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12 Top Tips For A Great Extension

Extensions are a lot of homeowners answer to creating their dream home. But how do you make sure you get the most out of your new space?

Here the Vario by VELUX team share their 12 top tips that you can use during planning, building, decorating and after you move in.

Planning

  1. Research your planning permissions: Thorough and diligent research of what planning has been granted for properties similar to yours in the local area is great for figuring out what you’re likely to get approved with the minimum of hassle. But more than that, you might happen upon an idea for your extension that’s actually an even smarter use of space than all that inspiration you’ve got piled up on Pinterest.
  2. Don’t just think about size: The overall floor area of your new space is important, of course it is. But how you feel about the end result depends on far more than this. The proportions of the space are just as important, as is the amount of natural light the space will enjoy. You can often feel far better about a smaller, better proportioned space drenched in natural light than a closed in larger one, particularly if it is long and narrow.
  3. Be clear in your vision: Often extension plans are very generally motivated by the need for more space, but the vision of what that space will look like isn’t clear. Pulling together lots of images to give you ideas is a great way to start to piece together what you want from your own extension and you might trip over ideas you’d never thought to include, like rooflights between floors for a more airy feel.
Roof windows add an airy feel to your extension

Building


  1. Have a schedule agreed: Get your schedule in writing and agreed with each one of your contractors. It doesn’t guarantee they’ll finish on time, but it will give you something to begin discussions from if things do start to slip and will give you a better understanding of what needs to happen when and which activities are contingent on others.
  2. Lean on all the experts: If you hit a snag, don’t forget you have a wider pool of knowledge to draw on that simply the people actually building and installing the different parts of your extension. Providing you’re using quality materials and fixtures, the manufacturers will have a huge depth of knowledge about their product and how it should be used to work best in your home.
  3. Keep communicating: Great communication is essential on any large home renovation project, extensions included. You need to keep lines of communication open and civil with your contractors, even if things aren’t going to plan. You really don’t want them to shut down and stop talking to you as you’ll lose the opportunity to get things back on track. And it’s not just your contractors you need to keep sweet. Clear and proactive communication with the neighbours is essential, particularly if your schedule slips so the noise and disruption will go on longer than planned.

Decorating


  1. Have a set colour palette: It can be tempting to snap up any gorgeous object that takes your fancy to decorate your new space, particularly if you were a bit pushed for space before. Lots of clutter in a myriad of colours won’t give you the clean, stylish feeling you’re looking for, however. Try picking just 3 colours as a base and using an accent colour or two sparingly for an effect that sits well together but doesn’t look too contrived.
  2. Shop ahead: You don’t have to wait for the build to be finished to start sourcing your interior decor, particularly if you have storage space available. Watch for when your favorite brands are releasing new collections or having sales, so you can be first on a new trend or snap up a bargain that’ll look perfect on your new extended home.
  3. Revisit your plans once it’s finished: Once you’ve got everything in, you’ll soon see if there are areas that look too empty or too crowded and you can tweak your original vision to achieve a better balance and ensure your dream room is just that.

Aftercare


  1. Don’t be afraid to change your mind: Extensions are a big commitment both emotionally and financially and so it can be hard to admit that maybe you didn’t get something quite right once the project is finished. There is no shame in changing your mind. So, what if you think the new guest room is actually nicer than yours and want to make it your own? Or you want an extra rooflight? It’s your house, you do as you please.
  2. Keep you guarantees safe: Have a file with all the correspondence and guarantees related to your build and keep it somewhere safe for at least two years but ideally for as long as the last of the guarantees runs. This means you can easily go back and check what assurances you were given by your contractors or whether certain elements are still within warranty in case something goes wrong.
  3. Have a weekly blitz: Finally, keep the space as gorgeous as it was when it was first built with a weekly blitz of cleaning and tidying. Extensions are often the best bits of our homes and so we naturally want to use the space more than anywhere else, meaning it will be prone to accumulating clutter and dirt. Staying on top of it each week will give you back that “brand new lovely space” feeling every time you do it.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the tips. Check out more inspiring articles at www.vario.velux.com/inspirationcorner.
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