Extending is a very popular way to add space to your home without having to move. In Britain, 46% of people will extend one of their homes at some point, with many extensions being about delivering ‘wow’ factor as much as adding extra space. But every extension is different, and there are a lot of different things to consider before, during and after an extension, and missing some of them out can cause chaos. Luckily the advent of the ‘DIY extender’ seems to have passed, and people are happy bringing in experts to build their extensions.
At DNA Brickwork & Builders, we love a good extension project – and all the challenges that come with it. Since there is so much to keep an eye on when extending your house, we thought we would break it down into the different areas, starting with the eclectics.
Compliance With Building Regulations
The majority of projects that get delayed or even cancelled are usually because of problems with building control. No matter what type of extension you’re building, you need to submit either a building notice or a full building plan for approval. Not an electrical issue so far – but that plan has to detail all sorts of areas, like fire, safety, insulation, drainage and, you guessed it, electricals. If you haven’t planned out your electrical connections and created an electrical map before you start the build, you can run into problems later on and may even be forced to abandon the project. So, before we take a hammer to a brick, we make sure you have a full electrical plan for your extension.
Depending on the layout of your original electrics, extending them can throw up some problems. For example, if you’re adding or extending a kitchen, you’re likely to have to add a circuit that goes directly from the distribution board, which will cause disruption to the rest of your home. For a lot of other work, unless it is very extensive, it’s usually possible to extend the existing ring circuit (provided it doesn’t go above 100m²), but it is something to bear in mind, and something we spend time checking for before we start the project as part of the scoping process.
When new clients come to us with original plans, we very rarely end up implementing those plans exactly. Instead, we help our clients understand not only what their current needs are, but what their future needs might be in all areas for that extension. In such a super-consuming society hooked on ‘tech’, getting electrical access and power right is essential. So, you need to think about mood lighting, surround sound, high-speed Wi-Fi, kitchen gadgets, security systems and TV’s all over the place. To make the most of future technologies your electrical circuits must be up to the job, yet so many people don’t plan ahead and run into problems later on. That’s why we ask so many questions, and take the time to have our expert electrician chat with you about your plans for the future.
Of course, there is no guarantee that your existing wiring is up to code, and that creates a new series of problems. If we come to install new wiring in your extension, knock through a wall and find a mass of tangled, decaying or mismatched cables, your project is going to be delayed right away while we try to sort through the mess and put it right. Having an electrical survey carried out before work start is the best way to protect against this, and it’s what we normally do but sometimes we just don’t know what we’re dealing with until we see inside the walls. If your home has faulty wiring, it can probably be fixed, but it will add time and money on to the cost of the project.
At DNA Brickwork & Builders, we employ a wide variety of tradespeople with all sorts of skills, so that we can provide the best, full-service build solution out there. That means we have a team of electricians on hand to examine and assess your electrics before we get started, and to manage that part of the build from beginning to end. So if you’re building an extension, you don’t have to worry about your electrics. To find out more, just get in touch with us today.