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WRAPAROUND EXTENSIONS - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Updated: Aug 28



Building a wraparound extension is a great project because it will completely transform your home. It doesn’t matter which type of home you have as the extra space will change how you use the property; will change the way you live and create a really great living space.


Just look through the home improvement magazines or online extension photos and you will see that the benefits of a wraparound extension have far more to do with lifestyle than additional floor space.


I’ve been involved with numerous house extension projects and the wraparound is unlike any other simply because the extra space tends to raise the spirit and create a wonderful sense of wellbeing. As a family you’re far more likely to share meals together, spend more time talking to each other and when it comes to kids, they just love the open space to play and run around.


As you can gather by now I am a big fan of Neuro Architecture which offers up the argument that the build environment in which we live plays a bigger part in how we think and behave than we would acknowledge.


At the moment we don’t know how to explain fully why we react to spaces the way we do but in time the study of neuro architecture and neuroscience should help us to develop a better understanding. The important thing right now is that we already know that the homes we live in shape our thoughts and moods, we just don’t really understand why.


WILL A WRAPAROUND EXTENSION ADD VALUE TO MY HOME?


Almost any type of house extension will add value to your property but the single most important factor that will determine how much value gets added to your home is the postcode.


If you lived in Northern Ireland for example, adding a wraparound house extension will most certainly improve your lifestyle but not your bank balance. The reason behind this is property prices as Northern Ireland has the lowest growth in property price rises in the UK over the past decade.


By contrast, if you add a wraparound extension to a house in a London superb it is highly likely that you will add more value to your home than the cost of the extension. In other words, a great investment as you not only get to enjoy all the lifestyle benefits but reap a financial reward in the process.


Probably one of the easiest ways to determine just how much value a wraparound extension will add to your home is to talk to a few local estate agents and get their opinion as to the price impact a wraparound will have on your property.

You should also keep in mind that homes are primarily homes and if you have no intention of selling yours anytime soon then any kind of house extension is likely to be a great long-term investment.


WHICH HOMES ARE MOST SUITABLE FOR A WRAPAROUND EXTENSION?


The Victorian terraced is easily the most popular type of property suitable for a wraparound extension. An infill extension to the back-addition side-return and a further extension of the back addition will create a large living space and provide various layout options.


What is also nice is that if you look at wraparound extension photos online you will see that they all look a little different so there is ample opportunity to customise your own wraparound. Just look more closely at the elements of a wraparound such as roof style, brickwork, double glazing, roof lanterns, décor, floor surfaces, walls, patio, garden, and you will see that just by tweaking a bit you can end up with your own unique wraparound extension.



Wraparound extensions can also be used on modern homes. Probably the most popular design is the side extension that wraps around the front of the house to create a porch and to extend a front lounge. You can also do side extensions that wraps around the rear of the property to enlarge a kitchen or living space.


The options for adding a wraparound extension to your home are numerous; you are only limited by your imagination.


I WANT A WRAPAROUND EXTENSION – WHERE DO I START?


Good design is the key to a successful wraparound extension, and it is essential that you find yourself a gifted designer to bring life to your ideas and aspirations for extending your home.


Draw Plans would be a great place to start your project as we are passionate about creating homes that provide positive lifestyle benefits as well as adding value and living space at an affordable price.


Prices Start from £795 Plus Vat for Single Storey House Extension Plans


WHAT ABOUT PLANNING – IS IT EASY TO GET PLANNING PERMISSION FOR A WRAPAROUND EXTENSION?


Getting planning for a wraparound extension isn’t rocket science as long as you are reasonable with your requirements. For properties that have been extended previously it may be a little more difficult but, in most cases, it is straightforward providing you keep in mind the basic rules that apply to single storey extensions.


If you live in a conservation area or an area subject to article 4 restrictions then you have to tread more carefully as there are more hurdles to jump and in particular you have to be careful on how you alter any elevations that can be viewed from a public highway.


Overall, getting planning permission for a wraparound extension is easy enough as long as you are not overly ambitious in your proposals.


At Draw Plans we always look to submit the application on behalf of the client. We also monitor the application and get in touch with the planning officer so that we know exactly what is going on. Sometimes we have to tweak the drawing a bit one way or another to ensure we have the right outcome.


MY WRAPAROUND EXTENSION PLANS JUST GOT APPROVED – NOW WHAT?


It is always enjoyable telling our clients that they have planning approval for their project. We know they are going to get it because we monitor all our applications but it still nice to get the official go ahead.


Once you have planning approval, we enter the build phase but before we can start any work, we have to create the building regulations drawings for the project. These are detailed plans that we give to building control and the builder which show the details of how we are going to build.


In most cases we actually do the building regs plans whilst waiting for planning approval and that way there are no delays when we get permission and want to start the build.


All plans for an extension have to be approved by building control to ensure that what we are about to build conforms to the building regulations.

If there are structural alterations required as part of the build it will be necessary to have a structural design plan and calculations done by an engineer which are also given to building control.


Draw Plans will be happy to quote for structural engineering calcs for any build project.

In most cases you will also need a party wall agreement with your neighbours before you can start work. You should consult with your designer to have the paperwork done or instruct a local surveyor.


If you give Draw Plans a call, we will be happy to quote for setting up your PWA’s.


SHOULD I APPOINT A PROJECT MANAGER?


It’s a good question because many of our clients are terrified at having to deal with the builders and associated trades. At Draw Plans we provide partial or full project management services for our clients. A full project management services means you don’t have to talk to anyone other than your designer who will deal with the entire project from concept through to a completed build.


Partial project management means that your designer will work with you throughout the build, do a bit of hand holding, offer advice and solutions to problems and will routinely survey the works to ensure that everything goes to plan.

When it comes to fees it is usually done as a percentage of the build cost or at an hourly rate to be agreed.


Draw Plans will be happy to quote you to project manage your build even if we didn’t do the drawings for the project.


FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE COST OF A WRAPAROUND EXTENSION


Almost all wraparound extensions require considerably more structural alterations than a standard kitchen extension. In order to integrate the extension with the house it will be necessary to remove load bearing walls and install steel beams. This is the kind of work that has a big impact on costs so whilst we try to keep it to a minimum with good design to get the open plan effect it will always be necessary to remove walls.


Adding a wraparound to a Victorian side-return terrace also works out more expensive because everything has to go through the house. Every bit of excavated earth has to be bagged up and carried through to a skip. The same applies to the materials which have to be carefully carried through to the rear.



One of the biggest headaches can be the long steel sections which occasionally means chopping holes in internal walls just to get the steel into the back garden.


Space is also a premium on the Victorian terrace which means builders waste has to be removed daily as there is usually no place to store. Front gardens also tend to be tiny which means you are probably going to have a skip outside your home for the duration of the build.


If the property is in a controlled parking area you will need to have a few parking bays suspended for up to two months for your skip license. Depending on the London borough you are in you can pay £500/£3000 for your skip permits.


Parking for the various trades can also be a headache with some London boroughs charging upwards of £25 per day to park a vehicle. Just to park one van for an 8-week job will cost around £1000.


Other facilities required by the builders that are becoming standard are Portaloo and Tool Storage Bins. Both of those are usually hired for the duration of the job and you can expect to spend £500 to £700 for these essentials if the facilities are not on site.


When it comes to getting the job done one of the biggest headaches for any tradesperson is the parking. If the project is in a controlled parking zone, then the builder will have to factor in for at least a couple of tickets a week per vehicle. Same applies to every other trade because in most London boroughs the system is designed to fail the motorist to generate revenue for the local council.


Why else would you have zones where you can’t park for 2 hours during the middle of the day with local paid parking zones that only allow you to park for 1 hour. This means that a tradesperson working on your house will have to move his or her vehicle 3 times a day to try to avoid a ticket. You try and do that whilst you’re in the middle of building a wall or plastering a ceiling and you can why the local council make loads of money from the way the operate their parking schemes.


By comparison, most modern homes do not have controlled parking so again you are saving a few thousand and a huge load of inconvenience for the trades people who will be working on your property.



Also, the same work on a modern semi-detached home with a side garage or side access is far easier because excavations can usually be dug out with a digger and if the garden is big enough you can have off road skips making it far easier to get rid of waste.


Modern homes also tend to have larger gardens which means more storage area for building materials and it will certainly be easier to get the long sections of steel into the rear of the property.


And before I forget, what happens if you live in a congestion zone where just to enter the zone you need to pay £15 a day. That’s another £75 per week cost per tradesman working on your property before they even get their tools out.


So, by now you should be starting to get the idea as to why wraparound extension costs will vary by as much as 10% to 20% depending on the style and location of the property.


WHY USE DRAW PLANS TO DESIGN YOUR WRAPAROUND EXTENSION?


Occasionally I take a look around online to see what other designers are charging for extension plans or what weird schemes are available to save you money. Probably the worst scheme I’ve seen is where you measure up the property yourself and take loads of photos and give them to the designer who will then proceed to knock out your plans for around £700 / £800.


Maybe I’m getting old or I’ve been working with homeowners for too long because I can’t imagine what it must be like to prepare extension plans for any residential project where I haven’t met the homeowners. What about the all-important onsite consultation where the designer and client spend an hour or two going through the various options relating to layout, style, budget and aspirations for their home?


How am I supposed to advise clients what will work best for their home if I don’t know the client or what makes them tick?

Each time I do a site consultation I don’t just discover more about the property; I discover more about my clients and that is of huge importance if I am to gently steer them towards the best outcome based on their preferences and budget.


When it comes to changing layouts or adding value to a property you really need to do more than draw lines on a screen to feel the vibe. Which part of the house get the sunlight in the morning or which parts of the house are too dark you can only discover by walking around a property and getting a feel for what is required or for what will work best.


At Draw Plans, we are advocates of Neuro Architecture which effectively means that we try to create homes that will have a positive impact on your life, that will shape your thoughts and improve you’re wellbeing. We can only achieve this by getting to know our clients and the properties we help to develop.


When it comes to choosing your designer, would you really go for the cheapest designer that doesn’t come to your home just to save a few hundred on your plans? If you do you may well be saving £100/£200 on the plans but what about adding value to your home?


Would you really risk saving a few bob on the plans and possibly losing the opportunity to add £10k/£20k/£50k in value added to your home by a designer that wants to visit, to get to know you and your home better to that he or she can provide you with the best possible advice?


Draw Plans – Prices start at £795 Plus Vat for a Single Storey House Extension. Get in touch today for an informal chat on 0800 677 1673.



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