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.