What do I need to do to build an extension?

Last Updated: 13 May 2024

Modern conservatory

Although building an extension is unquestionably a good idea, there’s plenty you need to do before actually getting on and building one. This short guide aims to provide you with all the information you need to start extending your home.

1. Pick which type of extension you’re after

Do you want a traditional brick and mortar extension, a conservatory or an orangery? Or how about a contemporary garden room? The characteristics of the different extension types vary significantly so it pays to do your homework before deciding which is right for you.

If you require some inspiration, why not check out 3 home extension ideas that add natural light to your home?

2. Get planning permission (if necessary)

Planning approval is a necessary requirement under a variety of circumstances. Larger structures will require it and if you happen to live in a designated area, you’re likely to need it too.

You can usually build an extension without acquiring planning permission as long as it abides by these size restrictions:

  • Detached properties can be extended by 8m to the rear if it’s a single-storey extension, or by 3m if it’s a two-storey extension. For any other type of property, single-storey extensions can extend up to 6m.
  • Single-storey extensions can’t be higher than 4m on the ridge and the eaves, and these must also not be higher than the existing property.
  • Two-storey extensions must not be closer than 7m to the rear boundary.
  • Side extensions can only be single storey with a maximum height of 4m and no wider than half of the original building.
  • An extension must not cover more than half of your garden.

These size restrictions were due to expire on the 30th May 2019, however, the UK government has decided to make them permanent.

Grey glazed conservatory

Planning permission in designated areas

Even if your planned extension does not exceed the aforementioned size limits, if you live in a designated area, there’s a good chance planning approval will still be needed. This is because permitted development rights are often restricted within them. Examples of designated areas include:

  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Conservation Areas
  • National Parks
  • Areas specified by the Secretary of State for the purposes of enhancement and protection of the natural beauty and amenity of the countryside
  • World Heritage Sites

It’s also important to point out that side extensions in designated areas will require planning permission and all rear extensions must be single-storey.

3. Find yourself the right installer

Chartwell green Accoya orangery

Once you’ve decided what you’re after and sorted any relevant planning approvals, the next step is finding yourself the right installer.

Your chosen installer should have the right experience and expertise to build your extension to the highest standard. Take us here at Reddish Joinery, for example, we’ve got over 50 years of experience behind us and an outstanding portfolio of orangeries and conservatories to boot.

Reddish Joinery, the go-to installer for conservatories Manchester

If you live in or around the Manchester area, Reddish Joinery can extend your home with a high-performance conservatory. We forge close relationships with each of our customers in order to determine what it is they are after, before improving their home.

We’ve also got a conservatory buying guide available, to help you find the right conservatory for you. For more information or to request a no-obligation quote, give us a call on 0161 969 7474 or send us an online message.

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