DIY House Extension-Planning Ahead

Before you start any physical work on your house extension it is essential that you meticulously plan every detail first. so that there are no surprises further down the line. With regard to the foundations you need to know the amount of concrete you will require and the cost. Also you have to decide if you should hire some skips or use a grab wagon which may work out cheaper. Phoning around Builders Merchants for quotations for materials can prove very worthwhile especially if you are prepared to haggle hard. Builders Merchants will want your business and will be prepared to negotiate. Ebay can often be a great place to find great bargains for such items as bricks,blocks and even second hand Patio Doors which somebody has decided they no longer want. It is these areas that great savings can be made so pre-planning is vital. To get your family fully on board so that they do not continually moan every time you ask them to do some labouring it is usually a good idea to dangle some motivation in front of them in the form of a once in a lifetime family holiday to some exotic location, which you will easily be able to afford from the savings you make on your DIY Extension. (I believe the Seychelles are nice this time of the year! (or any time of the year for that matter…).To project manage a simple extension is not particularly daunting and may serve as a good learning experience before tackling something a much more ambitious Grand Designs project further down the line. They say the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time and so it is with any building project.The extension can be divided into bite sized chunks as follows.1.Dig out the foundations and put spoil in skips or to one side for a grab wagon. 2.Fill in the foundations with concrete.3.Do any necessary drainage that may need doing including manholes that may need raising.4.Bring brickwork up to DPC level in semi-engineering bricks.5.Fix furfixings onto wall so that extension can be attached to main building.7.Build up side walls of extension in brick and block cavity construction with insulation inserted into the cavity and both skins tied with wall ties 7.Insert windows and patio door as required with lintels overhead. 8.Insert any steels necessary between main building and new extension.9.Put on wall plates,joists,firring pieces,plywood,facia,soffit,roof insulation and felt or asphalt for roof.10.Guttering 11.Extension floor either solid or wooden 12.Electric Lights and power sockets.13.Plasterboarding and skimming ceiling and plastering internal extension walls. As the old saying goes “Fail to prepare and you should prepare to fail” Now would be a good time to call into the travel agent and get as many travel brochures as possible and leave them lying around so that they are a constant reminder of the pleasure that awaits you as a result of the money you will save once the extension is complete.


Welcome to the The London Builder website. We are a North London construction company called POL Builders who have been in business for many years servicing the needs of the North London community. Our services include bricklaying,pointing,plastering,brick and block paving, tiling Fencing and much more. We have many satisfied customers all over London and take great pride in our service and people find our prices are very competitive.I will be contributing to this blog from time to time and maybe adding some videos wherever relevant

DIY House Extension

The London Builder

The London Builder

These days the cost of moving house can be very expensive and the very thought of all the upheaval involved can drive the average sane person to distraction, especially when you only want some extra space because the family is getting larger.You might get on very well with your current neighbours and you have no idea what you may be letting yourself in for if you decide to up sticks and move house.You may have often thought about putting up an extension at the back but the thought of ending up with the proverbial ‘builder from hell’ put you off the idea completely. This does not have to be the case as the solution to your dilemma could be staring you in the face…And that solution is….DIY HOUSE EXTENSION.It is the sensible solution if you just want a simple extension that affords the family that extra bit of space that can make all the difference. A lot of people go down this route and are pleasantly surprised by the savings that can be made.The average cost of a single story extension these days is between £20-£25,000 so the possibility of making huge savings by doing it yourself is very real indeed. All you need is bags of enthusiasm a strong arm and a plan (which incidentally comes courtesy of your friendly Architect).It is important to not only motivate yourself but also your whole family and that can be accomplished quite easily by telling them that once the extension is finished you will take them on the holiday of a lifetime from the money you saved by doing it yourself.

How to Choose a Good Builder

How to Choose a Good Builder

“Rogue builders” although in the minority definitely give the construction industry a bad name and hardly a week goes by without there being yet another TV program about the so called “Builders from Hell”. With the help of hidden cameras these “Rogue Builders” are exposed in front of millions of viewers when they blatantly try to cheat customers out of their hard earned cash.

So how can you protect yourself from these unsavory characters who unscrupulously rip off unsuspecting members of the public? The following are some helpful suggestions to consider before hiring a builder.

1. Always ask for references and details of previous jobs. Go to see these jobs wherever possible. A good builder will be only too pleased to show you evidence of his expertise.
2. Be wary if they offer ‘cheap deals’ for “cash-in hand” jobs or suggest you can avoid paying VAT for cash.
3. If they do not want to commit themselves to a written contract they should be avoided like the plague.
4. If they say they can start immediately be wary, as a good builder is usually busy.
5. If they give you a surprisingly low quote you should treat this with suspicion.
6. If they seem reluctant to look at plans or to discuss the details this should also set off alarm bells.
7. If they can only be reached by mobile phone and are reluctant to divulge where they live then this should be seen as a red flag.
8. If they try to baffle you with complicated explanations when asked seemingly simple questions they may be graduates of the “If you can’t convince em confuse em” school of builders and you know that it may not be in your best interests to employ them.
9. If they say they are a member of a trade association, make sure to check it out as anybody can say they are a member when in fact they are not.
10. Get at least three written quotations from various builders and be very specific about what you want done. Leave very little room for misunderstanding and this will pay dividends further down the line.
11. Now is the time to clarify everything and make sure that no grey areas exist especially regarding payments and when they should be made.
12. If any problems arise during the building work sort it out with your builder straight away and make sure he fully understands your instructions.

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