Can I Extend My House? - How To Find Out Whether Or Not You Can Add To Your Home Without Planning Permission

Posted by Tim Foster on Jul 27, 2017 12:30:00 PM

Can I Extend My House - How To Find Out Whether Or Not You Can Add To Your Home Without Planning Permission.jpg

If you love your location but need more space, improving your existing home instead of moving to a larger property can make financial sense. Depending on your budget, there are a range of options available to homeowners seeking to invest in additional living space.

An architectural design service, like BDS Architecture, can help you develop your ideas into designs, perform structural calculations, create the plans and complete the build, all within an agreed price to suit your budget.


We’ve created this simple guide to answer a question frequently asked by homeowners: “Can I extend my house?”

It’s good news. With professional expertise, strategic design and compliance with local planning regulations, almost all homeowners can extend, with beautiful results. Let’s look at some key considerations and the types of extension available.

Do I Have Enough Space For An Extension?

Within Permitted Development Rights up to half of the area of land around your property can be covered by buildings, however any extensions will need to be to the rear or side of your property. Once you’ve calculated the available space on your plot you can work out which types of extension can be achieved and then decide which best meets your individual needs and budget.

Single Storey Extensions

Single storey extensions on the side of your house can be up to half the width of the original property. On the rear of a semi-detached house they can project up to 3m into the garden and on a detached house up to 4m into the garden. Single storey extensions can be used to create your dream kitchen, add office space, or open plan living space. Each of these options can add value to your property, enhance your lifestyle and increase your home’s appeal to buyers in the future.


Double Storey Extensions

For double storey builds you’ll need to leave seven metres to the rear boundary. You can build as tall as the highest part of the roof on the original building. Double storey extensions can be an ideal solution for expanding families. Typically, double storey extensions are used to transform the existing property, adding space downstairs and creating space for bedrooms, bathrooms, or a home office. Many homeowners invest in an additional bedroom with an ensuite bathroom and walk in wardrobes to give their home the luxury factor.

Can I Extend Without Losing Garden Space?

If you want to retain all the external space to the rear and side of your property, or if you do not have enough external space to create an extension, there are still ways to redevelop your home. Extending into an existing conservatory, converting a garage, or converting the loft can create additional living space, without increasing the footprint of your home.

Loft Extensions

To be suitable for a loft conversion the roof space will need to offer adequate headroom. You will need 2m headroom over the staircase. There is no minimum height for the rest of the room. Additional head space can be created by incorporating a dormer window into your design. Space for stairs leading up to the loft will need to be accounted for within the plans. BDS Architecture can evaluate your loft space and roof type to determine any structural, electrical, plumbing and draining considerations.

An Extension Above A Garage

To add an extension above a garage, the existing foundations will need to be assessed to check they can bear the additional load.

Converting A Conservatory Into An Extension

Conservatories can be transformed into extensions by replacing glazing with solid wall and adding an insulated solid roof. The exterior wall separating the original house from the conservatory is removed to create an extended room. This work will require building control approval and the existing foundations will need to be checked for suitability.

The Planning Portal provides a wealth of information for homeowners, including advice on building and planning regulations for extensions. Most residential extensions, like the types outlined above, will not require planning permission, but as each local authority has different policies it can help to talk to an expert like BDS Architecture, for peace of mind.

Can I Extend If I live In A Conservation Area?

The rules and regulations which apply to properties within conservation areas differ between local authorities, depending on the level of character to be preserved. BDS Architecture have extensive experience in dealing sensitively with local authorities within Derbyshire and the surrounding areas. We specialise in creating designs to conform with regulations and local policies, while meeting the needs of the homeowner, for a positive outcome.

Can I Extend If My Property Is A Listed Building?

Extensions for listed building will require planning permission and listed buildings consent. At BDS Architecture we will work closely with your local authority conservation officer. We produce details architectural drawings of the highest quality to support your application. As we also provide expertise in landscaping, our designs bring the project to life, enabling the planning department to visualise the how your finished build will look within its surroundings. Planning applications are usually finalised within eight weeks.

Find The Right Company For The Job

Whichever type of extension you choose to enhance your property, you’ll need the expertise of an Architectural Designer to create high specification drawings and contractors to complete the work involved. Always enlist the help of a professional, to ensure the work complies with building regulations and is covered by legitimate insurance. Ensure the company you choose understands your needs and provides guarantees. Then you can extend your home, knowing your investment is in safe hands.

To find out more about the benefits of extending, or to gain inspiration for your ideal home extension, The Essential Guide To Extending Your Living Space is packed with handy tips and advice.



The above advice is for general guidance only. Always check if you need planning permission with your local planning authority.

Topics: Extensions, planning permission

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