Extending your house is a big deal and takes a lot of effort and thought. You should consider all of your options on the best way to get the job done and what your options are. If you are struggling for a place to start researching or what to consider before hiring a design and build company, here are five things you should know before extending your home:
The ‘right to light’ exists in law
There is such a thing as a legally established right to light. Your neighbours, therefore, may attempt to prevent you from building a house extension by claiming they have the legal right to light on one or more of their windows. This is only a worry for you if you are indeed blocking their windows, but it is definitely something to think about and be aware of. It doesn’t mean your extensions cannot obstruct a neighbour’s window at all, but these are considerations that have to be made.
You can have WC’s and shower rooms anywhere
It is no longer necessary under the Building Regulations for there to be a lobby between a WC and any other room, which was conceived for reasons of hygiene in terms of kitchens where food is prepared. This means that you can stick a toilet or a shower room anywhere in your house once your extensions is finished. The price of making a shower room next to a bedroom will be between £2,000 and £3,000, if the plumbing is within reasonable proximity.
Make your conservatory part of your home
You don’t just have to do a bolt on extension when it comes to doing up your house, you can also make a conservatory on an existing room in the house. The Building Regulations state that most conservatories have to be separated from the house by exterior doors. This can lead to the new conservatory feeling cut-off from the rest of the house. You can now remove the exterior wall separating it from the existing house, this turns a conservatory in to a true extensions instead of a room just place next to a house.
Beware of removing trees
Before you start hiring out the chainsaw and slaughtering beautiful, innocent greenery, you should know that some trees are protected by the Tree Preservation Orders. Even if tour extension does not require planning permission, you cannot alter or prune a tree that is protected by a Tree Preservation Order. If you fail to obey this order and cut the tree down anyway, it is treated as a serious criminal offence and can result in substantial fines.
Have you really thought it through?
Before starting a lavish attic conversion or house extension, think wisely about the cost in relation to the volume of space that can be added, and the effect on the current space. In order to obey with the Building Regulations to create an additional bedroom in the new space, the floor may need strengthening and the roof will need to have at least 150mm of insulation, plus a 50mm clear air gap (unless you are able to replace the existing roofing felt with a breathable membrane).