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  • Writer's pictureZoe St Pierre

Simple guide to extensions

Adding living space to your property could increase its value and

significantly improve the way you use it.

Planning Your Extension

The best approach is to think about what's missing from your home and creating a list of requirements is a great place to start. Once you have your wish list in place, you need to match your requirements with the property and your budget! A single storey addition is the most appealing option for many homeowners as it often has minimal impact on the existing house, at the same time as allowing you to greatly increase the interior space. You can build out to the side, front or rear but will you will governed by planning restrictions.

Designing Your Extension

When it comes to the design, you can do this yourself but many homeowners choose to employ architects or specialist planning consultants to take your idea from blue sky thinking into practical plans that a builder could work to. This will also enable you to set a realistic budget and allow you to raise money if you need to.


Just remember that quality and value go hand in hand and you really do get what you pay for. It's so tempting to opt for the lowest prices and you should be suspicious of any tradesman who is willing to compete on price just to get your job. ALWAYS ask for references and go and see examples of their work if you can.


Many people overestimate their needs and overextend which is expensive. Measure the largest room in your house to get a realistic idea of the size you require. Also take into consideration the flow between rooms and any existing furniture that you may want to use.


Doors, windows and roof lights play a vital role in the flow of natural light. Glazed extensions afford homeowners the opportunity to add ceiling height and open up spaces.

Planning and Permitted Development

Your extension may fall under permitted developed (PD) rights, meaning a planning application is not required, however do check with your local council. With full PD you might be able to:

  • Build on up to 50% fo your home's existing land

  • Extend up to the highest part of the roof

  • Build out by 4m or 3m on a detached/attached dwelling

  • Create a side extension on a single storey with a height of 4m

  • Put obscured glass windows on upper floors of side extensions

NB - permitted development rights do not apply to listed buildings.

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