Tag: planning permission

Loft Conversion

The best 2022 guide to a Velux loft conversion

If you’re looking to gain extra space in your home, and want to add value to the property, then a loft conversion can be a great solution.  

What is a Velux loft conversion? 

A Velux loft conversion is when the shape of the existing roof is retained and Velux windows are installed into the rafters. The rafters will have to be cut depending on the size of the new windows, the inside of the roof space is fitted out to a carefully thought-out design. The name Velux is after a famous brand of loft windows.   

Will you need planning permission?  

Most loft conversions are considered permitted development, which means you won’t need to get planning permission as long as the building work fits certain criteria. So, if you’re looking to get a simple conversion with roof windows, you generally don’t need to worry. However, it is best to check just to be safe.  

How long does a this loft conversion take to complete? 

Velux loft conversions are usually completed in between 4 and 6 weeks since they are one of the simplest conversion types. 

Cost of a Velux loft conversion –  

The average cost for a Velux loft conversion is around £27,500. However, there are various things that will affect the cost such as: 

  • Size of windows 
  • Number of windows required 
  • Type of windows 
  • Head height and space of your loft 
  • Where you live 
  • Style and quality of finishings  

Velux windows –  

A Velux window is easier to install than a dormer window, and still provides a good amount of light to the space. The windows are paired with a number of modern features, such as: 

  • Electric operation  
  • Solar operation 
  • Top hung hinges  
  • Hundreds of blinds and shutter options  
  • Extra-large balcony windows 

How they can transform your home? 

Compared to other loft conversions, Velux requires less construction and hence low cost. The main addition in the loft will be the Velux windows to transform the space. Many of our clients have used this extra space for: 

  • Bedroom 
  • Home Office 
  • Living Room 
  • Bathroom 
  • Entertainment Room 

You see, there are lots of possibilities to transform this unliveable place into something useful for the whole family. Furthermore, the windows in the loft will allow for more natural light and ventilation. If you are living in a warm area, then you can use glass that prevents sunlight from entering. 

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Everything there is to know about wraparound extensions

A wraparound extension is a great way to add space to the rear of the house for an open-plan design. Here’s what you need to know.  

What is a wraparound extension?  

Wraparound extensions are essentially a hybrid of side and rear extensions which form an L-shape at the back of the property. By maximising the space to the side and extending to the rear, the wraparound extension gives you an impressive extension that will transform how you live.  

Why choose a wraparound extension?  

With this type of extension, you can extend into the side alley of your house, if you have one. Meaning you won’t have to extend that far into your garden, which is ideal for people who have a small outside area.  

Here are some other advantages of an L-shape extension: 

  • Opens up your kitchen area 
  • Brings more light into your home 
  • Plenty of design options 
  • Allows better connection to the garden 
  • Allows space for new rooms.  

Would you need planning permission?  

It is likely that you would need planning permission for a wraparound extension. While a small side return extension and a rear extension may be possible under permitted development, there might be restrictions for joining them together.  

Permitted development rules that would apply to both the side and rear elements of wraparound extensions include: 

  • You can extend a detached property by 8m to the rear if it’s a single-storey extension. (6m for a semi or terraced house) 
  • An extension must not result in more than half the garden being covered 
  • Side extensions can only be single storey with a maximum height of 4m and a width no more than half of the original building.  

How much do they cost?  

There is no set price for a wraparound extension because every project is different and the costs vary. Averagely in London, you are looking at paying around £75,000 to £145,000, and outside of London, you can expect to pay £60,000 to £120,000.  

A few factors which will vary the prices are:  

  • Materials used. Some materials are more expensive to build with, due to their quality and accessibility.  
  • Structural work. The more structural work you have for your project will increase the construction budget.  
  • Contractors. Individual contractors are cheaper. However, they can be slower without the access to additional resources and relationships that you would like larger companies.  
How much does a wrap around extension cost? // Wrap around single storey  extension

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Loft Conversion

Adding a dormer to an existing loft conversion

There are two reasons why people may want to do this: 

  • People buy a house with an existing roofline conversion and decide they want to upgrade the loft accommodation. They might do this to make the space larger, brighter and, perhaps change the interior usage.  
  • Secondly, the loft conversion is planned in two stages to spread the cost. Or because the demand for accommodation at that time is satisfied with a simpler roofline conversion. 

What is a dormer loft conversion? 

A dormer is a box-like structure with vertical walls which come out from the roof slope. They can vary in size and style. In addition, dormers are commonly used to increase the usable space in a loft and to create window openings in the roof.  

Do you need planning permission to add dormers to an existing loft conversion? 

The same planning deliberations will apply to the upgrade just like if you were to start from scratch. If your loft conversion was built under permitted development, you shouldn’t assume that the dormer you’re adding will be as well. So, some points that may make you need planning permission are: 

  • How far the dormer windows project from the roof 
  • Whether the property is listed or in a conservation area.  
  • How much structural change is made to the appearance and height of the existing roof.  
  • The overall size of the loft conversion, the upgrade could make the conversion larger than the original design.  
  • Your neighbours are affected by your dormer. Either by being over shadowed or over looked.  
  • The dormer exceeds 40 square meters on a terraced house or 50 square meters on a semi-detached or detached house.  

Although, not all dormer conversions require planning permission. Your builder or architect will be able to advise you on whether your plans fall within permitted development rights.  

Advantages of adding a dormer –  

Dormer loft conversions are one of the most popular options when it comes to loft conversions. So, here are some advantages of adding them:  

  • They are suitable for almost every type and style of house. 
  • Dormers increase the head height and usable floor space.  
  • You can use any type of window to match the property. You aren’t confined to Velux windows or roof lights.  
  • Could add a small Juliet balcony 

How much would it cost?  

Finally, if you already have an existing loft conversion and you want to add a dormer, you should expect to pay upwards of £5000. However, this all depends on the size, style, and other factors when it comes to a dormer.  

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Architecture & Building

How much does it cost to build Annexe?

Firstly, a garden annexe can transform a family’s life. By giving the person living in the building closeness to their loved ones. Whilst maintaining the privacy of having their own space. It provides the best of both worlds, especially if the main property doesn’t have the space or privacy required to accommodate a family member.   

What is an annexe?  

An annexe is a building joined to or associated with the main building, providing additional space or accommodation. It’s a self-contained living space featuring a kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. In addition, the outbuilding can be attached to the main property or housed in a converted outbuilding.  

Will you need an architect? 

While an architect isn’t essential when it comes to building an annexe because it is a project that you can DIY. However, you may want to hire an architect to help you with the planning and positioning process to make sure your project is legal and safe.  

Planning rules –  

An annexe is usually considered to be an outbuilding, which is defined as being incidental to the use of the property. This is important as it will dictate whether you need planning permission.  

The local authority is likely to have concerns over things such as:  

  • The overall size of the annexe in relation to the main house and size of your garden. 
  • The specification of the living accommodation needs to be considered ancillary to the main house to be an annexe.  
  • They will want to know the reason you want to build an annexe. And what long term plans you have for it.  

How much does it cost to build?  

On average it is estimated to cost between £68,000 to £140,000 to build an average-sized one. An annexe is known to add as much as 20-30% value to the property, so it is a great investment. People have also been known to rent out their annexes, which can be a good thing because the property owner is getting some more income.  

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Advice Center, Loft Conversion

Common mistakes made by people when converting their loft

When you need more space converting your loft can be a great way to go about it. Installing one can be a big investment, so it is important that you make sure nothing goes wrong during the process. Here are some of the most common mistakes made by people, so you can avoid them.  

Not checking if you have enough headroom in the loft- 

Before you even make an enquiry to build a loft conversion you should check to see if you have enough headroom. You need a minimum of 2.2 meters for a loft conversion to be possible. Unless you live in a detached property and have the money to be able to raise the roof.  

How to measure your headroom –  

 The most important measurement you need to take is from the highest point, directly under the roof, vertically down to the floor. Once you have your tape measure in place you just need to check if it’s at least 2.2m.  

Assuming that you don’t need planning permission –  

A loft conversion is typically classed as permitted development, meaning that you don’t need planning permission. However, you shouldn’t always assume because your house or the area you live in could have limitations and conditions. For example, a listed building or a conservation area, which might need a full planning application.  

Positioning the new staircase in the wrong place –  

The position of your new staircase is crucial because it impacts the layout and architecture of the whole house. The staircase should give your home balance, and not seem like it’s intruding on the bedrooms or the upstairs space.  

Ignoring the neighbours –  

If you live in a terraced or semi-detached property, the wall you share with your neighbours is called a party wall. You must tell your neighbours that you’re planning to do a loft conversion and get a party wall agreement in place before work starts.  

Your neighbours have the right to disagree with the conversion, so communication is key and a party wall agreement is necessary to avoid issues.  

Poor loft design layout –  

Lofts often have limited space so the layout of your loft conversion is so important. You should make sure that the space can get lots of natural light. You should also make sure that the roof and wall space is being utilised to maximum effect.  

How Can I Make My Loft Conversion Feel Bigger? | Houzz UK

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The basic information to know before installing a Lean-to Conservatory

Home extensions can often be seen as a difficult task to start, but they don’t have to be. Lean-to extensions are a great solution because they are time efficient, relatively cost-effective, and create a lot of space.  

What is a lean-to-conservatory?  

A lean-to extension is usually a single-storey structure constructed to enable the roof to lean against an outer wall of the existing property.  

Will you need planning permission for a lean-to-conservatory?  

Due to lean-to-conservatories normally being smaller in size it is unlikely that you will need planning permission. However, if you’re planning to put in a gable-ended conservatory with a taller and steeper roof you will need to see if your plans comply with building regulations. 

Planning permission is not usually needed. Although, it is likely you will need approval from your local building control department if you want to replace a glazed roof with a solid roof.  

you may need Planning permission if:  

  • It is taller than 4 meters. 
  • The conservatory width is bigger than half of the house.  
  • The extension can’t be higher than the eaves of your existing home.   

Are lean-to-conservatories any good?  

The biggest benefit of a lean-to-conservatory is the amount of space it can provide. It is also one of the brightest and most airy conservatory-style because of the straight edges and lack of detail. Due to its simplicity, it can be a very affordable option. Compared to a traditional extension or conservatory.  

How much do lean-to-conservatories cost?  

Depending on what kind of conservatory you choose will decide the price of your project. The average cost for this project would be between £4,500 – £10,500.   

Key characteristics of this conservatory –  

  • There smaller  

They are smaller than other conservatories and usually share two walls with the house rather than standing further apart and having three walls.  

  • They’re flexible  

These conservatories come in a wide variety of materials and can have many different add-ons if you’re not happy with the standard structure. You can add a dwarf wall, depending on if you think the structure needs more stability, however, this may need planning permission.  

  • They are DIY-able  

You can order lean-to-conservatories to be delivered and build them yourself. By doing this it will save you a load of money because you won’t have to pay for any workmen.  

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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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Garage Conversion

Garage conversion 2022: all you should know before you start

Firstly, a garage conversion is one of the quickest and most affordable routes to adding floor space. These types of projects can often be completed in a little over a week. In addition, many people often just use their garages as a place to put their cars or as a storage room. However, maybe it’s a great time to consider converting your garage and making it into a valuable asset.  

Is your garage suitable for a conversion?  

A garage conversion is classed as a change of use, so it will require building regulations approval.  

To comply with building regs your garage conversion must:  

  • Be structurally sound 
  • Have a damp proof course 
  • Have all of the electrics tested 
  • Be moisture proofed, with good ventilation 
  • Have been fire proofed and have escape routes 
  • Have wall, floor, and loft insulation so that its energy efficient 

Will you need planning permission to convert your garage?  

Most garage conversions will usually fall under permitted development, meaning that planning permission is not required. However, it is still best to check with your local authority, because there is a small percentage that will require planning permission.  

If your home is listed or in a conservation area, then it is very likely that you will need planning permission before you can convert your garage.  

Insulating the garage conversion – 

It is important that the new room is warm and energy-efficient. In order to comply with building regs, you will need insulation.  

In addition, the simplest way to add insulation to the walls is with insulated plasterboard fitted to timber battens above the damp-proof course.  

How much will it cost?  

A garage conversion is a relatively low-cost way of increasing your living space. This is because you don’t need to pay for laying new foundations or building new walls and you also may have power.  

For a single garage conversion, you should budget around £20,000 – £30,000 with some variation due to your choice of materials and fittings.  

It is also worth mentioning that a construction material shortage is causing a spike in many building materials.  

Factors that could affect the cost of your garage conversion –  

  • Planning applications 
  • If you use an architect or designer 
  • Whether you need to use a structural engineer 
  • Whether the foundations need to be reinforced 
  • If the ceiling height needs to be raised. You need around 2.2-2.4m of headroom. 
  • If the walls, floors, or roof need to be repaired. It may be cheaper to demolish your garage and start again.  

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Important information to know when Converting a house into flats

Converting a house into flats is becoming very popular. Landlords and homeowners are now converting homes into flats because it is a great way to make money. Especially in city locations where flats are becoming in demand more. If you are interested in converting your home, carry on reading.  

Make sure you research –  

Before you buy or alter any property it is very important that you do in detail research about the property and project. 

 Here are a few things you should find out more about:  

  • Desirable areas and upcoming locations. It is important that you buy a property within walking distance of popular transport areas and near local amenities. It is also smart to look for locations that could become popular in the future. There is no point in purchasing a property on a street or area no one wants to live in.  
  • Property prices. It’s vital to find out what the average house prices are in that area, so you know if you’re overpaying or not. You should also keep in mind that you are converting the property so you don’t want to spend all of your budget.
  • The rental market. Finding out what the rental market is like will also help you massively. Knowing if people are looking for flats, who is renting in the area, and what style of home is the most popular will help you in the long run.  

Will you need planning permission for converting a house into flats?  

Any project that has a large dwelling and splits it into multiple new units will need to undergo a full planning application before they proceed. Each council has different policies and they will dictate the size of the rooms, how many you can have, and if you can even go through with the conversion. 

You may have to hire a solicitor to work with you to find out if you are legally able to convert the house. It is also handy to have a solicitor because they can help you create leases for the flats. It’s important to have leases because you won’t be able to sell without them.  

Conversion costs –  

The cost of converting a house into flats depends on the property and the location. On average the standard conversion should cost around £25,000. Conversions are known to be big projects. This means you should expect the project to take around 6 months to be completed.  

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Advice Center

Everything to know about Area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB)

What is an area of outstanding natural beauty?

An AONB is an area of countryside in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, that has been designated for conservation due to its significant landscape value. It is also protected by the countryside and rights of way act 2000 (CROW Act).

How are AONBs made?

Natural England can make orders to designate areas of outstanding natural beauty or vary the boundaries of existing ones. Before natural England proposes an area to become an AONB, it must meet the natural beauty criterion. This could be multiple different factors, such as:

Landscape quality.

Scenic quality.

Relative wildness, such as distance from housing or having few roads.

Natural heritage features, such as distinct species and habitat.

Relative tranquillity, where all you can hear is natural sounds.

Cultural heritage.

History –

The idea that would eventually become the AONB designation was first put forward by John Dower in 1945. Dower was a civil servant and architect, who was a secretary of the standing committee on national parks. Dower suggested there was a need for the protection of certain naturally beautiful landscapes that were unsuitable as national parks. They were usually unsuitable because of their small size and lack of wildness.

Can you build or renovate an area of outstanding natural beauty?

Before developing your property, it is important for you to know what rights you have as a property owner in an AONB. Because of the area, your permitted development rights may be reduced, and planning permission grants may become more uncommon.

Permitted development is a development that you can carry out without needing to apply for full planning permission. You may still need approval under other legislations.

You might be able to extend a house in an AONB under permitted development if you follow the rules, are some examples:

It must not go more than 4m beyond the rear wall of the property if it’s a detached house or 3m for any other dwelling.

Must not be more than 4m high.

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