Home extensions in, new builds decline

More people are opting to extend their home than to build a new one, according to the latest CSO figures for 2011. Self-build expert Damien McKay says planning application statistics for the first quarter show that over 1,630 people have been granted permission for an extension, compared to less than 1,280 permissions for a new home. For many years, new home applications have numbered more than extension applications. Perceived costs – particularly in these straitened times – of building or extending a home can be very off-putting, but if handled the right way, they can be done within a tight budget.

Damien is holding a 2-day workshop on extending or building your own home at the Stillorgan Park Hotel in Dublin on 14th and 15th October – details from www.dmk.ie. He has also launched a mentoring programme which includes 9 hours of face-to face meetings, 18 further hours of consultation, and free access to resources, such as his guide to an energy efficient home, creating your own building contract, formal agreement for appointment of your Architect, project planner, budget planner etc.

“The idea behind the workshop and the mentoring programme is to provide independent assistance and support to guide you through the various stages of your self-build project,” says Damien McKay. This support can save you thousands of euros, by ensuring everything is kept to schedule and to budget – and it also takes the stress out of the whole process.”