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GAFF Guide: Where To Start With An Extension Or Self Build – GAFF Interiors

GAFF Guide: Where To Start With An Extension Or Self Build

We’ve recruited the help of SelfBuild Ireland, self build experts, to give GAFF readers all of the info they need to know when it comes to starting out with your own home renovation, extension or self-build. Below are a the first initial steps and points you’ll need to consider, before you go losing yourself in a Pinterest haze of what you could do with your new space. This is the boring stuff, yes, but it’s very essential and practical. From understanding the self-building steps from start to finish to managing the budget, this is the stuff that deserves every ounce of your attention so that you save money in the long term, manage your stress levels (because this kind of work is always stressful unless you’re a professional home renovation project manager) and so that you can then enjoy the fun bits like picking out your favourite tiles or flooring or furniture and accessories. Below are the basics and at each hyperlink you will be directed to more detailed info on each topic.


Know all the elements that will put you out of pocket, estimate how much it will cost and what your financing options are – the situation is different in NI and ROI.

Remember the need for insurance and warranties.

Grants and Tax Breaks are available but these are mostly for renovations, not new builds. New builds in NI are VAT exempt.


Finding a plot to build on could be your first hurdle; stamp duty is the tax paid on the land (ROI and NI).

In the case of an extension there are also pitfalls to consider.

Planning permission is required for all new builds and some extensions. The situation in NI and ROI is different.


Success will depend on how good your plan is. Choosing the right designer is the first step.

The design must be developed for the location – the views but also prevailing winds, shading from vegetation as well as sun paths.

Your choice of building method, alongside your energy efficiency strategy including heating, will impact on indoor air quality and running costs.


All self-builds and extensions must follow the rules laid out in the Building Regulations and within Health & Safety legislation. Building Control is different in NI and ROI.

The building stages are roughly the same for new builds and extensions but each project is unique.

For lots more brilliant and practical information, head to selfbuild.ie, for free tickets with GAFF to SelfBuild Live, click here.

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