Many people simply worry about finances when they plan a new extension. However, it’s not quite that simple. Aside from finances, you need to consider the impact on your neighbours and whether or not you need planning permission.
Keeping the Neighbours Happy
Okay. So you’ve decided that an extension is for you and your finances are in order. What next? Well, before looking into planning permission and getting the go-ahead, you need to think about your neighbours. Is your structure going to infringe on their property? Will it block sunlight to their home or conservatory? If the answer is yes to either one of these, you may find yourself with a feud on your hands if you go ahead. Worse still, you could even face legal action. Under the Prescription Act of 1832, if your extension restricts light from passing through a neighbour’s window or conservatory, they have the right to take legal action against you. It is important to note though, that quite often, if your extension requires planning permission, light issues will be considered for you. However, if your structure does not require planning permission, you will need to assess the possible light restriction yourself. Discuss things with your neighbour if you are in doubt- they’re going to be glad you ran it by them before you fire ahead.
Do I need Planning Permission?
The good news is, in many cases, you don’t require planning permission to build common extensions. The most common extensions added to U.K homes are conservatories and single-story structures. Both of these are considered as permitted developments. Although permitted developments do not usually require permission, there are some rules that you need to be aware of. For example, the maximum height permitted for a single story structure or conservatory is typically 4 metres. If you are opting for a particularly large project, or perhaps a two-story extension, it is best to check with your local planning office first of all.
What can I Build without Planning Permission?
If the idea of obtaining planning permission and consoling concerned neighbours really doesn’t sound all that appealing to you, you’ll be glad to know there are many options still available. One idea is a loft conversion. Loft conversions provide a fantastic opportunity to free up some extra space without worrying about neighbours or planning permission, although there are building regulations that you need to follow, mainly to ensure your safety. Some developments allow you to install dormer windows, which are a great way to create additional headroom in a loft conversion projects. Dormer windows may require planning permission, especially if you have .
Maximising Outside Space
If you’re looking for some external space instead, then why not take on a DIY project and build a shed, orangery or outbuilding to make the most of your garden. Some strange rules exist such structures built that do not exceed 50% of the total space of your garden are exempt from planning permission. You could install some decking as well to complete the transformation.
Front of House
If last summer was a DIY success and you have the perfect rear garden area, why not take a look at the front? External buildings don’t really fit on the front of most buildings, but a great project for the front of your property without the worries of gaining planning permission, is a porch. Porches can be built on the front of your property without any planning permission and offer a cost-effective project. You may not have the same satisfaction orangeries provide, but they are attractive and are great finishing-touches. There are several rules you must abide by; the porch cannot be higher than three metres and cannot be within two metres of a boundary adjacent to a highway. Other than that, you home is you castle to do with what you wish.
Peter North is a keen blogger who has renovated his own home and run out of space for new projects. Now he simply writes about building orangeries, conservatories and small home extensions to share his experiences with people who want to improve their home.