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 Home extension guide - how to build a house extension and refurbish your home


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How To build a Home Extension in 2021

LATEST NEWS:- Loft conversions are now in huge demand since the Covid lockdown with many more people working from home.  Installing a loft conversion in East London, Wimbledon, Fulham for example where many homes cannot be extended in any other direction, are great ideas for adding extra floor space...  read more....

Your guide to help you construct a residential house extension in the UK. From sun room extensions to attic and loft conversions. From house and loft extensions in London to house extension designs and plans. We have an opinion and comment on just about every aspect of how to architect your home for most types of residential extensions.

Building an extension to your home can be a complicated matter but when broken down into its constituent parts is a fairly logical process that simply requires a methodical approach with a good understanding.

Obtaining Planning Permission is often seen as the first step but this is not the case. Selecting your Building Designer, Architect or Technician to help you realise your ambitions or aspirations in the correct way is probably the most important first step there is.

Without good initial design advice you will probably embark on an ill thought out scheme where your initial thoughts remain unchallenged. Some people obtain their own property potential report from a consultant specialising in such matters.

Your house extension could be a loft conversion, a new conservatory, a two storey side extension, a single storey rear extension, a detached garage or swimming pool building or just internal alterations for remodeling the internal layout of your home.

House extension plansWhatever you are considering, the design principals are often the same. Good thought through design will lead to an easier route for the on site construction process. This web site will provide you with ideas, concepts, strategies and tactics that will help most homeowners realise their dreams.

This web site is still being enhanced and is continually updated with new content so please do bookmark this site and return often. We want you to enjoy and benefit from our 30 years experience so this web site is full of well written great content of relevant articles & guides specifically focussed on house extensions in the UK. You will not find any 'copy, cut and paste' content on this site unlike some of the other 'spammy' house extension web sites on the internet.

Please utilise our links on the right to navigate your way through the various stages of a home extension. We have had 30 years of building design experience for residential development that we would like to share with you so that you are better informed before engaging the professionals you need.

Extending your home can encompass the following areas:-

  A house extension or home extension usually requires planning approval or planning permission. Planning consent can sometimes be irrelevant if permitted development rights are used in England.

Town and country planning often dictates a framework of what type of house extension design is acceptable.

On October 1st 2008 the Permitted Development (PD) rights where amended or revised for greater flexibility when extending a home without formal planning permission.

Householder extensions are usually for loft conversions, two storey side rear or front extensions, dormer windows, garage conversions sheds, car ports and basements.

Permitted development rights or PD rules usually means 'what can I build without planning permission. This can also relate to garden buildings, swimming pool enclosures, garden rooms, home studios and granny annexes.

Whether you are exploiting your permitted development rights or applying for planning permission., most home extensions also require Building Regulations approval. Building design for true construction scheme can be very complicated but your home extension architect or designer is usually well experienced in providing you with the necessary plans and specifications for this purpose.

Building permission usually relates to Council planners, local authorities and your local authority Building Inspector although there are now private Building Inspectors that you can employ for the all important Building Regulations approval.

Planning appeals to the Planning Inspectorate can be a second level of approval method if your house extension scheme is refused planning approval. This used to be under the wing of the DOE. All appeals reconsider the planning application again at a higher level of authority. Planners will be required to support their decision to refuse.

Building permissions for a house extension require detailed building plans showing all the necessary construction details supported by a specification manual.

Where Planning is often refused for a house extension, there are normally site specific issues giving the council grounds for refusing a home extension. Issues such as green belt, flood plains, building within a conservation area or AONB, within the grounds of a listed building, works that affect a tree under a TPO or forming a new highway access.

New dwelling houses, bungalows, one for one redevelopment sites also require formal planning permission and fall outside of a householder planning application.

Many loft conversions, roof extensions and dormer windows can also be built without planning permission under permitted development of the Town & Country Planning Act.

Many home extensions will add additional bedroom space where off road car parking and other highway issues can be assessed.

Latest article - 8th December 2020

Top 10 tips for a more successful planning application for your house extension.

Before you make your planning application:-

1. Approach the Council first?: Depending on the size of the scheme it can be helpful to ask for pre-planning application advice from your council. There may be a charge for this service, but it can reduce costly delays later on. Planners can suggest any necessary changes before making a formal planning application. After this it becomes progressively more difficult to make changes.

2. Let immediate neighbours of the site know you are about to make a planning application: Neighbours often like to know what is going on and to fully understand the implications of a potential development on their doorstep - wouldn’t you like to know the same? You can explain the scheme to them and hopefully allay any potential fears.

3. Follow the Council’s individual planning application validation requirements: Each Council has their own list of requirements for planning applications and it is a simple checklist of information they need and providing this can reduce the chances of delay.

Building your case – written statement

4. Provide enough evidence to support your scheme: Anticipate any potential concerns from the beginning and provide evidence of how the scheme responds to, for example, highway safety issues or visual amenity issues etc.

5. Keep information to the minimum possible: No-one wants to read lots of standard information that could apply anywhere. There is too much of that already. Pick out detail that is most pertinent to your scheme. Make it relevant, focussed and brief and this will help promote your case.

6. Relate your scheme to local and national planning policies and guidance, where appropriate: Not necessary in absolute detail for smaller cases, but helpful to your case in indicating where it may be making a contribution towards implementing these objectives.

Building your case – visual assessment

7. Show the immediate surroundings beyond the boundaries of your site: Very often it is the impact on its surroundings that is the issue, so show this on your proposals rather than let someone else have to make a ‘guess’ on the impact.

8. Relate your development to other similar development in the area to help support your case.

9. The opposite side of the coin however is to take care not to make tenuous connections with other developments that are either too old – relating to superseded local planning policy, or are not directly comparable Development principles.

10. Look after valued features, such as an existing use valued by others, a locally important building, hedges and topography in your proposal: Make a proper assessment of the site and surroundings to ensure any positive features are retained wherever possible and where this cannot be achieved to consider a suitable replacement elsewhere. Bearing in mind that items such as historic fabric and ancient hedgerows cannot be replaced and removal will rarely be allowed by the local planning authority. Often thoughtful design and layout can ensure protection of these assets for future generations whilst adding more value to your development.

And a bonus top planning permission tip …

11. Take every opportunity to mitigate any potential harmful aspects of your proposal. Where possible use the opportunity to improve upon a current situation: It is the small things that can often make a difference, improving your chances of approval, can cost comparatively little and may save resources in the longer term.

NEWS:- The new 'Community Infrastructure Levy' (CIL) that will be coming your way soon even for some larger extensions and more....
























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