7 June 2023

Extending Your Home: A Short Guide to House Extensions, Average Costs, and Open Plan Living

By Self Build Zone

If you’ve ever felt cramped in your home and often think about extending your living space to accommodate new family members, or you finally want to create the home office of your dreams, whatever the reason may be, house extensions are a popular way for homeowners to increase the value and scope of their homes without having to sell and move to upgrade. In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits of open-plan living and the costs associated with a successful house extension.

Open-Plan Living: The Benefits

In recent years, open-plan living has become increasingly popular, especially for those seeking to maximise the space of existing rooms combined with an extension. It can involve removing walls that once separated rooms to create a living space that combines the kitchen, dining, and living area into one flowing space. This type of layout also offers a more spacious feel to your home while introducing more natural light. By creating seamless connections between the different parts of your home, you can make a more enjoyable space perfect for entertaining, working and relaxing.

Average Costs of House Extensions

The cost of extending your home will vary depending on the project’s specifics. According to CheckaTrade.com, to calculate the cost of an extension per square, you need to budget £1,800 – £2,600 per m². This covers standard rooms, whilst lofts, basements, kitchens, and bathrooms will cost more.

A two-story house extension can cost up to £3,500 per square meter. The extension’s purpose, location, space size, and materials used all contribute to the overall cost. Getting a professional contractor involved is essential so you can receive an accurate estimate for your project. It’s always recommended that you cost up all of the various aspects of your build to determine the worth of the project before embarking on a renovation of your house.

Navigating the Planning Process

Seeking planning permission for a house extension can be a lengthy and complex process, but it is an essential step for making any core structural changes to your property. The first step is to research the local planning regulations to ensure that your proposed extension will comply with all relevant rules and guidelines. This may involve consulting with a professional architect or builder to draw up plans that meet these requirements. Once you have the necessary plans, you can apply for planning permission from your local council. This application will be subject to a review process, which may include consultations with neighbours and other stakeholders. Ultimately, the decision to grant planning permission will rest with the council, but with careful preparation and attention to detail, you can increase your chances of success.

Designing Your House Extension

The design process is one of the most critical aspects of any house extension project. It would be best if you aimed to create a seamless extension that blends in with the existing architectural style of your home. Any addition must be visually appealing and enhance the overall look of your property. Consider your requirements for the space, functional necessities, budgetary constraints, and reasons for the extension to help guide the design process. Engaging a certified architect or using a skilled house designer can help to deliver the best possible result.

Do I have to Employ a Builder/Contractor?

There are many factors to consider when extending your home, such as structural damage, electrical wiring and plumbing that may be required to complete the project. Unless you’re a qualified builder with experience in delivering house extensions, it’s recommended that you seek out a building contractor to quote and then carry out the work, especially if you plan to remove walls and significantly change the footprint of your home through structural alterations. For similar cost and time investment, you can hire building contractors to help you manage the entire project from start to finish. With a professional, you get the added benefit of years of experience, professional equipment and tools, and a guarantee that the project will be completed to the highest standard.

What about Insurance?

Many prospective house extenders will assume their extension will be covered under their existing home insurance; however, these policies are not designed to protect building projects.

Ensure you are covered by extension insurance before work starts. Most people will hire a main contractor (builder) and agree to a contract alongside a budget. A project manager may be brought in to oversee these different stages. Still, only some of these professionals will be aware of the specific type of insurance you should have at the beginning of a house extension project. Very often, questions around site insurance are raised when a problem is encountered, for example, weather damage, arson or tool and plant theft.


House extensions can be an incredible way to renovate your home, but getting each stage right is essential! Before undertaking a project, ensure you set a budget and involve professionals such as building contractors and architects to bring your vision of an open-plan living space to life.

Finally, before you start your loft conversion, take out the necessary home extension insurance to protect your protect.


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