Extending your home, whether upwards or outwards, is always a great way to add both value and space.
A well-constructed loft conversion offers the possibility of an additional bedroom, bathroom, leisure area or home office without the need to move house, while a garage extension provides extra living space that’s not just somewhere to keep the car.
Many homes also benefit from the possibility of extending into a back garden or outside living area situated at the rear of the property. This is a great way to add room in your home, as it creates a whole new indoor space that wasn’t there previously (as opposed to converting an existing room) – ideal for expanding the kitchen or maybe adding a spacious dining room.
But before you put the wheels in motion on your new rear extension, make sure you are aware of any restrictions that may be in place.
Planning permission applies to many aspects of home renovations, and being aware of what you can and can’t alter on your property is important before having any kind of work carried out.
In May 2013, changes to planning permission laws were made that directly affect the building of home rear extensions.
Essentially, the law change means that these extensions now fall under the ‘permitted development’ banner, allowing for expansion of a property by 3 to 6 metres (semi-detached or terraced) or 4 to 8 metres (detached) from the original back wall of the house without the need to seek official consent.
However, while this may be an attractive prospect for many homeowners, there are a number of conditions that must still be adhered to in order to avoid the necessity for planning permission.
- The extension will not be more than a single storey.
- Its height will not exceed 4 metres at the tallest part.
- A balcony will not be added.
- It will not require a chimney, flue or other ventilation pipe.
- The work planned will not be further extension of a previous construction.
- Building materials used will match existing style (exclusive of conservatories).
In some areas, independent council restrictions may apply in regards to rear home extensions – particularly if the land is protected.
There may be similar factors involved in deciding whether or not planning permission will be required. To find out, you can submit a proposal for your construction to your local council (far less time-consuming than a full planning application), which includes your name, address, details regarding the proposed extension (height, width, a plan of the finished construction), and the addresses of your neighbours.
The council will then decide upon whether the extension work meets the requirements for ‘permitted development, as well as contact those living nearby to inform them of the proposed work, offering the chance for them to raise objections.
Written by LMB Group, the leading providers of loft and home extensions across Croydon, London and the wider region.