The Cube, Winchester: modern Houses by Adam Knibb Architects

What must I know when planning a side home extension?

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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In the quest to find more space, we have a few options to pick from, including moving house. However, this is not always a viable option, especially if you’re happy with the area you’re currently living in as it’s situated in a safe neighbourhood, located close to work and school, etc. 

Another choice that won’t see you pack up and move away, yet still gain more space, would be to consider extending the legroom you currently have – and this is definitely a sure-fire way to add value to your property. The benefits of adding an extension to your house include:  

• Avoiding the costs, effort and time associated with moving.

• The ability to create greater living space to meet your present needs.

• The ability to future-proof your home design.

Sound good to you? Let’s investigate a bit more…

1. The key points of an extension

Glazed side return extensions in Bath: modern Conservatory by Style Within
Style Within

Glazed side return extensions in Bath

Style Within

Any side extension you propose can be no wider than half the width of the original structure. If you intend to build within 2 metres of the boundary, the important thing to recognise is the height restrictions that apply depending on the style of extension you propose.

Furthermore, did you know that your extension may not exceed 50% of your garden area? In working this out, please remember to include in your calculation those outbuildings which already exist (like your garage or garden shed).

Should you live within any area that enjoys a statutory designation, such as a conservation area or national park, do remember that it will not be possible to build a side extension without planning permission.

2. When is planning permission needed?

Outside look of the unique side extension: modern Houses by Affleck Property Services
Affleck Property Services

Outside look of the unique side extension

Affleck Property Services

Planning permission will not be required if:

• The extension to the side of the property is only one-storey, not higher than 4 metres and not wider than half the width of the original dwelling house. 

• Conservatories and single-storey rear extensions within 2 metres of a boundary are no higher than 3 metres with a flat roof or 4 metres with a pitched roof. 

• The new materials match the existing ones. 

• No more than 50% of your private garden will be used for the extension. In this calculation, you must include any outbuildings that already exist.

However, bear in mind that building regulations are required to build a side extension.

3. Other extensions: First floor- and two-storey extensions

The Cube, Winchester: modern Houses by Adam Knibb Architects
Adam Knibb Architects

The Cube, Winchester

Adam Knibb Architects

In addition to side extensions, you can also opt for a first-floor and two-storey extension. The beauty of going with such a project means it will: 

• Increase your living space, creating the opportunity to add an additional bedroom or bathroom, etc. 

• Add value to the property.

• Cut the time, effort and costs associated with moving home.

Remember that a two-storey extension is not that much more expensive than a single-storey extension, seeing as both projects require foundations and a roof.

Bear in mind that planning permission for such extensions is not always required, although this does depend on certain criteria.

4. Other extensions: Conservatories and rear extensions

Conservatory with Bronze Casement Windows on a Period Farmhouse: classic Conservatory by Vale Garden Houses
Vale Garden Houses

Conservatory with Bronze Casement Windows on a Period Farmhouse

Vale Garden Houses

On the other hand, a conservatory and/or rear extension also brings with it its fair share of advantages, such as:  

• Increased living space.

• Garden views.

• More natural light streaming indoors, thanks to the glazed structure. 

Bear in mind that planning permission for such extensions is not always required, although this does depend on certain criteria.

Architects, gardeners, and much more – we have them all here on homify. See our professionals page for more info.

5. Other extensions: Garage conversions

Feel that your garage could become much more usable once it’s turned into a habitable accommodation? Not only will this create additional living space, but can also offer a viable solution to those wishing to work from home. And remember that you will always have the option of converting it back into a garage at a later date. 

Bear in mind that planning permission for such extensions is not always required, although this does depend on certain criteria.

6. Other extensions: Cellar or basement spaces

basement creation and 3 storey house extension: minimalistic Houses by Ar'Chic
Ar'Chic

basement creation and 3 storey house extension

Ar'Chic

Presently, converting an existing residential cellar or basement into a living space is unlikely to require planning permission (in most cases). But bear in mind that this is also subject to certain criteria, including a light well not being added, or that the project does not affect the appearance of the property. 

Want to get some more information on planning permission?  Have a look at: “What do I need to know about planning permission?”.

Planning on extending your space at home?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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