Building your Own Extension


A growing family needs extra space, and some people prefer to find a bigger house, while others would rather extend the existing property. If upgrading your home is on the “to do list”, it might be the cost that is holding things up, and if that is the case, you may be able to take the DIY route. Here is an outline of what is involved in adding rooms to your property.

The budget

First and foremost is the amount of money you are prepared to invest, as this will determine the size and scope of the project. If you are considering a single room at the rear of the property, then make sure you have enough cash to complete the job.

The rules

Building regulations have to be followed and approval needs to be obtained, and of course, this cannot be given until the plans have been submitted. In the UK, one can extend a dwelling on the rear, by up to 8m, without the need for planning permission, providing it is single storey.


Ideally, the new room would blend in with the house, so the building materials would be similar, if not identical. To keep costs down, a flat roof is preferred, and this gives the opportunity to start that roof garden you’ve always dreamed of. Hire an architect, and spend some time explaining exactly what you are looking for, with drawings to illustrate this if possible. The architect will transform your concept into a workable blueprint, which builders can easily follow.


The materials

Load bearing components must be strong, and fabric enforcement experts, Foregale, are a leading supplier of roofing and reinforcement, so you would find the ideal solution with one company. Modern concrete solutions can be ordered and delivered, ready-mixed and poured into the form. Windows and doors should be in keeping with the house, and it is recommended they be double glazed, for extra insulation and security.

The Internet

If we are talking building, the digital highway is your best friend regarding information and instruction, with countless “how to” videos on YouTube. If you are in any doubt, at any stage, then find out what you need to know before commencing the work. There are many established building material suppliers online, so finding the materials will not be an issue.

Essential services

Unless you are proficient, electrical, gas, and plumbing work should be left to the experts, so source a local handyman, who you can call in when necessary. Roofing is also something not to be attempted, unless you have previous experience, and for a small extension, a roofer would be affordable. At the planning stage, essential services should be considered, as should access.

Hire a builder

If it all seems a bit daunting, hire a local builder, or perhaps a neighbour who has already built his own add-on. If you’re really lucky, the brother-in-law is in the building trade, in which case, you are covered. Either way, you will end up with an extra room, and if it is well built, it will add significant value to the home.