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Top tips when building an extension for your office

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So, you’ve decided you need to expand your current business space – either by extending your current building or by constructing a new one.

The key questions you’re likely to face are what kind of structure do you need and what is the best way of getting it built efficiently and cost-effectively?

When you find yourself in that situation, here are some hints and tips to help you to arrive at the best solution for your particular business.

1. Decide what you want from your building at the outset

How is the facility to be used, and for how long? What does that mean in terms of space allocation? Heating? Lighting? Storage? The better your idea of how the space is going to be used, the better your chances of ending up with what you need within the agreed timeframe and budget.

A firm specification will also help you to decide exactly what kind of building you require. Nowadays, the choice isn’t simply between a temporary building and a permanent one –not when steel-clad temporary structures can last 50 years or more and are significantly cheaper to construct than their permanent brick counterparts.

2. Be aware of the pros and the cons of the building options open to you

A re-locatable temporary building can be an ideal “instant” fix, with flexible hire terms, no capital outlay, no ground preparation needed and the speed with which the building can be erected, dismantled or altered. 

The downside? They depreciate and deteriorate over time, with a maximum ten-year lifespan. They are not as secure as a steel-roof building; have low fire retardancy values thanks to the PVC and aluminium used in their construction; and can be costly to insure or can even be uninsurable as a result, depending on site specifics. They also have minimal insulation values and can be costly to heat. There’s also the risk of potential water ingress around the perimeter at the base.

Steel-clad temporary structures have a very low cost compared to conventional buildings, can be supplied in a variety of cladding colours and are as secure as any other conventional building. They are 100 per cent watertight, can have clear roof light panels installed to minimise the lighting requirement and can be specified to meet the latest Part L2 building regulations covering the conservation of fuel and power.

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