What Are The Architectural Regulations For Extensions?

Posted by Tim Foster on Feb 21, 2018 12:06:37 PM

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All home extensions must fall within the approved principles of the government’s Building Regulations 2010 Act of Parliament. This involves a strict approval process where the work is overseen by a local government officer and certified as passed if indeed it does comply.

Failure to gain approval for an extension could lead to such measures as a pretty costly court fine or having to make alterations to the existing extension via an enforcement notice issued by the council to ensure that the work falls within the approved guidelines. This could be issued at any time within two years of the completion of your extension. In the worst case scenario you might even have to dismantle your new extension entirely. So, it’s essential that building regulations for your new extension are complied with all the way down the line. 

What Specific Items Do The Regulations Refer To?

Building regulations for extensions cover a number of topics, from the drainage and roofing to the internal walls and electrics. Some of the guidelines include:

  • Drainage – you must ascertain ownership of any drains you intend to be using for your extension, for example, is it solely yours or do you share it with a neighbour? Does it belong to the local Water Board and is it part of a larger drainage network? If the latter then you will need permission to go ahead. 
  • Roofing – the roof of your new extension can’t be any more than 150mm from the current roof plane of your home and shouldn’t be higher than the existing roof. Any side facing windows on the roof shouldn’t look directly into a neighbour’s property and must be 1.7m above the floor of the roof.

  • External walls – these should be similar to the cladding on the external walls of the home on which you plan on adding the extension to. If it differs widely then you’ll need to apply for planning permission before going ahead.

  • Internal walls – provided your home doesn’t qualify as a listed building there shouldn’t be any problem in this respect with your extension. 

  • Kitchen or bathroom – if your extension plans include either an en-suite bathroom or a kitchen then you’ll need planning permission approval to build.
  • Doors and windows – doors and windows generally won’t need planning permission provided they are in line with the existing items in the house.

The above regulations all apply to ‘regular’ dwelling houses. Listed buildings have a whole new set of rules, including asking for permission from the national preservation body English Heritage.

What Is The Party Wall Etc Act 1996?

This Act makes it a necessity for you to inform your neighbours if your planned renovation will be close to your shared property boundary ie the party wall (which in this case is literally a brick wall and not a wooden fence).

Don’t leave your extension to chance. Get more information on what’s required, as well as help to extend your home, from our website BDS Architecture or by calling us on 01332 830313. Our free downloadable e-book is also a valuable resource when planning an extension. Click here to download our Ultimate Guide To Expanding Your Living Space.

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