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Here are some considerations to think about when thinking about home extensions

As the family grows and needs change, home extensions and alterations offer a means of providing additional space. As Chesham builders, we are often asked about whether loft conversions or adding a conservatory can be carried out without the need for Planning Permission. We aim to answer this question in this article.

Firstly, whilst planning permission does add to the time and charges involved in a home improvement project, it is there to help protect us all from unsightly and imposing developments. It is essentially local authority approval for construction and extension projects.

What Alterations can be made to my Property without Planning Permission?

As planning permission is concerned with new builds and home extensions, it does not apply to internal alterations. If you intend to knock down a wall to create an open plan kitchen diner or convert your loft into a study, planning permission is not required. This also applies to building extension alterations, where you are making changes to an existing extension.

Having said this, these home alterations will require Building Regulations approval. This will ensure that any work is compliant with structural, electrical and other safety requirements. It is advisable to use the services of a local builder who is qualified to undertake the work, as well as being familiar with Building Regulations compliance.

Completing Home extensions and alterations the right way

When home alterations have been completed to a satisfactory level, a completion certificate will be issued. This will be an important document should you ever wish to put the property on the market.

If work is carried out that fails to satisfy building controls, the local authority can issue an enforcement notice up to 2 years after the work is completed. They can order the homeowner to remove any alterations that contravene Building Regulations and prosecute the building contractor. In short, it is safer, cheaper and strongly advised that you ensure that all work is compliant.

The exception to the rule is if your plans involve converting a single property into two or more dwellings. Although this may not require an extension, planning permission is required.

Do I need Planning Permission for a Home Extension?

If your property is not a listed building and is located outside of a conservation area, some extensions can be undertaken within permitted development. Your local builder or architect will advise on whether your plans are likely to need planning permission, or not. You can also use the online Planning Portal to gather the information that is relevant to your home extension.

Points to Consider when Planning a Home Extension within Permitted Development

– If your house has previously been extended, by you or previous owners, the increase to the footprint is measured from the original external walls.

– There are greater limitations to extensions at the front of the property than at the rear.

– The Neighbourhood Consultation Scheme provides your plans to those living in close proximity to your property. Your neighbours can raise objections to your plans, so it is beneficial to keep them informed, answer questions they may have and be highly respectful.

– Adding a balcony or veranda to your home is not a permitted development.

– It is important that your building contractor makes every effort to match the materials used on the existing building.

As a local  Builder, Linear Building Contractors are happy to discuss your plans and provide a quote for building extensions and alterations in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. Make use of our experience, to ensure that you achieve the home of your dreams. Give us a call on 07968 392284.


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Linear Building Contractors undertake all aspects of design and build in both domestic and commercial properties. We are proud of our excellent reputation for high-quality finishes and reliability in and around the Buckinghamshire area.

We are always happy to spend time with you to understand your project and offer our professional advice.

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