Where to start with your house extension plans?

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Following on from my blog post on why we chose to extend over moving and our feature in The Sun I wanted to do a blog post to show how easy it is to make a start on a house extension project.

Initially you need to know what you can do with your house as it stands now. Not necessarily at this stage from a design point of view but more from the planning side of things so where to start?

Did you know you can build within the ‘permitted development rights’ which means you don’t NEED planning permission for certain developments. This is exactly how we managed to build our single story extension on our terraced property by only extending 3m from the rear wall of the house.

You can see a better explanation of the above over at this link but basically you can build out of your house by;

  • 3m on an attached house be it a terrace or a semi detached property or
  • 4m on a detached house

All this being said, extended limits are currently in force for both designed houses in the form of the neighbour consultation scheme in that up until May 2019 you can extend up-to;

  • 5m on an attached house or
  • 8m on a detached house.

During our planning we too went down the neighbour consultation scheme too; we didn’t need it nor did we end up extending any further than 3m but it was free and it meant if we did want to go a little further than we knew if we could (or couldn’t!)

The council sent letters to our neighbours who had the right to respond with their opinions or objections but ultimately the decision would be down to the Council. Other houses have extensions in the area so we knew there wouldn’t be an issue.

Once we knew where we could build to we started doodling! Literally, no joke! We didn’t get a architect (although some builders do insist on professional drawings!) we just knocked up some plans ourselves initially.

Now don’t rush through this part and don’t rule out anything. Draw every single possible option even if on the face of it your not massively keen. Consider how things might change in the future; are you planning children, is it going to massively reduce your garden (that’s why we chose to stick with 3m extension instead of 4m), which way does the sun go, are you going to block any from your garden, do you want a through extension or would you prefer to block the extra room off?

We opted for a bit of both; we chose to keep the original kitchen where it was, that way we didn’t need to end up moving all our appliances and drains etc. We would’ve loved a bigger kitchen but realistically we need the extra room as a whole, not specifically for the kitchen.


Plan your house extension for free!

As we went through our drawings, ruling out what we both liked and what we didn’t like about the extension possibilities it got us thinking about the things we could possibly do with the existing house too!

So within our plans we started demolishing walls, building walls, moving doors and pretty much changing the whole downstairs of the house too…. oops!

The vlog below will help you visually with what I’m referring to but I find it so crazy to look back…  we ended up knocking the dining room wall down and included an island in our kitchen design too. We also kept the original sloping room and popped in two Velux windows as you can see the back window is now quite far away from the kitchen and when cooking etc we needed access to some fresh air.

You should be able to see what was the back wall where the window was; we literally just took the window out, and moved it 3m’s out!  That was it. They didn’t have to knock anything down they just brick built walls to the side, also removed the French doors back to the entrance of the new extension and bobs your uncle.  The fact we reused our old kitchen window and put it in the extension whilst also using our French doors too which saved us a lot!

If you want to see more of the demolition then check out one of our weekly vlogs when we were knee deep in dust….

Thanks for reading!


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