Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Sorted! Diy; COULD Building an Extension Turn Your Current Home into a Forever Home?

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Sorted! Diy; COULD Building an Extension Turn Your Current Home into a Forever Home?

Article excerpt

Byline: Julia Gray

An extension is a great way to make your home bigger and better, as long as you don't make your garden too small in the process.

While building an extension could cost tens of thousands of pounds and take many weeks, it's often a more attractive option than having to move home when you've outgrown your current one. Depending on your home's layout, and as long as the new layout complies with building regulations, a single-storey extension can be turned into pretty much any sort of room or rooms, typically a kitchen-diner, especially in a side return, but also an extra living area, a den, a home office or even a ground-floor bedroom and en suite, perfect as a granny or nanny annex. If you can run to a two-storey extension, you'll be able to increase both your living and sleeping space, or add a dressing room or extra bathroom upstairs, whatever you need.

Instead of applying for planning permission, the easiest option is to make use of your home's permitted development rights. If it doesn't have these rights, or you want an extension that can't be done under permitted development, you'll have to go through the planning process, which can be lengthy, expensive and frustrating.

To be done under permitted development, your extension must conform to certain conditions. You'll find full details at www.planningportal.gov.uk (the information applies to houses, not flats, maisonettes or other buildings), but one of the main conditions is that extensions and other buildings shouldn't account for more than 50% of the land around the original house. There are also constraints on the width and height of extensions. For example, the width of a side extension mustn't be more than half the width of the original house. There are different rules for single and two-storey extensions and for rear and side ones (for example, side extensions on 'designated land', which includes conservation areas, are not permitted development), so it can be quite complicated. …

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