EXTENSION - PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT

Permitted Development 

Your Limits
Don`t exceed 50% of the total area of the curtilage.
Don`t exceed the height of the roof and eaves.
Don`t extend beyond a wall which forms the principal elevation or fronts a highway.
Single storey limits: 4 metres in the case of a detached dwellinghouse, or 3 metres in the case of any other dwellinghouse, and no more than 4 metres in height.
Above 1 storey limits: 3 metres or be within 7 metres of any boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse opposite the rear wall of the dwellinghouse, or be within 2 meters from the boundaries.
Don`t include balcony, verandah, raised platform or microwave antenna.

Conditions
Except conservatories, all materials used on the extension must be similar to materials already existing.
Any upper-floor window located in a wall or roof slope forming a side elevation of the dwellinghouse must be obscure-glazed.

EXTENSION - PROS & CONS

Building a rear single-storey extension to your property is a great way to add value and room to your existing floor space. A well-planned rear single-storey extension can allow easy access to your garden and provide a modern family, open planned living area. It is no secret that as your family grows, your need for space grows too. As a result, the property you started your family in suddenly becomes too cramped and unsuitable.

If you think adding a rear single-storey extension to your property is a possibility instead of moving to a larger property, then consider these pros and cons:

Pros

  • One of the cheapest extension options available

  • Ideally used for an open planned kitchen, dining area or a utility room

  • Additional space without moving or relocating to a new, more affordable area

  • More cost-effective than moving to a more extensive property

  • Substantially increase your property's value

  • Depending on the extension, your plans may fall under permitted development

  • Life will stay the same; unlike moving, there will be no need to change jobs, schools, increase commuting times. Plus, friendship groups and family links would not be affected.

  • Use your flat roof to make a nice terrace from the first floor.


Cons

  • Outdoor space will be less

  • Possibly need planning permission

  • Costly structural engineers, quantity surveyors and designers

  • Living with a construction site whilst the work is taking place

  • Additional costs for decorating and furnishing the new space

  • The garden may need relandscaping to fit in with the new structure

  • The added property value may be less than you expect

  • Neighbours may object to your plans which can cause delays and a negative relationship

  • It is easy to incur unseen costs that can push you to go over budget

  • Risk of contracting rogue traders that produce substandard work

Once you have agreed you need more space in your home, the next part is to decide how you are going to achieve that. 

EXTENSION TYPES

Most families in London these days opt for an open plan house extension. There are, of course, various types of home extensions you can choose from. We have listed here some of the more popular, but happy to discuss other forms of home extensions too.

The roof pitch of the enlarged part must, so far as practicable, be the same as the roof pitch of the original dwellinghouse.

Single storey house extension

A single storey extension, due to the fact it’s only on one floor, tends to be one of the least expensive home add-ons you can find. It can go on most sides of your house, apart from the front.


The most popular type is the rear extension which tends to encompass a kitchen, dining and seating area with large glass floor to ceiling doors which can be opened at will onto the garden. The latter has the added plus of extending the space.


But what if you only wanted one side of your house extended? Well, yes, just as it is possible to build outwards at the back if you have the space, the same applies to the side of your home. A side extension is another type of extension which has a lower price tag. A perfect choice for decent sized alleyways at the side of the house, it is a case of extending your home outwards using this. You can add glass panels to the roof and fix bi-fold floor-to-ceiling glass doors to open-up and add light to your existing kitchen, as well as gaining more physical space.


An L-shaped extension, as its name suggests, encompasses the length of the back of the property with a smaller extension protruding into the garden. With plenty of glass sliding doors and windows you will feel as if you are actually eating your lunch etc out in the garden. This means you will not have to miss the scenery or visiting wildlife even if it is pouring with rain or freezing outside.


A wrap around extension is an L-shaped extension that goes the other way. In other words, the smaller side does not protrude into the garden but turns inwards towards the house and is built along the side. The plus side with this type of extension is that you do not have to cut into the garden to get the additional space. It is also a great way of using up redundant space at the side of the house.


Double storey house extension


Naturally, due to its size, a double storey extension costs more than a single storey home extension. However, in the long run it actually works out far more financially viable. How so? Well, you are only paying once for the scaffolding, designer drawings, foundations and overall construction etc. You will also get a better deal on materials since you are buying more of them.

EXTENSION - COST FACTOR

How much does it cost to build an Extension?

There are not fixed prices!

In London the general quote per square meter it`s about £1500-2200, but it cannot just be used as it is, you can have a 10sqm extension quoted at £30K as there are several things that can change the final quote of your contractor. 

- Foundations: you might be lucky enough to have your house built on a perfectly vertical ground without any soil problem, but you can also have slopes or ground problems that can raise your quotes. Also, the existing sub-structure might need some adjustment to suit the new design.

- Windows: the difference in cost between a uPVC single pane window and a 6 panes bifold aluminium door it`s massive! Same for skylights, those can be fixed or openable and have special glass to protect you in sunny days.

- Use: if your extension includes a kitchen the cost would be lot higher than an extension with a bedroom. Drainage, gas, boilers can raise your quote.

The only way to know the exact quote for your project is to provide Technical and Structural Drawings to your contractor, or, even, a full tender package. You can get an idea with Planning drawings but this will not be your final figure!

Wrap-around extension does NOT fall under permitted development, although you can extend through the side and rear, but to build the corner itself you`ll need to make a householder application.

LOFT CONVERSION - PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT

Limits
Don`t exceed the highest part of the existing roof
Don`t extend beyond the plane of any existing roof slope which forms the principal elevation of the dwellinghouse and fronts a highway
Don`t exceed 40 cubic metres in the case of a terrace house, or 50 cubic metres in any other case
Don`t include verandah, balcony, raised platform, or the installation, alteration or replacement of a chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe

Conditions
All materials used must be similar to materials already existing
Any upper-floor window located in a wall or roof slope forming a side elevation of the dwellinghouse must be obscure-glazed.
No part of the enlargement extends beyond the outside face of any external wall of the original dwellinghouse

LOFT CONVERSION TYPES

Looking for extra space in your home but understandably reluctant to move because you love the area you’re in? It is at this point that many householders consider a loft conversion.


Certainly, if you are not using the loft for storage then that is a lot of potential home space going to waste. And, really, do you need half the stuff stored away in there anyway? Perhaps not when you consider it is possible to turn it all into a new room within the space of around 10 weeks!


Still, how can you tell if your loft is suitable to turn into an office, spare bedroom, teenager den etc? Well, there are legal requirements.


The first is that there must be a head clearance height of 2 metres. If your house was built in the 60s or later then you are in luck as most have this. If it was earlier than this then it is worth getting in a specialist to double check before you go start making any plans. It is possible to lower the ceiling of the rooms below, but this will, of course, add substantially to the cost of your loft conversion in the capital.


Other obstacles that can get in the way of a good loft conversation include a chimney and even an old water tank. The pitch of the roof should not be too steep either (30 degrees or more is ideal).


If you live in a house which is listed or sits in a conservation area, then planning permission will certainly be necessary.

Different types of loft conversions


There are four main types of loft conversions around today. These are:


· Velux. This is basically a way of adding light via windows to a loft room (Velux being the name of the windows used). The windows take the form of skylights, and the structure of the loft does not alter.


· Dormer. Great for bungalows, these add extra floor space, (usually at the front of the loft) and are shaped like a rectangular box. It is also possible to add on a side dormer so that the entire conversion is L-shaped.


· Mansard. The largest type of conversion, this includes adding on extra space to the roof horizontally and vertically. It can provide enough floor space for a couple of additional rooms, but it does require planning permission.


· Hip to Gable. This is when the sloping roof is replaced with a vertical wall (therefore extending the space at the side/s). Again, it requires planning permission.

LOFT CONVERSION - BUDGET

How much does it cost to build a loft conversion?

In London the average for a loft conversion within PD it`s around £35K. But there are several factors that can change it.

- Existing roof: not all the roofs are suitable for conversion, the first thing to check is the internal height, this should be at least 2.2m because when you convert the roof you need to insulate it, so a build-up of around 300mm will be added, and the remaining 1.9m is the minimum required headspace for the stair. If the loft it`s lower than 2.2m you might need to demolish the floor and move it down or, if you can, decide to make the roof higher.

-Windows: you can have Velux windows as well as Juliet balcony or those new systems that open up in a small terrace, and of course the prices are quite different.

-Use: if your conversion includes a bathroom the cost would be higher than a bedroom alone.

The only way to know the exact quote for your project is to provide Technical and Structural Drawings to your contractor. You can get an rough idea with Planning drawings but this will not be your final figure!

FLAT CONVERSION - PLANNING CONSIDERATION

Planning consideration

  • Size of the existing dwelling, if it is below 120sqm might be too small to be converted.

  • The min. GIA required for a 1 bed/studio flat is 37-39sqm.

  • Each room has a min. size required.

  • You must provide high quality living accommodations.

  • The internal min. height for each floor is 2.3m.

  • Natural lighting and ventilation.

  • Amenity spaces.

  • Sound insulation will need improvement to meet the BR.

  • Car/Bike Parking spaces provision.

  • Waste management.

If you are a developer, you made this choice because you want to increase the value of the property, but not all the properties are suitable for this change. Contact us before buying the property to have a look at the potential of the site, including extension and loft conversion to achieve the min. requirements. 

FLAT CONVERSION - GENERAL TIPS

A flat conversion occurs when a property is converted from one unit into multiple units or vice versa. There are a variety of different things to consider concerning flat conversions; here are our top ten considerations:


  1. Property suitability – Not all properties are suitable for a flat conversion. Ideally, you need a large semi-detached or detached home, a sizeable non-residential property compliant with Local Plans, bedsits or HMOs or shops with vacant space above.

  2. Fire Regulations – When converting a property into contained flats, each flat must have accessible escape accesses for emergencies.

  3. Sound Insulation – Each floor should have soundproofing to the required standard; this ensures occupants can enjoy quiet home lives.

  4. Room sizes – All rooms have a minimum floor space that must be adhered to and a minimum window area. You must pay attention to the location of rooms like bedrooms and living rooms as they cannot be internal.

  5. Market demand – Research your local area to see if flats are in demand; this will help ensure a sound Return of Investment.

  6. Planning permission – You will need to seek planning permission to convert a house into multiple self-contained flats.

  7. Cost – To convert a house into flats, it will cost approximately £25,000, but this depends on the needed work, materials, and contractors.

  8. Time – Converting houses to flats is not a quick job to complete; it would take about six months to complete as a rough estimate.

  9. Financing – You cannot secure a standard mortgage to convert a property into flats, so you will either need cash or secure some specialist funding.

  10. Selling or Renting – Having an end game is essential; you need to know what you will do with the conversations once completed. For example, renting could earn you up to 20% ROI yearly, whilst selling would give you access to an instant amount of money.


Converting a property into multiple self-contained flats is becoming increasingly popular. Homeowners are seeing profits that are achievable by converting due to the demand for flats.

NEW BUILD TIPS

Sometimes build new instead of renovating it`s worth the time.

When you build a new house, you might be VAT exempt.

Build Sustainable! Passive house design and new technologies can make your lifestyle a lot more healthy, and the benefits on children growth and health are amazing! And as plus you are acting good with our planet :)

5 Things To Consider For A House Construction


Constructing your own house can be both a curse and a blessing, as you’ll have the chance to materialise the home of your dreams, but the journey is full of hurdles. Before anything else, you should assess the amount of money and equity you already own and how much you can afford to borrow. Afterwards, you can calculate the overall budget and figure out what sort of house you can build with those funds. 


Plot

Bear in mind that these prices vary widely by region. For example, central London is the second most expensive building site in the world. Furthermore, do not forget that you might need to apply for planning permission, which costs approximately £500, in addition to other legal fees that can range between £500-1000.


Size

One of the most significant factors that will influence your financial planning is the size of the house. The price of building a home starts at £1,600 per square m2, and it can reach up to £3,000 per m2. For instance, the cost of building a 2-bedroom house is anywhere between £200,000 to £300,000. However, if you plan to have a spacious home, creating a 5-bedroom property can cost up to £500,000. 


Design 

In addition, your designer, engineer, and project managers would be paid an estimated 10%-15% of the building costs.

This part of the construction project has great potential for saving some funds. For example, suppose you opt for a simple design, like a Georgian-style box. In that case, you won’t need to spend large amounts of money on an expensive designer.


DIY

If you are a skilled handyman and enjoy DIY projects, completing most of the construction work on your own might result in a reduction of around 30-40% of your total expenses. Some areas where you might do a great job include decorating, buying the materials or basic landscaping.

HOME RENOVATION TIPS

Tips for renovators

  • Consider the idea of reveal the hidden feature of your home, like exposing the brick wall.

  • Make enough allowance in your programme for each step, and don`t forget the leading time of fixture and fittings.

  • There are commercial furniture and then there is a world of manufacturer that can make REALLY everything, even the most complex furniture you ever dreamt.

  • Fix a budget and then use the "percentage system" to understand the individual room`s budget.

  • Check if you need planning consent and/or building control visits. 

  • Although it might not be your priority to upgrade the building itself, consider the benefits.

4 Steps To Restoring An Old House - A Financial Guide To Restoration


The restoration of a house can be a gratifying pursuit, as you will get to put your style and personality into your future home. However, budgeting accordingly and knowing what to expect can dictate the success of your project, so here are four steps to consider for your project


Step 1: Plan a well-defined budget


Approximately 40% of projects run over the budget. Hence, having a pre-established budget is paramount for structuring your project and materialising your vision. Also, do not forget to consider an additional 10% of the total sum for unforeseen events and contingency plan.


Step 2: Assessment of the property

In essence, the total cost of restoration depends on the type of house and its unique circumstances. Any restoration process begins with an assessment of the state of the property. Ideally, you can do this with the help of an expert through a complete structural survey that varies from £500 to £1,500.


Step 3: Structural work

When a property sits on an unstable foundation due to subsidence or heave, your budget might be affected dramatically. Usually, structural and building work incur the most significant expenses, as underpinning beyond 2m with steel piles might vary between £10,000-£200,000. If your structural survey indicates that your house needs a new roof, you should expect to pay between £4,500-£12,000. Also, if you plan to have a more spacious home and add some rooms, an average 4m x 6m extension would cost approximately £26,000 to £34,000.


Step 4: Interior Design

Interior Design might be the most flexible aspect of your budget. How you style your home depends on your preferences. If you decide to hire a professional expect this process to become smooth and easy.


All in all, house restoration is a cost-effective option. When planned correctly, it can be more advantageous than buying a house to move into immediately.

OUTBUILDING - PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT

Limits

  • Don`t build on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.

  • Must be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.

  • Maximum height of 2.5 metres if within two metres of the boundary.

  • Don`t build verandas, balconies or raised platforms.

  • Don`t build more than half the area of land around the "original house"

Other Consideration

  • If it is more than 30sqm or it have drainages, then Building Control Notice is required.

  • If it is within 2m of the boundary should be built mostly with non-combustible materials.

GARDEN OFFICE

The Benefits Of Working From A Garden Office

As COVID has redefined the populations working situations, more and more people are working from home. However, families have found this challenging due to the lack of space and privacy needed to work productively; the answer to this problem is building a Garden Office. Here are five clear cut reasons why a Garden Office is a great flexible working environment:

  1. Work-life balance – One benefit of building a Garden Office is that it will help create a better work-life balance. The lack of commuting time and the option to leave your office space at the end of the workday instead of constantly surrounding you means more family time and time to participate in hobbies.

  2. Flexible working hours – As a society, we are moving away from the traditional 9-5 working, favouring working hours convenient to our lifestyles. However, this needs the correct working attitude to avoid missing deadlines.

  3. No office gossip – Working in an office environment can be distracting and unproductive. So having a garden office will avoid unnecessary conversations meaning you work faster and smarter.

  4. Added property value – Adding a garden office to your property will increase its value due to the additional space it provides. As a result, you can expect to grow your property value by at least 5%.

  5. Unique design – Office spaces are often drab, bland environments that feel depressing to work within. The benefit of designing your own garden office is that you can put your stamp on the décor and furnishings.

This list of advantages is not complete, but it is clear that a garden office is of great use to anyone working from home. The additional space and benefits of a work environment are invaluable.

How much does it cost to build an outbuilding?

In London the average it`s about £35K for a garden office. There are few points to consider that can change this number:

- Foundations: concrete or timber frame? Matter of durability

-Windows: the difference in cost between a uPVC single pane window and a 6 panes bifold aluminium door it`s massive! Same for skylights, those can be fixed or openable and have special glass to protect you in sunny days.

-Use: residential use instead of office or gym can increase the price.

The only way to know the exact quote for your project is to provide Technical and Structural Drawings to your contractor. you can get an idea with Planning drawings but this will not be your final figure!

An important point that we like to highlight is that if you would like to build your extension using sustainable construction methods instead of traditional, your costs will not increase as you might think!

GARDEN OFFICE - COST

How much does it cost to build an outbuilding?

In London the average it`s about £35K for a garden office. There are few points to consider that can change this number:

- Foundations: concrete or timber frame? Matter of durability

-Windows: the difference in cost between a uPVC single pane window and a 6 panes bifold aluminium door it`s massive! Same for skylights, those can be fixed or openable and have special glass to protect you in sunny days.

-Use: residential use instead of office or gym can increase the price.

The only way to know the exact quote for your project is to provide Technical and Structural Drawings to your contractor. you can get an idea with Planning drawings but this will not be your final figure!

An important point that we like to highlight is that if you would like to build your extension using sustainable construction methods instead of traditional, your costs will not increase as you might think!