Our house extension guide: how to plan the project yourself

An orangery used as a dining room with tiled floor

Extending your home doesn’t need to be a confusing and complicated exercise. Follow these tips to ensure your next home improvement project runs smoothly.

Decide on size, use and budget

The most important consideration when planning a house extension is to decide what you want to use it for. Is it an extra bedroom for your growing family or guests? How about a home office or a children’s playroom? Did you know that there is a minimum size that certain rooms have to conform to? How you use your new house extension will determine how it will look. How big do you imagine it to be and do you have the space? One of the biggest mistakes you can make with an extension is to go too big and dwarf your home or dramatically reduce your garden. This could lower the value of your property rather than increase it.

What do you want your new house extension to be made from?

Do you imagine a traditional looking structure making the most of timber or a ultramodern aluminium build? You could match the extension with your existing home using the same brickwork and colouring or go for something completely different. Do you want to fill the room with light with windows or even a lantern roof?

Do you need planning permission?

To avoid the need for planning permission, your extension would need to fall under permitted development. The following conditions need to be met or else you might find yourself navigating the tricky world of retrospective planning permission:

  • No more than half the area around the original house should be built on
  • The extension cannot be higher than the higher part of your original roof
  • A single-storey rear extension must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than 3m for an attached house or 4m for a detached house

There are some other restrictions which apply depending on the date of your extension and your home. Different restrictions apply if you live in a conservation area or listed building so contact your local authority to be sure.

What about building regulations?

Building regulations will still need to be complied with and these assess your new extension on its safety, usability and how energy efficient it is. Your extension should be as Insulating as the rest of your home with exterior quality windows and doors. Ventilation and drainage would also be taken into account.

Keep your family in mind

Any building work can be disruptive to your family so before anything starts, ensure you know an approximate time frame for how long your new house extension will take to build. Will it be ongoing when your children are studying for important exams or can you work around a holiday?

Have you considered all your options?

Do you have to extend or would a conversion be suitable? Your loft or garage could be full of untapped space that has the potential to be the room you need. We can convert your garage into a habitable room perfect for a guest bedroom or even a home office. If you have a more modest budget, have you considered a conservatory or orangery? Using efficient glazing and insulating materials, these are ideal for a relaxing lounge or dining room and won’t take as long to construct as a full extension.

The extension experts across the South of England

If this all sounds like too much hard work, let the experienced team at Oakley Green Conservatories take care of everything. Since 1999, we’ve been transforming homes from Bristol to Maidenhead and everywhere in between. We are conservatory and extension specialists, so get in touch if we can help.