All You Need to Know About Building Extension Planning Permission Rules

All You Need to Know About Building Extension Planning Permission Rules

Building an extension, whether a smaller one-storey rear extension that isn’t visible from the front of your home to a major two-storey wrap-around extension or loft conversion that transforms the roof line of your property, can add significant value, and transform the space and accommodation within your home.

Planning permission is often misunderstood, where homeowners assume that the planning permission process is complex, costly, and difficult, and they forgo their dream designs or extension plans solely to ensure the extension work falls under permitted development rights.

However, the best way forward is to clarify where you will need formal written consent from the local authority, analyse the potential costs of that approval, and ensure you work with an experienced, reputable and talented extension team to ensure the result is everything you have aspired to.

How Does Planning Permission Work With Home Extensions

In most cases, planning consent is a mandatory requirement if the extension you wish to build will make a substantial change to the outward appearance of your property, such as the proximity to a rear boundary, the degree to which your home overlooks your neighbours or the appetence of the structure from the road.

That said, we often speak with homeowners who assume planning permission is extremely costly and will almost always mean they cannot proceed with their perfect extension, which isn’t the case. Provided you have comprehensive technical plans and designs and can fully comply with local council planning rules, even the most impressive extension can obtain official permission.

As a brief and general overview:

    • Larger extensions require consent, but you can reduce the requirements or likelihood of being turned down by using energy-efficient, sustainable, and locally sourced materials that match the current exterior of your home.
    • If your extension is large, but you’re keeping the new roofline lower or consistent with your current roof height, you may be less likely to need consent.
    • Where permitted development applies, and you don’t need consent, you might also need to consider Party Wall agreements and building regulations – meaning that falling within permitted development doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t need alternative approvals or agreements to proceed.

Planning applications for extensions usually fall under the ‘householder planning permission‘ category rather than needing full planning permission. Most homeowners pay a total charge of £328. If there are no contentions or challenges, then aside from the cost of the initial planning and technical designs, you won’t need to budget a significant amount to gain approval.

Which Home Extensions Require Formal Planning Consent?

While planning permission is often much more streamlined and less disruptive than our clients anticipate, we also recognise that many would prefer to stick within the permitted development rules and forgo any need to apply for official permission to proceed with their planned extension.

Below, we’ve summarised the most popular forms of extension and the limitations within which you can build without consent. It’s important to clarify that caveats apply, and the standard planning rules aren’t always consistent in specific areas.

For example, if your home falls into one of the below categories, you may require consent for any planned extension works, even if the project is relatively minor or won’t make any significant difference to the external aesthetic of your property:

    • Properties within UNESCO World Heritage Sures
    • Homes located inside the boundaries of National Parks
    • Buildings in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
    • Houses within conservation areas or with Grade I or II listed status.

If any of these conditions apply, we recommend speaking with the local authority responsible for granting building work within certain limits or reviewing how the rules apply to a listed building.

What Extension Projects Are Included in Permitted Development Rights?

Permitted development means that, as a homeowner, you can complete work, improvements, or extension builds on your property without requiring any form of official permission or consent from the local council.

However, it’s also worth reiterating that planning permission isn’t the only potential regulation you’ll need to consider. Planning consent is required where modifications to a property could potentially impact the way the building affects the local environment, whether the appearance of an area or how other properties are overlooked or affected by construction close to a boundary.

Building regulations are separate and mandatory rules that ensure any work completed in your home, whether or not it is considered an approved development or falls under permitted development rights, is safe, constructed to industry standards, and complies with health and safety regulations.

Therefore, any house extension, small or large, should be completed by experienced contractors who can self-certify that their work adheres to building regulation standards or provide the necessary documentation to certify that your extension is fully compliant.

How Can I Build a Single-Storey Extension Without Planning Permission?

Single-story extensions can be planned up to a height of four metres and within four metres of the back wall of the existing property without needing planning consent. Excluding conservatories, the materials you use in your build should match the appearance of your existing house without extending toward a main road via the front or side of your home.

Which Double Storey Extensions Require Planning Consent?

Larger extensions that reach up to the first floor of your home will not usually require planning consent, provided that:

    • The extension doesn’t read three metres beyond the current rear wall of your home.
    • The roof pitch matches the property as it is or is very close to the current design and height.
    • Your new extension will not have a roof life that hits three metres or more.
    • The extension will be built with materials that appear close to the aesthetic of the original property.
    • There are at least seven metres between the rear boundary of your home and the end of the extension.
    • Any side elevations with a window are obscure glazed and do not open.

Importantly, any elevated platforms, like a balcony, veranda, or other structure, may require planning permission—even if the broader scope and design of your extension are allowed under permitted development.

As we’ve seen, most planning permission rules linked to extensions relate to the height of the build, the proximity to the boundary, and the distance between the new roof line and any existing edge of your property.

That said, planning permission isn’t always particularly involved or complex, and an experienced contractor can provide support in the form of technical drawings and construction plans that meet all of the local authority’s requirements to grant full consent.

If you’d like more information about building extension planning permission, permitted development, and building regulations, you are very welcome to contact the experts at Pinnacle Works for more tailored guidance.


Work With Extension Builders For Your Home Expansion Plans

Work With Extension Builders For Your Home Expansion Plans

Extending your home outwards, sideways or upward can be a fantastic way to massively increase your living space, construct new rooms or a large-scale kitchen or dining room, or make great use of unused space along your side return or the rear of your property.

Pinnacle Works extension builders often deal with clients who have found the process of designing and planning a house extension daunting or who have invested time and money into technical plans and permission – only to find that their original ideas aren’t practical or won’t achieve the outcomes they’d hoped for.

We always recommend speaking with our experienced, local house extension team as a first port of call. Our knowledge and real-world expertise can avoid a whole host of problems and unnecessary expenses later on.

Here we’re looking at ways a builder or extension specialist can assist with your plans and the build itself, the areas where we can provide support or recommendations, and why an experienced builder can provide invaluable advice as you develop the designs for your dream home extension.

Designing a House Extension – Where to Begin

The first step in building house extensions is often to set a maximum budget or research the type of extension you’d like. We’ll run through some of the popular options shortly, but at this stage, we suggest you speak with a local extension builder to request their input.

Common issues arise when homeowners have planned an extension based on rough averages, ballpark figures, or online price calculators, which, unfortunately, are far from reliable. During a no-obligation visit, a good builder will look at factors such as:

  • The style, period, and construction of your home, as well as the materials we believe are most suitable to achieve the appearance you want. This might also depend on the location, drainage and size of the extension, with costs such as building foundations or reinforcing existing walls built into any quotations or indicative pricing.
  • How large you’d like your extension to be, and whether there are considerations around permitted development, planning permissionor building regulations that you need to know about before proceeding any further.
  • Additional services you’ll need to ensure your extension is ready to use – that could include landscaping, electrical, plumbing, plastering, flooring, decorating and several other services that the reputable builders in our multi-skilled team will organise and plan in-house.

Experienced builders can help you set a fair price for your new  property extension without overlooking any elements that could greatly impact your budget. We can also show you previous work and examples of local extensions we’ve completed as inspiration or showcase how other property owners with similar-sized homes have extended.

Picking the Right Size and Type of House Extension

Another conundrum we often encounter is when a homeowner has set their heart on an enormous kitchen extension or spent time planning a loft conversion but hasn’t yet been advised that this extension type may not be ideal.

Again, a lot depends on the size and position of your property, but an initial meeting and a walk around your property can help to establish the practicalities before you start work. Below, we’ve put together a quick list of some of the most-used extension projects:

  • Rear single-storey extensions can add extra space to your ground floor, possibly as a larger kitchen, an additional dining room or play area, or a conservatory or garden room.
  • Two-storey extensions rise from ground level to the second storey of your home, allowing you to build new bedrooms or bathrooms upstairs and add to the living space downstairs.
  • Loft extensions use empty space in the attic to construct extra living space, whether a dormer loft conversion adding a higher-height window or a simple conversion without structural work. Note that specific rules apply that determine whether a loft conversion is considered habitable and can be advertised as an additional bedroom.

You might also wish to compare different options, particularly if the original extension ideas will use up so much of your outdoor space that it could possibly reduce your property value rather than increase it.

Full wraparound extensions are dramatic and develop a new layout and property size. However, if you’re losing your side return and most of your garden, a smaller double-storey extension coupled with a loft conversion might be preferable.

An experienced extension builder can explain all of these solutions in greater detail and help you compare the costs of each extension type, enabling you to make informed decisions from the outset.

Researching Materials and Construction Techniques

Once you’ve chosen the extension project that meets your requirements and have a good idea of the costs of the work, it’s time to consider materials. As with all aspects of designing an extension, this can make a considerable difference to your budget, and we can:

  • Suggest locally sourced materials and stone or brickwork for sustainable extension projects that are consistent with the exterior of the rest of your property.
  • Advise on insulation solutions to prevent heat loss and retain good energy efficiency—this is especially important during loft conversions.
  • Look at the types of foundations you may need for a rear extension or larger extension projects extending two storeys upward.

Professional extension builders prefer to consult with each homeowner in detail before construction work starts because this allows us to create comprehensive plans where every specific part of the build has been discussed and agreed upon.

As a homeowner, you have the peace of mind that your extension will be built to your specifications, you know precisely how the finished work will look, and you have been given the information you need to make decisions about textures, décor, layouts and all the materials used within your extension.

Comprehensive Extension Builders Project Management

Finally, our local team of extension builders can project manage your build instead of working based on technical drawings or picking up one aspect of the extension and relying on other trades to complete their work to the high standard we hold ourselves to.

Rather than depending on multiple tradespeople, we offer an end-to-end service, meeting rigorous industry standards from initial design through to second fixes and walking around the completed build to address the tiniest of details.

This communication is key and means that if you want to make a change at short notice, you’ll have one point of contact, giving you regular updates on all the work carried out and a clear picture of timeframes and schedules.

If you would like more information about designing and building a house extension or to see some of our recently completed extension projects, you are welcome to contact Pinnacle Works at any time.

Transform Your Home: The Ultimate Guide to Modern Extensions in the UK

Transform Your Home: The Ultimate Guide to Modern Extensions in the UK

Extending your home by constructing a bright, airy, modern extension can be a fantastic opportunity to add value to your property, incorporate additional space to accommodate a growing family, or replace the small, dark kitchens typical of a Victorian home or period property.

Homeowners increasingly look for ways to build a rear extension or construct upwards with a two-storey addition in favour of moving – since revitalising and improving your current home is often significantly more affordable.

Let the construction experts at Pinnacle Works explain how modern extension construction works, and share some ideas and inspiration to breathe fresh life into your home and include subtle design details that embrace the style of your property whilst feeling contemporary.

Understanding Modern Extensions

While most homeowners think of sliding glass doors, ultra-modern brushed concrete, and open-plan living when they consider a modern extension, the reality is that your house extension is entirely up to your preferences, tastes, and the way you live in your home.

The differentiating factor between a conventional and a modern extension is the way your additional space is designed, often including:

    • Locally sourced, eco-friendly materials that offer superb performance – think next-gen insulation and glazing, underfloor heating and long-lasting, toxin-free paints.
    • Excellent energy conservation, with heat retention, solar panelling, low-carbon appliances, and central heating a key priority for many.
    • Extension designs that mimic the style of a period home yet use more efficient techniques to achieve the same aesthetic; particularly important in conservation areas where the local authority will only grant planning permission for an extension that retains the look of the original structure.

Contemporary extensions might include a larger dining space, adding French doors that open into your garden, a beautiful kitchen/diner with a sleek glass link corridor, or a rear extension with plenty of glazing to flood the room with natural light – but the design principles and focus on durable materials are fundamental.

Planning Your Modern Extension

We often consult with homeowners with great initial extension ideas, whether you’re keen on building classic bay windows to make the most of panoramic views, want to use charred timber cladding on the exterior of your rear façade or have your heart set on an elegant, covered balcony to create a focal point on a two-storey extension to revamp your family home.

The design process itself should be approached methodically, with assistance from a capable team of contractors with plenty of experience completing contemporary extensions. The steps may include:

    • Putting together your main deliverables and design ideas, considering how you’d like your new modern extension to work with your existing property.
    • Defining your budget, and collating estimates and quotations to ensure you have full knowledge of the total anticipated pricing – including the installation cost for a new kitchen, bathroom or other appliances.
    • Reviewing your extension plans to ensure they are viable and structurally achievable and then submitting technical drawings to the local authority planning permission department.

Collaborating with a knowledgeable construction team, alongside architects and designers with ample expertise in modern extension design, is essential – we can suggest materials, shapes, structures and approaches to achieve your planned contemporary extension while remaining within budget and adherent to local planning limitations.

Popular Types of Modern Extensions

One of the primary objectives when designing a modern extension is to ensure it will work well with the current property – whether as a contrasting extension with bright, white walls to lighten a dark brick exterior or in keeping with the original structure.

You might, for instance, inject the wow factor into a two-storey addition by using alternatively coloured grouting or render, match the colour and style of brickwork with the existing house, or go for a completely different material – from an extended dining space with an extensive glass roof to a rear extension that looks as if it has always been there.

Glass extensions and orangeries remain hugely popular, as modern, well-insulated garden rooms that extend the sense of bringing the outdoors in. Other high-demand modern extensions include loft conversions, making better use of your upper storeys, or creating a side return extension around a semi-detached house to utilise empty space to extend your living areas.

Each extension project will differ, and we’d always suggest getting in touch to ensure your chosen extension design will work with the layout of your property and budget.

The most common snags include a lack of contingency planning, under-budgeting for variable costs, and making assumptions about the underlying structure of older period properties. Putting sufficient time and detail into the planning process is a great way to ensure your build runs on time and budget and meets your expectations.

Why Choose Pinnacle Works for Your Modern Extension?

Constructing a modern extension necessarily takes time, and it’s paramount you discuss time frames before work begins – acknowledging that high-quality work may be completed efficiently, but a contemporary extension build shouldn’t be rushed. Cut corners inevitably cost more later on, and don’t deliver the same impact.

Pinnacle Works is a full-service contractor with teams of multi-skilled professionals, allowing us to project manage complete extension design and builds in-house. From initial consultation through to the final snagging list, we focus on quality and communication as a family-run business with over 25 years of expertise.

We can steer you through your extension build, handling every aspect from planning permission applications, recommending locally sourced materials and brickwork for consistency, creating technical specifications and drawings, and helping you make decisions about how your completed modern extension will look, feel and flow.

Our commitment to exacting standards is borne out by our countless five-star customer reviews, and we welcome you to access independent testimonials to see how our previous valued clients feel about our services. The Pinnacle Works project gallery is also a great resource, showing you how other contemporary extensions look and providing stimulus for your own extension design.

Please get in touch at any time to discuss your extension plans, arrange a site visit, or drop into our Chichester head office for a chat about the type of extension you’d like to achieve and any concerns or complexities in terms of planning consent or budget, and we’ll get to work.

Upgrading Your Home with Property Extension Designs

Upgrading Your Home with Property Extension Designs

There are countless ways to boost your property value, expand your living space, and improve the capacity of your home.

We regularly work with homeowners keen to expand but unsure how to start the design process or whether to extend upwards, outwards or down. We’ve collated some tips and advice to showcase some popular property upgrades, what’s involved, and factors to consider.

The Advantages of Investing in Your Home

First, let’s answer the obvious question – isn’t it easier to simply sell up and move to a larger property? The decision is, of course, entirely yours, but the average house move costs around £9,000 (plus the cost of purchasing a bigger home) and is considerably more disruptive than a few weeks of improvement work.

It also takes around 295 days to sell your current property (about ten months), and you’d need to think about marketing your existing home and buying somewhere new.

If you like your neighbourhood and are settled in the area, it’s well worth investigating the cost of a property upgrade rather than needing to relocate and potentially enrol in new schools or find alternative job opportunities.

Why Extend Your Property?

The advantages of an extension are compelling, and depending on what you’d like to achieve; it can be a relatively fast and cost-effective way of transforming your home:

  • Repurposing unused space: many properties, particularly period homes, have small side returns and areas that don’t serve a viable purpose. Using that capacity to extend can make use of empty land while significantly improving your property.
  • Increasing property value: the average extension adds 23% to your property value – with a sizeable 71% return on investment, or £14,000 profit reflected in the revised market valuation.
  • Creating extra rooms: most homeowners decide to move because they need a spare bedroom, home office or work area. An extension can add one or more additional bedrooms to your property or create a new kitchen or bathroom.
  • Cheaper and quicker than moving: while a larger-scale two-storey extension is an investment, it is also considerably faster and more cost-efficient than selling your home. Extension can be completed in weeks and ready for immediate use.
  • Upgrading your living standards: designing a bespoke extension is a fantastic opportunity to reconfigure your layout! Whether you’d love picture windows, a sleek contemporary design or classic heritage brickwork, you can play with inspiration to tailor your home to your personality and style.
  • Energy-efficiency benefits: modern extensions comprise all the essential features for improved energy efficiency, such as insulation, double or triple glazing and under-floor heating, making your home lower cost to run and better for the environment.

There are also many choices of material, finish and extension design.

If you have a limited budget, please get in touch for advice about the best ways to achieve your desired outcome while controlling overall costs.

Planning Permission Rules for a Full Property Extension

Planning permission is often perceived as a stumbling block to upgrading your property, but it can be straightforward if you understand the rules and file a comprehensive application.

The government’s Planning Portal explains all the exemptions and limits within which you can extend your home under permitted development rights.

Where planning rules do apply, the process works like this:

  1. Buy a location or site plan from the Planning Portal – you use this to show how the design will look and how close it will be to borders, roads or adjoining properties.
  2. Create drawings and architectural plans demonstrating the materials, construction and finished result of your planned extension.
  3. Work out the project dimensions using a volume calculator to determine the additional cubic metres your extension would create.
  4. Complete the planning application paperwork for Full Planning Permission, attaching your site plan and designs. The associated fee for most extensions is £238.20, including VAT.

Pinnacle Works is always available to assist with each step of the process, draw up technical designs and ensure your application is accurate and within all the relevant guidelines.

Popular Property Extension Design Ideas

If you’re unsure of the style or size of extension that would provide the most benefit to you and your family, it’s wise to review other property extensions and shortlist your priorities in terms of budget, additional rooms, and space required.

Two-Story Property Extension

Double-storey extensions can be in any shape – a rear extension, a side return or a wrap-around extension over two new floors.

The advantage is that you double the living space added, although a two-storey extension does not cost twice that of a smaller one-storey conversion. Homeowners who want to expand their property as much as possible opt for double-storey extensions since the cost is generally around 50% more than a single storey.

Much of the groundwork is identical, so you get more living space for each pound spent and can add an extra bedroom, home office or bathroom upstairs.

Modern Property Extension

A home extension doesn’t need to be a traditional ‘box’ added to the front, side or back of your property.

Alternatives include:

  • Extending the ceiling to create a double-height living space with a dramatic impact and an influx of natural light.
  • Replicating period features with modern, sustainable materials and efficient features such as triple glazing or roof lights.
  • Knocking through internal walls to open up living spaces and combine an outward extension with a larger scale open indoor room.
  • Blending the indoors with a garden is a popular option in urban properties. A garden room or panoramic windows can make darker rooms and even subfloor-level apartments feel bright and spacious.

Side Return House Extensions

A side return is an excellent choice if you wish to retain outdoor space but need a larger living area within your property.

Disused alleyways or slim areas where you keep bins and garden equipment can be repurposed, adding value to your home and plotting the extension across the length of the room and outward.

Side return extensions can be one or two storeys high and usually take around three to four months to complete, from digging the foundations to applying the final touches.

Choosing the Right Extension Design to Upgrade Your Property

We hope we’ve provided you food for thought and some ideas and information about the different home extension types to choose from and the factors to consider before you make any decisions.

Get in touch if you’d like further advice about any of the extensions discussed here, help with a planning application, or support from an experienced design team.