Need some questions answered?
You’re not the first to ask.
How do I obtain a House Extension?
Please spend some time browsing our site to help create the image of your home extension in your mind. Then please contact Shomera via the enquiry form or number above and we will take you through the entire home extension process from initial design and concept to final completion.
Do I need planning permission for my house extension?
It depends on the type, style and size of the proposed house extension. Each homeowner is entitled to exempted development of 40sqm of extended living space connected to the existing house as long as it is to the rear of the building. There is a separate allowance under exempted development for studios of up to 25 m2.
What is a certificate of compliance and do I need one for my house extension?
Legislation requires that your house extension is built in compliance with the Building Regulation Act. If a dwelling or extension is in compliance, then a Certificate of Compliance may be issued by a qualified professional who has Professional Indemnity Insurance.
This certificate can only be issued by a qualified professional, usually an architect, engineer or chartered surveyor who, in most cases, carry out inspections of the construction drawings and of the building itself the certificate of compliance is issued.
A house extension done through Shomera is constructed to be in compliance of the current Building Regulations and automatically includes the Certificate of Compliance in the project price.
If I want to improve the thermal performance and insulation value of my house extension, what are the options?
As standard, all Shomera extensions are built with good thermal performance and airtightness ensuring a good insulation value (in excess of Building Regulations). As we construct all buildings in our own factory, we can offer a number of options to improve the insulation value of the floors, walls and roof of your house extension. We also offer options on triple glazing on windows, doors and roof-lights.
If I want to renovate some of the existing house as well as the new house extension, will Shomera do this?
Yes, we will undertake renovation work on the existing house to ensure a seamless integration of the existing living space with the new house extension.
How much disruption will the work on my house extension cause?
This depends on the scope of the house extension project and the renovation work being undertaken on the existing house. Because Shomera-Built involves a significant amount of the work being completed off-site in our factory, the time on-site is significantly reduced compared to more conservative building methods. A straight-forward single room extension will take 2-3 weeks with little noticeable disruption to your home life. Where major structural work is being undertaken and the kitchen is being re-located then the disruption can be significant.
If I am dealing with a reputable company are all house extensions pretty much the same?
No, just like in most products, e.g. cars and sound systems, there can be substantial differences in appearance, quality, materials, etc. At Shomera we use high quality materials, craftsmanship and a commitment to enhancing the visual appearance of our buildings. We are not the cheapest but believe we offer excellent value and efficiency.
What kind of house extension will add the most value to my home?
A house extension that is well-designed, integrates with the existing space and has a quality build. Good light and layout in the extension and existing space along with full certification and warranties from a reputable company ensure added value.
How long will my house extension project take?
A house extension will take from 2-3 weeks upwards depending on scope and complexity. Lead-in time has seasonal variations but is usually 6-8 weeks.
A lot of house extension projects seem to run over budget and schedule. How do I budget to ensure that my extension project doesn’t exceed the initial figure?
Budget and schedule are critical issues. In some quarters there has been a culture of trying to get more money off the client by saying some items are extras. Our pricing policy is to have an all-in price from the start. More than 95% of our projects come within budget. Some run over because of amendments and additions chosen by the client during the project and a very small percentage run into unforeseen items (usually to do with ground conditions or the condition of the existing house).
Comprehensive drawings and quotations reduce the risk of running over-budget. It is also important to exercise restraint on finishes when the budget is tight.
In deciding to do a house extension, what should we keep in mind if we sell the house in the future?
Once you have a Certificate of Compliance with Building Regulations and a good design then the extension will be viewed as being an intergral part of the house and will be a benefit in the sale of the house. The additional value the extension brings will be subject to a number of specific issues such as its use, size, and aesthetic to name a few.
How well are the garden rooms insulated?
Good thermal performance is achieved by having good insulation levels in the fabric of the building and good levels of air-tightness (how well all the elements are put together and sealed). The structure of our garden rooms is timber-framed with up to 8 layers in the make-up, each layer doing its own job. There is good insulation on all six sides (floor, roof and four walls) and very good air-tightness. Timber-frame allows tight connection and windows and doors are all foam sealed. Bottom-line, you will stay warm 365 days a year.
Do I need planning permission for my garden room?
In most cases, you will not need planning permission for your garden studio. Under exempted development, Class 3 you are permitted to put a garden room on your property under certain conditions. We will confirm that you meet these conditions when we visit your home.
Will my garden room require much maintenance?
Your garden room requires minimal maintenance and the main reason to maintain it is to ensure a beautiful appearance as the way we detail and the materials we use prevent the garden studios from functional deterioration. Over the past 17 years, we have used lots of different methods and materials and have learnt a lot about the materials and details that minimise maintenance while ensuring longevity. We can go through this with you in more detail.
Is the foundation included and what kind of foundation is it?
Yes, the foundation is included as part of the garden room. In fact, we insist on doing the foundation because if there is ever a problem with the foundation levels or later subsidence, then the garden room will start to exhibit problems. The foundation we use is poured concrete pads with steel beams. This is foundation we have used for 17 years and works extremely well as the steel beams protect the insulated timber floor cassettes from transmission of moisture to the building.
What’s the lifespan of a Garden Room?
The construction methodology used is the same as for building homes which has a design life of 60 years. Our garden rooms come with a structural warranty of 10 years and if the exterior is minimally maintained you will enjoy your Shomera for many decades to come.
Are the garden studios suitable for human habitation (can I live in them)?
From the point of view of structure, comfort and insulation, the answer is yes. However, from a planning point of view garden rooms can only be used for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the main house. If you look to have your studio used for the full extent of human habitation, the planning authorities in most cases will decline this usage.