What To Consider Before Getting Started

Before getting started, there are a few things to ask yourself to know what your next step will be:

Can I Build Without Planning Permission?

Yes, with the permitted development rights rule is possible to build without planning permission, but there are strict guidelines you must follow:

  1. Your planned expansion can not exceed 50% of the area surrounding your original home.
  2. If your extension is estimated to be within 2 meters of your property line, your roof’s overhang height must be under 3 meters.
  3. Your extension must be smaller than the tallest area of your current roof and lower at the eaves than the existing one.
  4. You must use materials that are the same or similar to the materials used for your existing home for your extension.
  5. You must avoid the usage of the following in your extension:
  • Veranda
  • Raised platform
  • Balcony
  • Chimney, flue, or vent pipe
  • A TV aerial or satellite dish

Will I Need My Neighbors Permission?

In some circumstances, your neighbor’s permission will be necessary to proceed with your extension. Needing permission typically occurs with sizable projects where the extension will reach or almost reach the property line.

If your project requires your neighbor’s permission, your local authority will reach out to your neighbors about the project and allow them to object if they wish. If they do not like your project, your local authority will weigh the impact of your project concerning your neighbors and decide if they will allow the project regardless of objections.

For the most time-efficient way, it is best to reach out to your neighbors before submitting your plans to hear any objections they may have for the project to give you time to tweak your project before beginning.

Is My Home Located On Protected Land?

If you are unsure if your property resides in a conservation area of AONB, contact your local planning authority.

If your property is on protected land, certain aspects of the permitted developments rule will not pertain to you. For example, all side extensions in protected land need planning permission no matter how large or small the project.

For rear extensions, the permitted developments rule does not allow the cladding of exterior walls, and it does not grant back-end expansions more than one story without planning permission.

Needing Planning Permission

If your home improvement project needs planning permission, you must submit your project plans to your local authority, who will then review them and get the opinion of your neighbors. A majority of the applications take up to 8 weeks but expect a long wait of about 13 weeks if your plans are unusually large or complex.

If your project gets denied, you have the right to appeal, but this can take several months, so you may be better off recreating your plans to agree.

If you continue with your plans without receiving planning permission, you will receive an enforcement notice ordering you to remove any extension you’ve added without approval. Ignoring this notice is illegal, but you can appeal it.

My Project Is Covered By The Permitted Development Rule

If your project follows the guidelines of the permitted development rule, you have two options for your next step, doing it yourself or hiring an architect or contractor.

Doing It Yourself

Assuming you have the motivation, brawn, and talent, you can save a lot of money if you DIY. If the design is simple enough, an amateur with an eye for detail can pull it off. However, don’t just do it yourself to save money as you will likely get bored of the project, and it will be left unfinished. Only do it yourself if you are enthusiastic about it and are willing to see it through.

All of the responsibility falls into your lap when doing it yourself. You will be responsible for ensuring the project follows the building regulations, which is necessary regardless of if it follows the permitted development rights. Additionally, you will be responsible for researching the most appropriate materials to be used for the job, which becomes quite the task in itself as there is a lot to be considered.

For example, roof tiles are suited for specific roof pitches. Between reaching out to manufacturers and looking through the information they send your way, you will have to spend hours in addition to the long, laborious hours doing the actual building will take.

How To Build An Extension

If you feel as though you have enough motivation and talent to get you through this project, the following steps will help guide you determine the order to do it yourself:

1. Prep The Area

Begin by taking steps to protect any space that will remain occupied while the construction is happening, and if necessary, arrange for an alternative kitchen and bathroom.

2. Start The Groundwork

Next, clear the worksite so you can safely build on it. Have designated spaces used for storing the materials and topsoil. To manage surface water, install gullies or soakaways.

3. Place The Foundation

Dig and mark the footings. Then, place and connect the drains. Add in the damp-proof moisture control. Place hardcore and sand, a damp-proof membrane, insulation, and concrete to create your base floor.

4. Start To Build

You can begin adding your walls.

5. Add Your Roof

First, put in trusses and gable walls to create the frame. Proceed to install vents, felting, and battens. Then, continue to tile the entire thing. Install a gutter system, downpipes as well as flashing.

6. Finish The Shell

Next, you can install window and door units.

7. Fit The Interior

Finally, you will need to lay floor insulation, as well as underfloor heating pipework, if it is required. Carefully pour a concrete screed to form a subfloor. Then complete the electrics, plumbing, and plastering. Lastly, bring your inner interior designer out. Choose flooring and cabinetry, then decorate the interior to fit your desired aesthetic.

Hiring An Architect or Contractor

You also have the option gathering extension quotes through hiring an architect or contractor. Doing so will take most, if not all, of the responsibility and stress off of you. To get a great quote that can save you £1,000s, consider visiting Extension Prices. They provide low quotes for a large variety of home extension projects, so you don’t have to do it yourself. How much for a small extension? find out here.

If you have a garage and are thinking of adding a second story extension to your home, find out the cost of extending over a garage.

Mike Alexander
Hey there, I'm Mike - writer and part time home improvement expert at Refurbb. Since owning and refurbishing my own property in 2018, I've since been developing rental properties, writing about my home improvement endeavours, sharing what I've learned and connecting readers to reputable tradespeople in the UK.

How Does Refurbb Work?

Tell us some details of your project

Let us know the details of the work required. From a new roof, outbuilding or a full house clean.

Tell us your UK address

We have a national network of professionals here in the United Kingdom – whether you are in Scotland or London!

Speak with pro's and compare quotes

You’ll access our portal to speak with pro’s in your area and compare quotes – saving £££!