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 »

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 »