Estate agent London News

Extending an Existing Property

Most of us would like to change at least one thing about our homes if we had the power to. Extensions and modifications enable us to do just that. However, extensions can be very expensive, and the costs aren’t always justified.

Here’s what you need to know about what’s involved with common property extensions, and whether it’s better to buy a new property instead.

How to Build a Pitched Roof Extension

Many homeowners who currently have a flat roof on their property would like to turn it into a pitched roof. Flat roofs can create numerous issues, especially when it comes to drainage. On the other hand, a pitched roof will automatically drain more effectively and usually requires less maintenance in the long run. Of course, this is dependent upon it being built properly.

If the extension you are considering for your home is as simple as a new pitched roof, then this is something that you can accomplish yourself relatively easily. If you aren’t experienced in DIY, you shouldn’t attempt to build your own roof extension without any help. However, if you are confident in your DIY capabilities, then building your own pitched roof is a fantastic project and a great way of enhancing both the look and the value of your property.

How To Build A Pitched Roof

  1. Measure the height of your wall plates.
  2. Fix both of the wall plates into position where you want the extension to go. Cement will help to fix them. Remember to add marks to indicate where you will drill the holes and ensure that you drill in the centre of existing bricks, not in the areas where bricks meet.
  3. Put bolts through the holes that you have just drilled and make sure that the wall plate is level.
  4. After you have installed the rear wall plates, the next stage is to install the rafters. Measure the rafters by putting the timber into place and marking it. Once you have cut the pieces into size, you can then secure them into place using birdsmouths.
  5. Drill into the rafters to fix them to the wall plate and then angle it in position so it is affixed properly. They should be fixed so that they form a triangle whose base is the wall that the rear plate is fixed to.
  6. With the rafters in place, the next stage is to build the boundary of wall. The gable end will be covered by bricks. However, remember that the bricks are located below the level of the rafters.
  7. With the base of the roof in place, you can then turn your attention to adding the tiles. Once you have selected appropriate tiles, place them in such a way that each tile is slightly overlapping the tiles below it. If gaps are able to form, then you are going to have to deal with leakages. It is also important that you select tiles of the appropriate size, you don’t want to be stuck with leftover pieces of tile.
  8. If you are going to be running any lights or cabling around your extension, then you can install a soffit to cover any visible wires you have running through the area.
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How to Build a Flat Roof Extension

While most property owners today tend to prefer pitched roofs, there are still circumstances where a flat roof is more suitable. Not only this, but constructing a flat roof is much easier than constructing a pitched roof, so it is often seen as being less of a risk. In some instances, planners might reject any plans for a pitched roof on the basis of its final height. If a pitched roof would obstruct your neighbour’s view or the amount of light their property receives, then a flat roof is usually a better alternative and less likely to cause planning headaches.

Flat roofs consist of the same basic components as a pitched roof, and the process for creating and installing them is largely similar.

Before you set about constructing your own flat roof, you should be aware that there is a difference between flat and level. A roof that is flat shouldn’t be level. A level roof would mean that any water that fell on the roof would accumulate and wouldn’t be able to flow off. Even though flat roofs look like they are completely level, they are built with tiny deviations so that water will flow off them correctly. Otherwise, water accumulates until it causes damage to the underlying structure.

How To Build a Swimming Pool

The costs involved in building your own swimming pool can be surprisingly difficult to calculate, as they are based on a variety of factors. Most swimming pool sellers can provide you with an accurate price for the pool itself, but it is harder to get an accurate quote for the groundwork that needs to take place beforehand. There are multiple factors that will determine how difficult and expensive it is to dig the necessary area for a pool in your garden.

If you want to save money on the installation of a new pool, or you want to build the whole thing yourself from scratch, doing some or all of the groundwork for yourself can make an enormous difference. Before the actual pool can be constructed or fitted, or even designed, the groundwork must be laid out first. This begins, naturally, with digging the hole for the pool. In addition to this, there will need to be trenches laid for all the necessary pipework.

On many properties, it will also be necessary to level the surrounding area, which can involve some pretty intense landscaping.

Whether you build the pool yourself or you use a pre-bought solution, you will still have to cover the costs of the necessary groundwork, and the costs of installing a pool can skyrocket very quickly. In some cases, investing in a new property that already has a pool is a more cost-effective option than adding a pool to an existing property.

How Much to Build a Two Story House

Building your own home might sound impossible to many people but it is a simpler, albeit still difficult, undertaking than a lot of people realise. If you are serious about building your own home, then accurate costing is important. However, until you have concrete plans and proposals for your two-storey house, coming up with an exact estimate for the costs involved is going to be impossible. Nevertheless, this isn’t the kind of project that you can embark upon without having a good idea of what it is going to cost you by the end.

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Many homeowners find it helpful to work out what their available assets are before they start calculating what they have available to set aside for construction itself. Your available assets will encompass all of your existing savings, as well as the equity that you are expecting to make from the sale of your existing property, assuming that you will be selling it.

Adding a second storey to an existing property might be possible, but it will depend on the nature of the existing structure.  In many cases, the underlying structure won’t be able to support the addition of another storey without serious renovations that could push the price over the cost of just buying a new property.

Can You Do a Loft Conversion In a New Build?

The short answer to this question is yes. However, it should be noted that loft conversions on new builds are more complicated than usual, and you will need a specialist to help you oversee the project. The use of W-shaped ‘fink’ trusses, which have been common since the 1960s, makes it tricky. These trusses occupy more space than usual while providing essential structural support. This makes it very difficult to remove them or work around them.

The above problem can be overcome by installing steel beams, but this isn’t an easy thing to do. You don’t normally need special planning permission to add a loft conversion to a new build, but you should check with your local authority beforehand to be on the safe side.

When Is Moving The Answer?

There are some types of property extension that just don’t make sense financially. For some people, this isn’t going to be an issue, but many homeowners will be better served by moving to a new property altogether rather than sinking huge amounts of time and money into modifying their existing home.

Before you commit yourself to any kind of expensive extension works or other modifications to your home, you should consider whether the costs involved are justified. If you could simply buy a new property that already has the features you want, then this might be a more sensible option to pursue.

Extending a property can breathe new life into it. It can also enable you to turn a good home into your ideal dream home. However, extending your property is often an involved process and a significant cost in terms of time and money. Make sure you know what you are getting into and are sure it is worth the investment before you extend your property.

Instead of going through the laborious process of building your own extension, why not contact Greater London Properties to see if we can help you find an existing property that matches your specifications?

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