Things to Know When Extending Your Home

Lillian Connors Home Exterior 2 Comments

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Are you tired of living in a tight and cramped home? If your home has become too small for your entire family, you should certainly change something about it. One of the best possible ways to do that is by extending your living space. However, before you undertake such a risky venture, you need to be completely prepared. Apart from the entire spatial organization and architectonic planning, you need to pay attention to the local building regulations.

Sometimes, even the most creative and innovative extending projects won’t be allowed by the local law. Therefore, you have to keep this fact in mind for it would be easier for you to prevent this in time than to be sued for something you didn’t take into consideration. Here are some basic things you should know when it comes to the house extension.

You Should Know the Building Regulations

The Building Regulations are related to some basic aspects that will provide the safety of a home. According to renowned Sydney-based extension builders, even if you don’t need planning permission for the extension of your home, you need to be familiar with the Building Regulations that usually deal with the issues such as the construction of a building, fire safety, energy efficiency, adequate ventilation and other crucial elements that contribute to every person’s safety.

When it comes to repairs, they aren’t usually covered by the Building Regulations. However, there are several more complex types of work that require special approval, such as new chimneys, adding new windows where they didn’t previously exist, installations related to the bathroom, home extensions, loft conversations and so on.


Building Open Floor Plan

An open floor plan has become one of the most common extension ideas for it successfully meets all needs of the modern time. Removing your walls, you will create more spacious and illuminated room. The most often used concept is merging the living room, dining room and the kitchen. All you have to do is to make sure that the room has enough windows that will provide it with fresh air and light. You can make it more creative by adding the windows of different shapes and dimensions.

Open floor plan has proven that you don’t need walls for defining the rooms. You can use impressive visual boundaries such as colors, furniture, light fixtures or space dividers.

Conservation Areas Require Special Norms

The term conservation area is related to the buildings that are protected by law from being destroyed or completely changed. The goal of such regulations is to save the original form and character of a particular conservation area. Such buildings have an immense cultural and historical value and that is why there are special regulations that need to be respected. Therefore, all the extensions and changes are very restricted.

That is the reason why you need to be familiar with all regulations on extending your home in a conservation area applicable to your country (here is what these are like in the UK). It is suggested that you contact the local authorities and make sure that the alterations you want to make don’t hurt the local area policy.


Conversion of the Attic

Every house has some spare space that is not used at all. One of such rooms is the attic, which are spacious and usually used for cluttering things we don’t really need. That is why you should maybe think about turning it into an additional room. You can make a kid’s bedroom or an office out of it. However, it isn’t that simple as it looks. The entire process consists of numerous steps than need to be respected if you want to finish the project successfully.

Making the habitable room out of attic requires numerous preparations and approaches, such as installing windows, staircase, floor strengthening and the roof insulation, which will result in rising of the floor level and lowering of the ceiling. This is an important issue to deal with because you will be left less usable space.

The “Right to Light”

If you are planning to extend your home, you need to pay attention to so-called “Right to Light”, which ensures that the extension of your home won’t negatively affect the property of your neighbor’s home. That is why you need to have an appropriate permission for such endeavor. Theoretically, this law can forbid you from building up your home if it blocks a neighbor’s window.

However, you shouldn’t worry because this law is very restricted and it usually relates to the buildings in the city center, which have already been crowded and where every change could literally block your neighbor’s view.


Act in Accordance with Tree Preservation Orders

When you decide to build or extend your home, you need to be very careful about even the tiniest detail. Apart from thinking about the regulations related to the rights of your neighbors, you also need to pay attention to trees. Some trees are protected by Tree Preservation Orders and thus, they cannot be cut down, altered or even pruned. For any of these actions, you will need special permissions.

These are just some of the regulations that need to be respected if you want to build your home up using means within the law. All in all, you need to be completely prepared for this venture before you start realizing it.

Lillian Connors

If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. Probably that's the reason why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of home improvement/DIY projects and spread the word about them. She's also deeply into green practices.

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Lillian ConnorsThings to Know When Extending Your Home

Comments 2

  1. Mike

    Hi Lilian,

    Great informative article on major home improvements, and the steps a home owner should take before embarking on their project. Getting a good grasp on what’s required from a home improvement can be time consuming, and sometimes daunting, but totaly worth it in the long term.
    Thanks for posting this article.


    1. Ariel Bellamy

      Hi Mike,

      If I may speak for Lillian – she did a great job and we both thank you for your compliments! We appreciate you taking the time to give your insight :)

      Thank you! :)

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