Money: we’d all like more of it, but with wages relatively stagnant and the cost of living climbing ever higher, we’re left to make the most of what we’ve got. Whether it’s a trip to Aldi rather than ASDA or a quiet night in rather than a big one out, we’re all out to save a few quid where we can.

That’s led many of us to take up DIY around our home, tackling the jobs that until recently we might have left to a professional. The resurgence of DIY has meant more people than ever stocking up on high-quality DIY supplies from MAD4TOOLS, but there remain some jobs which simply can’t be tackled by the home enthusiast.

But is building your own extension one of them? After all, with an eye-watering average cost of £1,200 – £1,500 per m2 outside of London and an eye-watering £1,500 -£2,000 per m2 for homes within London, the idea of being able to do the work yourself is certainly tempting.

So, could you save money building your own extension? The answer is yes, but it’s not recommended that you attempt the job without some degree of professional help.


Building your Extension: What You Can Do

The first steps of any extension build you need to be on top of the planning aspects. If you require building and planning approval, you’ll have to seek that well ahead of time. You might also require special foundations which take into account the unique circumstances of your home or need to divert drains in order begin construction.

There are further considerations if you’re building close to a boundary wall or the work requires the use of a party wall, all of which need to be considered.

Many building companies will do this work on your behalf, but you can save a few quid doing it yourself.

Confident DIYers can dig their own foundations, mix and lay concrete and even lay foundation bricks and begin work on walls, building in space for windows and doors. Since your labour is free, the only costs are material based. However, you’ll have to ensure that any work you do is to the highest standard possible to avoid having professionals re-do it later.

Later in construction, you can lay decking, tack up plasterboard walls and cut joists if the build requires it. Finally, decoration can be handled entirely by a DIY enthusiast.


Building your Extension: What You Can’t Do

When building your extension there are some elements which must be left to trained and accredited professionals. Any wiring must be handled by experts and some plumbing requires a professional hand too, though plastic push-fit plumbing can be tackled by the DIY enthusiast.

It’s not recommended that you attempt work on lintels and cavity trays or attempt work on building and tiling the roof yourself. Installing windows can be done by the individual, however, for security and weatherproofing purposes, it’s recommended that professionals get involved.

Much of the work on an extension can be carried out by a skilled DIYer, but for all but the most competent, it’s not recommended that you attempt to tackle most of the work.

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