suppliers before finalising plans or submitting them to the planning authorities. This preparation ensures you’re ready to start construction once approval is granted. 

  6. Planning and Local Authorities: Instruct your ASC  to submit your plans to the local planning authority. Your ASC  should also ensure building regulations and structural requirements are obtained and ready in good time for when the building starts. 

  7. Building Inspectors: A benefit of hiring an ASC  to oversee the project in its entirety is that they will ensure the build will cover all elements of compliance and regulations. This ensures preparedness for inspections which cover crucial aspects like structural integrity and adherence to building codes.

  8. Which builder? The most effective way of finding the best builder for the job is for your ASC  to initiate a tender. You can then, with your ASC , create a shortlist. Your ASC  can help identify reputable contractors who can bring your project to life.

  9. Contractual Agreements: Once the right builder is chosen through the tender process, it’s essential to establish a contract. Consider using the industry-leading JCT contract. It will  ensure you identify everything involved in the project including payment plans and a defect period, to ensure a clear understanding between all parties involved. 

  10. ASC  Supervision: Consider choosing an ASC  who can supervise the entire project. This involves site visits, authorisation of payments, sign-offs on completed work, snagging (identifying and resolving issues) and securing certification from building control. ASC  supervision ensures that your project is executed according to plan and meets the necessary standards – with minimal stress to you!


How 71 Design can help you.

71 Design helps the residents of Dorset and Hampshire with architectural services to design improvements for their homes. Since 2012 we have proudly assisted over 1000 clients, firmly establishing ourselves as the go-to experts.


We appreciate that every customer has different needs and offer a flexible, cost-efficient approach to every project. From design, planning and building regulations support through to a fully managed  end-to-end service. This can include helping you to select the most suitable building contractor for your project.

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