Important points to consider before planning a home extension

A home extension can seem like the perfect solution for many property owners looking for extra room. Far cheaper and less disruptive than moving to a new home in search of space, a building extension can be one or two storeys tall, depending on your budget and needs.

There are many reasons why extra rooms may be required around your property, from your family growing in size to a change in circumstances that means you’d like a dedicated office to work from home. Architects can help homeowners planning an extension – not just with designs, but with applying for planning approval from local councils too. They can also ensure the plans created to adapting a home will add value to it, ensuring when homeowners come to sell, they’ll be able to ask for a higher price from potential buyers.

Before looking into additional space, there are some points worth considering to assess if extending a property is an appropriate option for you.

What type of property do you own?

Maisonettes, apartments and many other kinds of accommodation do not possess permitted rights for development. This means that without full planning permission awarded, you will not be able to construct a building extension. It’s also worth bearing in mind that if the property you own has experienced a change in the way it is used or has a prior conversion to become a house in its past, you may find you do not have permitted development rights to extend.

Has your property or any of its previous owners extended it since 1948?

If there are pre-existing extensions on your property that were built after the year 1948, this will have a bearing on what type of extension you can construct. There is a permitted allowance for development for any given property, and such previously established extensions will eat into what is available to you.

Understanding the implications of designated land and listed buildings

Some properties have listed status or are located in parts of the country that are protected. These might include national parks, conservation areas, Outstanding Areas of Natural Beauty, World Heritage Sites and other places, such as the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads.

If your property falls into one of these categories, you may discover that no future developments are permitted. However, at the least, you may simply experience restrictions applied to designated land. Some of these limitations may mean that you can construct an extension, but it can’t have two storeys. Restrictions may also involve a side extension no longer being an option, or they can prohibit you from cladding the extension’s exterior.

Homeowners navigating the local legislation particular to their property may find the assistance of architects in their area beneficial. From close relations with council planners to an understanding of how the approval process works for building extensions, architects can advise on designs and facilitate a smooth journey to a successful result. If required, they can also act on the behalf of property owners seeking an extension, handling the entire process from beginning to end.

Posted by Mark
January 13, 2021

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