Deciding to add an extension to the existing structure of your home is a big project that needs to be brought to the attention of your local authority, and planning permission may be required. Since the project will have a strong impact on the living conditions for your neighbours and your family, there are important building regulations to take into consideration. With the help of your architectural designer, you can ensure that you design an extension that falls well within the building regulations of your area.
1) Is Planning Permission Required?
You may have seen extensions built where planning permission has not been sought. This is generally because the extension does not require planning permission. All homeowners have certain permitted development rights which allow them to complete certain works without the need to apply for planning permission. This can relate to extensions, conservatories, loft conversions, boundary walls as well as various other works. However, many house extensions do require planning permission from the Council. Our experienced designers at BDS can access your proposal and advise whether planning permission is required. Building control approval will always be required unless you are building a conservatory of less than 30m2 floor area with a thermal break to the heated area of the house.
2) 2+ Storey Extensions
In the event that you’re looking to add a large extension that is more than one storey in height, you will be required to take several different factors into account when designing the plans for your extension with your architectural designer. First, you will need to show the clear use of stairs, bannisters, and handrails to access to the higher levels. Second, there will need to be evidence of soundproofing in the walls, particularly if you intend on using the extra space for sleeping accommodations. Finally, the most important factor is fire safety. For 2+ storey extensions, you will have to show a valid and reliable method of fire escape from the upper levels of your extension.
3) Connection To Utilities
Your extension will undoubtedly add additional square footage to your home and you will need to consider the additional amount of water and electricity needed to supply basic amenities to the additional rooms. Other important features that your plans will have to show include connections to drains that are already placed in the home, along with connections to the mains water supply. The plans will also have to detail how the extension will connect to electricity and gas supplies for heating and power. In terms of basic amenities, your extension will also have to have doors, windows, and a sufficient source of ventilation.
4) Flooring And Walls
Whether your extension is open to the rest of your home or if it’s a contained unit, you’ll have to take the flooring and walls into account. Aside from focusing on the aesthetics, the foundation for these essential components is something the LABC will pay special attention to. You’ll need to demonstrate structurally sound walls that offer strength that meets the required standards. Insulation is also required within the walls and flooring to ensure that your home is as energy efficient as possible. As mentioned, soundproofing is another important factor as it is required within sleeping areas.
Imagine all of the difficulties that would be experienced if the foundation of your extension were to fail. In order to maintain the safety of your property and the properties surrounding your home, your foundation will have to be built on well designed foundations, and it will have to be placed at a certain depth, depending on the size and weight of your extension. After the foundation has been poured, there will need to be extensive damp proofing installed. Occasionally the foundation will also have to include radon protection.
6) Fire Safety
Aside from what is required inside home extensions of two or more storeys, even single storey extensions need to show exemplary standards of fire safety. First, you will need to have a sufficient number of smoke or heat detectors installed in the circulation spaces. Many home owners choose to have smoke detectors hardwired into the ceiling that also offer carbon monoxide detection, instead of opting for the traditional battery operated smoke detectors. You’ll also need viable escape routes in the event of an emergency on your property.
Are You Prepared For Your House Extension?
Preparing for a home extension can be a time consuming venture, but with the help of an architectural designer like BDS you’ll have a professional on your side that knows how to meet all building regulations so the project can begin. We can help you with all the paperwork, so all you have to do is review the regulations, sign your name to the papers, and wait for your new home extension application to be approved.
To find out more about house extensions, how much they cost and what is involved, please download our free Essential Guide to Extending Your Living Space. You can access your copy today by clicking here.