Frequently Asked Question

Do I need planning permission?

It really depends on what you want to achieve. In some cases you are allowed to carry our small renovation projects under Permitted Development rights. Examples include:
Building a small rear or side extension
Building a porch that is less an 3m2
Internal alterations
Loft conversion
In each case there is a strict criteria to follow, and it’s important to note that Permitted Development rules vary in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and can also differ between local authorities. Also, for listed buildings and homes within a conservation area, permitted developments rights don’t always apply. But you still need to apply and gain a permitted approval .

Feeling confused? Don’t worry – we can help you to understand if your project falls under permitted development, or if you’ll need to submit an application for planning permission.

What is the process as we have never done anything like this before?

Most of our clients like to book an Initial Home Consultation. It costs just £150 +VAT, and provides a chance for us to visit you at your home and get a feel for what you want to achieve.

We’ll talk through your ideas, and the possibilities for planning permission in your area. We can also advise on general building costs, and hopefully suggest a few new ideas that will help you to achieve your goals.

If you’d like to proceed after this point, we will complete a pre-site survey so we know the exact measurements and layout of your existing home.

We’ll then meet again to take a full brief and start to sketch out some potential schemes for you.

When you’ve decided on the route you’d like to pursue, we’ll create detailed drawings. Once you are happy with them we can submit the planning application on your behalf (if appropriate).

Once planning has been granted, we work up technical drawings. These can be sent out for local builders to tender against. The building team you decide to work with will also use these drawings to complete your project.

How long does a planning approval take and last for?

Most planning applications are decided within eight weeks, unless they are unusually large or complex, in which case the time limit is extended to 13 weeks.

Timescales can vary between local authorities and delays do occur.

Once planning permission has been granted, you have 3 years to start work. You can always start the works in this period, and then build at a later date.

How long does all the pre site survey and planning drawings take?

We recommend allowing between 6 – 8 months to complete the designs, go through the planning process, and then working up drawings for building regulations.

At this point you can go out to tender and obtain quotes for the build.

Do you know any local builders?

There’s no doubt that finding the right builder for your job is crucial to the success of your project.

We have a team of trusted builders that we work with, depending on the size and nature of the build, and can tender out the project to them on your behalf. In response to our tender, which will include detailed drawings and specifications, they will supply a quote and timescales for work.

Once this has been received, we can arrange face to face meetings with the builders so you can talk through the project with them.

Once appointed, we will handover a detailed plan so they can get to work! This saves so much time and therefore budget as everyone knows exactly what to do…and when!

What is the overall budget costs for extensions in this area?

Again, it’s hard to give a number as it depends on what you are trying to achieve. However, we generally advise clients to budget £3500/square metre of space. This figure includes heating, electrics and general finishes. It doesn’t include external works and kitchen fittings etc.

We like the idea of solar and air source but not everyone has the budget for it?

There’s a great deal to consider, but we are now offering an energy efficiency service which will help you to understand the best options for your home.

What if I don’t get planning permission?

It will depend on the case, but if you think the decision is unfair you can appeal. If not, you can redesign and submit another application.