March 10, 2022

Article

There are many reasons why you may consider extending your existing care home. Additional communal space, bedrooms which are better designed to meet the expectations of residents and families, or simply the desire to generate more income are all cited as the driving forces behind expansion plans.

But what are the key things you should consider when planning an extension?

Funding

Extending an existing facility often requires significant investment and therefore, commercial backing. Securing appropriate funding for architects’ fees, planning permission, builders, and many other expenses will be a key part of the successful expansion of services. You should strike a balance between the need for borrowing and the income likely to be generated from providing care services.

What is realistic?

Be clear about your main goal (or goals) for the extension project. Are you aiming to increase communal space or beds? This will affect how the project can be funded and what the likely return will be.

Also consider the type of building you currently have, as this will affect your planning application. If it is listed or has any kind of restrictions, then the planning process may be more complex. Also consider your current outside space, as this is likely to be reduced.

Timescales are also important, as you will need to build this into your costs and make a plan for liaising with residents, families, staff and neighbours as the work commences.

The existing residents

However considerate your contractors are, and however much you keep your existing residents and their families informed, there is bound to be disruption to their lives.

There are however ways to make the experience a positive one:

  • Involving residents in choices relating to the project, for example, the décor.
  • Encouraging the residents and contractors to interact with each other. The process means that there will be new faces to greet every day and new things to see, which can be of great interest!
  • If any of your residents have worked in the building or associated trades, use it as a reminiscence topic.

The neighbours

Keeping the owners of any neighbouring properties happy is vitally important. This means considering how it will affect them and ensuring (as much as you can) that deliveries come at agreed times; that they are forewarned of any periods of increased noise/dust; and that workmen park considerately in the area. Ensure that each affected neighbour has a list of telephone numbers for individuals such as the site manager and home manager, which they can telephone if required.

FINALLY...

Don’t forget to have a big party to open the new facility, and invite everyone along. It is a great way to thank them for their patience, and is also excellent PR.

If you wish to discuss funding an extension of your care home, telephone Neil Hutchings, Corporate Finance Director, on 01823 250793 or email neil.hutchings@albertgoodman.co.uk.

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