Our Home Extension Tips and Resources
Most homeowners are at some point faced with the reality that they need more space to accommodate a growing family or to achieve a more desirable, comfortable living space. The decision then is whether to move to a new house or to have a home extension built.
Either way, there are lots of factors that need to be considered and we’ll be delving deeper into that decision making process in a separate blog post, but for now, let’s explore house extensions as an option. Home extensions are often thought to be costly and complex projects, but they really don’t have to be.
With a bit of planning, research and the support of the right building company, an extension can be planned and built relatively quickly and with minimal stress and disruption.
Does Investing In A Home Extension Make Sense?
It goes without saying that a home extension can radically improve your property in terms of value and your quality of life. Let’s delve into some details that tell you why extensions do make sense for a lot of homeowners.
1. Strategically planned extensions add value to your property. To give an idea of figures, an extra double bedroom can add 12% to the value of your property and an additional bathroom could add up to 6%. Furthermore, a recent survey of 1550 homeowners by Zopa found that out of 8 different types of home improvements (such as loft conversion, painting and decorating, windows & doors etc ) an extension would yield the most profit (source: https://blog.zopa.com/2017/07/18/improvements-that-add-value-to-your-house/)
2. A house extension has plenty of benefits even if you plan on staying where you are. Added property value mightn’t be your sole motive for extending. In many cases, a professionally built house extension can bring you, a couple or a family a much better quality of life by simply giving additional space to make home life more comfortable and enjoyable.
3. In general, extensions are cheaper than house moves. If you’re faced with a space shortage, investment in a house extension can remove the stress and financial burden involved with moving to a new home.
4. Build it now and enjoy the financial benefits in the long term. Construction costs (like everything else) are on the increase and will be for the foreseeable future. Building an extension now means you’ll get the additional space you need straight away and if you ever do decide to move, you can bet the extension will have improved your property value.
Rules and Regulations for Home Extensions
More often than not, a home extension is much less stressful and a faster process than moving house. That said, many are put off by the rules and regulations governing home extensions as they can make the process seem more complicated than it really is.
We’ve put together some tips and resources to help save you time and to figure out what rules may apply to you…
The Big Question… Do You Need Planning Permission For Your Home Extension?
An extension or addition to a house (different rules apply to maisonettes and flats) is in general considered to be a permitted development so you don’t need planning permission, provided:
- They take up less than half of the land area around the property
- They don’t extend beyond the highest point of the property roof
- The extension is a single story side extension
- The extension doesn’t include verandas or balconies
- The extension or addition falls within allowed limits (See the current limits and conditions here: http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/commonprojects/extensions/)
Outbuildings are usually exempt from needing planning permission unless they are part of a listed building, or are on designated land.
If your extension does need planning permission, you can apply online: http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/planning/applications
For properties in Wales, planning permission requirements may apply. Find Out Here: http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/commonprojects/extensions/
For planning permission requirements in Scotland, check here: http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0038/00388268.pdf
For Northern Ireland, check here:
Work with qualified, experienced professionals.
Extension plans have to be drawn up by a registered architect. Ethical Projects have quality, trusted architects we work with on a regular basis so if you need some help with this, please get in touch.
Do Shop Around But Choose Your Builder Wisely
Of course you should get a few quotes and remember, the cheapest price isn’t always going to be the best option. (Check out our recent blog post on choosing the right builder for your project). Bear in mind that the average cost of building work is between £1000 to £1600 per m2 and don’t forget to factor in 20% VAT if it’s not shown on the quote. At Ethical Projects, we give clients a full breakdown of costs so that there are no nasty surprises.
Remember to consider the Neighbour Consultation Scheme
From May 2013 until May 2019 the UK Government has increased the allowed size of single storey rear extensions that can be built under permitted development. This is called the neighbour consultation scheme. Any single storey extension must be in between the range of 4 to 8 metres for detached houses and 3 to 6 metres for all other house types must go through this process.
You must notify the local authority who will then consult with your adjoining neighbours to advise them of your extension plans and give them the opportunity to raise objections or concerns. The local authority will then make a decision on whether your plans can go ahead.
Don’t overlook other building regulations that may be in place
As well as planning permission, you’ll need to find out whether any other building regulations apply to your home extension. Many conservatories and small detached buildings are exempt, but you’ll need to check with your local authority or ask your chosen building company for guidance on this.
When considering a home extension, you’ll need to liaise with local authorities, an architect and a trusted building company to find out whether your planned extension will need planning permission. You’ll also need to weigh up the long term financial benefits against the alternative of moving house, but don’t make a decision purely based on finances…
Dont lose sight of the fact that an extension is a great way to give you more space and a better quality, more comfortable home environment.
Follow our suggestions, get recommendations, read recent reviews and meet with a few potential builders to help you make informed decision when planning your extension.
If your planned extension project will be in Liverpool, Merseyside or anywhere in the Northwest consider this…
When it comes to finding reputable builders Liverpool clearly has a lot of companies to choose from but not all are as dedicated to customer service as Ethical Projects Limited are, so to find out more about how we can help with your home extension project, please get in touch.
We provide no obligation quotes and will supply you with a full breakdown of materials and labour, issue you with a programme of works and notify HSE of the project. All of our work is carried out in line with recognised building regulations and Health and Safety law and is covered by public liability, employee liability and contract works insurance.
Weigh up financial benefits against the alternative of moving house
Determine your budget based on our estimated building costs (and don’t forget to factor in VAT)
Consider the positive lifestyle benefits a home extension (and more space) will bring
Liaise with local authorities and a trusted building company to help you make an informed decision
If you’re in Liverpool, Merseyside or the Northwest of England, give Ethical Projects a call for a no obligation quote!