Expanding your house: 5 mistakes to avoid


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

1 – Do not inquire about the administrative procedures

All municipalities in France are governed by town planning rules, presented in the Local Urban Planning Plan (PLU). This PLU, available at the town hall, makes it possible to supervise construction and / or renovation projects in the town. Its role is to respect the environment and to 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. So, when you want to build or renovate your home, you must go to your town hall to consult the PLU and know your obligations.

In the context of a house extension, the following administrative procedures must be carried out:

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

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 compulsory. 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: enlarging the house, fitting out the attic, raising your house, etc. This will allow you to get quotes from professionals and 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 intervene on your site. This way, no unpleasant surprises or major omissions.

3 – Choose unsuitable materials

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

Be sure to take healthy, ecological, quality materials and above all, that your extension corresponds to the 2020 Environmental Regulations (RE 2020 replacing the RT 2012), which will come into force on 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 – Choose the wrong professionals

Nothing is worse for your home expansion project than running into professionals who are not really professional. A real fiasco! This is why it is essential to surround yourself with competent, reputable professionals and above all, in good standing with their insurance.

If you plan to hire 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 do 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 that he has already completed. This will give you a good idea of ​​the quality of his work.

5 – Do not insure your work (Spinetta damage-works and decennial law)

To protect yourself from poor workmanship during the expansion of your house, you must take out damage 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 damage insurance before the opening of the site.

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

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

Structural damage insurance covers you against poor workmanship, hidden defects and other construction defects. For example cracks on the walls, failure of the framework which would jeopardize the solidity of the construction, problems with insulation, roofing, etc.

As you can see, expanding your home requires great vigilance in order to avoid a lot of hassle.

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