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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 on how cheaply you can make a start on your renovation project and plan your house extension for free!
Initially you need to know what you can do with your house as it stands now.
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
That been said, did you know that up until May next year you can actually extend up to;
- 5m on an attached house or
- 8m on a detached house.
Extended limits are currently in force for both style houses in the form of the neighbour consultation scheme.
During our planning we went down the neighbour consultation scheme option too; we didn’t actually need to nor did we end up extending any further than 3m! But again it didn’t cost us a penny to do and it meant if we did want to go a little further than we knew if we could or we couldn’t.
The council sent letters to our neighbours who had the right to respond with their opinions or objections. 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 and it’s great if you don’t fancy knocking on your neighbours door to tell them what you are thinking of doing!
Planning aka doodling!
Once we knew where we could build to we started doodling! Literally, no joke! No we didn’t get an architect; we just knocked up some plans ourselves initially.
We used floorplanner.com to make a start on our plans. It’s free and certainly one of the simplest planning tools out there. You can save your plan as pdf document to email or print later. Its actually really funny to see that when I logged onto to floor planner the last drawing I did and saved was the design we actually ended up going with!
Some builders may insist on professional drawings before they start to build. Even at the quote stage some builders we asked around needed to see an initial plan.
I will just add though that ours was an extremely straight forward flat roofed build. There were no landscaping, no drains to contend with and no demolition required to our existing house. Doing it all yourself might not be the best way to go about it. You may well be best paying for an architect if it’s an awkward shape or length, or you need to move a major drain for example.
I really hope this helps… it cost us nothing to plan our extension and was actually one of my favourite bits during the whole renovation!
You can see the craziness though over on our weekly 2016 vlogs if you like the Grand Designs kind of thing! This was when we started on the house (post extension!).. yep I have no idea what we were thinking either!!
Thanks for reading!