Changing circumstances can mean that our living requirements can shift, whether it’s due to an expanding family or otherwise. Sometimes, it’s not quite enough to just add an extra room to your home and you’re in need of a whole new floor. Although your first thought might be that you need a new house, sometimes parting with the place you call home is absolutely heart-breaking. Therefore, you may consider adding a new storey to your existing home.
There’s no denying that this is a large-scale operation, so for maximum security and optimal results, you will require a professional trained team on hand. Professionals that work with scaffolding require IPAF training, which equips them with the skills that they need to work at a height in a safe capacity. Therefore, if you lack training such as this, you should always refrain from working at a height as this could result in serious injury and lead to a poor-quality project.
Evaluating the Foundations
Not all structures will be suited to adding another storey, which is why you must evaluate the floor plans ahead or commencing your project. If you can get your hands on the floor plans for your home, you’ll be able to learn what type of foundations are in place. This information includes their depth and whether certain internal walls have foundations. On top of this, you’ll be able to find out more about your drainage system. This information will provide your design team with the means of crafting a plan.
Not everyone can simply attain their floor plans, in this case you would search for your local building records. However, if you’re unsuccessful in doing so, you’ll need to get in touch with a structural engineer to assess your ground conditions for you. In order to do so, they may need to dig some holes to determine the type and depth of the foundations that you have in place.
On top of digging holes, the engineer may need to take a soil sample to send for testing. Otherwise, a geotechnical consultant might need to liaise with your structural engineer. Ultimately, there are many methods of attaining the information that you need, but the results will effectively determine the remainder of your project.
Selecting a Frame
A timber frame is the best solution in terms of adding an extension to your home since it’s need for blockwork is minimal. Therefore, you won’t be required to reinforce your existing foundations due to the lightweight properties of timber frames. Underpinning and strengthening foundations is a lengthy and costly procedure, so it’s wise to steer away from this if doable. On average, a timber-framed upwards extension will cost around £1,800/m2.
Before going ahead with a timber-framed solution, you’ll need to get your planning status approved. Typically, a prefabricated timber frame is more efficient than a stick-built alternative. You should get going with your construction as quickly as you can and select one contractor so that your project is at the forefront of their mind.
Other Things to Contemplate
In order to avoid the disturbance of creatures in your roof, a bat survey should be executed.
Within the builders’ contract, you should name your timber frame supplier so that you’re able to manage your expenses. This also alleviates some of the responsibility from you as your builder will be liable for some of the paperwork.
Your scaffolding company will need to be regularly notified about the status of your project to maintain safety measures.
Furthermore, you might sell materials from your existing structure to assist you financially.
Lastly, you should consider an “easi-joist” system as these are simpler than standard joists.