Expanding your at home: 5 mistakes to avoid

Your family is growing or your project for your home has evolved and you plan to push the walls? Mean by that, make an extension of your home. In order for your project to materialize smoothly and before starting the work, we offer you this non-exhaustive list of errors to avoid. Let’s take a look.

1 – Not finding out about administrative procedures

All municipalities in France are governed by town planning rules, presented in the Local Town Planning Plan (PLU). This PLU, available at the town hall, makes it possible to supervise construction and/or renovation projects in the municipality. Its role is to respect the environment and organize the development of constructions. It also allows a certain harmony of the buildings according to the sectors and the respect of the present architecture. Thus, when you want to build or renovate your home, you must go to your town hall to consult the PLU and know your obligations.

As part of a house extension, the following administrative procedures should be carried out:

  • expansion from 5 to 40 m²: a prior declaration of work is sufficient;
  • enlargement greater than 40 m²: application for building permit required.

Once the work is completed, a declaration of completion of work must be completed. It should be noted that, if your total living area reaches or exceeds 150 m², the intervention of an architect is mandatory. Failure to follow these steps can cost you dearly.

2 – Underestimating or minimizing the budget / Forgetting certain essential expenses

Carrying out work to save space has a certain cost and it is quite substantial. Depending on the desired expansion, the budget will not be the same and wanting to save on certain items is a mistake. This is why, before preparing your project, take stock of the nature of your work: extension of the house, development of the attic, elevation of your house, etc. This will allow you to have quotes made by professionals and will give you a precise idea of ​​the budget to be expected.

You can hire an architect. The latter, in addition to helping you see more clearly about the extension you need, will take care of recruiting companies likely to work on your site. This way, there are no bad surprises or major oversights.

3 – Choosing unsuitable materials

Sometimes, in order to save money, the temptation to take basic equipment, first price, is felt. Bad choice of materials for the thermal and sound insulation of the extension for example, poor quality of floor covering, all this will have an impact over time and will cost more, in the end, when it has to be changed.

Be sure to take healthy, ecological, quality materials and above all, that your extension corresponds to the Environmental Regulations 2020 (RE 2020 replacing RT 2012), which will come into force from January 1, 2021, or even summer 2021 in due to the health crisis. A professional will be able to guide you as to the measures to follow.

4 – Choosing the wrong professionals

There’s nothing worse for your home extension project than coming across professionals who aren’t really professional. A real fiasco! This is why it is essential to surround yourself with competent, reputable professionals who, above all, are in good standing with their insurance.

If you plan to call on an architect, he will take care of recruiting partner companies that are part of his network and whose expertise he knows.

If you decide to carry out the process yourself to contact entrepreneurs, use word of mouth, ask your neighbors, your friends, the local merchant. Once the professional has been selected, do not hesitate to ask him to show you projects he has already carried out. This will give you a good idea of ​​the quality of his work.

5 – Not insuring your work (Spinetta damages-work and ten-year law)

To protect yourself from poor workmanship during the expansion of your home, you must take out damage-work insurance.

Article L. 242-1 of the Insurance Code specifies that any natural or legal person, who has construction work carried out, must take out damages insurance before the start of the construction site.

The Spinetta law, also called construction insurance, imposes an insurance system during construction for each of the parties involved. Thereby,

  • the project manager, the house builder or the architect must take out a ten-year guarantee;
  • the client, i.e. the owner, the property developer, etc. must take out property damage insurance.

Property damage insurance covers you for poor workmanship, hidden defects and other construction defects. For example, cracks on the walls, failure of the frame that would call into question the solidity of the construction, problems with insulation, roofing, etc.

As you will have understood, the extension of your house requires great vigilance in order to avoid a lot of hassle.

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