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Understanding Extensions & Conversions

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In this article, we will discuss the increasing trend of extensions, conversions and renovations. We also discuss the dangers and restrictions before evaluating the benefits of various kinds of home improvements.

Current trends of extensions and conversions

The lockdown caused homeowners to look at their homes like never before, as they felt required by the need to stay longer in their homes. Families may be the most affected by the lack of living space, frequently having to search for areas that can be used to be used as a home office or for children who are in school. This has resulted in an re-evaluation of the home’s purposes, and the result is that many families face the issue of moving or expanding to make more space.

Numerous households, who have made savings by not having to commute and not traveling to other countries, have opted for the idea of a home improvement plan. This has led to a rise in the number of home extensions, as homeowners are seeking to increase area in the most efficient method.

Options for conversion or extension

Loft conversions as well as rear and side extensionsto garages, side and rear garden rooms, basement rooms or pods can all create more space and increase the value of a home in helping it realize its maximum potential. Another option is home improvement like a kitchen remodel, extensions or a bathroom remodel to increase functionality and offer the space you require.

Potential Pitfalls

Value adds up to the fact that there is a lower chance of buyers in the event that the property is priced above the ceiling of market value within the area. This could result in the expense of renovations to the property not being recouped at the time of a future sale.

Extending a house too much relative to the area of its area can have a negative impact on the value of the house rather than adding to the value, it could affect a sale in the future.

Increased light infiltration from glass may require measures to lessen the amount of glare or diffuse light. Building Regulations determine the amount of glass that can extend. It must also be in compliance with the energy efficiency standards.

A poorly constructed extension to your home can reduce the value of a home and result in the loss of the garden space.

Keep an eye on the growing cost and the current shortage of construction materials , which causes problems in the supply chain.

Check that your boiler is able to meet the additional demands put by a house extension.

Consult with your local authority to find out if the property extension is subject to Community Infrastructure Levy.

Insurance for site is required for both the current and the new structure.

Do you require permission to plan an extension?

Permitted development permits improvements and extensions to homes without needing to submit the application to grant planning approval, provided that certain requirements are satisfied. The work categories that are not considered to be development are described within the section 55 (2) of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990.

Permitted development includes loft conversions, extensions to properties garage conversions lights, solar panels , and new windows. However there are limitations in the size of construction work as well as the distance new extensions are from existing properties. In National parks, Permitted Development Rights differ and listed buildings require listed building permission. Change of use applications could also be required.

To ensure that a plan is compliant with the permitted development regulations An application for a certification of lawful development is submitted to the local authority for planning prior to the start of working. Planning permission granted locally may be granted for the kind of development you intend to build, like the Local Development Order; a Neighbourhoods’ Development Order or an Community Right to Build Order. A visit to the site by an official from the planning department may be required to determine the extent of extension and conversion works are permitted.

Even even if a formal planning application is not required, additional permits may be required like works that affect tree species, listed buildings permits and environmental permits, or licenses. Developers are responsible for ensuring that all necessary permits are obtained. Work that are not carried out with the necessary permissions could be a cause for enforcement actions In all instances, it is recommended to inquire with the local authority for planning prior to getting the project under the process.

Building Regulations

Even if the extension to your home can be constructed in accordance with Permitted Development Rights, the construction must receive Building Regulations approval: this establishes a minimum standard for the design, construction and modifications.

Building Regulations cover matters such as structural integrity and energy efficiency, fire safety damp proofing, ventilating electrical work, the rewiring of electrical wiring, underpinning and new waste plumbing and various safety checks that will be observed by site visits at various phases of construction process.


A structural inspection may be required, especially for an older structure prior building extensions to the property. Wildlife surveys could also be required. For instance bat surveys are necessary if your development is likely to affect bats that are legally protected. If trees are located in your development, and tree surveys may have to be conducted..


A seamless extension of your home is usually what people strive to achieve, but it requires skill and imagination The extension could be either in the look of the original structure or go with a contemporary look that is often a good match for an older structure.

To make sure that the extension is worth the house in relation to the cost it is crucial to look at similar homes in the vicinity and work with a seasoned team. When building on top of any existing single-storey structure such as a garage it is crucial to verify whether it’s strong enough to handle the additional weight: strengthening may be necessary or it might be more affordable to tear it down and then rebuild.

It is the Party Wall Act

The Party Wall Act 1996 is important because it was created to stop and settle disputes over wall boundaries, party walls and excavations within neighboring structures. The term “party wall” is used when the owners of both sides have a legal claim and a developer is required to inform the owners of adjacent properties about any proposed work and they have the right to challenge the proposed work. The Act governs new construction work along the boundary between two properties. Excavating are required to be no more than 3m or 6m of an neighboring property, depending on the depth.

Class Q Development

This type of development could be relevant for those contemplating changing redundant farm structures. According to the Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, Schedule 2, Part 3 Class Q permits changing the the use of a structure and the land within its curtilage, from an agricultural structure to dwelling house. It has to be in use for agricultural purposes at the time of the 20th March 2013, when it was put into agricultural use later the 10 year timeframe must be completed before the development permitted under the Class Q is permitted.

The amendment of 2018 differentiates between smaller and larger homes; for larger homes, the plan permits three separate houses that have a floor space not exceeding 465 square meters. For smaller homes, there is the maximum of five with a floor area of 500 square metres.

Offsite Construction Systems

They are worth looking into because they could reduce time and cost when building an extension to your house. They could include oak frames cross-laminated lumber, structural insulated panels , and frames made of timber.

Garage Conversions

As with the majority of extensions, there is the present time a significant increase in the amount of garage conversions that could add 20 percent more value to a home and provide it with new life. Garage conversions are often an effective way to create extra space. The average cost are around PS6,000. There is usually no requirement for walls or foundations, and electricity may already be present.

However, foundations could require reinforcement, walls might require repairs and the ceiling’s level may require alteration and all of these will require the help of a skilled team, such as architects or designers. A planning application might be needed, however the majority of garage conversions are permitted under permitted development.

Planning permission is required when the property is located within a conservation zone and the consent for change of use is always required, which requires Building Regulations approval. It is also necessary to review the deeds for the property to make sure there isn’t a obligation to keep parking in the property.

Loft conversions

One of the primary benefits of converting your loft is that they do not build over the valuable space of the garden and, in most cases need less labor walls and roofs are already in place and therefore only minor structural changes are needed. Loft conversions also give the chance to add more insulation in the roof, which makes your home more energy efficient.

The project is also less dependent on weather than extensions to the outside and is less disruptive, quicker and may be less expensive. According to a study by Nationwide The loft conversion that creates an additional bathroom and bedroom can increase by 21% the value of a home.

Basement extensions and cellars

The primary reasons behind deciding to build a basement is to conserve garden space, or to ensure that the possibilities of above-ground expansion are exhausted. Planning permission will be required and the local authority has a particular policy regarding underground development and it’s important to establish the precedent of neighbours who have succeeded in building basements.

The water table of the local area is a key factor. an elevated water table could increase the cost of construction: to determine this, check the Environmental Agency’s flood map. Access to the site during the various phases of construction work is also a factor to be considered. A skilled team is required, which includes an architect who is specialized as well as a structural engineer to complete various reports according to the most stringent standards.

Bathroom and Kitchen Extensions

The maximum potential of a house is often realized through the addition of a stunning kitchen. It is recommended to verify the position of the units as well as the cooker and white goods at an early stage in any plan to permit planning for electrical wiring and plumbing as well as ventilation. The plumbing schemes for bathrooms must be determined in the early stages.

Reconverted Churches and Barns

Although churches are likely to be identified and will require permits for their construction, they could create exciting living spaces in when converted with consideration. The wide spaces that is available in barns and churches can be adapted to an open arrangement, but since a custom method is usually required the project can be costly and the best standards need to be maintained. A skilled team as well as the assistance of an expert builder may be required. A solicitor might additionally be needed to provide advice on access rights and restrictive covenants. Deeds should be scrutinized carefully.

It is important to note that changes to the exterior of the building are usually not permitted and family members are required to have access to the graves that of the decedent. The architect should collaborate on the current structure in order to design an efficient plan that preserves the original character of the building when it is possible. Although compromises are inevitable but energy efficiency is the key in ensuring compliance with Building Regulations.