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Designing the Ideal House Extension: Expert Insights From Base

08/02/2024

House Extensions

Designing the Ideal House Extension: Expert Insights From Base

As award-winning architects, we are at the forefront of designing and implementing tailored house extensions that transform both our clients’ homes and lives. With our extensive expertise, we help bring visions to life – whether it’s a single storey extension that adds practical living space or a double storey rear extension that completely revolutionises a home’s dynamics.

As specialists in crafting exceptional orangeries and garden room extensions, we understand the unique opportunities and challenges each project presents. This is why our tailored process facilitates a comprehensive and smooth transition from the initial idea to the project’s completion, we focus on creating a design that meets our clients’ requirements and budget constraints.

The journey of extending one’s home can be as exciting as it is complex. This is why our team works relentlessly as your house extension designers, planners and contractual administrators, guiding you through each stage of the process.

Building Regulations for House Extensions

It’s crucial to understand that any house extension in England and Wales, regardless of its size, design or locality, must comply with certain building regulations set by the local authority. These regulations cover various aspects including structural stability, insulation levels, safety provisions, fire resistance, and more. Compliance with these regulations is non-negotiable and is a testament to our commitment at Base to ensure that our designs are not only aesthetically pleasing but also safe and secure.

Firstly, any extension designer needs to consider the structural integrity of any proposed design. This means that your extension’s design must ensure that the building will stand firm under various loads and pressures without compromising the stability of the existing structure.

Secondly, insulation is an essential consideration. Any new extension will necessitate further insulation to maintain energy efficiency. We must meet the thermal performance criteria set out by the building regulations, demonstrating how the new extension will aid in retaining and distributing heat effectively, thereby increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption.

Safety provisions can include a variety of factors like the accessibility of the extension, the safety of electrical installations, non-hazardous materials, and proper ventilation. In addition, fire safety resonates as a key consideration – whether this concerns the fire resistance of construction materials or escape routes in case of emergencies.

We pride ourselves in meticulously designing and building house extensions that strictly comply with all building regulations. Whether it’s a single-storey extension, an orangery, a garden room extension, or a double-storey rear extension, we ensure a meticulous approach to every design detail to ensure a safe and secure living space for our clients.

open living room area

Do You Need Planning Permission for a House Extension

Depending on the scale of the project, its specifications, and the rules stipulated by your local council, you may need planning permission.

Certain types of house extensions, particularly those that fall under ‘Permitted Development’ rights, don’t require specific planning permission. For instance, single-storey extensions, orangery extensions, and garden room extensions typically do not require planning permission, provided they meet certain stipulations listed in the legislation known as the General Permitted Development Order (2015), and match the materials used in the existing property.

However, larger and more expansive projects like a double-storey rear extension often require planning permission if they go beyond the extent of the permitted development rights a property possesses, as they significantly transform the existing structure and can potentially impact the surrounding properties.

It’s also worth noting that Permitted Development rights can be more restrictive in specific locations, such as conservation areas or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and in other unique situations like a listed building project the permitted development rights are removed (this is also usually the case for barn conversions). Therefore, if you are planning an extension in an area with a specific designation, a formal planning application may be necessary.

Our team at Base has extensive experience dealing with planning permissions and can guide you through the process. We carefully assess each project and consider all the necessary measures to ensure your house extension complies with local regulations. This commitment to due diligence and detail brings peace of mind to our clients, ensuring that their project is in capable and secure hands.

Planning Considerations for an Extension

There are several elements that need careful thought and consideration when planning a house extension.

Firstly, think about the purpose for which the extension is being built. A single storey extension can function as a welcoming living space, a modern kitchen, or a sophisticated home office. Likewise, a double storey rear extension can add additional bedrooms, bathrooms, or a spacious play area. Orangeries and garden room extensions, on the other hand, can offer a serene retreat, blurring the lines between the indoors and outdoors.

Another essential element to consider is the style and design of the extension. It needs to harmonise with the rest of the property. Our architects meticulously plan to ensure that the extension seamlessly blends with the existing structure, enhancing its aesthetic value and functionality.

Next, the budget needs to be factored in. As a responsible extension planner, we provide transparent costings, taking into account the preliminary build cost. We aim for a budget-friendly architectural solution that meets the client’s requirements and aspirations without compromising on quality or design.

You will also need to consider the impact on your neighbours and their environment. Any adverse effects on their light, privacy or outlook should be minimised. Good design and careful planning can mitigate such concerns, and securing a party wall agreement where necessary ensures that all stakeholders are on board and aware of the construction process.

Why Choose Base for Your House Extension Project

When you embark on your house extension journey, partnering with Base puts you in safe and experienced hands. We are a team of problem solvers and creative thinkers committed to bringing your vision to life. 

Choosing us means more than just expanding your home — it means enhancing it with a thoughtful design that adds function, style, and lasting value. Our extensions aren’t just built for today; they’re designed to enrich your home life for many years to come. Contact Base today.

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