January 23, 2016

House Extensions: Additions That Honour the Garden

The age old property battle rages on: Do you extend your property or look to use your garden to its full potential?


The value prospect


This quest seems to be particularly prevalent for those living in the capital when outside space is an almost priceless commodity, that even questioning giving some of it up is deemed a ridiculous notion.


But is it really? Extending your home (with a considered plan) is always going to add value, and there are ways of using the improvement to extend beyond mere bricks and mortar and increase your capability of outdoor living too.


Orangeries, garden rooms and conservatory’s are commonly designed and built to a specification with a client’s garden at the centre; including features such as large bi-fold doors and roof lanterns.


These rooms can provide the ultimate part of the home to enjoy without feeling you have compromised any part of your property, as well as being the perfect environment to ‘bring the outdoors in’– plants thrive in these warm conditions.


There are some discrepancies throughout the industry, but it is suggested that these types of additions can add between 5-7% to the value of a property.



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Problems you may face


One of the main hurdles that must be overcome when looking to extend your property is the planning permission, it is essential that you investigate this before you commission any work.


More often than not, extensions such as conservatory’s, orangeries and garden rooms are ‘permitted developments’ and as long as they meet the criteria, do not need planning permission; The cityoflondon.gov website urges those considering adding extensions to contact the Department of the Built Environment to find out if your build will fall into the ‘permitted development’ category.


If you are using a reputable company then they should be able to talk you though these and if unsure, provide a specification for a build that will adhere to the guidelines, which are as follows:


  • The house extension must not exceed in excess of 50% of the size of the building
  • Should not be more than half the width of the house
  • Should not have eaves that are higher than 3 metres if within 2 meters of a structured boundary
  • Should not be more than 4 metres in height
  • Should not include any verandas, balconies or elevated platforms


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What type of house extension should you go for?


Often overlooked, verandas serve as a beautiful substitute where orangeries and conservatories cannot be accommodated; contrary to popular opinion, verandas can be used all year round, providing shade from the sun while offering shelter during the winter months.


They are far less imposing than extensions and would be perfect for those who are concerned about losing any garden space.


If you are unsure about the home improvement that would best suit your requirements, while also adhering to any red tape, it is worth consulting with a business that can offer bespoke builds, rather than ‘packaged’ options.


There should be no ‘one size fits all’ approach to your investment, especially when any treasurable outdoor space is potentially under threat, you should be entirely confident that any improvements you decide to move ahead with should complement your life in every way!


If you find that you are not granted with planning permission, beyond the disappointment, try to remember that all is not lost! Intimate garden verandas are permitted without planning permission as long as they do not include a raised platform over 600mm.


If you’re looking for more space to extend into, get in touch with one of our offices and we’ll be happy to help you out!

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