Breathe Life into Your Hallway with a Staircase Renovation

Breathe Life into Your Hallway with a Staircase Renovation

Our staircases are often overlooked when it comes to designing a fresh interior. However, staircase renovation is a deceptively simple construction project that can make an astonishing difference!

There are so many reasons why building a new staircase can make a substantial difference to how your property feels:

  • Your stairs are a focal point, often immediately visible when entering a property.
  • They define the style, flow of energy and feel of a home.
  • Elegant staircases and bespoke balustrades can completely transform your aesthetic.
  • Using innovative building materials and creative design can turn an old, tired staircase into a style statement.
  • Staircases can be cleverly reconfigured to improve your layout or open up more space and light.

While your staircase might be a practical way to move from one floor to the other, it is so much more than a place to sling your jacket after a long day – it is an integral part of your interior, and a modest budget goes a long way!

How to Update an Old Staircase

For a lot of homeowners, the idea of ripping out an old staircase and building something new sounds daunting; surely that’s a massive project! The reality is, working with an experienced renovation team such as Pinnacle Works makes updating an old staircase a breeze.

What matters most is the quality of the joinery, and having input into the design process, so you know exactly what finish, materials, and style your new stairs will incorporate.

You will find a multitude of ways to update an old staircase, ranging from a complete staircase renovation through to some gentle design upgrades that will make all the difference:

  1. Replacing timber balustrades with sleek contemporary glass panels brings a modern and scandi chic vibe.
  2. Swapping out rigid lines for sweeping curves creates a softer, gentler feeling that makes a property feel more relaxed.
  3. Changing your risers can give a staircase a total facelift; think about wood, textures, carpets, or something less traditional such as steel, glass or polished concrete.
  4. Updating newel posts or bannisters with something fresh and new will change the look of your whole staircase, with minimal work.

Of course, you can also look at a significant staircase renovation project whereby you replace the entire structure – which opens up a world of possibilities!

Think about how much floor space your staircase takes up in your ground floor.

  • Does it maximise your storage space?
  • Could you minimise the amount of your hallway that is out of use?
  • What shape and angle of stairs would fit perfectly with your style?
  • Do you find under stair areas dark, dusty and redundant?
  • Would lighting, contemporary materials, glass or a change of wood stain brighten your property?

As we can see, there are countless ways to use a staircase renovation to transform your building, so let’s look in detail at some of the most popular design projects the Pinnacle Works team delivers!

Diverse Materials to Make an Artistic Statement from your Staircase Renovation

Traditionally, staircases were wooden, from top to bottom. That’s wooden treads, bannisters, newel posts, strings, fascias – you name it!

Wood is an honest, natural, and versatile material. If you’re comfortable with the texture and feel, there is no reason not to stick with it, but perhaps look at different types, stains and colours of wood that might inject fresh energy into your living spaces.

It’s also worth checking out some more innovative materials, and how they are used to create an extension to your main rooms that turns your staircase into an asset that links the different spaces in your property.

  • Glass is ideal for minimalist staircases and avoids blocking the flow of light. It makes your home feel larger, brighter, and airier and creates a gentle reflection of lighting systems that delivers a soft ambience.
  • Contemporary glass panels can be fitted alongside contrasting soft carpeting, robust wooden finishes, and create a textural experience that clashes the sharp and the smooth to elegant effect.
  • Stainless steel and brushed metals can be utilitarian and sleek, but also bring a sense of polish and complement your joinery with bespoke curves, angles and balanced lines.
  • Polished concrete steps work wonderfully in renovations such as suites and apartments converted from warehouse and loft spaces.
  • Oak is an ideal choice for a family property, with a hardwood finish great at withstanding heavy use and being resistant to scratches and dents.

The only limitation on the materials you can use in a staircase construction project is your imagination; so don’t be afraid to consider unusual finishes that will create something truly unique!

The Benefits of Replacing Traditional Spigots with Glass Balustrades

Glass is big news in the world of modern staircase renovation, and offers a vast range of benefits that make it an excellent choice!

Safety – reinforced glass balustrades replace wooden balusters with a solid panel. This makes it excellent for family homes with young children and avoids any potential for worn balusters to break or snap under pressure.

Light – the properties of glass mean that it opens up lines of sight throughout your ground floor, creating less shadow, clearer visibility, and removes darker wood fittings to allow light to flow.

Bespoke – frameless glass panels create a stunning visual impact, without any visible fittings or fixtures to break up the harmony of a sleek, continuous glass staircase.

Reflective – as your glass reflects natural and artificial light back into your home, it makes even dim or dark hallways instantly feel warmer and more welcoming, by maximising the light sources available.

Options for a Staircase Facelift to Modernise Your Home

You can opt for a simple upgrade, swap out materials, or choose a complete staircase renovation, depending on your budget, design aspirations and preferences.

As building materials become more advanced, there is a broader choice than ever before. With options for adding storage space, using up-lighters and carefully place LEDs and spotlights, blending traditional and modern materials, creating sweeping curves, symmetrical geometrics or subtle lines, adding a new staircase to an extension or loft conversion, or replacing existing stairs, has never been so exciting!

Cladding your staircase risers is a fast, affordable design project, whereby you change the look and feel of the vertical aspect of your staircase to make an unused area into something special. Replacing your treads with new material, such as wood, metal, or even plastic, makes your stairs safer and protects your home from wear and tear.

Our homes are our castles, and by pouring some TLC and design inspiration into your staircase renovation, your property will feel brighter, fresher, and more inviting, whether you opt for a sleek, minimalist finish, or warm materials that evoke relaxation.

For help with choosing the ideal layout for your new staircase, or selecting materials that will complement your design scheme and bring your stairs up to date, get in touch with the Pinnacle Works team, or visit some of our previous renovation projects in our gallery!

Extending Up With a Loft Conversion

Extending Up With a Loft Conversion

As house prices rise, and families grow, a loft conversion is a popular option to extend the size of your home, increase the equity in your property, and perhaps see a sizeable return on investment!

But with any major construction work, there are always pros and cons to consider – such as how much time the extension will take to build, concerns about planning permission, and factoring in the dust and chaos. Let’s look a little deeper (or perhaps, higher!) into the advantages of a loft conversion, how you can utilise your building best, and what sort of loft design would enhance the feel and flow of your home.

What Is a Loft Conversion?

It sounds like a silly question; but in reality, multiple types of renovation can transform an empty attic area into an integral space in your property.

The three main styles of loft conversion, all carried out by Pinnacle Works, include:

  • Dormer window construction – a dormer window extends outwards from your roofline, in a box shape that increases the width, head height and light in your attic.
  • Mansard loft conversions – this type of extension increases the height of your external wall, usually on a shared partition with a neighbouring property, and builds outwards to increase the size of your loft space.
  • Hip to gable construction projects – lift the outer edge of a sloping roof, raising the height in line with your highest eaves, to create a vertical wall where the old roof sloped down to meet the building.

For a simple conversion, installing a dormer window, adding a staircase and insulating the walls and floors will create a new, usable space within your property. A conversion such as a hip to gable roof extension can deliver a completely new floor, so there are plenty of options to think about!

Loft Conversion or Building Extension?

If you’re looking for ways to increase your living space, without the costs and stress of moving and having to put your property on the market, you might be stumped in deciding whether an extension or loft conversion is the right way to go. For example, a side return extension builds outwards into the space running down the side of your home, and a rear-facing conversion could be a one-storey conservatory or a full two-storey extension.

It all depends on what you want to use the space for, what sort of capacity you have on the land within your property boundaries – and, of course, how far your budget will stretch.

Loft conversions tend to be the most cost-effective option, and are ideal for terraced properties, or those without extensive land to build on. They are also an excellent option for homeowners who want to expand their home, without eating into valuable garden space!

Key Benefits of Converting Your Loft

In return for the time, cost, and upheaval of a loft conversion, you’re going to want to be sure that the effort has a just reward – and we know this simple construction project transforms a property!

Some of the top benefits of converting your loft include:

  • Space, space, space! Most of us could do with more room to stretch, and with increasing numbers of people in the UK working from home, an attic is a prime opportunity to create a cosy home office without impacting on family life.
  • Having an extra room, or an entire floor, to expand into, means a bigger house, without impacting your layout, sacrificing any garden space, or encroaching on neighbouring properties (we all want to live harmoniously next to our neighbours!).
  • Adding value to your property. The average loft conversion adds around 20% to the value of your property – according to research conducted by Nationwide Building Society.

So – not only do you get more space, an extra room, a larger house, and save building on any outdoor land, but you also add value to your property. An attic conversion makes your home more saleable and with a competitive edge over other local property listings if you do ever decide to relocate!

What Can I Use a Loft Conversion For?

There are multiple ways you can purpose a loft conversion; and again, it all depends on your needs and those of your family.

Popular options are:

  • Home office – away from the hustle and bustle of family life!
  • Additional bedroom, guest bedroom, or ensuite.
  • Children’s playroom or games room.
  • Storage space, or a dressing room.
  • Larger bathroom.

One thing worth noting here is that if you decide to use a loft conversion as an additional bedroom, you’ll need to think about planning permission. We’ll explain this in a bit more detail below, but if the extension is ‘habitable accommodation’ it’s less likely to be considered Permitted Development.

That said, the cost of a loft conversion – typically between £20,000 and £60,000 depending on the structure, materials, size and design – is often quickly repaid by the increase in your property value. If you compare those costs and return on investment with the expense of relocating, and the uplift cost on purchasing a property with an additional bedroom, the idea of a loft conversion becomes even more appealing!

Do I Need Planning Permission?

Happily, most of the time, you don’t. Permitted Development rules mean that you can make renovations and changes to your property, without formal planning permission, provided they fall within a set of criteria.

If your loft conversion meets these rules, you are likely to be able to build under PD rights:

  • Doesn’t change the exterior of your property.
  • Increases the sidewall for a hip to gable conversion.
  • Creates less than 40 cubic metres of additional space
  • Has obscure glazing on any windows.

Where planning permission is required; say your building will change in appearance, or the additional space will constitute an extension, then Pinnacle Works is on hand to provide support throughout the application process. Planning Permission isn’t a reason not to proceed with a building renovation project either – but it’s wise to build in a few weeks to work through the process, and not to begin any work on your extension until all the approvals have been confirmed!

Does a Loft Conversion Impact the Insulation of my Property? 

One of the lesser-known positives of converting your attic is that you often increase the thermal value of your house – rather than making it less energy-efficient, which is a popular myth!

When you build a new room, or rooms, in your loft space, this includes:

  • Adding stable flooring and insulation.
  • Installing wiring and pipework as required.
  • Creating an access point – usually an additional set of stairs.

Building regulations use a scale called a U-rating to identify the energy efficiency of your property. To achieve a lower U-rating, Pinnacle Works always ensures that your loft conversion includes high-quality insulation between and beneath the rafters, and between the walls and roof. By creating a well-insulated loft space, you avoid heat loss through your attic, as well as reducing energy bills, and adding a soundproofing quality to your new area.

The key to a successful loft conversion is in choosing a design that fits in with the style and shape of your building, meets with your requirements, and creates a seamless addition to your home. For more information about any of the styles of loft conversion mentioned, for an obligation-free quote, or to learn more about the renovation options available, get in touch with the Pinnacle Works team!

Benefits of Roof Lanterns and Skylights

Benefits of Roof Lanterns and Skylights

As we look for new ways to elevate our quality of living and make the best of our homes, skylights and roof lanterns continue to grow in popularity.

Here we’ll run through the top benefits, and why a simple lighting enhancement can make a massive difference to your home!

Roof Lanterns vs Skylights

First up, let’s clarify what we mean when we talk about roof lanterns and skylights – since you might come across a lot of different terminologies that, essentially, mean the same thing.

Roof lanterns sit on top of the construction of your roof, installed horizontally with a bespoke finish according to your design aesthetic.

Skylights are windows installed in the roof of your property, set flush into the construction.

Both options allow your home to be flooded with natural light, with the primary difference being that a skylight is fitted in line with the roof. In contrast, a roof lantern sits above the roofline, increasing the design options and light capture.

Other options and descriptions include:

  • Sun tubes (also referred to as light tubes, solar tubes and tubular daylighting devices) – these fit into recessed light fixtures, and provide a route for sunlight to reach darker areas of your property.
  • Glass block windows – both a decorative statement and a way to improve lighting, a block window is built into an interior or exterior wall, with any combination of colours to create a dramatic impact.
  • Roof lights or ceiling windows – refer to skylights.
  • Lantern windows – like a roof lantern, but installed on any aspect of your home.

Now we’ve cleared that up, let’s consider why they are so popular, and why ceiling windows might be the fastest and most cost-effective way to revamp your living space!

Benefits of Overhead Natural Light

Daylight is essential; it improves our sense of well-being, helps us cope with those short winter days, and provides a warm, pleasant ambience to make our homes feel more welcoming.

Some of the powerful benefits available from installing overhead glazing include:

  1. Natural Light: Dramatically increase natural light, ideal for enclosed spaces, smaller homes, or darker areas of your property.
  2. Low-Maintenance: Improve the brightness and energy of your house without power costs or maintenance.
  3. Improve Space: Add height to lower ceilings, making cramped rooms feel more spacious and airy.
  4. Design Versatility: Creates a design statement, with no end of glass colourways, design structures, materials or innovative constructions that add value and style to your property.
  5. Fast & Efficient: Provides a watertight, quick installation for the feel of a significant renovation in a fraction of the time.
  6. Transformative: Transforms a bland, dull or dark space into an inviting and attractive area – thereby increasing the uses and functionality of rooms.
  7. Flexible Finishes: Offer flexibility in terms of size, shape, structure and finish.
  8. Energy Conscious: Are energy-efficient, both retaining warmth in winter and filtering heat in the summer, with toughened glass strong enough to withstand the wildest elements.

Roof Lighting Design Options and Ideas

Flexibility is one of the key things we love about overhead glass. While functional, self-cleaning glazing is at the height of innovative building materials, there are multiple ways to make your skylights stand apart as a unique room feature.

Some of our favourite design statements include:

  • Slim, modern profile roof lanterns creating volume and height with minimalistic styling.
  • Adding electric opening functions, for the ultimate feeling of bringing the outside indoors.
  • Using lighting and spotlights to create drama, with coloured glass being a fantastic way to draw together your room colourways and design.
  • Making your roof light the centrepiece for your space, and using symmetry around it to elevate the sense of balance.
  • Creating a sizeable contemporary roof lantern to cover the width of a room, with a geometric pyramid construction for a modern feel.

One of the top questions we get asked about overhead glazing concerns types of roofs – and whether you can choose any window or light feature, and what restrictions there are around how original you can make your design. We are delighted to confirm that these flexible options work in almost any scenario – and we are always on hand to take a look at your roofing and recommend the best solutions for your property!

Skylight design options:

  • Can be fitted into either flat or pitched roofs.
  • Are available as non-opening flat lights, or as an opening roof window.
  • Can be hung on a centre pivot, or be top-hung.

Roof lantern design options:

  • Typically fitted to a flat roof, or as an elevated feature above a ceiling.
  • Usually in a pyramid shape, although the design can be tailored.
  • Most often non-opening, with optional ventilation.

Practical Applications for Roof Lanterns

Roof lights work in any room, space or hallway, and are ideal in tall rooms to add interest and draw the eye upwards. They also work perfectly in dark, gloomy areas providing an instant injection of brightness!

Some of the most popular locations for roof features included in Pinnacle Works building projects include:

Extensions and Conversions

Construction projects are an ideal time to add style, flair and energy to your home, with a seamless skylight installation slotting in perfectly around other renovation works. Flat roof extensions are ideally suited to a modern roof lantern, spanning across kitchen extensions, living room conversions and home offices and playroom areas.

Kitchens and Bathrooms

Bathroom lighting is typically quite dim, with textured glass to aid privacy yet blocking out daylight. A skylight is an ideal addition, bringing freshness and light to a dull space, without opening any views into your bathroom, and helping to reduce moisture and condensation build-up.

Overhead lighting is also an excellent way to amplify visibility in kitchens, making cooking and entertaining comfortable and better ventilated.

Attic & Loft Renovations

Most attic renovations find a dark, dusty area that needs a jolt of professional renovation to bring them into use as a functional, and enjoyable room. A skylight is ideally suited to increasing overhead space, providing emergency escape points, and adding fresh air and ventilation to make your loft add value to your home.

We hope this has helped to explain the types of roof light available, and how they can transform your living spaces into bright, airy, and beautiful rooms!

For more information about the best-suited skylights for your property, design inspiration to help with crafting your own bespoke roof lantern design, or to uncover the possibilities yet to discover throughout your home renovation projects, give the Pinnacle Works team a call, or drop us an enquiry!

Ideas to Transform Your Outside Space

Ideas to Transform Your Outside Space

Our outside spaces are an area of privacy and relaxation, where we both play and entertain, and can make the most of our family time.

Lockdown has given us a renewed appreciation of the value our gardens bring to our homes, and how by making the most of the design of outside spaces, we can transform the way we live.

Let us share some of our ideas to transform your outside space, renovation ideas for reimagining your garden, be it through the creative use of design, innovative building placement or smart functionality.

Why Redesign Your Outside Space?

Our team works on a wide variety of construction and renovation projects; from groundworks to decor and roofing to extensions. We know that even small gardens and courtyards can be adapted to deliver dynamic, beautiful and tranquil outside spaces that extend the footprint of your home.

By using weatherproof materials, outdoor eating areas and family-friendly design, you reconnect your interior with the outdoors – making your home feel more spacious, adaptable, and provide contemporary entertaining spaces that are sure to impress.

Here are some of our favourite ways to transform your landscaping and garden design!

Garden Rooms

We love the flexibility and space-saving a garden room offers. If you’re short on space, need somewhere to work or relax, a garden room is a fantastic way to make use of that empty space at the end of your garden – use them for:

  • Home office
  • Gym
  • Kids playroom
  • Craft area
  • Weatherproof entertaining
  • Guest accommodation

The beauty of a garden room is that they don’t have to be large to bring a new aspect to your garden, and a new, usable space, to your family living. Pinnacle Works installs bespoke garden rooms that are fully insulated, glazed, weatherproof and can have mains power supplies and utilities as required.

Rendered Seating Areas

Render is a chic way to add texture and shape to your garden, and is a whole lot more visually compelling than any old garden furniture! Choose from colours, styles, and create dramatic curves or sharp contrasting edges – whilst installing unique furniture that is as eco-friendly as it is beautiful.

Outdoor rendering is sturdy and durable, adapted perfectly to the shape and flow of your garden, and can seamlessly integrate with planting areas and walls to slot perfectly into your outside space.

Jacuzzi Bases and Surrounds

Nothing says opulence like your own Jacuzzi; and you’ll not mind the winter cold when you have a luxuriously warm pool to enjoy, entertain in, and use as your personal haven from the world!

From insulating bases to slip-free matting, chic timber gazebos to contemporary stone seating and scandi-style spa bases to modern slate finishes, Pinnacle Works offer an incredible range of Jacuzzi bases and surrounds to take your outside space to the next level.

Outdoor Kitchens/BBQs/Pizza Ovens

One of the most popular ways to renovate your garden design is to move your kitchen – outside! Alfresco dining makes the absolute best of warmer weather, and with a couple of well-placed heaters and a gazebo or overhead rain cover, can be a delight to entertain in throughout the year. Imagine having your own beautifully tiled pizza oven, and perhaps an outdoor cocktail bar, or the ultimate fitted charcoal BBQ with a herb garden at your fingertips!

We love an outdoor kitchen and can advise on the best finishes such as marble countertops, stainless steel finishes and acrylic-sealed flagstone paving to make cooking outdoors a joy. 

Outdoor Plumbing and Electrics

We work with clients all the time who want to make better use of their gardens, and elevate the value and style of their home – and often, this comes down to the convenience of having amenities and reliable plumbing in an accessible place.

Here at Pinnacle, we offer the full range of construction and renovation skills; whether you need a bespoke seating area crafted by our carpentry and joinery team, a rainproof cover constructed over your outdoor seating area, or full mains plumbing and electricity.

Garden plumbing and electrics can be used for:

  • Having running water and electrical points in a summerhouse or garden room.
  • Bringing convenience to outdoor kitchens.
  • Running water features, light installations, or security fittings.
  • Powering appliances.

Cedar Cladding

Cedar cladding brings a rich, natural material to your outside space, and is the ultimate blend of traditional wood with a contemporary feel. This material lends itself to multiple garden features – such as garden rooms, fencing, seating and feature panels.

Our carpentry team love working with cedar cladding for the honesty of strong, reliable timber, as well as using outstanding design to incorporate vapour barriers and air vents for a cedar-clad space that will last for years to come.

Artificial Grass

Artificial grass, or all-around grass, is an excellent choice for gardens with high traffic, where soil quality or concrete foundations make planting a lawn difficult, or for homeowners who don’t have the time to maintain that perfect green lawn!

Whether you have busy kids who love to play football or want to avoid the need to mow and tend to a lawn, AstroTurf or artificial grass is cost-effective, zero maintenance, and remains bright and lush all year round. It’s also a fantastic way to bring a splash of colour to smaller spaces!

Fire Pits

We all want to be able to use our gardens year-round, and a fire pit is both elegant and functional.

Create a cool entertaining space by combining a fire pit with a sunken seating area, and install a waterproof cover or decking space to make your fire pit the heart of your outside space. 

Sunken Seating Areas

A fantastic way to make great use of a tight space, or to add depth and levels to your garden is to use a sunken seating area.

The Pinnacle groundworks team make light work of crafting a usable, dynamic space, and you can install any style or finish of seating that fits the aesthetic and ambience of your outside space.

Swimming Pools and Surrounds

Perhaps you think your garden isn’t quite big enough for a swimming pool, but would love to develop your landscaping to incorporate a fun, stylish dip spa? There are thousands of choices when it comes to home pools, and Pinnacle Works are experienced in installing tailored pools with surrounds and features to complement your outside space perfectly.

Options include:

  • Conservatory swimming pool extensions
  • Plunge pools and swim spas
  • Sunken swimming pools to sit flush with your patio
  • Curved, cubic or custom-shaped pools

Outdoor Glass Balustrading

Glass is an excellent material choice for a garden renovation – and can transform smaller spaces with the power of reflection and crystal-clear sightlines to make the tightest corners appear dramatically bigger.

Glass balustrades incorporate lateral angles, elegance and create a focal point while delivering uninterrupted views and security for seating areas, balconies, mezzanines and pool areas.

Outdoor Lighting to Transform Your Space

Illuminating your outside space is one of the fastest and most cost-effective options in outside space renovation.

Building lighting into your garden design can be used in any number of ways, to:

  • Highlight pathways, features and focal points.
  • Illuminate pools, ponds and water features.
  • Add romantic lighting and ambience to dining areas.
  • Bring colour and soft illumination to fencing, stairways and walls.

Slabbing, Tiling, Porcelain, Sandstone

Alternative ground materials and finishes can have a profound impact on the feel and style of your outside spaces! From using colour and texture to define each area, to creating visual impact and a statement focal point, using contemporary and eco-friendly materials breathes fresh life into patios and pathways.

Mixing materials, creating pattern through diagonal paving or contrasting slick, high-shine porcelain against a cool, textural sandstone delivers a modern look even on a tight budget.

Decking – Composite or Real Timber

Deck construction is one of the most popular garden finishes – raised decking can create new levels and add shape to your garden. Whether you choose a durable, sustainable composite finish or a treated real timber wooden deck, Pinnacle Works can install your new garden feature in any style, shape or area of your garden.

Timber decks are ideal for dining areas, entertaining spaces or children’s play areas, and are a low-maintenance option that visually offsets grass and planting while being easy to use all year round.

We hope these ideas and construction suggestions are useful! If you have a design idea and need a professional, friendly team to make your garden renovation a reality, get in touch with Pinnacle Works. As a family-run business with a passion for outstanding design, our craftspeople are always on hand to help create your ideal outside spaces to bring a fresh new feel to your home.

Do I need Planning Permission for my Home Renovation?

Do I need Planning Permission for my Home Renovation?

Converting, extending or refurbishing your home is an exciting prospect, and an excellent way to add value to your property without the stress of having to move.

At Pinnacle Works, we are often asked about planning permission, how this works, and whether there are additional costs to budget for before a renovation can begin. Let’s take a look at the benefits of renovating your home, and what factors impact the likelihood that you’ll need planning permission.

The Benefits of Renovating

More and more homeowners are seeing renovations as a fast, cost-effective way to improve and modernise their property, and there are limitless options for ways to enhance your home.

Some of the key reasons our clients decide on a construction project include:

  • Wanting to increase the market value of their property
  • Increasing living space to accommodate changing needs
  • Maximising best use of available space, such as side returns and attic rooms
  • Reconfiguring their layout for more comfortable floor space
  • Making the best use of natural light
  • Avoiding the costs and stress of needing to move home

Even small building projects can make a significant difference to the flow, energy and comfort of your home, and help you to adapt to a growing family or changes in circumstances such as (in the case of 2020!)  working remotely.

Building Regulations

Building regs are not the same as planning permission, but both are considerations when you’re planning a home renovation.

These sets of regulations make sure that any building work you have done is safe, stable, and up to scratch. For example, an inspector will want to make sure that the right fire safety measures are in place, and that all your electrical wiring is safe for your family. Some refurbs don’t require building regulation approval, but most do, and using an experienced company such as Pinnacle Works means that this process is all streamlined and managed for you, under one professional team.

In addition to building regulations, there are two different types of planning permission:

  • Permitted development (PD)
  • Planning permission required

Whether or not you need planning permission all depends on what sort of refurb you have in mind, and how much structural work is involved. Some projects will require building regulations approval (aka building control), but not planning permission. Other construction work will need approval, but fall within PD rights, and others still will require both building regulations approval, and formal planning permission.

Don’t worry if that seems confusing – we’re always here to help!

Planning Permission and Starting Work

Permitted Development (PD) means that you don’t need formal approval from the local planning authority.

This applies to construction projects such as:

  • Extensions up to specific height, length and width specifications
  • Conversions or extensions within parameters of land boundaries and borders
  • Simple building work that doesn’t change the structure or footprint of your property

Should you be unsure about whether your building work falls under PD rights, give us a call to discuss what sort of projects are eligible. If your renovation does need planning permission, it’s best to allow plenty of time for this process to take place. You can’t start work without permission, although you can get cracking with planning, budgeting and designing.

The process works like this:

  1. Create a plan for your renovation – with help from a designer or architect if required
  2. Fill in the application forms, usually online, and gather together the documents you need.
  3. Submit your application, typically several copies and pay the planning application fee.

Checking What Permissions You Need

Planning permission and building regulations can seem complex and costly; but understanding whether you need approval, and how the system works, will save a lot of time and worry!

You can check the building regulations guidelines online through the Planning Portal. This resource includes access to all of the information you need, including:

How to Apply for Building Control

If you know that your construction work does require approval, you can complete the application process online. Building control applications are made through the Planning Portal, and you’ll need to create an account to get started if you haven’t used the service before.

You can also contact your local authority building control department directly for help with building regs approvals.

How to Apply for Planning Permission

The Planning Portal also handles planning permission, although it is a separate application than building control approval.

The online service caters to applications for planning permission across every local authority in the UK, although you can always contact your local office (or us!) for advice or if you’re unclear about whether you need permission for your renovation.

Planning Permission Application Timeframes

Typically, a simple application is approved within eight weeks, so you can get started as soon as this is received. Other more complex projects or those with considerations around land boundaries and party walls can take much longer.

During this process, you must display a public notice outside or as near to the construction site as possible, which is required as part of the public consultation process and needs to be displayed for three to eight weeks in case any neighbours wish to object.

Lawful Development Certificates

If you are carrying out a simple refurb, or work that doesn’t need planning permission, you can apply to the Planning Portal for a lawful development certificate.

This is not mandatory but acts as formal confirmation that you didn’t need permission and that your construction work is legal. It is well worth having should you be thinking of selling your property in the future, or want to safeguard yourself from any potential queries.

Costs of Planning Permission

The cost depends on what sort of work you’re having done – for example, an application for permission to build an extension costs £206. A lawful development certificate costs £103, and both are payable online through the portal.

Help Understanding Planning Permission and Building Regulations

Pinnacle Works cover the full spectrum of renovations, redecorating and refurbishing your home. Our friendly team has years of experience navigating the permissions required and can provide expert advice and guidance about how the regulations apply to your construction work.

Get in touch with us today for support understanding what approvals you might need, and what sort of renovation is possible to transform your living space.