An Informative Guide To Side Return Extension

For many homeowners, the pathway that runs alongside the ground floor area of the space (the side return area) is an unnecessary space. By building an extension onto it, you can make your home bigger and better.  

What is a side return extension?  

A side return extension is an infill of the passage to the rear and side of the property’s commonly between two houses. While rear extensions often result in a loss of garden space, the side return infill makes use of a typically disused part of the property.  

Will you need planning for a side return extension?  

If you own the property, then often times the extension can be built under permitted development. This means you won’t need planning permission. If you don’t apply for planning then your extension will need to meet these rules 

  • Single storey  
  • Be no more than 4m  
  • Be no wider than half the width of the original house 
  • If the extension is within two meters of a boundary, maximum eaves height should be no higher than 3m to be permitted development.  
  • Not exceed 50% of the total area of land around the original house. Sheds and outbuildings must be included when calculating the above 50% limit. 

Before you start work you will need to notify the council who will then consult with your neighbours. The council will take any concerns or objections on board in relation to the impact of your extension on neighboring properties. 

A common restriction as a result of this process is the need to limit the height of the wall on or next to the boundary wall, to reduce the impact of the loss of light. Permitted development rules allow boundary walls and fences to be erected up to 2m.  

What structural work is involved?  

  • A new wall is built on either the boundary of you and your neighbours land, or just in your side of the boundary.  
  • A roof is added. You should consider a fully glazed design or one with a couple of skylights, so you get maximum natural light.  
  • The side wall to the existing rear room is either completely or partially knocked through. And a steel frame may need to be installed into the wall to support this new opening. 
  • A new floor is usually put in, level with the existing floor.  

How much does a side return extension cost? 

The cost of a side return extension depends on a couple of things such as the size, the quality, and the area. The prices in London can be a lot higher than in the rest of the UK.  

But averagely the cost of this type of extension would be between £30,000 and £65,000. The cost per square meter also varies due to the same reasons. Outside of London, the cost is typically £1,500 to £2,400 per square meter. Whereas, in London, it can go up to £4,500 per square meter.  

How long does it take to build?  

Finally, it should take around 3 – 4 months to build your new extension. However, the project length could be longer if you need to get planning permission and if any delays happen.    

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Building an upwards extension in 2022: new permitted development rules

In 2020, you might have heard about some of the changes that were made to the permitted development rights. These changes mean that you could do more to your property without planning permission. Since that point, additional information has come to light that might affect how you proceed with your project. In addition, here’s everything to know about permitted development in 2022.  

What is permitted development rights?  

Permitted development rights are a national grant of planning permission. Which allow certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without having to make a planning application.  

What is an upwards extension?  

An upwards extension is basically adding more storeys to your home. However, with the new rule’s homeowners, developers, and landlords can build upwards and add up to two storeys without the need for planning permission. The government has enforced this rule because there is a housing shortage and they are eager to not concrete over green space.   

Homes that were excluded from the changes –  

  • Listed buildings  
  • Flats or maisonettes 
  • Some new developments  
  • Homes within Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. 

The new permitted development rights for an upwards extension means that the following buildings can add a maximum of two storeys:  

  • Detached commercial buildings  
  • Detached houses (to build new flats) 
  • Houses (if the new storeys are to extend a home) 
  • Terraced/ semi-detached commercial buildings  
  • Terraced/ semi-detached (to build new flats) 
  • Detached, purpose-built blocks 

Benefits of building upwards –  

Firstly, creating new homes by adding extra storeys on an existing building will help homeowners, developers, and landlords, maximise the space they own. By extending upwards you will also not be cutting into your garden space.  

Which is a good thing if you live in the city because the greener areas you have the less pollution there is.  

Building upwards is cheaper than a regular extension. This is because you don’t need to buy roofing materials for the first floor and you don’t need foundation materials for the second storey.  

Upwards extension

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Extensions, House Extension

The basic information to know about Double-storey extensions

A double-storey extension may seem like a much larger project to do in comparison to a single storey. They’re often a more budget-efficient way to add extra space to your home and is a lot cheaper than moving house.  

Will you need planning permission for a double-storey extension?  

It is possible that you can build a double-storey extension under permitted development, but it is very likely that you will need planning permission. The basic rules that planning permission will be required are if the extension:  

  • Extends towards the road 
  • Increases the overall height of the building 
  • Covers more than half the area of land surrounding your home 
  • Is taller than 4m  
  • Extends more than 6m from the rear of an attached house 
  • Extends more than 8m from the rear of a detached house 
  • Is more than half the width of your house 
  • Uses different materials to those of the original house 
  • Includes a balcony or raised veranda 

Designing the double-storey extension –  

You should consider how to blend the extension with your existing home to make sure that it doesn’t look out of place. You can do this by matching the floors and walls between the new and existing space. Another way is to use the same decorations such as colour schemes, furniture and mouldings.  

You may also need to reconfigure the layout of the upstairs to make the new access to the rooms feel natural.  

Adding in windows and doors that capture the most sunlight and the best views are a major point to think about when it comes to designing an extension. Bi-fold doors are a very popular option because it’s a great way to bring the outside in. They also make the space feel bigger and they allow for a lot of sunlight to enter the property.  

How much does a double-storey extension cost?  

The average price of a double-storey extension can cost around £60,000 however, this depends on the size of the space, your location, and how you plan on using the space. 

A big factor in the cost of your extension will be the finish you are aiming to achieve. Here are a few types of finish and what they consist of depending on the size:  

  • Basic – The bare essentials. £40,000 – £90,000 
  • Average – A mix of basic and bespoke items. £47,000 – £95,000 
  • Deluxe – All fixtures and fittings are top quality. £55,000 –  £100,000 

Duration of the project –  

The time scales of your project can never be precise due to delays that can happen. But roughly this is how long you should expect your extension to take:  

  • Small extension – 8 – 10 weeks  
  • Medium extension – 10 – 12 weeks  
  • Large extension – 12 – 14 weeks  

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Extensions, Loft Conversion

What the options are for extending a terrace house?

Terraced houses are one of the most common styles of homes in the UK, especially in busier towns and cities. Terrace houses offer a huge amount of potential; however, they can have small rooms that get very little natural light. The best way you get extra space is by extending the property.  

Find out here what some of the options are for extending a terraced house. 

Rear extension –  

One of the best options for adding space to this style of house is by adding a rear extension. If you have a nice-sized garden then this may be the option for you. By extending into your garden, you could add bi-fold doors to the property and create an indoor/ outdoor living environment.  

If you meet the permitted development requirements, you will be able to extend up to 6 meters, without applying for planning permission.  

Can you have a two-storey extension? 

Planning permission is usually required if you want to add a two-storey rear extension on a terraced house. In many cases, planning is rejected because a two-storey extension that close to the neighbours can cause harm to their living conditions. For example, through loss of privacy, overshadowing, and/ or dominance.  

Internal renovating/ reconfiguration –  

Terrace homes can often consist of small rooms and hallways. One way to open the space up is by knocking down the walls creating an open plan area. By creating an open-plan space it will make your home feel bigger and will brighten the place up because more natural light will flow.  

Terraced loft conversion –  

A great way to create extra bedrooms in a terrace house is by extending upwards instead of out. Before you even plan on a loft conversion you need to make sure you have enough head height. To be approved and to live comfortably you must have a minimum head height of 2.2 meters. It is important that you have enough headroom because you can’t remove and lift a terraced house roof.  

Terrace house side return –  

If you have a small garden and room in between your house and the neighbouring property, then a side return extension will work perfectly. A side return extension is one of the more cost-effective extension types, depending on where you’re from the prices can vary from £2,000 – £4,000 per square meter.

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Is a glass extension the same as a conservatory?

When it comes to glass rooms, one of the most common questions asked is how are they different from a conservatory. Although, they have many similarities being that they, both allow natural light, provide a sense of indoor and outdoor living, and protect you from the elements. There are also a few differences when it comes to the two.  

What is a glass extension?  

Glass box extensions are made from structural glass units supported with glass beams and fins. They can create a completely clear, frameless extension space with no metal supports visible.  

What is a conservatory?  

A conservatory is a building or room having glass roofing and walls, usually used as a sunroom.  

What are the differences?  

The aesthetic –  

This is one of the main differences between the two extensions. A glass extension’s aim is to create a smooth frameless look so that you will have unobstructed views. Giving the place a clean, minimalistic vibe with more light. Whereas, conservatories have large, thicker frames, giving the house a more traditional feel.  

Planning permission –  

A conservatory and a glass room are an extension to the house, meaning that it will have to follow building regulations for permitted development. If you don’t want to follow permitted development then you will have to apply for full planning permission.  

Whether you need planning permission for an extension will depend on:  

  • Your local planning requirements  
  • The size of the room  
  • Location  
  • Conservation area restrictions  
  • The position in relation to your neighbour’s property 

Cost –  

Glass extensions are usually more expensive than conservatories to build. This is because the quality and durability of aluminum is a lot higher than uPVC which is used on conservatories. So, as the materials are of higher quality the glass extension would cost more to build.  

The average cost of a conservatory is around £15,000; however, the prices can vary depending on the size and features. In addition, this is one of the cheapest ways to create more living space in your home.  

Whereas, on average, for a glass extension the prices start from around £14,000 and can go up and over £80,000 for a large project. 

Pros and Cons of conservatories and glass extensions – 

Conservatories –  

Pros –  

  • Low cost. 
  • Can be used nearly all year round.  
  • Double glazing provides higher insulation U-values.  

Cons –  

  • Can look dated sometimes. 
  • Framed windows and wall components can restrict views.  
  • Design limitations. Can be restricted to predetermined shapes and sizes.  

Glass extension –  

Pros –  

  • Unique style.  
  • Uninterrupted views of the garden  
  • Made to measure, for more flexibility with design.  
  • Combine sliding walls and doors for an adaptable living space.  

Cons –  

  • A bigger initial investment. 
  • They are uninsulated. You may want to add heaters to make the space usable outside of summer.   

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Extensions, Garage Conversion

How much does a garage extension cost in 2022?

Building a garage extension is a great way to add extra space to your home. By adding an extension, you could maximise storage space, or make room for an extra car. Garages are an excellent way to keep your homes tidy and clutter-free because you can put as much storage as you like in them. 

If you have decided that your home needs additional space, you should read on and see the average price for a garage extension UK in 2022.  

Why have material prices been affected?  

Firstly, the prices for an extension will be a lot higher than a couple of years ago because prices of materials have risen. The lockdowns and Brexit have caused the prices of materials to fluctuate.  

Due to shortages, there is a range of materials that prices have increased, for example:  

  • Insulation  
  • Timber 
  • Roof tiles 
  • Cement  
  • Plywood 

How much does a single storey garage extension cost? 

The cost of garage extension varies depending on the type and size of the garage you choose.  

The average cost of a single-storey 16 m2 garage can be anywhere between £2,000 – £20,000. 

The cheapest type of extension would be a wooden or a concrete pre-fabricated garage.  

What is a pre-fabricated garage?  

This is a garage that is manufactured off-site and transported to the location where it would be used.. When it gets to your property, it usually takes 1 – 3 days to put together.  

Pre-fab garages are often used because they are the cheapest. Re-fab concrete garages cost between £3,000 – £7,000 and wooden one’s cost between £2,000 – £6,000. Although they are the cheapest option which is a positive to many people, they have less security and they last less time. 

How much do brick extensions cost?  

 Brick garages are the most common type of garage in the UK. However, they are also the most expensive design. They are of much higher quality and more secure than the pre-fabricated buildings.  

A brick garage in 2022 can averagely cost between £13,500 – £20,000. And usually takes 2 – 4 weeks to complete, however, it could take longer if there are any delays.  

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Side Extension: Your Questions Answered

What is a side extension?  

A side extension is often built in the kitchen area or at the back of the home. A side extension also known as a side return extension is the pathway that runs alongside the ground floor of your home. Constructing can bring many benefits to your home such as creating additional space, light and comfort. Side extensions can create new rooms for other activities and your needs. 

Does a side extension increase property value? 

In the majority of cases this will increase you’re the value of your property. This could increase your property value to up to 23%. 

Is Planning Permission needed when adding a side extension? 

No, planning permission is not needed. A side return extension is considered to be permitted development. However, if the development does not satisfy certain criteria, you will need planning permission. To keep your construction under permitted development you cannot go any further than six meters out or eight if you live in a detached home.  

Questions Frequently Asked

Can you add a side extension to a semi-detached house?  

Yes, however your local council would want to make sure this does not affect your neighbours in anyway. For example, to make sure it doesn’t over shadow your neighbour’s home. 

Can you add a side extension to a terraced house? 

Yes. However, it is not common. 

Can you add a side extension to a detached house? 

Constructing on a detached home is a good option as you have a lot more open space than most homes. This will minimise the chances of impacting your neighbours.

Do you need an architect?

For all large home improvements an architect is recommend.

How much does a side extension cost?

Starting prices for a single-storey side extension are around 30,000 – 50,000 depending on the chosen dimensions of the build.

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Extensions, House Extension

Oak framed extensions: everything to know before building

An oak frame extension not only provides you with extra space but also brings warmth and character to your home. Here’s everything you need to know when planning to go for oak.  

Why choose an oak framed extension?  

There are many benefits to choosing an oak frame in your build, for example:  

  • The aesthetic – Many people like the look and feel of oak wood, its warm and cosy but also strong and reliable. The oak wood is also sustainable and is an eco-friendlier material.  
  • Faster to build – you can often get oak extension kits, meaning they are built and pre-assembled in workshops. While they are being made groundwork and other preparation start on site. Once completed the oak frame kit is delivered to the site and assembled in a matter of weeks.  
  • Will add value to the property – building an extension will always add value to a property. However, oak is considered to be a luxury becoming an investment down the line.  
  • Oak or timber? – if you are on the fence between the two woods oak is better for framing. Its strength and hardness work better in large, interlocking joints than soft woods do.  

Would you need planning permission?  

When it comes to any extension you must follow the planning rules. So, if your oak extension falls within permitted development, you won’t have to purchase a full planning application. Whereas, if you extend over 6 meters then you will need to apply for planning permission.  

Designing your oak extension –  

The easiest and most cost-effective way to build an oak extension is by working with an oak frame company. These types of extensions also use a variety of materials such as brick to create walls and are sturdier.  

How much would it cost?  

Because the oak frame is considered to be a luxury or premium building material it is more expensive. The average price of the project per square meter would be around £2,500. You also should keep in mind that you need to purchase other elements of the extension. For example, glazing, electrical, interior design, and so on. This means that you should budget accordingly before jumping straight in.  

How long do oak framed buildings last?  

If the building is constructed and maintained properly an oak frame structure can last for around 200 years.  

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Extensions, House Extension

How much does an extension cost in 2022?

Adding an extension to your home is a great way of saving money because it is cheaper than moving to a bigger home. Whether you want to increase the size of a current room, add a new room, or even an extra floor and extension is a great way to increase your living space.  

Material prices –  

It would be more expensive to build in 2022 because the prices for building materials across the UK have skyrocketed over the last year. This is due to the increase in supply and demand as a result of lockdowns and Brexit. Because there is a material shortage the prices have fluctuated massively.  

One thing you should consider and be okay with when looking for work to be done:  

  • Longer waiting times  
  • Quotes changing (prices can change quickly) 
  • Higher quotes 

How much does an extension cost?  

The cost of an extension varies majorly depending on the size, how you use it, and what features you would like. The less complex and smaller extension will be the most affordable. 

For a single-storey shell, the average price per square meter is:  

  • On a budget – £1,000 to £1,600.  
  • Mid-range – £1,700 to £2,000.  
  • Luxury – £2,200 to £4,000. 

Meaning on average a 30 square metre single storey extension built on a budget would cost between £30,000 to £48,000 in 2022. Excluding the fitting costs.  

Location of the home –  

The location of the home will affect the price of your build. Contractors in highly popular areas will often charge more, for example, London and the Southeast of the UK. 

How long does it take to build an extension?  

The longevity of the build all depends on the size of the build, the planning permission and gathering materials. Many contractors like to say the project will take around 3-6 months to be built. However, delays are very common, and you should be prepared for them to take slightly longer.   

Will an extension add value to the property?  

It’s almost definite that adding an extension would add value to your property. The average of a single-storey extension adds between 5 – 8 % value.  

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Advice Center, Extensions

What Are The Top 6 Different Types Of Porch?

The porch is the first thing visitors see as they approach your house. So, if you are looking to create a beautiful entrance to the front of your home but are unsure of what style of porch you would like, this blog is perfect for you.  

1 – Overhang 

Firstly, simple overhang porches can be visually beautiful. An overhang is the part of the roof that extends over the edge of the house. Porch overhangs help shield your house from strong winds and heavy rain. They can also help shade windows from the sun in the summer.  

80 The Best Front Porch Ideas #frontporchideas landscape ideas front yard,  porch and patio ideas, front porch ro… | Modern front porches, House  entrance, Porch roof

2 – An enclosed porch  

An enclosed porch is usually the traditional style in the UK. If you have limited hallway space, an enclosed porch is a great way to add extra space and storage. Many people use these as a space to keep your shoes and coats, so you don’t have to bring your dirty shoes inside the house. You should include plenty of light in the design of this porch so it’s not dark and gloomy.  

3 – Veranda   

A veranda may be a large porch that’s a room for outdoor enjoyment and entertainment. A veranda is an open-air porch or platform that has a roof and runs across the front and sides of the home. Often, enclosed by a railing and is mainly leveled with the ground level of the home. 

Glass Verandas: Everything You Need to Know | Canopies UK

4 – Open porches  

 An open porch is one without screens or any sort of enclosure. They are usually elevated structures, with a roof overhead and open support structures. If you prefer to have an airier open space then you might prefer an open area, rather than an indoor room.  

Border Oak Porches | Border Oak

5 – Deck  

Decks are open outdoor porches or platforms without a roof. They are typically made out of wood or some simulation wood material. Many homeowners like to go for this option because the materials make the deck look warm and inviting. However, decks can be more expensive to install due to the material, installation, and maintenance. 

Wood Decks: Ipe & Exotic Hardwoods Installed in Lancaster & Central PA –  Stump's Quality Decks & Porches


6 – Detached porches –  

A detached porch is separate and not attached to the house. They are usually connected to the house by a walkway or a wooden deck leading to it. The detached building can be screened in, open-air, glass-enclosed, or anything in between. These types of porches could potentially be more expensive because it is a separate structure from the house.  

What Is A Porch | 15 Types Of Porch Used For Home

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