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Moving home can be a huge hassle, you have to go through the painstaking process of selling your current home, spend time searching for the perfect new place and then after all that go through a stressful and time consuming moving process, and all in the search of a little more room to spread out. And with the housing market being so unpredictable over the last few years more and more homeowners are choosing to extend or upgrade their current premises rather than move. If you are considering an extension there is much to consider including making a decision on what kind of extension best suits your needs and property then ensuring your planned build adheres to strict planning laws in the UK, in this article we will give you an overview of what is available and what the regulations are for each.
Home extensions take many different forms and can be used for whatever you want, from a conservatory to a simple front porch, a loft conversion to a multi storey extension, the scope is huge so make sure you do your homework before making a choice.
Once you have made your decision, you need to get plans drawn up and decide whether you need to apply for planning permission, one of our approved traders can point help you along with this or just help by pointing you in the right direction. You donít need to worry about cowboy builders when using our service as all of our tradesmen have been vetted and pre approved by our trade experts.
Before we go onto to the different kinds of building extensions available we will have a look at planning permission laws and give you an idea of what can and what cannot be built without planning permission under current UK laws.
In 2008 planning regulations were changed to allow more home extension projects to go ahead without the need for all the red tape and free up council time. Though these new regulations do not mean you can just go ahead as you wish, you must follow the guidelines in place on size, position and design if you donít want to apply for planning permission or even worse be faced with the prospect of tearing your extension down if someone realises it does.
There are certain areas in the country which do not fall under these laws however, if you live in a World Heritage Site, Conservation Area, National Park, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in the Suffolk of Norfolk Broads or in a protected or listed building, youíre rights may be different and you should check with your local authority.
As a general rule of thumb, you can extend you home without planning permission so long as you donít plan to cover more than half of the land around the original house in terms of area. The term Ďoriginal houseí means when it was first built or as it was at July 1st 1948 if the property was built before that date. Any extension built by previous owners counts towards the allowance. The extension is not allowed to be forward of the original elevation ( the front wall ) or forward of the side of the building if this side is road facing.
In general, a rear extension can go 3 metres beyond the rear wall of the original house, if you are having a single storey extension then the maximum height is 4 metres. Loft conversions have a maximum size of 40 cubic metres, as with all types of extensions, any work carried out by previous owners count towards these tallies.
One of the most typical extensions seen in the UK is a porch, they are a small extension most often fitted to the front of the house, used as an entrance or greeting area out of the elements. Most porches do not need planning permission, although if the porch is heated or not separated from the main building by an internal door it may require form of building regulations certification.
A conservatory or orangery ( basically a large conservatory ) are fairly simple structures consisting of a cement base and a structure made mainly of UPVC, timber or aluminium although some people choose to have half or full walls made from bricks and mortar. Some conservatories require planning permission and some do not, It depends on the size of your property and the land around it as well as the size of conservatory you are looking to have.
A single storey extension just as it sounds, it is a ground floor only building attached to the current building by one or more sides and can include a basement area. You must consider flues, drains, excavations and the roof as well as the effect on your neighbours, planning may not be required on some cases but you should check regulations before carrying out any work building control permission may be required.
A multi storey extension is a much larger project to undertake, it can be built onto any part of the existing building but should not be built without proper consideration and planning. In some cases it may be possible to build the structure without planning permission but you should at least get a letter from the department of planning to give the go ahead to the build.
If you have a garage or laundry room attached to the side of your home with no buildings above it you might want to consider an over structure extension, though it can be a great use if space, this option can be a more complicated undertaking than some of the others. For example the brickwork of the building to be built upon may not be sufficient to hold the extra weight, new foundations, brickwork or an RSJ may be required on the existing structure. Planning issues are more difficult to define in these circumstances also, boundaries, aspect ratios and other factors must be considered.
Whatever kind of extension you are considering it is important to shop around and get advice and a few ideas as well as making sure the architect and/or builder you choose is fully qualified and experienced enough to do the job not to mention looking for the best price. All this can be a stressful and time consuming process and ApprovedTrader.co.uk are here to help, We can take all the hassle of finding a tradesperson away for you, we have checked all the references and seen previous work so you donít have to, contact us today and start your journey to a lovely new home extension.