Could my home extension be finished in time for Christmas 2022?

Could my home extension be finished in time for Christmas 2022


We have had a number of clients in Newcastle and the North East unsure about timescales for their build projects as contractors, designers and materials are becoming increasingly in demand. Let’s take a look at the situation in our area.

2021 has certainly been a strange time for wannabe home extenders. A number of factors have come together to form a bit of a perfect storm. In this blog post, I (Alistair Crerar, MD here at Acre Design) wanted to give my thoughts on the situation, having spoken to hundreds of  stakeholders in the industry in 2021 (and over the last 8 years of running Acre Design). Every day I speak to builders, agents, clients & planners about the residential extension sector, this small part of the construction industry that Acre Design works within, and loves with all its heart – if a small architectural practice can have a heart (I think it can). 

 Many people have been able to save money during the past two years where usual spending behaviours (holidays, going out…) have been restricted.  This, coupled with massive changes in working patterns (working from home becoming commonplace) led many to think about extending their home. At Acre Design, we saw an incredible demand peak early in the year. This made sense, a lot of people spent ALL of their time within the four walls of their home (the one exception was that one hour exercise window in lockdown one). Of course we started to look to see what we can do to improve our lives at home, or at the very least, adapt things to make things a little more comfortable and organised.  

With this extra cash in the bank and being locked away 23 hours of the day, a rise in house prices also really started kicking in at the start of the year as people sought greener pastures. Estate agents we spoke with told us that in North Tyneside and areas of Newcastle, houses have gone for £80k over the vendors’ asking prices! This isn’t on mansions either, these are pretty standard houses, which happen to be in truly lovely parts of our beautiful North East of England. House price inflation has certainly ramped up over the last 12 months, meaning that by re-mortgaging, more equity could be released should funding be needed for extending. And if credit isn’t required, it makes extending much more viable, as our future clients wouldn’t be breaking the ceiling price anymore.  

One other unquantifiable with limited data is the feeling that there is a bit of a migration North, possibly due to high prices down South, and the ability to work from home. It looks as though many people are cashing in their chips, selling their properties in London and the South and buying up large, period homes in the North East – Northumberland and North Tyneside in particular.  At Acre Design,  we have had half a dozen clients who have done that this year. Can we blame them? It’s a glorious place to live!

Things have died down a little since the end of the Summer, when the kids went back to school, and people tentatively started heading back to the office. However, in many cases, this return isn’t as permanent or full time as it once was, and with more time spent at home, the little bug bears about lack of space, storage, number of toilets, washing machine rumbles in zoom meeting backgrounds continues to grow and demand remains consistently high.  

We are now in October, and people are getting in touch, hoping to find a builder for a spring start. I am afraid that even in normal times that is just not realistic. We monitor closely each of our clients’ projects and the average design process takes eight weeks. There are big decisions to make, and clients need to make the right decisions as they will be the ones living with them when works are complete. With a hard working team and regular weekly meetings with clients, we can move quickly at each stage of the design process, but we will usually need to wait whilst clients mull over their options.  

For clients who go ahead today with Acre Design, we can forecast that in eight weeks  (December now… yikes!) there will be a detailed set of technical & construction drawings ready to go to a contractor with. These plans really are the minimum the contractor will need to be able to submit the quotes back to Acre Design or directly to the client dependant on the level of services a client has opted to use us for.  

Last week I spoke with Neil at Modern Living Projects  and also James Dickinson from JWD and they both agreed with me about the demand peaks at the moment, and that their order books will be full until September and late August respectively. That doesn’t leave much availability to get a build project complete in time to celebrate Christmas in 2022. 

These time frames are from two large, local contractors, but this is synonymous with what I’ve heard from others in the industry. There will be availability left for next Summer, but I think Spring is now out of the question. If you are thinking of extending and you’d like to try and find a gap in a diary for next year, the best bet is to start the design phase now, and be at peace with an early 2023 start on site, because if you can’t have Christmas in your extension, you certainly will be able to look forward to relaxing and enjoying your brand new extended dream home, whatever gets thrown at us over the coming years! 

As part of our mission to keep our customers updated with industry developments, we will continue to monitor the situation. For more information on extending your home or to find out how we can help design your next residential building development, get in touch with us at Acre Design on 0191 680 8088 or e-mail Our friendly, experienced staff are waiting to take your call.

We hope that you find this information helpful, at Acre Design Newcastle we are passionate about all things sustainable and innovative.
Take a look at our recent projects for further inspiration! Get in touch to arrange a free feasibility discussion with Alistair. 

Would recommend to anyone needing plans drawn. Alistair and his team have been very good throughout. Their experience and expertise meant that they managed to design exactly what we wanted, all within building regulations. We got a lawful planning certificate straight away. All plans were done very quickly, and all our questions or request were answered straight away. Will use them again if ever I need more plans drawn.

Michael Bouvier

Contact Acre Build

CAI Building, Royal Quays,
North Shields, NE29 6DE

T: 0191 6808 088