There are many benefits to building an extension; adding another room to your house not only gives you more space, but will add value to your property. Thanks to changes to planning rules, UK homeowners are now free to build larger extensions without the need for planning permission.
The changes allow additions to terraced houses of up to 6 metres in length, while extensions to detached houses can be up to 8 metres long.
If you’re planning to build an extension yourself, it’s essential you have the right tools to tackle the job. Here are the most useful tools for building an extension:
1. Hammer and chisel
Adding an extension to a building usually means knocking a hole through an existing wall to create an access point. This should be done with the utmost care; make sure that the correct props are in place before removing anything that the building is relying on for support. Once you’ve added the props, you can use a hammer and chisel to break up the mortar between the bricks in the wall and create an opening.
While you may be tempted to speed up the process with a pneumatic drill or sledgehammer, the force this imparts on the wall could be catastrophic. A decent hammer and chisel will give you the control you need to make your opening without causing unnecessary damage to the surrounding structure.
Preparing the ground for your extension is hard work and involves plenty of digging, so hiring a mini-digger is a sound decision. You can rent a digger from a plant hire business and no special licence is required to operate one. Used alongside handheld digging implements such as pneumatic drills and pickaxes, a mini-digger is great for digging down through soil and clay to create foundations, as well as moving heavy building rubbish out of the way. Later you can use the bucket to tamp down the new floor surface once it has been laid.
3. Circular saw
A common issue that pops up during extensions is drains. If you’re extending into the back garden there is a good chance you’re going to encounter a drain, which could require rerouting pipes or relocating a manhole. Re-laying a drain system involves using a variety of different-sized pipes, and this means cutting sections down to size, which is where a good circular saw comes in handy.
Circular saws make light work of cutting through piping and produce a cleaner, more accurate cut than a hand saw. The size of the saw blade dictates how deep you can cut, so bear this in mind when choosing a saw. Also try to get one with a comfortable grip to reduce the amount of jarring felt during sawing.
4. Drill driver
The amount of drilling, screwing and unscrewing you’ll get through on a typical house extension makes buying a reliable drill driver a great investment. Go for a cordless drill with at least 12v of power and a hammer action; this will give you both the muscle and the manoeuvrability for any job.
5. Safety gear
Any one of the tools described above should be used with the correct safety gear. Building an extension is difficult enough with all your limbs functioning properly, so don’t make it any harder by injuring yourself on the job. Remember, every year 17% of DIYers suffer an injury!
Get a pair of safety goggles, some hardy work gloves, boots with steel toecaps, and a pair of ear defenders for those noisy jobs.
Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg. Building an extension is like building a mini house, requiring a wide range of tools for all the jobs entailed, but this list should cover you for the main ones.
For further advice on things to consider when building an extension, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. Our team of friendly experts is always happy to help.