Permitted Development | SAVE up to 25% on the cost of extending your home.
It only costs around £125 to make a lawful development application so take our advice and make the application...
Permitted Development - The Reality
Author: Tom Norris
Permitted development looks straight forward enough but the one problem we have is that you have nobody to categorically state that your build does fall within permitted development and that your proposals do not require planning.
Instead, what you get from the planners is statements such as “It looks like it falls under permitted development...” “It should fall under permitted development...” “I think that will fall under permitted development..” which means little or nothing if you get it wrong.
In effect the planning officer won’t give you a firm YES for your proposal which makes it really unsettling as you may be building an extension or doing a conversion that will come back and bite you in the arse at a later date.
Our advice, regardless of how much you think that your build will fall under permitted development, regardless of how many times the planning office tell you what they think, get you architect to apply for a lawful development certificate.
It only costs around £125 to make a lawful development application so take our advice and make the application, that way you’re not stacking up nightmare problems for a later date.
If you’re currently considering adding a house extension there are a number of considerations below that you should pay attention to and in doing so you will be well rewarded.
Are You Going To Move House In The Next 5 Years?
It’s an absolute fact that people spend many thousands of pounds adding an extension and doing up their property only to sell within a couple of years. Now the question is, if you knew you were going to move house would you really have:
- Spent the same amount of money on refurbishing?
- Chosen the same extension designs and layouts?
- Bought the same kitchen, double glazing and materials that you did?
Well unless you happen to be an architect or interior designer with a finger placed firmly on the current interior design trends then it’s most likely that you will have:
- Wasted several thousands on the refurbishment works;
- Lost out significantly on the opportunity to add more value to your property; and
- Failed to deliver the designs that would most benefit your property.
The truth is that many home-owners browse a few websites, read a few magazines and before you know it are off giving instructions to the builders without any real idea if the proposed works will:
- Suit the property;
- Increase the value; or
- Make the property more sellable.
Get it into your head that not all home improvements add value. Also, get it into your head that should you decide to spend £100 per metre on limestone flooring or £15k on a kitchen you could have wasted up to 75% of your money as you may not get it back when you sell.
Different styles of properties require different designs when it comes to extending or refurbishing. Just because your large corner settee looked great in your open plan loft apartment doesn’t mean it will look well in a 3 bedroom 1930’s semi.
In effect, what I’m saying is that any kind of major refurbishment, layout change or addition should be carried out with the following considerations.
Budget - Am I refurbishing to sell or to keep? It’s an important consideration here as many home-owners waste many thousands of pounds on home improvements that they can’t possibly recoup when they sell.
Let’s say you had 2 properties. Property 1 had a value of £125k and property 2 had a value of £250k. Now would you really spend the same amount on a new kitchen or double glazing on each property? The answer is that you can but you would be losing money as the value and the location of the property needs to be considered when it comes to major refurbishments.
Design - Would you really add the same style of extension to 2 different properties? Just because you added an extension to one property and it worked really well, don’t go thinking that you will automatically get the same result on another property.
Each property is unique when it comes to designing the perfect home and as such deserves unique consideration rather than a standard bolt-on extension approach.
Interior Design - When it comes to creating new layouts and choosing finishing materials it’s absolutely essential that you do the research to establish what works best with your particular style of property. Bear in mind that at this point you should know if you’re refurbishing to sell within a few years or refurbishing to suit your own taste regardless.
We always advise getting in some specialist help to aid your decision making on whether a loft conversion is worth the effort, whether you should add a conservatory or in fact carry out any major improvements. Talk to your local estate agents if you want to find out if your proposal will add value, make the property more sellable or simply be a waste of money.
Architect - When it comes to layout changes, major refurbishments, extensions or conversions you should always engage the services of a local architect as the first step rather than calling the builders. In many cases builders tend to adopt particular styles and if given an opportunity they will be more than happy to steer you into a design and style that they like rather than a design that works best for your property and circumstance.
You also need to bear in mind that regardless of whether or not your proposals fall within permitted development you will still need drawings for building regulations approval and by drawings I mean technical drawings with sound arguments and calculations for energy saving especially if your design has a lot of glass.
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