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Planning A House Extension

21st February 2022

Planning a house extension to your property is a great move in the current environment. It is one of the most effective home improvements homeowners can make. Knowing where to start can often be difficult, however. That’s why we have put together this guide to help you on your way.

We’ve worked on a diverse range of projects over the years, and one takeaway is that, when planning a house extension, make sure you do your research. It’s amazing how many questions come up during our consultations.

Therefore, we are going to discuss some common questions that we get. 

Planning a House Extension

How many types of house extensions are there?

There are many different types of house extensions. This could be a basement extension, kitchen extension or even a new bathroom extension. They come in all shapes and sizes from a single storey to two storeys high and can be built using simple materials to more heavy-duty materials like bricks and structural glass. Check out some of our case studies by clicking the link here for some inspiration.

What are Building Regulations?

These are a set of statutory guidelines and minimum standards that are enforced by your local planning authorities. These regulations apply to any new builds that include house extensions. They take into account that the building work fits in with health and safety factors. However, be advised that it is a long and technical document, so we would advise that you refer any ideas regarding your plans to your architect or building contractor. 

Do I need Planning Permission?

Typically the answer will depend on location and the type/si of the extension, although there is leniency as long as you obey to certain criteria. This is because most properties gain from ‘permitted development rights(this has been in place since 1948), essentially allowing homeowners the right to extend their property without planning permission

If you’re still unsure of what to do, make sure you speak to your local planning authority, typically the Council. However, if your property is a listed building or the property is located in a conservation area, then yes you will need to qualify for planning permission, before undertaking any work. Remember it’s a criminal offence not to do this prior. 

Is there a limit on how high my ceiling can be?

Yes, to a certain extent, the extension cannot be higher than your own roof; however, there is no minimum requirement specified. With this being said, you need to be realistic, remember that you will be inhabiting the extension, and therefore it’s always nice to keep in mind that the normal ceiling height in the industry is about 2.4m.

Budgeting for an Extension Project

How expensive can my project be?

Unfortunately, this is a very broad question, and it really does depend on a lot of factors. But we can give you a rough estimate. This excludes professional fees for your builder/architect. But typically you’re looking at £2,000 per m2. We recommend that once you have decided on what extension you’d like built, consult your architect or builder, and get plans drawn up. Once your plans have been created, contact as many builders as possible to get a general idea of what the project could cost. 

Do extensions add value to your property?

The best way to assess if adding an extension will add value to your property is to speak to your local estate agent. Typically the answer is yes because you are adding more space to your property, which will result in added value. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re serious and are looking for a more detailed plan, the RIBA Plan of Work is a great place to start. It organises the process into eight stages and offers great insight into stage outcomes, core tasks and information exchanges required at each stage. We are RIBA chartered ourselves, and if you live in the south west, and are considering building an extension, why not contact us!

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