A short guide to conversions – change of use to residential

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  Finding plots in London and other major UK cities With empty plots of land being difficult and often very expensive to come by, it’s no wonder that many self-builders and renovators instead convert an existing building into their dream home, applying for a change of use to residential. This is particularly of interest in the… Read more »

How to build a house in your garden – a concise guide

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Can you build a house in your garden? If you have a large garden (or driveway in fact) that’s accessible directly from the road, it can provide a fantastic development opportunity to build a house on your land. The advantages of this approach to a self-building are potentially huge: It could significantly increase the total value of… Read more »

A simple guide to making a planning appeal

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What to do if your planning permission is refused? If you do not agree with the decision of your householder planning application, you can submit a planning appeal. Householder applications are for home developments like extensions and renovations.   Do I have any other options other than filing a planning appeal? Absolutely. A planning appeal… Read more »

Planning for a mansard roof extension

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You may be considering applying for planning for a mansard roof extension if your existing loft space is not high enough or the wrong shape for a straight conversion or dormer extension. What is a mansard roof extension? Mansard roofs are most common on terraced Victorian and Georgian properties, particularly in London. Often, the existing roof will be… Read more »

Do I need a party wall surveyor?

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Before we answer the question, ‘Do I need a party wall surveyor’, we’ll address the more important question, ‘Do I need to serve a party wall notice?’ as you may not require a surveyor if the matter can be resolved amicably between you and your neighbour directly.   What is a party wall? A party… Read more »

Guide to costs and planning permission for a two storey extension

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A two storey extension can be a cost effective way of gaining maximum floorspace for your property, without eating too much into your garden. It will also mean that your house isn’t bottom heavy, which can be an issue with some large single storey extension projects where they have a huge living space but a lack… Read more »

Do I need planning permission for a garden room?

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Do I need planning permission for a garden room? Garden rooms or buildings do not require planning permission, if they fall within permitted development guidelines. To classify as an ‘outbuilding’ under permitted development rules, it must not contain sleeping accommodation and must be single storey with a maximum eaves height of 2.5m. There are a few… Read more »

Planning permission in a conservation area – a simple guide

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For anyone undertaking a home building, renovation or extension project, one of the first questions to ask yourself is: am I in a conservation area? It may have significant implications for your project from a planning perspective. This subject is particularly pertinent in London and historic cities in the UK such as Bath, Durham, Oxford etc,… Read more »

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 »