Side House Extension, Rear House Extension, Rear Kitchen Extensions

Single Storey Rear Extensions to Houses

You can normally build single storey, full-width rear extensions to a depth of 4m for detached properties or 3m for other types of houses without planning permission. Single storey extensions are restricted to a height of 4m. If it is within 2m of a boundary the height of the eaves (if it has them), it cannot exceed 3m.

Multi-storey Rear Extensions to Houses

Extensions of more than one storey cannot be built if:

there is less than 7m between the extension and the rear boundary;
the property is in a conservation area.

If one or both of these of true then you will need to either apply for planning permission or only build a single storey.

If a multi-storey extension is allowed the only restriction to the number of storeys is the height of the existing house, which cannot be exceeded. As well as the overall height, the eaves on the extension (if it has any) cannot be higher than those of the existing house or 3m for the parts within 2m of the boundary.

Extensions of more than one storey are restricted to a depth of 3m for all houses.

Restrictions that Apply to Both

There is no longer any restriction for rear elevations that face the highway, unless the rare circumstance has occurred where it has been decided that the back of your house is the principal elevation. Kingston uses the following definition to decide which side of the house is the principal elevation: “The elevation that is designed to be the main elevation of the property (which will generally front a highway) and includes the most architectural detail (for example gable or bay window details or decorative porches).” Normally this will be what everyone agrees is the front, but if your house is at an angle to the road, on a corner, backs onto a road or if you are at all unsure you should check with the planning department which side of your house forms the principal elevation.

The extension must also conform to the following rules:

If the rear of the house is stepped, then the profile of the existing building must be retained.
The exterior materials used must be of a similar appearance to the existing building (not conservatories).
Any side facing veluxs, dormers or upper-floor windows must be obscure-glazed, and non-opening “unless the parts of the window which can be opened are more than 1.7 metres above the floor of the room in which the window is installed”
Where the extension has more than one storey, the pitch of its roof must, “so far as practicable”, match the roof pitch of the original house.
If your house is in a conservation area you cannot clad any part of the exterior of the dwellinghouse with stone, artificial stone, pebble dash, render, timber, plastic or tiles without requiring planning permission.

Flats, Maisonettes and Shops

If your property is a flat or maisonette (including those converted from houses) or a commercial property, such as a shop or public house you will need to apply for planning permission.

Listed Buildings

If you live in a listed building, you will need listed building consent for any significant works whether internal or external or in the grounds (curtilage) even if you do not require planning permission.
Question: Several years ago my neighbour built an extension at the back of his property. The wall of the extension comes within a couple of feet of my boundary fence. Do you think this may affect the value of my house? I don’t think he got planning permission, so is it true that after a while the structure becomes legal anyway?

Answer: It is not possible for me to comment on the possible effect of your neighbour’s extension on saleability. You will need to speak to a reputable local estate agent or qualified surveyor. Such extensions are not uncommon.

There are three things that the extension should probably have complied with:

1. The Party Wall Act
This requires prior notice to a neighbour of all structures affecting the boundary structures and/or excavations within specified distances of an existing boundary structure. Unfortunately, the Act does not create a specific right of action where the requisite notice is not served.

2. Planning Acts
Unless the structure was permitted because of its size, planning consent would have been required. After four years, however, the council loses its right to take enforcement action.

3. Building regulations
Any extension, unless an exempted conservatory, must comply with building regulations.

Planning and designing a home extension or a kitchen extension

Planning and designing a home extension or a kitchen extension.

Architecture and architects

If you ask an architect or a building company at the end of a job ; Who built the house extension, loft conversion or any other building project, you get might a pause before the builder or the architect will adventure into saying ; I did.
architectsThere is a general confusion between Architects and Builders.They are both wrong and right at the same time. A diplomatic answer should be : We did. However, the Architects get the glory most of the time, like a general who’s army has just won a war. The builders just follow instructions and specifications set out by the Architect and in effect the Building Company becomes foot soldiers. The building project is built by the builders, their sweat and hard work. But without a good architect, most building project can result in technical failures. Only very experienced builders can undertake a building project without the professional guidance from an architect or interior designer.
The Builders and Building Company or Contractors

Getting a good builder or a good building company to carry out the works sometimes can be a mystery for most home owners.Few years ago, the media hype used to describe and portray a good builder or good building company as a mythological figure or entity, like a figment of imagination. Most TV shows and articles in newspapers still do that.Even the cat can get confused.
robuild cat boss

Most people are saying that you should only use professional. It is good advice, especially for those who want to use amateur builders and architects. Then the general opinion is divided again. How do you know if the Building Company or the Architect is good for you and your building project ?

The professionals are saying : Don’t get recommendations from friends, neighbours and family. The reason for that is the lack of experience from the clients and customers. They are not qualified to express a professional opinion and recommend a builder or an architect. They might have had a job done recently,like a Garage Conversion, they might also be happy with the job done to their property, but how do they know if the job was done properly and in a professional manner ?
Most house extensions, loft conversions and any major building projects have to go through the Building Control, that means, a Building Inspector will inspect the job.
If the Building Control Inspector says that he or she – is happy with job before signing off the project in order to become legal and give you a Completion Certificate, it means that the new building is safe and built in accordance to the Building Regulations.

However, the devil is in the details. What makes a good architect or good builders, most of the time are the details, this is how truly professionals get separated from the less experienced. Small technical details that can easily go unnoticed by clients. The other side of the argument, getting recommendation from people you know, means that if they are happy with the builder or architect – it means just that. And if they are happy, you will be too.

Customers and Clients

What do you want ? Single storey extension, double storey extension, flat roof, pitched roof, loft conversion with or without en suite bathroom ? Brickwall or blockwall ? Concrete roof tiles or clay tiles ? Most builders understand that you have a budget and you don’t want to spend more than it is necessary, but can you back up your vision and requests with your wallet ?

Why do you need the extra living space for ?

Ultimately, the client pays for the Architect and Builder. Before starting off a building project or a home improvement project, the home owner should do his or her home work. The client is the master, the architects and builders just follow instructions and can advise from time to time.
Look for inspiration and be practical.


Foundations for home and house extensions

Foundations for home extensions and house extensions are extremely important. The footings for a new home extension can pose a danger, not only to your home, but the neighbour’s house too.

Home extensions often cause some sort of conflict with the neighbours.
But residents living near this piece of botched building work might have complained a little more vigorously had they foreseen the results.
The extension to the semi-detached houses in Wolverhampton did far worse than just block out extra light – it looks to have caused the adjacent home to crumble.
The house collapsed into its foundations early this morning after work on the neighbouring property is believed to have made the ground unstable.


Most excavations close to boundaries ( 3m rule and 6m rule) are covered under the Party Wall Act, with notices having to be served by the developer on the neighbour. Providing what the developer is doing is technically sound the work can in due course proceed. The DIY world avoid this like the plague, and most will not know or bother with it, as it is viewed as an unnecessary and easily avoidable cost.

A good and safe practice for house and home extension builders when digging foundations for extensions in a very populated urban area and with properties very close to the new foundation is to use foundations walls support as soon is possible.
walls support foundation
Because of Building Regulations, a builder or a ground worker can not pour concrete and cement without a Building Inspector approval, as the footings for a new building needs to be inspected. The foundation work can take sometimes up to two weeks before is completed, and in most cases the Building Company or the builders, will make an appointment with the Building Control Inspector a day before ordering the ready mix concrete or starting pouring concrete if the concrete is mixed on site.
home extension foundation
Even when the soil is stable and the ground looks very solid, the foundations needs to be reinforced very quickly. Using external grade plywood, 22 mm and noggins, helps stabilizing a foundation before the concrete is poured into the footing trench. If necessary, mechanical equipment can be rented or hired.

If you want to read more about home extensions, you can do it here :

Building a House Extension in Acton, West London

House Extensions builders in Mill Hill NW7 North West London

Getting the right Building Company & Contractors to carry out the building works pays off on the long term.

House extension

There are many reasons for building a home extension or a house extension in London,the most common one is to create more habitual living space. Buying a new house or moving to a new location is not always an option, and if more living space is needed, adding a home extension can be the right solution. It also ads value to the property.
home extension in London

Size does matter, single storey extension or double storey extension

If you don’t have the space or finance for a double storey extension, then a single storey extension could provide you with an extra bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom. Cheaper and faster to build than a two storey extension, one storey extension also limits the time you have to put up with builders working on your property. After few months of noise, dust and stress, you will appreciate some quiet and relaxing time within the confines of your home.

Planning Permission might not even be needed if the house has not been extended before and the loft or garage has not been converted. However, you will need to apply for Building Regulations and there is a fee to be paid to your Local Council, Building Department.
double storey extension London
You can always have a single storey house extension built with a two storey house extension in mind. The foundation needs to be deep enough and the openings to be bridged with strong lintels and metal beams (RSJ) designed for a 2 storey home extension – to withhold the future weight of a double storey home extension.

Kitchen Extension Builders

Kitchen Extension Builders in London

Kitchen Extension are very common and popular in London for its terraced houses. Not many London’s homes have a side garage or space for a side extension, sometimes even those semidetached houses. The only way for a terraced house to be extended is into the garden – a rear extension or kitchen extension and by converting the roof space into a Loft Conversions.

Planning and Designing a Kitchen Extension

It is always advisable to employ an Architect, however, if the Kitchen Extension is simple in design and layout, it is not absolutely necessary, thus, you can make a small saving of few hundreds of pounds. We can draw an outlined plan for you, in 2D and 3D, using an architectural software.
kitchen extension design 2d

If the Kitchen Extension requires walls to be removed in order to make new openings, a Structural Engineer ( Civil Engineer) and Structural Calculations are needed.
structural calculation kitchen extension

Metal work or Metal Beams ( RSJs beams ) are needed for the structural work.
metal rsj beams kitchen extension

The technical Specifications are also important in order to give an accurate quote or estimate for the building works.
foundation specs kitchen extension

Planning Permission, Building regulations & permitted development for a Kitchen Extension

Before, homeowners could expand their property by a total of up to 70 cubic metres – or 50 cubic metres for a terraced house – before having to apply for planning permission. This allowance had to be divided up between any extensions and loft conversions. Anyone wishing to expand further was forced to apply for permission from their local council. Now, as well being able to have a loft conversion of up to 50 cubic metres without planning permission, families are free to build a two-storey extension stretching back 10ft from the rear of their house, with no limit to its total volume.

Building Regulations are needed regardless of Planning Consent. Before starting the work on the Kitchen Extension, the Building Control Department (from the Local Council) requires a Building Notice to be submitted, together with a fee ( between £300.00 and £600.00 ), three working days before the building works starts.

kitchen extension

Kitchen Extension Builders in London

Bricklayers to be replaced by robots

An international consultancy and construction business predicts that 600,000 of the current 2.2m positions in the industry could be automated by 2040 as the new “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is on its way.

Bricklaying will be the hardest hit sector, the current 73,000 people bricklayers on British building sites expected to go down to just 4,300 brickies.

By the time Fourth Industrial Revolution will take place, around 2040 there will be just 15,500 carpenters and internal fitters, down from 263,000 now, and the number of labourers will plummet from 127,000 to 7,500. Painters and decorators will also be driven out with just 6,500 positions expected in two decades, compared with the 111,000 chippies.

How long ago was it that we were promised we’d all be working in a paperless office? Despite lots of IT innovation in the workplace, most of us are are still in buildings awash with paper documents.

I have seen machines that can lay bricks, quickly, precisely and safely. That was 25 years ago! The complexity of shape made them an uneconomic idea then, as the machines could not read the architects drawings. It is inevitable, but certainly not in the next thirty years. Predictions about the future are largely wrong.

These bricklaying machines cannot go round corners or work from an uneven surface. They also need a person loading it with bricks and muck.

When I see a robot fit a door complete with lock and archetraves in less than an hour then it becomes an issue.

If these machines cost £100k they’ll be £2k a week to hire. A brickie costs about £800 A week and they don’t get paid on days they get rained off.

If you hire a machine you pay no matter what.

New Planning Permission rules

Planning Permission

This guidance reflects temporary increases to the size limits for single-storey rear extensions that must be completed by 30 May 2019, and the associated neighbour consultation scheme.

An extension or addition to your house is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
Single-storey rear extension must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than three metres if an attached house or by four metres if a detached house.
In addition, outside Article 2(3) designated land* and Sites of Special Scientific Interest the limit is increased to 6m if an attached house and 8m if a detached house until 30 May 2019.
These increased limits (between 3m and 6m and between 4m and 8m respectively) are subject to the prior notification of the proposal to the Local Planning Authority and the implementation of a neighbour consultation scheme. If objections are received, the proposal might not be allowed.
Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres.
Extensions of more than one storey must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than three metres.
Maximum eaves height of an extension within two metres of the boundary of three metres.
Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house.
Side extensions to be single storey with maximum height of four metres and width no more than half that of the original house.
Two-storey extensions no closer than seven metres to rear boundary.
Roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey to match existing house.
Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house.
No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
Upper-floor, side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.
On designated land* no permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey.
On designated land no cladding of the exterior.
On designated land no side extensions.

* The term “original house” means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.

* Designated land includes conservation areas, national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and World Heritage Sites.

Music recording studio

Building a Music recording studio in London

A very challenging building project, building a music studio in a London garden. Full Planning Permission was required, along with the services of an Architect, Structural Engineer, Sound Proofing Engineer, Air Conditioning & Ventilation Engineer, Sound Recording Engineer, etc

Site of the new build music studio
Site of the new build music studio

Foundation and Footings
Foundation and Footings

footing basement

Foundation footprint
Foundation footprint

steel reinforced concrete foundation and slab
Steel reinforced concrete foundation and slab

Hollow Dense Concrete Block
hollow blocks steel bar reinforced
Hollow Dense Concrete Block

Building the walls using Hollow Dense Concrete Block
Building the walls using Hollow Dense Concrete Block and a temporary roof to protect the bricklayers from the elements

Finished structure and walls
Finished structure and walls , exterior -front view

Interior view of the Recording Studio
Interior view of the Recording Studio

Rendering walls
Rendering walls

Roofing structure
Roofing structure

Reinforced and insulated flooring
Reinforced and insulated flooring

Tanking ,reinforced & insulated flooring
Tanking ,reinforced & insulated flooring