Is it better to do a home extension in the Summer?
Often the start time for an extension build is dictated by your builder’s availability. If they come highly recommended, chances are they’ll be fully booked well in advance and the best advice is to get them booked in as soon as you can. But if you are able to specify a date, is it better to wait until the summer to begin a home extension?
There are many benefits to building an extension in the summer. The number one reason is that you won’t ‘die’ of the cold. Many extensions go through the dreaded ‘knock-through’ when the exterior walls are removed, which leave a large part of your home open to the elements. In winter it can be brutal, especially if you are having a roof removed. A good builder will always be able to insure you are left with a safe and secure living area. Insulation boards, high quality tarpaulin and a good electric heater can all keep you snug and warm as you hanker down from winter’s fiercest. If the extension only affects one part of the house – then you can limit the disruption and keep warm in the other rooms. However, during any build there will be hours (some will argue days) when the builders will be moving boilers and gas and water piping and you will not have access to heating or hot water.
With a summer extension, your garden can come into its own as an extra room. You can enjoy the benefits of summer living with picnics, bbqs and alfresco dining. Inside the house there is less need for heating while outside there is less risk of delays due to inclement weather. Often, rainfall and freezing temperatures can prove tricky when building in the winter as certain jobs – such as laying brickwork, cementing and drying time for painting and plastering - are dependant on good weather conditions. But because the summer months are considered to be the easiest, finding a builder who can start then can prove harder to book in.
The ideal time for a build will depend on your circumstances or situation. We asked two neighbouring home owners who did similar kitchen extensions but one in winter and one in summer, what they thought:
Amanda: “Doing a build in the winter meant we just got into a hibernation mentality. We had a very snug temporary kitchen, and just let the builders get on with it. We didn’t have much access to the garden anyway because that’s where the builders were working, so it would have been worse in the summer to have lovely weather and not be able to use it. This way round meant the build was finished by Easter and we could enjoy the new extension immediately in the summer months.”
Catherine: “We began our build in March and the builders said they would be finished by the school summer holidays. But even with the best intentions, the extension wasn’t finished until October, so with hindsight, it was a lot harder entertaining three young kids in the holidays as access to the garden was limited. I did feel like we missed out on the best part of the year weather-wise and had to wait a whole year before we could really enjoy the new space. In summer, you do get more daylight and the builders can work longer days, but the sun really does show up all the dust and filth. When they did the ‘knock through’, we had to move out for a week, which was definitely a good idea, and then we all came back for the big ‘reveal’ moment. My only advice would be to take the first slot you can. My desire to get it done surpassed everything else.”