Adding an extension to your home can be quite a stressful experience. Here are two ways to keep your stress levels to a minimum during this challenging process.
Forewarn your neighbours
The process of building an extension usually generates a huge amount of noise and dust. Unfortunately, unlike a standard renovation, which is carried out primarily indoors, the construction of an extension involves a lot of outdoor work. This means that it will be more likely to affect your neighbours and potentially make it harder for them to make use of their own outdoor spaces.
As such, it is crucial to inform your neighbours about your building plans a few weeks before the project is due to begin. If you don't do this, they will almost certainly end up resenting you, and you could find yourself involved in a lengthy and extremely stressful dispute if they decide to file a noise complaint against you.
During your conversation with them, make sure to explain how long the work will go on for and offer them your contact details so that they can get in touch with you if the noise and general chaos becomes too much for them to cope with.
When discussing the project schedule with your contractor, try to take your neighbours' daily routine into account. If for example, they finish their work day at 4 pm, it might be a good idea to ensure that the noisiest construction tasks are completed by this time. Additionally, consider bringing them a gift of some kind at the beginning of the project to thank them in advance for their patience; a bottle of wine or some flowers could make all the difference to their attitude to the disruptions caused by your project.
Take steps to avoid cost overruns
Cost overruns will, without question, cause your stress levels to rise, particularly if your contingency fund for the extension is rather small and you cannot, therefore, afford to cover all of the additional, unexpected costs.
One of the main reasons that people go over-budget when building home extensions is because their initial plans are not accurate enough. This can lead to them wasting money on construction materials they do not need or failing to anticipate problems that might complicate (and increase the cost of) certain tasks, such as extending their home's existing plumbing or electrical systems into the new structure.
As such, it's worth spending a little extra time drawing up the plans and taking the necessary measurements before you begin the project. If you have any concerns about a specific problem that could potentially arise during the building process, make sure to discuss it with your contractor long before they start their work.
Changing your mind midway through the project could also drastically increase the cost of the project. Deciding, for example, to use different floor tiles after the original ones you chose have already been delivered and partially laid will lead to a spike in both material and labour costs. Given this, you can keep your costs (and stress levels) to a minimum simply by not allowing yourself to make any major, unnecessary changes to your plans after the project is already underway.