Do you need planning permission for a side return extension?

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Q: Do you need planning permission for a side return extension? Very possibly not! This is such a common project in UK towns and cities, for good reason. Many Victorian terraces have this strip of garden space that is so often dark and under-used. Claiming this space back internally can transform a kitchen or living space, without… Read more »

5 things to know about barn conversions

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Beginner’s guide to barn conversions An old barn can provide the perfect shell to create your ideal home. These large and often very solid structures give the opportunity to create a house with huge expanses of space and high ceilings. Most importantly, by retaining the original form, materials or structure, it adds character, charm and history to your otherwise… Read more »

What is the average and minimum ceiling height in a house?

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What’s the minimum ceiling height allowed? Funnily enough, this is one of the most common questions I’m asked as a residential architect. But for good reason: it’s so important to look at the most obvious constraints of a renovation project first. It will shape the brief, how much you are willing to spend on the… Read more »

Can I build an extension without permission?

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Can I build a home extension without permission? The short answer is no; at the very minimum, you will need to get building control approval so you can’t build your extension entirely without permission. However, it could be very straightforward to obtain and does not need to delay you getting started (see below). The other… Read more »

Building control regulations for an extension

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Do you need building control approval for an extension? If you’re planning to extend your home, you will need to comply with the building regulations. This is a legal requirement and, without formal approval and control, your local council could force you open up or re-build sometimes significant aspects of the project. It could even… Read more »

Should I pay for planning pre-application advice?

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Is it worth getting planning pre-application advice? One of the first hurdles in any home renovation project is obtaining planning permission. Most councils offer a pre-application advice service to homeowners. But is it necessary? It depends on your project and comes down to three things: cost, time and, of course, getting approval for a design… Read more »

How big can I build an extension without planning permission?

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  Above: Extensions by architects on Design for Me. Click on the image to see their full profile and shortlist them for your project.   How big can you build an extension without planning? Good news. The permitted development rules have recently been relaxed, allowing you to build an extension without planning permission of up to… Read more »

Do I need a contract with my builder for a home extension or renovation project?

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For home building and renovation projects it’s always worthwhile taking the time to find a great builder. There are a few effective websites to find local tradesmen like “My Builder” and “Rated People” to get you some quotations, but there are a few pointers to consider before shaking hands with anyone to undertake your home extension or renovation project…. Read more »

Five reasons to hire an architect for your self-build

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Self-build inspiration

So you have finally settled on that perfect plot of land and have started brainstorming a vision for your ideal self-build. Wait a minute! Although the temptation to do as much on your own as possible is admirable, we have often found that it is risky business that can be devastating in the long run. Instead,… Read more »