Building an extension to your home will not only give you more living space, it will also increase the value of your property. So even if you’re only planning to stay where you are for a few years, it’s worth doing. There are a number of stages you’ll need to go through before the building work begins, so here’s our guide to what you need to know when planning an extension.



The first stage is to find a designer, architect or draftsman who will help you bring your ideas to life in the form of drawings. In creating the architectural drawings, your design professional will have the expertise to be able to advise you on designs that suit your budget, as well as advising you on issues you may not have thought about, such as party walls and freeholder consent.  Without accurate drawings and specifications, builders won’t be able to give you detailed and more accurate quotes for the final work. If you don’t already have someone in mind, use the Royal Institute of British Archectes’s Find An Architect facility.


Planning permission

Once you are happy with the drawings, it’s time to submit your plans to the local council. Although, depending on the work involved, you may not need planning permission under the UK’s Permitted Development rules. Your design professional will advise you on whether planning permission is required. It’s also essential to take into account that, depending on the size and layout of your planned extension, you may need several individual planning applications before you get approval for the overall build.


Party wall agreement

If you share walls with your neighbours, you will need to obtain party wall agreements. This covers shared walls between attached properties, as well as garden walls, or if you will need to carry out excavation work that will be close to your neighbour’s property.


Building regulations approval 

You must also check whether or not you’ll need building regulations approval. This approval covers the construction and structural elements of the project, ensuring compliance with construction standards. This differs from planning permission that covers the effect your planned extension will have on your local environment.


Structural integrity 

You will need the services of a structural engineer who will provide calculations for your  project’s strength, durability and safety to ensure it is fit for purpose.


Quotes from builders

Now is the time to get quotes from building contractors. With all the correct information in place, your builder will be able to accurately assess the work that will be involved. It’s a good idea to get quotes from at least three builders who are prepared to visit your property for measurements, which also gives you the chance to meet them and go over any extra details. Always give yourself time to consider all the quotes fully before you offer the work to anyone.


Building control 

As soon as your building work begins, you will need to notify your local council giving them the chance to inspect the work to ensure it satisfies Building Control requirements. This will involve site inspections to ensure each stage of the work is being carried out correctly and that no corners have been cut. On the successful completion of your project, you will be issued with a completion certificate.


How Skillform London can help We offer a one stop shop and will be happy to take care of the project management for you with our Design & Build services.  We will support you through all stages of the process when you’re planning your extension, offering one point of contact and one overall price.  Contact us to find out more and arrange a quote.

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