Do I Need Planning Permission?

Do I Need Planning Permission?

Planning Permission heading stamped with a red PENDING rubber stamp.One of the biggest problems that owners of detached and semi-detached houses come across is knowing how to extend their homes. Space is always a difficult topic for homeowners, because having to go through the process of selling a house and buying a bigger one is time-consuming and not always possible. Growing families do need their space, though, and gaining planning permission to extend the home is the answer for those who don’t want to buy again. A house can be extended to be an extremely livable space while maintaining privacy and peace for neighbouring homes. There are ways to extend the home without the need for planning permission and your local Council will always encourage you – the homeowner – to do this. If your ideas are grander than that, though, you will need planning permission. One of the most common questions we get is when do I need planning permission? This is exactly what this guide will cover.


When Planning Permission Is Needed

Getting planning permission for the extension of your dreams or even for essential maintenance can be difficult for some. The regulations surrounding planning are complicated for some and some mistakes can be made over what requires planning permission and what doesn’t. If you do go ahead and build onto your home, you need to be sure that you have the right permission for it, otherwise, you can and will be served with a notice that orders you to undo those changes that you spent money making to your home. It’s not worth the risk – or the loss of cash, or the reversal of work. So, it’s always best to know exactly when planning permission is required for the changes to your home.


The 45 Degree Rule

As an indicator when first assessing proposed extensions, the council applies a degree rule. This is to make sure that there is a good aesthetic relationship maintained between the existing building and the extension that has been proposed.


When an extension is being planned, it’s measured at an angle of 45 degrees from the midpoint of the closest window in a habitable room of a neighbouring property. If the proposed extension lies within that 45-degree angle – whether measured horizontally or vertically – it could cause a loss of daylight that is not acceptable. This could mean that planning permission is refused and you have to rethink your extension. If the window of your neighbour is a door, the 45-degree angle gets measured from 1.6m above the ground on the centre line of the window.


Parking Requirements

When you are planning an extension to your home, you have to maintain an adequate parking space. This should be maintained within the adopted Parking Standards that the council have already laid out. If new parking spaces are going to be created in the area where the front garden sits, at least a third of the garden must be kept as a planted garden instead of a hard surface. It’s recommended that 2-3 bedroom homes have 2 parking spaces and 4+ bedroom homes have 3+ parking spaces. You can check the local council website for your council’s Parking Standards guidance.



Anyone who is planning to build an extension to their home should make sure that – at all times – adequate garden space is left open for bin storage, maintenance, drying clothes and to ensure resident safety when it comes to light and air.


when do i need planning permi


Separation Distances

For facing windows of the rooms of the home, there must be a distance of 21 metres at the minimum. If there is a blank wall facing a window, there has to be a distance of 13.5 metres maintained.


Do’s & Don’t’s










There are some conditions that will be considered before planning permission is given, and these are:




Usually, these require planning permission, but applications are generally rejected because a two-storey extension close to neighbouring houses can encroach the living conditions of the neighbours. This occurs through overshadowing, loss of privacy or dominance. There are certain situations where they may be acceptable, and these are:













When Planning Permission Is NOT Required

All of the above describes when planning permission is needed, and so we must go on to talk about when planning permission is not required.























Solar Panel

The planning system allows for certain types of renewable energy developments on houses that do not require planning permission, as long as certain conditions are adhered to. These include:


What To Do Next

If you require planning permission for your home project, you need to speak to your council directly. Here is the link to Sheffield Council’s planning and Development page. You can then be advised whether your project requires you to have planning permission or not and what to do in terms of paying fees. You can have an agent draw up your plans and submit your application for you, or you can make the application yourself. The application will be shared with your neighbours to ask for their comments, and no decision will be made until 21 days past sharing with your neighbours. Their comments are taken into consideration.





What Defines An Orangery?


The concept of an Orangery originated in Italy but was later welcomed in Holland and quickly became a status symbol. The definition of an Orangery is an extension of your home that can be used in a typical way to a conservatory. However, there are notable differences between the two, as we will explore.  


Why Is An Orangery Called An Orangery?


As you might have guessed an orangery is called as such because in the 17th-19th century these rooms, found in the most fashionable and elite homes, were used for growing citrus fruits such as oranges. These types of extensions were quite rare and were able to protect the citrus trees from the worst of the elements. However, as citrus fruits became more easily available on the market there was no need for the expensive practice of growing your own. So, this trend quickly fell out of fashion, and the orangery became a room for exotic plants and shrubs instead.


Interestingly, the conservatory actually evolved from the design of an orangery and was suitable for a different purpose. Conservatories were typically designed to provide the highest level of light which is why they have glazed roofs.


What Is The Difference Between An Orangery And An Extension?


While the line between the two has blurred in recent years the most noticeable difference between the two is usually the roof. A conservatory will often have more than seventy-five per cent of its roof glazed. An orangery has significantly less. The walls may also differ as well. Fifty per cent of the wall area must be glazed for a structure to be considered a conservatory. The design of the roof will also be notably different for an Orangery. Usually, these buildings will have a flat perimeter roof and a roof lantern and the centre.


In contrast, conservatories have a centralised pitched roof and are built around a firm structure. The walls go straight up to the edge of the pitched roof and have no perimeter. Orangeries will also usually have a brick base.


Are Orangeries Warmer Than Conservatories?


The answer to this question actually relates to the difference in both design and structure. Both are typically mainly made of glass, and this means that orangeries and conservatories are cold in the winter and warm in the summer. Of course, since orangeries have more solid walls and structures such as the roof, they are likely to keep more heat trapped inside. As such, even through the winter months, they should be a little warmer than a typical conservatory. So, if you are debating between the two, this might just be enough to convince you an orangery is a right choice for your home.


Of course, there are lots of ways to make both a little warmer throughout the year. Thick curtains and blankets are a cheap choice that could be highly beneficial. Alternatively, you might want to think about adding underfloor heating to your plans. This might drive the cost up a little though, so let’s look at how the two types compare in terms of expense.


How Much Is A Conservatory Extension?


Conservatory extensions can vary dramatically in price. So, whereas it is possible to purchase a full conservatory for just £6000, you could pay as much as £30,000. It just depends on how large you want your conservatory to be as the average price is based on per square metre of space. The price may also be determined by the type of materials that you use. For instance, the glass will typically be cheaper than polycarbonate.


Is An Orangery Cheaper Than An Extension?


Typically, you will find that building an orangery is significantly cheaper than a typical extension. If you work with the figure that you’ll be paying approximately £2000 per square meter than you can expect to pay around £18,000 for your new orangery. Meanwhile, a home extension could be close to twice as much as the cost for a typical home extension.


Do You Need Planning Permission For An Orangery?


You’ll be pleased to hear that typically neither an orangery or a conservatory require planning permission. However, this will depend on the type of build and the level of construction required. There are various requirements to adhere to. For instance, your house must have already been extended, and the new extension must be single storey. The materials you are using need to be similar to your home, and there can be no raised platforms such as a veranda. If your home is a new build, you may also find that planning permission is required. Size is an issue too, and you will need to make sure that the new structure is not more than half the width of the property and is not taller than your home.


If your conservatory or orangery does not meet these standards, you will need planning permission.


You might be wondering whether you need planning permission for a solid roof conservatory. In the past, a certain per cent of the roof for a conservatory needs to be translucent to avoid planning permission. Remember, planning permission is based on the aesthetic of the home. However, today, it is possible that you will not need planning permission for this type of conservatory as long as the standards are met.


Should I Choose A Conservatory Or Orangery?


So should you opt for the classic orangery or conservatory? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. If a room or space purely for the summer months of the year is what you’re after, a conservatory could be the best option. They are also often cheaper to build because they don’t require as many solid structures and will have a lot of glazing. In contrast, an orangery will add more value to your home and be more useful throughout the year due to the high level of solid structures.


We hope you find this advice helpful when you are thinking about adding a new beautiful area to your home.


House Extension Costs

The Cost of a House Extension

Tiny House


At some point in time, you might consider your house as being too small for your needs. Perhaps you want to prepare

your home for a new child, or maybe you’d like some extra space in your home for hobbies and storage. Whatever your needs are, getting a house extension can be a great option for space-starved households.


The other option is to move home, and for most people, that’s simply not practical or affordable. This makes the option of extending your house even more tempting, and it’s often going to be the go-to choice for most homeowners.


But how much does a house extension cost exactly? Should you do it yourself or hire a professional? What options are there for cheaper or more luxurious house extensions? In this article, we’re going to answer those questions by giving you sample quotes and estimates of how much you should expect to pay, and also detail some of the pros and cons of doing a DIY house extension and hiring a professional contractor to help you.


Let’s Start With a Basic Metric


To start, let’s use a very basic metric when it comes to how much you can expect to pay for your extension. Keep in mind that is is a very rough number and will vary depending on where you live.


£1,500 per square metre


That’s roughly how much you should expect to pay for a home extension. This is a very basic metric that most 

contractors are going to follow, and depending on the area you live in and the services being offered, you could add or remove a couple hundred. Remember, this is a very rough figure that is based purely on the size of the extension and does not take into consideration any professional fees, any planning costs, building regulation considerations and decorating. It is in our opinion hard to estimate an extension like this but can be used as a rough guide.


£1,500 per m2 is a very generous price, especially if you live in high-cost locations such as expensive parts of London. If the job involves modifying the structure of a house, such as adding a double-storey extension, then you can expect to pay around 50% more for the completed job. If it’s a simple extension in your garden or even a loft conversion, then you can expect to pay a little less because there aren’t as many considerations to the structure of your home.


Again, we can’t state enough that this is a rough figure and needs to take into consideration extra points such as adding plumbing, electricity, decorations, flooring and so on. These can add a lot of extra money to the cost of the extension, and depending on how you plan to add the finishing touches, could require a specialized contractor.


Sample Quotes for House Extensions


Below, we’ve put together sample quotes for some of the most common house extensions. This will give you a rough idea of how much you should expect to pay for just the house extension alone.


Single Storey Extension Costs


A single storey extension is arguably the most basic and straightforward extension that you could request from a contractor. It’s estimated that you could pay anywhere around £1,300 to £1,700 per m2 for a basic single storey extension. The price is going to increase in various parts of London and will decrease as you get to the outskirts.


So if you’re planning on a simple 4m x 5m extension, it will cost around £30,000. This is the price before any professional fees and also before VAT. With everything else in mind, you could be paying upwards of £40,000 for the finished product including extra fees and renovating the space as well.


Double Storey Extension Cost


As explained before very briefly, a double storey extension will cost around 50% more. This means that the price of £40,000 before will increase to £60,000, making it a very costly extension to undertake. However, it can add far more space to your home and you’ll generally get more freedom when it comes to picking the functions for your new rooms.


We can’t stress enough that these are very rough estimates, and it’s always a good idea to speak with local contractors in your area to see what they would typically charge. You should also keep in mind that the cost can increase or decrease depending on your circumstances. If you’re adding a two storey extension to your existing home, then it could be a little more expensive if the contractor needs to consider the structure of your home, get planning permission, follow specific building regulations and so on.


Kitchen Extension Costs


Kitchen extensions are a little more complicated because it’s not just about adding extra space. You need to consider things like extending electricity, plumbing and gas lines, and you’ll also need to consider decor and appliances that go with your kitchen. Depending on the location of your kitchen, the extension might need to stretch into your garden or even out the side of your home.


From a planning perspective, kitchen extensions are going to vary depending on the circumstances of your home so it’s hard to give an estimate. However, you can still follow the basic metric of £1,500 per m2. Given that an average kitchen is roughly around 3m x 2m, we can estimate that a kitchen extension will start at roughly £12,000 after including any professional fees, appliances and designs.


Bathroom Extension Costs


On the contrary, a bathroom extension is usually a little cheaper because you don’t need to modify as much of the room. However, bathrooms typically aren’t inaccessible locations where you can simply modify the room and add extra space. This ultimately means that a bathroom extension, while cheaper, in theory, can get expensive if the conditions aren’t right. Again, this is something you’ll need to contact a builder about and have them analyze the situation in your home before giving you a quote.


However, based on the average size of bathrooms and the metric of £1,500 per m2, we can safely assume that a bathroom extension will start in the vicinity of £10,000. This includes the extension, extra appliances, plumbing, finishes and so on.


Bungalow Extension Costs


Bungalow extensions are much easier to manage since your entire property is on the same level, meaning that unless you want to convert it away from a bungalow by adding a double storey extension, you can simply look at the single storey extension prices and expect it to be very similar.


Bungalow extensions are simple to perform and can add a lot of extra space to an otherwise small home. They’ll often extend into your garden, so do keep this in mind if you want to preserve backyard space for other things such as gardening or patio space.


Garage Extension Costs


Garage extensions are typically a little cheaper because the materials used are different and there often aren’t any complex building restrictions and considerations to keep in mind. As a result, you can expect a slightly lower price than the average metric of £1,500. You can expect a simple garage extension to start at around £10,000 for an average extension.


However, things get a little more complicated when the garage is underneath the second storey of your home or is directly attached to your property. In situations like this, you may need to pay a little extra because the structure will interfere with your home, making it a little more complicated to deal with. This could cause the prices to shoot up to around £15,000, depending on the circumstances.


However, for a very average standard garage extension using simple materials, you might be able to cut the price down to around £5,000 if you are only extending the garage a small amount. On the contrary, if you plan to increase the height of your garage, then you may need to add a little extra due to the structural considerations and materials used.


Loft Conversions


Unlike regular house extensions, a loft conversion isn’t so much an extension as it is hollowing out your attic and making it easier to inhabit. As a result, you might expect a loft conversion to cost less than the base price of £1,500 per m2. However, due to the building constraints and other considerations, the price can be relatively high if the conditions aren’t right and a lot of cleaning and renovation needs to be performed before you can convert the loft.


You can expect a basic loft conversion to start around £20,000 with all the professional fees and renovation included. However, converting a large loft into two different rooms and adding a bunch of extra appliances and furniture could bump the cost of a loft conversion to £30,000 or more. As with the other extensions, the circumstances of your home and the area you live in will drastically change this price, but it serves as a good base of what you can expect to pay.


Picking the Right Extension


So to summarize this section, we can see that the cheapest home extensions are ones that don’t involve interfering with the existing structure or layout of your home. Single storey extensions that protrude into the garden are cheapest because they don’t require as much planning. Similarly, garage extensions are also inexpensive.


However, once you factor in the structure of the home, such as extending a kitchen, bathroom or a double storey extension, you need to start paying more depending on the circumstances that you’re facing. Keep in mind that any extension you perform is going to increase the value of your home as well, making it a worthwhile investment even if you plan to sell your home in the future and move into a different one.

DIY Disaster



DIY or Professional Contractor?


Doing your own DIY work is popular nowadays, but a DIY home extension might be a larger project than you might be willing to handle.


The Problems With a DIY Home Extension


With these sample quotes in mind, it makes sense that people would want to consider the DIY option. However, unless you are an experienced extension builder with a lot of resources and money, it’s not a very good idea to try and perform your own DIY renovation. This is because, in addition to costing a lot of money and requiring a lot of manual labour, you also need to consider factors like soil conditions, building permissions and weather concerns.


In some cases, you’ll also need to hire a designer or architect to help you plan the entire build. This is going to add even more money to an already expensive and time-consuming project. House extensions also typically require several people to make the process smoother, and the last thing you want is to injure yourself or leave your extension half-finished for a long period of time.


If you do throw in the towel in the future, then remember that contractors will likely need to clean up the job you’ve started, especially if it’s not done correctly. This adds even more time and money to the project, and ultimately makes your initial investment a complete waste. Overall, we’d definitely recommend that you steer away from DIY house extensions and leave it up the professionals. Sheffield House Extensions can take over the whole build and make the journey pain free.


The Things You Can DIY


Instead of trying to do the entire extension yourself, you can still have some control over the project by adding the finishing touches yourself. Whether it’s furnishing the room, painting the walls or tiling the floors, you can always tell your contractor that you only want the extension build and tested so that you can design and decorate it yourself.


This is a great option especially considering you’ll be left with a blank slate on which you can work on at your own pace.


Final Words


Hopefully, this article has given you an idea of how much a house extension actually costs, how you could potentially lower the prices, and why a complete DIY solution could be more work than you’re able to handle. House extensions are excellent ways to boost your home value and add more functionality, but it’s a job that’s best left for the professionals to handle.



Roof Tiles



There is a lot to think about when it comes to choosing the roof on your extension. There are many simple roof designs to choose from.
For many professionals there is only one question; is it a pitched roof or a flat roof?
You may discover, after talking to some roofers, that there are ‘strong feelings’ on the subject.
Your choice on this divisive issue might boil down to simply whether your extension is single or double storey.



If your extension is a single storey, you have more leeway, than if it is double.
This is because the (dreaded by some) flat roof option is more palatable on a single storey extension.
Although the aim is still for the extension to blend in with the remainder of the house – and the street – as much as possible, there are nevertheless times when a flat roof might be the right option.
For example, if the extension is at the back and cannot be seen by the rest of the street.
Also, flat roofs are cheaper than pitched ones, which may be a consideration for some.
While most professionals would not normally advise putting a flat roof to the front of a property – and you do have an obligation to consider your neighbours’ feelings, no matter how annoying they may be – it is ultimately your money and your choice.


Most two-storey extensions have pitched roofs. This is because it would be hard, bordering on impossible, to make them blend in with the original roof otherwise.
So, unless you already have a flat roof, you will probably pick a pitched roof for your two-storey home.



Getting the extension roof tiles to match your existing roof is not always easy.
If your house is older than twenty years, even the same tile will not be identical, because of the weathering effect. If it is even older, you may struggle to find the same tiles.Simple Roof Designs | Mismatched roof tiles
One way around this is to completely re-roof the entire property when the extension goes up. This will ensure a seamless blend between the old and the new portion of the house.
Don’t rule this out just because it seems pricey. Over the years, you will probably find you replace them individually, anyway.
But ultimately, your wallet might be the one that makes the decision!



One reason a flat roof is cheaper and easier to construct, is due to it needing fewer materials.
This is because its surface area is smaller – maybe less than half of a pitched roof. It also weighs less.
However, there are other considerations with a flat roof; namely waterproofing.
The roof will need waterproofing with a sealer. And this is something that will need maintaining from time to time.
Be aware that leaks may form, requiring attention.
So, yes, whilst a flat roof is typically cheaper to construct than a pitched one, the maintenance could end up costing the same or more.


By and large, roofers prefer a pitched roof, for a number of reasons.
When it comes to the construction, there is a choice to be made; that of ready made, versus made to measure.


This is the more old-fashioned option and certainly the most expensive of the two.
You may have to consider this method if your extension is an unusual shape. Additionally, if you want an empty loft, it might also be the right choice.

PREFABRICATED A FRAMESample of a timber roof truss showing its manufacture isolated against a white background

Generally, most people opt for a prefabricated roof.
This has the twin advantages of being quicker and cheaper than the made to measure version.
Firstly, the A frame goes in and then the additional timbers go on top of it.
Next, the waterproof sheeting goes on and the battens for the slates are placed. Remember to leave enough ventilation at the eaves, to prevent condensation from building up.
It will need to be approved by Building Control. But also, it needs to withstand the might of the British weather!


Yes, your roof needs inspecting and this has to be done before it is covered.
Allow time in your schedule to book the inspector’s visit at a convenient moment. You don’t want to have to stop work because you forgot to arrange it in time.


Having organised Building Control, you are now at the exciting moment of knocking through into the original building

But, before you even dream of removing a single brick, the wall needs to be supported properly.
The knock through should go something like this;


installing metal beam during house extension



Drill a hole as near to the ceiling as you can get and place the timber or steel needles there. These should stick out by eighteen inches on both sides of the wall.
These needles should be placed every two feet across the width of the planned opening.


Now the needles are in place, a strong timber should go at each side of the wall.
This is known as a head tree. They’re held in place by a prop, which can be hired out. One prop should be used at the end of every needle.


A lintel can be cut, when the support is in safely. It should be twelve inches wider than the opening or 150mm each side at least.


Now the hole is there, the masonry around the lintel can be (carefully) rebuilt. It might need some patching in, to ensure there are no gaps remaining.



After the cement around the lintel has hardened, the needles and props can come out.
Finally, the new hole can be cut leaving an opening to fit your new door way into your house.


Read the next part of our guide on self building your home extension… or find out more information on how to hire us on our home page




So it’s time for one of the most “exciting” parts of your build. The brickwork and blockwork start to go up and we start to see the shape and size of your extension. This is one of the more labour intensive jobs and you will see quick progress if you have hired the right team.




First things first we have to find the right brick to match up with your home. Sometimes due to the age of a house, the original type of brick will have been discontinued. Luckily there are many different types of brick to choose from. Even if you cannot find the exact match there is a brick matching service that can tint the brick to the almost exact colour and age that your home is.

Brick tinting example


Of course, this can up the price of the build but it is at the discretion of the homeowner as to the quality of the finish of the extension. Similarly, with stone built homes many different types can be found and matched to your existing materials.

Imperial and Metric Sized Bricks

It must also be noted that on, older brick built homes brick tend to be larger in size (Length 230mm x Width 110mm x Depth 73mm) than the typical modern sizes (Length 215mm x Width 102mm x Depth 65mm) Also to be considered is the different sizes of mortar joint which can differ due to the area the house is in, the quality of trades that built the existing house, and any decorative features on the house.

Brickwork Tip.

We have a good bricklayers trick that we use to ensure that the extended part of the house will match perfectly gauge for gauge, to the existing brickwork. Using a roof lat or long piece of timber, we will mark the mortar joints from the brickwork of the house onto the lat using a pencil. The lat the will be transferred across to the opposite corner of the footing which will be level up to DPC. The timber will be used each time a brick is laid to start a new course of brickwork to make sure that any irregularities in the existing brickwork are matched. This will guarantee the brickwork will match perfectly across any openings on that elevation where lintels need to be set. It needs to be said that most older houses, 100 years or so tend to have some minor subsidence, which will make the house out of level in one direction or the other. Being experienced in these types of projects we know how to match the buildings together without any glaring imperfections.

Stone-Built Extensions

As mentioned above stone built homes can come in a variety of materials usually dependent on age. Materials to match the existing building can in most cases be sourced to match satisfactorily.  Stone can come in various varieties even in natural or reconstituted types used on more modern houses. Again the different styles of stone can vary in price but should be accepted, to achieve the best match and finish to the extension.


Different Types of  Stone

Natural Stone can vary depending on region and age and type and how it has weathered. Different types including sandstone limestone and granite. If it is stone that is being reused from a demolished building it could be shot blasted along with the stone of the existing house to give a uniform look. There are a lot of different factors to consider if you are matching to a natural stone house. Shapes and sizes for instance and also the punch on the stone. “Punched” or Punched Finish is a term that describes the finish used to flatten the stone when only hand tools were available. The “punch” can come in different styles depending on the tools used.  New stone can be “punched” at the stone yard to match the pattern we are after but must be said that lead times to source this may be longer.

Reconstituted Stone as it is commonly known as is made using natural aggregates and cement products and cast to resemble a natural stone product. Usually easier to source and match and is common on most new build houses. again prices may vary but will be restricted to the type of stone you already have on your house.

Brickwork Bonds and Modern Bricklaying Procedures

There are many types of different bonds. Which are probably out of the scope of this article as most new houses are built using stretcher bond. This is because it is the fastest and most economical way to build and is used on single skinned brickwork when forming a cavity. Stonework can be a more randomised bond due to the different lengths and sometimes height of the stone. Stretcher bond or half bond is as the name suggests where a brick covers half of the two bricks on the course below.

Buying/Sourcing Materials

Most builds will use readily available bricks. However, as mentioned above some bricks may have been discontinued and the nearest match may have to be used. Again colouring services can be used to get an even better match. Older bricks can be of different sizes and shapes so as mentioned, lead times must be considered when ordering bricks so as not to disrupt and delay the build.


Labour/Bricklaying Team

If your project is a self-build and you are project managing yourself selecting a good quality bricklaying team is a must. References and proof of previous work can be obtained and having a face to face chat about availability, costs and timescales is a must.


Or you could cut all the hassle and hire a professional company to take all the stress away from you and get on with the job as required. Please give us a call on the above number if you would like to discuss your project.


Our next part of our extension guide is  fitting the roof and making new door openings to your hone






Building control helps you get your project on track and ensures it complies with all the necessary regulation.

You can find this service at your local authority and also privately.

This post sets out the basics that you need to know regarding your extension, its foundations, and the role of the Building Inspector.


Whatever sort of extension or improvement you have in mind, you need to obtain Building Regulation approval. This is when an inspector visits to ensure that the work has been carried out satisfactorily. They also visit after the footings are dug, on completion of the foundations.

You can choose whether to opt for a Building Notice Application or Full Plans.


The builder carries the full responsibility of the works and making sure they comply with the rules.


This is when the plans are checked by the Building Inspector.

It gives you the peace of mind to know everything is okay with the build.

Also, it gives the builder all the detailed information they need to give you an informed quote.


You have a choice of a private or public building inspector.


This is an inspector from a private company. They are registered with the Construction Industry Council.

Like the public inspector, they will check your plans comply with all the relevant regulations.

However, if they hit a problem, they may have to refer the matter to the local authorities.


The Local Area Building Inspector can also carry out inspector duties. Unlike the private inspector, they can enforce the regulations.

Whichever option you choose, you should do this as soon as possible – it will help determine the fees for the project.


Once your plans are approved, these are the ones that will be used.Discussing plans

Before submitting them, you should check them against the original plans carefully. This is because if they’re different, this matter needs rectifying before you begin the project.

In terms of inspections, there are usually eight in number and could be more besides.


This takes place about two days prior to any work commencing. You must have told the building inspector before the job starts.

The inspector makes their first inspection and can meet the builder in charge of the site, to discuss the project.

You will also pay a one-off fee for this service.


This inspection comes before the foundations are laid, in the excavation period.

It gives the inspector the chance to look at the site and ensure certain criteria are being met. These include;Building addition to residential house with new foundation


This inspection is the oversite preparation.

Now the inspector makes sure that the sand blinding, the damp proof membrane (DPM) and the hardcore is correct.

The damp prove course is checked. This is to make sure the materials and joints are all okay.

The concrete used in the cavity must be 225mm beneath the DPC.

If there is sub floor thermal insulation going in, this is also checked over.

The foundation walls are also looked at.



This happens when the footing walls are at the level of the DPC.




Now the drainage is inspected before it is covered.


Everything is checked, such as the drains and that the correct materials are being employed.


Also, the material for the beds is checked, as well as access points and inspection chambers.




The drainage is checked – both below and above the ground, to ensure it is watertight and airtight.



You need to notify the inspector and local authority once more, if the project is not fully completed, but about to beBuilding Inspector Looking At New Property occupied.


This is the final check, which is supposed to take place at the end of the project. Although this is sometimes overlooked, it should still be done.

Things that are checked are;


These are not by any means the only checks that the Building Inspector will make. There could be others. They include;




Check the approved plans carefully against the original drawings and make sure they tally. It will stop any potential problems from arising in the long run.


If you are not sure about any aspect of the job, take the opportunity to check it carefully with the Building Inspector.


We would advise maintaining a good working relationship with the Building Inspector, as it is prudent for the smooth running of your extension.


Having said all this, Inspector often do not make all of these checks if they know they are working with competent builders. We often find that most inspectors usually make around three visits during the build. In general, the Building Inspector is a useful ally and happy to help and give advice to your project. He often offers advice according to the specifications if the job so that you cannot go far wrong.


The next part of the build involves the brickwork and scaffold.



There are many reasons for extending your home, but before you begin work on your home improvements, it really

pays to do your homework properly and that starts with the


In this article we will look at all the main points in preparing for a home extension.

Rolls of the drawings for construction of a house extension


Firstly, you need to consider what extension it is that you want doing. This seems like a fairly obvious point, but your preparation will vary accordingly. For example, what are your reasons for the extension? Are you a homeowner who is planning to stay in their home for some time and wants it to be as comfortable as possible for their needs? Or are you planning on moving on in the near future.In which case, you may need to consider some other factors than just pleasing yourself.If you are planning on selling your home – whether it is in the dim and distant horizon or in the more immediate future, then you need to think about its resale potential.This means giving your extension plans some cold, hard, thinking.Things to think about include the types of properties and the occupants in your locale.If you live in an area stuffed full of young professionals, putting in an extension which is exclusively intended for a senior, may not make it the most attractive option to potential buyers, later down the line.


Next, consider the cost. This is naturally going to make or break the project. We would urge realism here and adding

Work out your extension costs

in an extra 20% margin of error. Projects have a habit of overrunning their costs if you

don’t rein them in. It’s easy to get carried away and go for a high end finish that can increase costs greatly. You will need to set a budget and stick to it – don’t forget to add in the VAT!


Knowing how long the project will take is integral to its success. Especially if you will have to live there whilst it is happening! When it comes to timescale, we would advise you to add on 20% to any estimate that a builder gives you. Things have a habit of going over, even with the best will in the world! As a rough guide, an average sized single storey extension should take between 12 and 14 weeks. You should add on a few weeks extra for additional storeys.


Now you are at the practical planning stage. This means thinking

Planning your extension

about the nuts and bolts of the project. Some things to consider include;


Not every type of home extension will require planning permission. Many loft conversions will not need it. However, other types of extension do, so your first task is to see if your project requires planning permission.


This question will naturally be first on your list and the thing you need to ask the builder in charge of the project.


Building can get messy and there will be a lot of things being thrown away. It makes sense to have a skip somewhere

a grey tip bin full of building rubbish

on the site, to remove

all the waste materials safely. This could cost between £40 and £150 per

load to remove.


Do think carefully about exactly where you will store the building materials during your renovations and how the team will access them.


Have you got adequate toilet facilities for the builders? If they are going to be outside, they may require a chemical toilet. These can be hired fairly cheaply and cost around £45 a week.


Your builders should have insurance, but check this fact. A call to your own insurers may also be prudent.


Will you be project managing – or someone else? If you are, be prepared to take charge of calling building control and think about site safety, as well as the presence of water and electrics. We can take over

the job or advise you on the best building practise.


 Before doing anything else, you probably need to have a conversation with your neighbours. Even if your extension

Nosy Neighbour

does not seem to impact upon them directly, there are issues such as noise and access to consider. Also, you need to be mindful of whether you could be blocking

their light or impacting on their property in anyway. A friendly chat is the best way to go. Remain calm and be prepared for the possibility they might not instantly fall in love with your plans. Is it possible you could meet their concerns halfway with some adjustments?


 Sustainability is also a consideration for your project. Not only because this will help its resale value, but also

Solar panel on a red roof

because by installing low energy devices it will help save you money in the long run. Factors to consider include;


Now for the practicalities of the project. More than likely, you will need some outside help. For nearly everyone this means hiring a builder and possibly hiring an architect.


Your architect is invaluable in helping to oversee the small details that may arise on the way. There are always

project manager

certain things from build to build that arise that need an extra opinion or advice on. A good architect is always on hand to help with these problems.



As well as the practical considerations, spare a thought for your own mental preparations. We can’t lie – having building work done can be stressful and you need to prepare your own headspace accordingly, before it begins. Make sure you are completely ready for the invasion of your home. Put away anything valuable or that you don’t want damaging, for the duration of the project. Remember to cover up everything that matters to you – there will be dust. Ensure that small children and pets are kept away from any potential dangers. Next, take a deep breath and try to remain calm – people will be traipsing in and out of your home a lot. It is going to get hectic – and very messy but with our expert help you will get through this. It wont be that bad, don’t worry.

Click here for the next part of our guide. Building Control and Foundations.

Building An Extension Where To Start

Building an Extension Where to Start


There are many reasons to build an extension to your home.

The number one being that it will improve your quality of life and increase your living space, without having to move.

But another prime reason for doing so is that it will add immeasurably to your property’s value.

One of the first questions when building a home extension is where to start?

In this article, we set out the cost, profit and timescale of an extension to your home.



Based on an extension measuring five metres by four and costing between £1200 and £1500 per metre squared, we have worked out a typical estimate.

Therefore, the best-case scenario is a cost of £24000, for a five by four extension.

Don’t forget to add on between ten and fifteen percent, for services such as the architect, the structural engineer, the planning application and so forth.

And, we’re not done yet with the extras. There is also then VAT to factor in.

So, therefore, we are looking at a figure of around £32000. A bargain if you consider the extra space and value.

That’s assuming you don’t have the misfortune to live in London, where everything will shoot up in price even more.


So, what would that be for two storeys being extended?

We suggest you add on half again, for the basic cost of the build, then add the ten to fifteen percent in fees and the VAT to that.

In other words, the lowest estimate would be in the region of £48000. A double storey extension is usually cheaper per square meter as the majority of the work has already been done in the footing, planning etc. The top floor is usually an extra bedroom or two that doesn’t require any much work after the brickwork and plastering.


Otherwise, there are a whole load of other factors that could push up the cost of your build.

Are you adding a bathroom or kitchen?

The general price to add for a bathroom is £5k  or £10k (kitchen) It is your own preference on what to spend in a bathroom and kitchen, but some great bargains can be found if you shop around. these are usually one of the biggest costs that add to your extension.

Also, things like glazing, tiling, fitted joinery and more intricate designs will put the prices up. As will factors such as limited access to the site, structural changes and the moving of any fixtures or fittings.

The above quote is an estimate for a basic level of fittings and fixtures.

If you want more, it will cost extra. A five-star deluxe finish could put the costs up considerably but the level of quality is down to the client ultimately..


Oh yes, is the short answer to this question!

According to property experts Zoopla, home improvements in general add on an average of £30000 to a home.

An actual extension garners an additional £14000 to your home and comes high in the list of home improvements, which will yield a lucrative result.

A survey by Nationwide, found that a double bedroom with an en suite could add an extra 23% on to the value of a home.

This is better than the value that either a lone double bedroom (12%) or a single bathroom (6%) bring, even added together.

And for the best type of extension, in terms of return on investment? A conservatory. This wins hands down every single time.

The average profit for a conservatory is £5750. This is for an estimated cost of £5300 initially.

Other great home improvement suggestions include a loft conversion.

This could yield a profit of approximately £12k, for an investment of £24.6k.

Loft conversions have the advantage of not needing to be actual physical extensions, by virtue of the fact that the loft is already there and just a space that is waiting to be used.

Also, it is possible you may not need to seek planning permission for some types of loft conversion.

Whether you do need planning permission or not, depends on how much you are having done and if you are going to actually extend the space drastically or simply convert what you already have.

Even if you do extend the loft, if it is within the permitted guidelines, you will not have to seek planning permission.

More statistics reveal that the average extension costs close to £20k and creates a 71% average return on investment.

Whether you convert your loft, extend it, add a conservatory or do something else, your home improvement is set to earn you a profit.

Building an Extension Where to Start



Each job is different so we can’t really give a definite time scale.

A standard extension without bi-fold doors with the minimum of knock throughs will take 10 – 12 weeks as soon as we get go ahead and start digging the foundations.


The first week is preparation. This means warning your neighbours of the upcoming inconvenience.

Preparation includes ordering a skip and finding somewhere to store all the materials.


This week your drains and trenches will be dug. Also, the concrete base will be laid.

Building Control should approve and oversee the foundation work.


Now things are really taking shape. The bricks are starting to go down forming the outer and inner skins.


The bricks are still being laid. the first floor joists have been fitted and the floor boards laid and covered to continue building.


The roof joist should be going on. Any knocking through should be done and then the doors and windows are placed into their frames, giving the whole extension a more finished look.

The first fix of the joinery, plumbing and electrics is begun. Rendering to external walls is also finished.


Plastering and finish to external works.


The electrics and plumbing are completed, with taps, sockets and light fittings going in.

The décor and painting are undertaken at long last and the flooring or carpeting is laid.


This is the final stage of the work, where any outstanding jobs are completed any landscaping and general tidying.

So, the final answer is it should take around three to four months for a simple extension to be completed – if everything goes according to plan.

As stated every job is different and this guide is just an outline of what to expect but we are confident that things often go very smoothly and we can keep relatively close to this time scale.

Read more about the building process here in part two of our home extension guide Preparation.

Please get in touch for a free quote.