Extension: A Beginner’s Guide

11th February 2018

Building an extension to a house is an increasingly popular choice for homeowners seeking to maximize the potential from their property space. As well as increasing the value of your home, building an extension can improve the space and layout of your home.

How long will it take?

House extensions don’t build themselves overnight, even Planning Application and Building Regulations can take months alone. In order to stay sane during the period you must be patient, as it may cause a sudden disruption to your normal life.

You may also want to think about what time of year, factor in things such as family events, birthdays, holidays which you want full use of your house without builders being in.

Will I need Planning Permission for an extension?

For some property alterations such as loft conversions and single storey extensions, you may not need planning permission. It’s best to get in contact with an architect to double check whether or not you may need to send a Planning Application to your council.

How to design an extension

Many people design their own extensions, using structural engineers for advise. Others use a design and build company who can take care of their whole project.

You can find so much inspiration online for your extension. Perfect places to find different styles of extensions are on websites such as Houzz, or if the architect you’re using has a portfolio, you can try checking it out for ideas.

Using an architect

It’s not just because we’re architects that we say you should use a professional.

Big projects such as loft conversions and extensions are not simple DIY jobs and we’ve all seen DIY jobs go wrong on TV! You will need services of an expert if you are planning on making major alterations to your home. In fact- part of the Planning Applications you will need proposed drawings from a qualified architect and other consultants such as structural engineers.

Safety and disruption when building

Do you share a party wall with a neighbour and could any of your work damage their property? If your extension involves building or digging foundations within 3m of the boundary, party wall or party wall struc­ture, or digging foun­dations within 6m of a boundary, the work will require you to comply with the Party Wall Act. In these cases you may need a surveyor to act on your behalf.

There’s also the social aspect of things – your plans could potentially ruin their way of life during the construction period, so it’s important that you let them know of your intentions right from the start.

Timetable

As we said earlier, it’s good to plan well in advance. It may be a good idea to set yourself a timetable for completion. There is a chance that it will over-run, but if you lay down the ground rules from the beginning you may avoid living on a building site for months on end. Don’t underestimate the amount of concrete planning building an extension needs.

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jemsmith1
jemsmith1
10:44 23 Dec 20
We have used Detailed Planning a couple of times now for planning issues related to our nursery business and they have... always been efficient and communicative and got the result we needed.read more
Francesca Malone
Francesca Malone
19:02 28 Oct 20
We have used Detailed Planning to help design and obtain planning for our single story extension converting our one... bedroom flat to a two bed. We have found them to be extremely helpful, communicating the process and how things work throughout. We were particularly happy with their ability to negotiate our extension depth with the planning office, resulting in 3.5 metres instead of the permitted 3m, which was crucial for our space to work. We look forward to working with them for the rest of the project.read more
Sharon Marsh
Sharon Marsh
15:51 21 Oct 20
We used Detailed planning for a loft conversion and side extension. Very helpful guidance with respect to what would be... allowed by the Planning department. Very efficient service. Would highly recommendread more
Christian Constantinides
Christian Constantinides
19:07 10 Oct 20
I used Detailed Planning for a new build home in the London Borough of Enfield. They managed initial feasibility and... concept design, the planning application process, building regulation drawings and support throughout the build. All in all the entire service was fantastic and I would certainly use Detailed Planning for future projects.read more
Claire M
Claire M
12:52 15 Jun 20
I hired Detailed Planning for the design of my loft extension along with the corresponding planning permission... application. Absolutely brilliant service.They know exactly what they're doing. They were open to my design changes whilst keeping a sharp eye on local council requirements. I'm so pleased - planning permission was granted sooner than expected with no changes. Thanks so much!read more
Komal Lulle
Komal Lulle
08:35 28 May 20
Excellent team and superb service. They are best a there job and they provide guidance, support, work and plan... according to your requirement. And do not hesitate in making changes until you are satisfied. Truly recommend themread more
Emma cheevers
Emma cheevers
15:00 20 May 20
Paul and his team were absolutely excellent to work with. I couldn't recommend them more. So professional, quick and... always ready with advice. Really enjoyed the experienceread more
Mel D
Mel D
21:03 13 May 20
Paul & Emily are fantastic, they have done everything from start to finish for our planning permission and technical... drawings and the quality of their work is very high (I guess it is in the name - detailed!) They have been patient with all our design changes, provided lots of advice, walked us through the process of who to engage with, when etc. and were always responsive and helpful when we have questions both via email and phone. This is our first major project and we are doing a loft conversion and remodelling the entire house so to have this support has been invaluable and well worth the money. We actually found them on trust a trader and obtained a few other quotes, DP was the most reasonable price wise, had the right qualifications, good reviews and a big plus was their well evidenced portfolio of work & experience in the area. It was a no brainier and they really have delivered beyond our expectations, most things have also been done via emails and zoom calls so the flexibility was there which really worked for us, would recommend them to anyone!read more
Gopinath V
Gopinath V
16:14 24 Jan 20
Detailed Planning were recommended to me by a friend. Right from their initial visit and all the way through to the... finished plans, they were very good and we could not have asked for better service. Paul and Emily were always very good in their work they answered every query we had and solved every issue that we encountered during the planning They work extremely well with their recommended engineer, surveyor and building control company to deliver a very good package. Thank you Paul, Emily for your excellent work, We can't wait for our extension to be completed.read more
Ornela Haxhia
Ornela Haxhia
11:48 09 Jan 20
We found Paul and Emily very professional, insightful and helpful during the planning approval stages of a rear... extension to our property. They provided us with regular timely updates. We highly recommend. We have already passed on their details to friends who are looking to make changes to their property in the summar.read more
Nicky Freedman
Nicky Freedman
19:51 23 Dec 19
Nothing a problem for the team at Detailed Planning, helpful, always at the end of phone, attentive and reliable and a... fast efficient service. Would definitely recommend and use again.read more
Stephanie Coward
Stephanie Coward
11:09 18 Dec 19
The service provided by Detailed Planning was exceptional, with fast response times and excellent communication... throughout the project. We would definitely recommend Detailed Planning and look forward to working with Paul and the team again in the future.read more
Oliver Jenkinson
Oliver Jenkinson
19:30 21 Nov 19
Pro active and efficient and got the job done.
Vinay Rughani
Vinay Rughani
18:55 20 Jun 19
Detailed Planning were recommended to me by a friend. We found their prices very reasonable so instructed them to draw... up plans for our extension. Right from their initial visit and all the way through to the finished plans we could not have asked for better service. Paul and Emily were always very easy to get hold of, which I'm told is not the case for all architects. They answered every query we had and solved every issue that we encountered during the planning and party wall agreements with minimal fuss and in good time. They even sorted our build over agreement for our manhole to be moved. They work extremely well with their recommended engineer, surveyor and building control company to deliver a very good package. Thank you Paul, Emily and everyone at Detailed Planning. We can't wait for our extension to be completed.read more
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