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Key Considerations When Planning an Extension

December 15, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 158

Nowadays, many home owners are looking to extend and develop their existing property, rather than going through the stress, upheaval and expense of moving. Often, a conservatory is considered when seeking that much needed extra space, but in actual fact there are a variety of garden extension styles that can improve a property.

The three most popular are conservatories, garden rooms and orangeries, each of which have slightly different features. Conservatories are a glass framed building, always featuring a fully glazed roof, and usually built directly onto an exterior wall without interation into the building. However, other types of garden extension, such as Garden Rooms and Orangeries, offer a more functional room that can be used all year round which integrates seamlessly to the existing architecture. Both provide glazing for light and views to the garden, but have less glazed roofs; Garden Rooms will have a tiled roof often featuring a glazed vertical gable and often skylight windows, where an Orangery will have a flat roof lined with Lead or a modern equivalent with a striking roof lantern providing plenty of natural light, and creating a stunning architectural feature.

Regardless of the type of extension, the essential purpose is to add an extra room to the property, often linking the garden to the home. If design correctly, well-proportioned and complementary to the existing house, then not only can it increase the value of a property, but also increase property value and help for future resale

However, there are a number of things to take into account when choosing a garden extension.

Energy efficiency is a key consideration. One common misconception is that the large amount of exposed glass that comes with these types of extensions will significantly increase heating bills. But with modern intelligent glass installations, this doesn't have to be an issue. There are also different varieties of glass for different situations.

This includes solar controlled glass which acts as a barrier to the build up of heat in the summer months, but also minimises heat loss during the cooler winter period. It is also possible to invest in self cleaning glass, which helps repel water and break down organic matter meaning minimal maintenance is required by the home owner.

Another misconception is that uPVC is the material of choice for effective insulation. However, timber outperforms uPVC in terms of preventing heat loss and, when ethically sourced, is far more environmentally friendly. Timber is also easier to repair, can be painted in a variety of colour choices, is very durable and far more aesthetically pleasing.

One other major consideration is planning permission. In Lehman's terms, planning permission is the process one must go through in order to gain approval for building work. In England this means an application must be made to a local planning authority (usually a department of the local council), whereby they will assess various elements of the proposed work in order to ensure that it complies with regulations.

On some occasions, this can be a long and drawn out process. But more often than not, as long as your planned extension fits within guidelines, there are very few issues at all. Often, regulations can vary from council to council. So for details on regulations in your area, visit your local councils website or make an appointment at the town hall to discuss the fine points.

And finally, choosing the right designer is absolutely essential. A poorly designed extension does nothing for a property and in a recent survey, it was noted that on some occasions uPVC extensions can make a house more difficult to sell and reduce the value of the property.

The right company can guide you through every process of the design and building, from obtaining planning permission, to architecturally designing the extension. It is highly recommended to check their credentials, ask for examples of previous work before making a decision and ALWAYS seek references!

A top quality extension will improve your quality of life dramatically, but it is also an investment not only in terms of money, but for future generations to enjoy the wonderful space you have created.

Article submitted by Jonathan Hey, Managing Director of Westbury Garden Rooms. Westbury Garden Rooms has over 20 years experience in building bespoke garden rooms and is a top 3 UK leading designer/manufacturer of bespoke orangeries and garden rooms.

Source: EzineArticles
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