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 »

How much does a planning application cost?

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Profile pics from Felix, Jamie, Richard and Mark, architects on DfM.

How much does a planning application cost? A planning application costs £172 in England and £166 in Wales. This is the fee payable to your local council for processing the full householder planning application.   Do I need planning permission? You may not even need to apply for planning permission at all. You should call up… Read more »

Guide to costs and planning permission for a two storey extension

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Two storey extension above by Neil, an architect on Design for Me. View his full profile and shortlist him for your project here   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… Read more »

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 UK’s… 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 »

Loft conversion plans – where to start?

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Extension design above by Eddy, architect from Westminster, London. See more and shortlist them for your home project here. Our complete guide for your loft conversion plans A loft conversion is one of the most cost-effective and convenient ways to increase space in your home. One of the major advantage is that the work can… 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 »

Planning for a mansard roof extension

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Extension design above by Amos, architect from Islington, London. See more and shortlist them for your home project here. 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… Read more »

How long does a planning application take? And how to avoid delays…

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How long does a planning application take? Extension pictures above by Barry, architect on Design for Me. Visit his profile here and shortlist him for your project Whether you are proposing an extension, loft conversion or new build, planning permission usually takes eight weeks to be granted, unless your application is ‘unusually large or complex’,… Read more »