Key information on our Extension from ‘Our 1930s Fixer Upper’
- Kitchen Oven Side – 4.5 Metres
- Back of the Kitchen – 7 Metres
- The side of Extension – 11.97 Metres
- The width of Shower Room / Downstairs Loo and Laundry Room – 1.3 Metres
- Back Doors – 1.8 Metres
Can you please share a picture of your Architect’s drawings and floorplans for downstairs?
We would like to add an extension to our house but we don’t know where to start?!
The first thing to do is find a reputable architect that can help with your plans. Make sure you have some ideas on what you would like to achieve from the build and a solid budget- for us it was a big kitchen, ensuring daylight from front to back of the house and to have a bigger space to entertain friends and family.
The architect will be able to tell you what is possible, and whether you will require planning permission based on the size of your build. Be mindful that certain factors out of your control may mean that you won’t get approval at first (objections from neighbours as an example) so be open-minded during the early stages, and explore what is possible with your architect.
Your architect will also be able to run through the planning process and complete all the council/building regulations paperwork on your behalf so you don’t need to worry about submitting the relevant forms.
Please bear in mind that the costs for this initial part of the project range from £2,000-£3,000 depending on your architects/council planning fees.
More information about the costs of our build can be found further down.
If you could change anything about the Extension what would it be?
- Ian – I wish we had challenged our builder on the type of plastering used for the extension. Dry Wall was used throughout and although it had it benefits (cost, quick-drying time) we do prefer the quality of finish you get from traditional plastering. We did not realise Dry Wall would be used on our build as it was not mentioned on the Schedule of Work. We assumed it would be plastered – as it was referred to on our SoW. Next time we do a build, I will be going through what the builder plans to use with a fine-tooth comb. Actually… I might even do it myself. (Ross here now… “No my love, you are not building our next extension”).
- Ian – Better integration with the right side of the kitchen, initially we looked at having additional cupboards on the other side, with integrated Fridge Freezer however it would have added £3,000 to the costs, so we decided to use the money elsewhere and come back to it at a later date once we decide how we want to use the space.
- Ross – If money would have allowed it, Hardwood Flush In-Frame Style Windows and matching Patio Doors – stunning but just too expensive! A nice to have rather than a must-have.
- Ross – I wish we had pursued a more open planned layout when we had early conversations with our architect. Initially, he designed an entirely open planned space (as an option), but we were so conscious of bringing the character back to the house, we tabooed the idea straight away. However as time has passed, I believe it’s more important you maximise the potential your house can offer. You can keep/add character to a house even if you do knock down the odd wall here and there – this is something which can be put back in if a future homeowner decides that is what works better for them.
Where do you hide’ your Sky lantern?
Our sky lantern/light is positioned in the middle of our extension roof. It is ‘hidden’ by the mono-pitched roof which gives the impression from the outside that we have a pitched roof going all the way around the house when in fact it is a flat roof that houses the lantern, as shown below
How much space did you leave for side access to your back garden?
When planning the extension, we wanted to ensure we could still get a wheelbarrow or lawnmower down the side of the house – we kept 800mm between the house and the fence which gave us plenty of room.
As much as its tempting to maximise your build and go out as far as possible, make sure you think about side access. We have a small verge outside the house which is our responsibility to cut regularly – bringing a lawnmower through the house would not have been practical. We also have a lot more work to do in the garden so this access was key.
How much did your extension/renovation cost and how did you budget?
It is a question (well two questions) we get asked all the time. At first, I was nervous about sharing the costs of our build as I wasn’t sure whether it was something you should keep private. After talking it through with Ian, we came to the conclusion that if you went on a property programme showcasing a renovation in a ‘Before & After’ format, you would be expected to share the overall figure spent on the improvement. This is key information in support of the programme you are watching – I suppose we don’t really see Instagram as any different.
In our opinion, when you share the type of content we do on social media, you need to be ready to answer questions or share specific information that you might not necessarily be comfortable with. I wish we knew then what we know now in terms of the costs. Hopefully sharing these high-level numbers will help our readers and followers prepare and budget for their own project accordingly.
I recorded all the costs for our extension/renovation using a spreadsheet and updated it daily during the build. It was a great way of keeping tabs on everything and ensured we always knew what we had to spend. I recommend using one to help you stay within budget (or as close to budget as possible!)
We had an overall budget of £80,000 for Phase 1 which consisted of the kitchen extension, re-decorating and garden improvements too.
We also often get asked how we can afford all of this work in our house. £80,000 is a lot, and it is hard to believe we even spent that kind of money in the last two years. Ian and I were both fortunate enough to have equity in our previous properties; which allowed us to put down the deposit for the house and hold back enough cash to undertake most of the tasks we have completed to date.
The overall costs for the project are as follows:
- Architect/Drawings/Building Costs/Planning Fees- £2,600
- Cost for the actual extension itself including all Labour came to £46,000 with the Windows and doors coming in at £4,000.
- We then spent £18,600 on the Kitchen, all appliances, Flooring (including flooring for the Hallway, Front Room, Lobby and New Extension Areas) Paint, Furniture (Stools, Swoon Storage Unit, Monks Bench) Shower and associated items, Downstairs Loo/Sink etc.
- £1,500 on general renovation tasks like Skips for clearing rubbish etc., 11 x reclaimed 1930s Internal Doors and New Carpet Downstairs, All Paint and DIY Essentials.
- £8,500 on the Garden to date – this includes The Patio, Sleepers, Decking Path, Labour and Plants for Garden.
Total of £81,200