Frequently asked questions:

 

DESIGN

 

Can we have a two-storey extension?

Currently we only construct single storey extensions – although this may change in the future.

 

Can I build an Ark Rooms extension myself?

We use our own specialist trained installers which enables us to guarantee our work, and we do not supply ‘self-build’ kits.

 

Can an extension be a free standing garden room?

YES, absolutely – please get in touch and we can discuss your requirements and provide you with a quote. Our garden rooms are built to the same specification and energy performance levels as our house extensions.

 

Will the floor level of my extension match the floor level of my house?

YES, we will always try and match the floor levels.  If for some reason this is not possible we will carefully integrate a step into the design.

 

How will my extension be ventilated?

The windows have trickle vents which will provide the necessary background ventilation, required by the building regulations.

 

How will my extension be heated?

Our industry leading system of building is very energy efficient and requires very little heating. However, a small electric heater can be installed to provide a heating boost if required during the colder winter months.

Electric underfloor heating can also be installed in certain circumstances (usually if the floor is going to be tiled)

 

Can my extension have a pitched roof?

Currently we do not design extensions with pitched roofs.

 

What about the quality of the flat roof?

Ark Rooms specify a very high quality flat roof system known as ‘single ply membrane’, which uses an attractive synthetic EPDM rubber membrane (ethylene propylene diene monomer).  The roof covering is guaranteed against weathering for at least 20 years and can either have the visual appearance of an overhanging roof, or a parapet roof.

 

What type of foundation is used on the Ark Rooms extension?

Depending on your ground conditions ARK rooms engineers often use ‘ground screws’, which have been tried and tested for many years throughout Europe.  A single ground screw provides the same restraint achieved by up to one cubic metre of concrete.  The size and type of ground screw used on your extension will be specified by a qualified structural engineer and will exceed Building Control requirements.  This technology drastically reduces the amount of digging, removal of ground spoil and pouring of concrete required for an Ark extension.  This helps us be greener, more time efficient and less expensive than a traditional builder.

 

Can you match the guttering and rainwater goods to those of my house?

The Ark Rooms extension comes as standard with uPVC or aluminium rainwater goods either in white, black or anthracite grey.  However, an upgrade is possible for aluminium goods to match any RAL colour.

 

Can my Ark Room extension have aluminium or composite windows and doors?

Our current prices are for either white or anthracite grey UPVC windows. However, the extensions can be upgraded to have aluminium and composite windows and doors.  Let us know and we will provide you with a quotation.

 

Can my Ark Room extension have bi-fold doors?

Yes, although the standard estimate allows for a fixed window which is 1.8m wide and 2.2m high with a vertical central bar and a 0.9m wide glazed door. This very effectively recreates the look of a set of bi-fold doors.  If you would like we can upgrade your glazing package to include aluminium glazing including bi-fold doors.

 

Will you help us with the opening up works to the existing house?

ARK Rooms provide a great value ‘One Stop Service’ for everything relating to the construction of your new extension.

However, we do not undertake works which involve structural changes to the existing house, for example knocking through existing walls and installing structural beams.

Often, clients continue to use an existing back door, or patio doors to access to their new extension – and if desired we can remove these doors altogether.  We can also adapt an existing window to provide access to the extension, as long is it doesn’t require widening and subsequently a new structural beam (lintel).

It is usual for ARK Rooms’ clients to engage a local builder/tradesmen to undertake any supplementary works, this might include the installation of a new kitchen or bathroom, some landscaping, or the removal/widening of any existing walls.

 

Can you install bathrooms and kitchens?

We currently do not provide kitchens or bathrooms as part of our package, but we are more than happy to supply drawings of our extensions to a kitchen or bathroom fitter to aid in the design of these facilities.

 

Can we match the brick and bond in our Ark Rooms extension to these of our house?

Our estimate price allows for a standard red brick slip, laid in a stretcher bond with a cement mortar (which you will find on most houses). If required, we also provide a brick slip matching service to source similar styles to the original house and can reproduce most bonds, and mortars.

 

Can I re-use my doors and windows in the new extension?

Unfortunately Building Control require evidence of the thermal performance of all the components in the extension. This rules out re-using doors and windows as they rarely have the original certificate illustrating their U-Values.  We wouldl also not be able to offer our ten year guarantee on the extension if components are re-used.

 

Do you decorate the extension?  Will it have a finished floor?

Yes – we are a ‘one stop shop’  we leave your extension fully finished. This includes decoration with a trade quality white emulsion paint and with a choice of our great wood effect vinyl floor coverings

 

THE PROCESS

 

I would like an extension, what should I do first?

Step 1: Research what your budget is. Our extensions range from approximately £15,000 to £50,000 plus VAT.

Step 2: Measure the area of where you would like your extension. (working in metres is best)

Step 3: Enter these measurements in our estimate builder and build the model to suit your budget.

Step 4: Once you are happy with the price get in touch for a consultation.

 

How much will my Ark Room extension cost?

With the help of our online estimate builder, you can develop a design to meet your budget.

 

Do I need planning permission?

You will need planning permission if you want to extend your property further than your permitted development rights or in conservation areas, or if your property is Listed. But don’t worry, we are on hand to advise and guide you through the process!

 

How long does the planning process take?

From submitting your planning application to the local authority it should take between eight to ten weeks to receive a decision. If you need to appeal or re-submit an application it is likely to take a further four months.

 

I don’t need planning permission, how quickly can you build my extension?

If your extension can be built without planning permission (for example under permitted development rights) we can build your extension after 10 weeks from instruction. (subject to scheduling availability, technical surveys and/or other consents not being required)

 

When can you start my Ark Rooms project?

Large extensions can usually be built between 10 weeks from the date planning permission is granted. Smaller projects can begin much sooner.

 

GENERAL

 

Where is the Ark Rooms extension available?

The extension, complies with the British Building standards and is currently only available in the UK.  Ark Rooms is based in Newbury, West Berkshire and we operate across the Thames Valley including in Berkshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire.

 

Will you provide references?

Of course, call us on 01635 229229 and we’ll introduce you to some past clients.

 

Do you have a shop or a showroom where we can see an Ark Room’s extension?

Like most building companies we do not have an official show room – Ark have a great local reputation and clients tend to find us by word of mouth and referral. Our sister company Ark Homes has been designing and constructing high quality homes and extensions for many years and you can find case studies and photos of current and past projects at www.arkathome.com.  The ‘Ark team’ take enormous pride in the quality of our work and are we’re more than happy to arrange an introduction to some past clients.

Please contact the office on 01635 229229 to arrange a site visit.

 

If we have trouble making choices will you help?

Yes of course! We are design and constructions experts and we’re more than happy to work with you to achieve the best design for your new extension. Decision making can sometimes feel overwhelming but we have a friendly team ready to support you.  We can give advice on a range of topics including electrical and lighting layouts, window and door positions, and flooring and exterior finishes.

 

If I have questions or concerns, who should I talk to?

Once you have asked Ark Rooms to build your new single storey extension you will be appointed and given the contact information (including the mobile phone number) of your Ark Rooms Project Manager.  You can call (or email if your prefer) your Project Manager with any questions at any stage of the design, application or construction process.

 

PLANNING AND BUILDING CONTROL

What are building regulations/controls?

Building regulation/controls specify how properties are to be constructed. For example, foundations must be secure; drainage must be built correctly; electrics must be fitted correctly; glass needs to be of the right specification and safe; properties must be built so that there is minimum impact on the building fabric if there is a fire etc. Building regulations are designed to protect the home owner, the public and increasingly the environment.  The amount of thermal insulation required by building control (to reduce heat loss through walls, floors and roofs) has increased significantly over the last few years.  Our advanced system of construction exceeds all the building control requirements for a new extension, and is also much kinder on the environment.

 

Is the building control approval part of the build package?

YES it is. The detailed design and the installation of your Ark Room’s extension will fully comply with all the current building regulations and will have been certified and approved by the private building inspector ‘OWL Building Control Solutions Ltd’ from which you will receive a certificate.

You will also receive a ‘Part P’ certificate from our electrician to demonstrate that the new electrical installation is fully compliant with building regulations.

For additional works (outside our package) which may include certain types of plumbing, additional electrics, installation of a wood burner and any other structural alterations to your existing house, you may need to notify and comply with the relevant building control.

 

Could an Ark Rooms extension be built under permitted development?

Yes, absolutely, as long as your extension will sit to the side or the rear of the house (not forward of the original house) and as long as your house is not listed or located in a Conservation Area, this is definitely a route to explore! Our extensions are single storey and can be designed  to comply with the permitted development constraints in terms of size and height.

A condition of ‘permitted development rights’ is that the materials of the extension (and therefore the external appearance) match those of the existing house. This is one of the reasons we offer different cladding options including render, brick slip, and horizontal or vertical timber cladding.

Below is a brief history of the guidance for permitted development of outbuildings. More information can be found on the governments Planning Portal: https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200187/your_responsibilities/37/planning_permission/2

 

 

 

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