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  1. Afternoon everyone I’m enjoying reading everyone’s posts on here. We’re just starting to plan our extension haven’t received advice from anyone at all yet but wanted to do an intro and ask a general question. I’ve added my drawings which are not to scale - I’ve also drawn what I want things to look like on sketch up but couldn’t work out how to add them here. Green lines are internal doors, blue external doors and pink lines are windows. The red area is the planned extension which actually comes out further than the kitchen line which I’ve not depicted in the pics! The pic with letters is the downstairs and numbers upstairs with the bathroom marked in black - and my idea in blue to extend it. I don’t think this will be possible though because to save costs I’m thinking it’s best we keep the external wall that’s already there. Which leads to my first question. Can an external wall be stripped of the external bricks and made into an internal wall? My second complete beginner question I think I know the answer to also - the downstairs already has a conservatory over half the area for the extension that leads to the garage. So the garage wall is where the extension wall would need to be up against - I’m assuming that means we’ll have to knock down the garage wall. Hopefully not the whole garage though and then the extension wall could replace the garage wall. We have a waste manhole in the area too so will need to move it further into the garden and the toilet is on the window wall of the bathroom so would have to be moved to the outside wall. We’ve had the water pipe plans and spoken to the correct utility company so know this is possible. And the downstairs loo will have to be moved into the extension to stay accessible to the waste. extension will be 5.5x5.5m with the aim of giving us another bedroom and en-suite. I wanted a bigger main bathroom but unless I take some of bedroom 3 I don’t think that will be possible. Thanks for reading all of this :-) I’m in the excited research stage - I’m sure that will morph into stress once we start! I also have some roof questions but still looking myself at how we might do this first - the current roof is in a T shape
  2. Hi, we are currently having 2 lots of building work completed and the builder has suggested a change in the roof. We have extended above the garage which has followed planning permission plans exactly. We are now knocking down the current conservatory and rebuilding as brick at the rear. We know this didn’t need planning permission but the council suggested putting it on the application so we only paid one fee. initially the roof was going to be Sloping away from the house but to gain more space, our builder has suggested changing it to a pitched roof. Still single storey. Can we do this without altering the planning permission/ applying again? On the plans, it says the measurements will be 2.7m x6.5m. Can we also change these slightly to gain more space - 3.5m x 6.2m? Thank you!
  3. Hi All, Its been exciting to read so much detailed stuff on this website. I am planning on a large rear single storey extension which I intend to self manage with separate contractors such as ground works, brick layers, roofers, plumbers, electricians, plasters. I intend to let the contractors buy the material and only manage the interfaces Is their any guide or reference where I can learn on key interfaces so that I can know which trade required when. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
  4. Hello, we’re building an extension, the retaining walls are up and now the builders are laying down the brickwork for the house. The problem is that it is starting to look like two rectangles, one inside the other at completely different angles. I have attached some photos for a slightly better picture.
  5. Hi all Apologies for another newbie question. I am looking to extend out the back and side and am under the impression that a wrap-around extension does not fall under Permitted Development. If I was to extend "separately" out the side and out the back would this be ok (under PD) and would there be much difference in price given its the same size? Neither direction is going beyond 3m from house or should cause any other PD issues) Many thanks in advance Pictures might help: 1. Current house footprint (including old out building to be demolished) 2. Potential wrap-around extension 3. Potential "separate" extensions
  6. Hello all, My wife and I live in an early '70s timber-framed house and we are mulling over a timber-frame extension. We live in a semi-detached house with our north wall connecting us to our neighbours. The house was built with a garage joined on to the south side of the property (it's on the right as you look at the front of the house). We'd like to extend over the top of the garage; however, the width of the garage alone would not give us a sensible sized bedroom upstairs. Because of this, we'd like to extend a little further south, but this is where it gets interesting... Between us and the neighbouring (mirrored) property to our south, is a culvert that was built to direct a stream that existed prior to the housing estate being built. It's not clear from any plans that I have seen, exactly where this culvert is, or how large it is. It is always drawn as a single line threading between houses and through gardens. It appears to be in my neighbours garden at the far rear of the properties, but soon crosses the boundary into our garden and will, I suspect, cause some planning issues. I'm hoping that somebody on this forum may be able to provide some advice on how to proceed? The plans seem to imply that the local water company are not responsible for the culvert, which leaves me wondering "who is?" Before we start throwing money at the wrong people, who do we need to take a look at this and assess the situation? An architect? A surveyor? Somebody else? Any advice on where to start would be gratefully received. Pete
  7. Hi Total newbie here, but confused by permitted development rules. House is detached with garage at the rear (blue on image) at the boundary. We are looking to do a single storey rear extension 6m back for the full length of the house. Trying to find out if we do it for the full width of the house including the garage (orange on image). Can’t seem to find anything on if it can be done behind an adjoining garage without planning permission. would be great full for any advice on this many thanks
  8. So after a lockdown, 3 absolutely crazy quotes and a few design tweaks our builders finally arrived as promised to start groundworks today! 😃 Today’s overwhelming feeling is off nervous/excitement ie a kid at Christmas!! apologies but I couldn’t rotate the image when I uploaded it.
  9. We have started a simple two-storey extension - hallway and bedroom above. Unfortunately we didn't get a payment structure confirmed before the work started (we've learnt our lesson!) - we are now confirming staggered payments with him because the builder is now wanting £4k a week steadily throughout the job until the end, which we're not entirely comfortable with. We would like to hold back a decent percentage at the end because we've been burned before and because we want to make sure the job is finished as we'd like before coughing up most of the money. We have an independent BC person involved in this project so we're getting everything checked off along the way. Regardless, how much would you guys recommend as the max % to retain before final payment? Thanks in advance.
  10. Hello, First time posting, so be gentle, and sorry it's a bit long! We have an extension project in planning/just started building stage. For various reasons which I won't go into, I have sacked the structural engineers that were working on our project and am now left with an almost complete foundation design along with some part calculated beams where the extension will join the existing house. I tried, without much luck, to get the original and a possible replacement structural engineer to explain why the foundation design is as it is, and thought I would ask on here to see if anyone can explain to me why I appear to be being dense... (I am a Chartered Engineer by the way so I reckon I have a fairly decent brain, just not a structural engineer). The situation: we have a house that has been extended at various points in the past. The original is mid to late 1700s, followed by a 2 storey extension built we think sometime between 1900 and 1930 (single skin construction, slate dpc and no dpc under the quarry tiles bedded on thin concrete). Tacked onto the side of this part is a single storey extension that I am guessing is 1950s or 1960s - it appears to have cavity walling and a concrete floor, along with modern footings. Summarising slightly, but we are joining a 2 storey prefabricated timber frame extension to the side and above this single storey extension - the ground floor of which will be open plan - hence the current exterior wall will be demolished. The initial engineers designed a block and beam ground floor (clay soil, with trees around 15m away). We had soil analysis done and this recommended depths of 1.95 metres in one corner away from the current house, and 1.4m adjacent to the 2 storey part of the current house (i.e. a spot that is currently inside the house). The foundation design calls for the total removal of the concrete slab and the footings that make up the existing single storey part of the house. As the new footings would then join onto footings that will no way be to modern standards, let alone meeting the 1.4m depth specified by the soil analysis, they have said the existing house will require underpinning, but only where the new footings join the old. I don't understand why we can't keep the current footings and flooring and join onto them. Differential movement has been muttered by both the sacked and the potential new structural engineer, but again I don't understand how the design mitigates this - in fact to my mind it would exacerbate it...? In that if we carried out the design, one wall of our current house would be tied to the new, much deeper footings and at the join points would be rock solid, but surely that same wall would now be at risk of cracking because the footings are not even? And the other walls of the house that range from early 1900s footings (i.e. some, but not deep) to mid 1700s footings (I.e. almost none) could now move at a vastly different rate to the extension and that one wall of the existing house. Surely this will just introduce problems away from the extension? The prospective engineer suggested it is an indemnity issue - is that really it? Does that mean crack in new extension = insurance payout but crack in existing part of house that isn't the new extension = no pay out? Who's risk is actually being protected here??? Or am I missing something?? I look forward to any replies, hopefully someone will help me from tearing my hair out!
  11. Hi all, Only my second thread so apologies if my knowledge is slim on things. We have pretty much secured our first house and the sale is moving through very quickly (first time buyers, no chain and a friendship with the owner). We have opted for a bungalow which was on a generous plot size in comparison to the house. a little different for a 21 year old but I see the potential to make this a very nice home. I would like some of your experienced opinions on where and how best to utilise the available space. My first thought for real change is that I feel it needs an extension. It isn't a big bungalow by any means but its adequate for me and my partner for now so we have time on our hands to search around for the best option. My thoughts are to extend out the full width of the house back as far as possible and open the current back kitchen wall to create an 'L' shaped open plan kitchen, diner and new living room (the rear of the house is south facing). This would free up the current living room as a new bedroom, making it a 3 bedroom bungalow which will add value, right? I need your help on how to best go about this. How would the roof design affect the extension, would it have to be a flat roof? My other thought is to extend out the back and leave the 'loft' space above the extension open for a possible loft conversion in the future but again, I don't know if it would be possible because of the roof without it looking out of shape. Also, the current 'sun porch is coming down ASAP. I am open to timber frame extensions etc and I have a lot of family and friends in the building trade which will hopefully bring the cost down. I don't know if its worth noting but we are the end bungalow, the house next door is a 2 storey building. Pictures attached. Thanks for taking the time to read and help.
  12. Hi all, I've come across this forum and am pleased to have joined as it appears to be a great resource - and boy do I need some help and guidance haha! We own (well the bank does) a semi-detached property in Surrey and have recently employed a company to create planning and building regs drawings and to act as our agent throughout these processes. Ultimately, we are on a tight budget so will be seeking all tips and advice that I can get my hands on. I have tried to do much research so for instance, will be keeping the extension very square to keep costs at a minimum. Unfortunately I have been furloughed (albeit very grateful for the support I'm receiving under this scheme) so have taken the questionable decision to progress the build with some speed so that the budget we do have, isn't squandered away on our monthly living costs. I'll worry about the other side on the other side. There are a few things that I could do with some general advice on and any relevant tips too please. If any of you can help with the below then please do let me know... - Does anyone have a detailed list/spreadsheet which breaks down the numerous areas of costs associated with such builds that you'd be happy to share with me please? - Some people are suggesting not to serve notice under the 3rd party wall act. I am reluctant to take this approach but am concerned that my neighbour may well try to frustrate this process at every opportunity so as much as I'd like to work constructively with them, I suspect that they are unlikely to help to keep this as simple as possible. Any tips here please? I will be building within 3 metres of their outbuilding but not there main house and I will be retaining side access of at least one metre. - Is it generally cheaper to get a builder to complete all works or to firstly source contractors/companies for the elements where I have contacts (e.g. I know a roofer, a Gas Safe engineer, an electrician etc.). I will ultimately compare options like for like but wondered if anyone has some loose guidance here. Thanks in advance and I look forward to receiving as much info as possible.
  13. Hello all you experts, After over 2 years of battling planning permission, we've finally got the OK on Friday to start on April 13th. Am I mad to consider starting at what will straddle the peak of the proposed infection rates. Its a 12-15 week build with a fair bit of internal changes. I honestly am awake at night worrying about everything. The only upside is that we are both very practical and could do a lot of cover in the absence of labourers or joiners (not plumbers or electricians though) if they needed to self isolate. Im just assuming that supply is going to be affected. Thoughts please lovely people. Kara
  14. Hi all, we are looking to extend the kitchen and we are really unsure what to do for best. We are thinking we can either knock the conservatory down and extend the kitchen up to where the lounge is (if not too expensive) or knock through into the lounge (and move the lounge to front).Any ideas welcome!
  15. Hi all, New to this but hoping I can throw the odd question out to those with more experience. The house already has a 3m single story extension done back in the 80's. The extension is sound but not very well insulated in the roof or outer wall. The original owners decided to extend the galley kitchen and to have a third room at the back. Essentially from the front living room to the back is open through 2 arches. This has resulted in the middle room being pretty useless. The plan is to knock down the galley kitchen wall and wall up the living room so the back of the house would be open plan. Barring the odd decision to extend the galley kitchen, the previous owners also decided to keep the garage to which resulted in the extension wall being angled inwards. Ideally I plan to knock down the garage and rebuild the extension wall to be straight and inline with the rest of the house.
  16. Morning All! It’s my first post on here (so be patient with me please!), but I have been lurking in the shadows for a while now! My wife and I (& our 2 daughters) currently live in a grade II listed gate keeper’s lodge (conservation area) which has been subject to some terrible building work in the past (leaky flat roof extension…). We’re in the process of trying to secure planning permission to drop the extension and build something which is sympathetic to its surroundings, larger (in terms of internal floor space) & more energy efficient. We also intend on addressing the poor condition of the old part of the house (which they will naturally be a lot stricter on given its status, but is in poor state of disrepair nonetheless). The property is currently single storey & ‘off grid’ in terms of gas and mains sewage; a good opportunity to research alternative energy sources (ASHP/GSHP, potentially PV if they allow it) as opposed to our current oil fired boiler, together with moving towards a sewage treatment plant (given the change in legislation & the fact that our proposed extension scheme incorporates an element of subterranean, and moving the tank to the lowest point in the garden would enable the system to remain gravity fed). I’m a Vehicle Dynamics Engineer by profession, and have some experience renovating our previous grade II listed cottage (stripped all walls back to stone, addressed structural issues such as roof spread, put down limecrete floor, new heating/electrics/plumbing/underground drainage/windows etc!). We’re hoping to be quite hands on through the project (partly financially driven as usual!); hoping to buy a 2nd hand digger, quite happy getting my hands dirty, using AutoCad & learning in general! I have done a bit of reading into the principals of PassivHaus which are appealing, however am aware that in its raw form might not be totally compatible with the requirements of a traditional building construction; we’ve had first-hand experience of the trials and tribulations in dealing with solid stone walls and the necessity for good breathability/circulation in our first house (we bought it riddled with damp, so much so that the mortgage lender placed a retention on their offer after the initial survey!). I have come across a few examples where PassivHaus has been incorporated into older buildings, however from memory these consisted of a ‘box within a box’ concept to avoid upsetting the balance of the old building. Unfortunately this is a luxury I doubt we can afford given that we do not have a great deal of floor space available; I’m assuming that once you take into consideration the air gap required + internal insulation to make it worthwhile, you’ve eaten into quite a bit of volume. Below is a quick and dirty brain dump of the main plans / ideas / concerns floating around: Thermal efficiency: · Improve floor performance by introducing a Limecrete base (unless there are any better suggestions out there?) – current flooring is laid directly onto earth… · Improve window performance – Main outer frames are currently timber, however window opening sections are metal, with all glazing currently being single. We’re hoping we’ll be granted permission to migrate to double glazing (slim-line most likely). With regards to the thermal bridging brought about by the metal frames, current thoughts are either secondary glazing units, or having thermally broken frames made. We’ll also need to think of ways to create the most efficient seal between the metal window frame and timber. · Improve front door performance (all timber) – currently very drafty! Thinking the frame might need to be replaced to provide an adequate sealing area – wondering if any modifications can be made to the door itself to help matters (granted that we have no chance of replacing it…) · Roof / Ceiling insulation – Currently cold roof setup, however we are thinking of opening it up to expose the vaulted ceiling. I’m minded to think that the main moisture management we’ll have to contend with would be in the walls & floor, and hence might be able to use more modern materials and methods for this area if of a significant advantage. Our thinking is that we will manage room humidity levels through an MVHR? · Chimneys / fireplaces: Currently two present, however we’re thinking of closing one off. The idea is to install a log burner in the other…not sure what people’s thoughts were on the associated penalty in doing so (vs blocking it off). Renewable energy options: · Have read quite a bit on ASHP vs GSHP and have begun to lean towards ASHP – my concerns however are whether we can bring the house up to a level where the energy requirements can be fulfilled by an ASHP without running in regions where it’s COP isn’t quite as appealing, and if it would also be able to cope with DHW needs, specifically children and baths...We’re happy to go with UFH throughout to maximise efficiency in terms of supply CH temperatures, however have not done enough research into the viability of relying on it solely for DHW. With respect to GSHP, I understand that the initial outlay is significantly higher for potentially not that much COP gain across the year – potentially the need to dig up a field to lay the drainage field for the sewage treatment plant or the need for piled foundations might mean that we could combine this work and bring costs down to a more favourable bracket? · PVs – Not really done a great deal of research into what heritage range are on offer and acceptable within conservation areas (I suspect terribly expensive though from experience?). I’m also not sure how well the house orientation + current roof design would lend themselves to this option, and the additional complexities / cost associated vs reward… Extension · I’ve mentioned earlier that we’re hoping to incorporate a subterranean element as this was the only solution we could find in order to fit a 2 storey structure which would give us the necessary floor area gains without its presence dominating the original lodge. This adds quite a few layers of complexity – we’d need to underpin a portion of the rear wall of the original lodge to create the lower level, whilst also needing to implement a suitable waterproofing system (although the rear elevation of the extension will be completely out of the ground). From the limited research I’ve done so far on this aspect, I would be more comfortable with an external solution (Type C?) to avoid having channels internally and the complexity involved in having to introduce some system to keep it clean and clear to flow freely etc. However I also appreciate that incorporating a Type C waterproofing method when one of the walls is a retaining / underpinning structure might be somewhat challenging, unless we sacrifice internal area and step another wall off that etc. · The next challenge is the proximity to two mature trees (oak 18m tall, Yew 12m tall)…we’re intending to be within 3% of the Yew tree’s RPA…I’ve had a little test dig in the RPA which looked fine and that the Arborist was happy with, but I am wondering if this might imply the need for pile foundations, or whether we could possibly get away with a different type (raft) & if this would lend itself to insulated foundation systems. · Construction method: Haven’t really made any decisions in this department…I like the idea of ICF but potentially not terribly straightforward given the abovementioned challenges? Externally, the lower ground floor level will need to be clad in stone, together with stone quoins on each corner. Upper floor level will be rendered. There is probably quite a bit that I’ve missed from the above, but hopefully I’ve made a good start on explaining the project (renders below should help!). Any comments / suggestions / observations would be greatly appreciated! Thanks,
  17. Hi guys, thought it was about time I introduced myself after lurking in the background for the last few months absorbing as much information as I can. By way of background, I’m based on the outskirts of Belfast and been granted planning permission for a single storey flat roof extension to the side and rear of our property which will give us a new kitchen, some open plan living/dining and a utility room/garden store. We’ve employed the services of an architect to get us to building control approval stage but I’m questioning the value of taking his services forward after that. The current plan of action is once we have building control drawings and then use my wife’s QS contacts (they’re doing the work for really reasonable rates) from her old job in a Planning Consultancy and ask them the pull together a detailed specification and BOQ which will allow us to know exactly what we require when going to builders for quotes, the QS has also said they’ll evaluate the quotes to make sure we’re getting value for money. Does this sound about right to everyone or am I way off base? One other question, am I better sourcing my kitchen and widows myself as a supply and fit or is this something that I could do with my builder, just thinking they might be able to achieve so steeper discounts than little old me. Thanks for taking the time to read and reply. D
  18. We are hoping to build a rear extension to our semi detached property. I know the new rules are 6meters, i was thinking what if i go longer and not the full width of the house. For example if i were to go 6.5 meters back and take a bit off the width to keep within the square footage? Please help!
  19. We are installing a downstairs toilet in our extension but it will be 12 meters from the drain and the drop is only 1meter deep! Will this be enough to flush and not cause problems in the future or do i need a pump installed? Help!!!!
  20. Hi all This is my first post - I hope it's in the right place! :-) I am considering buying a ground floor flat in a small-ish block. Ignoring that I will need planning and freeholder permission (I realise neither are a given - there's no history of anybody attempting this before), is it physically possible to build a ground floor extension for a building with this many storeys? I also realise that every building and conditions are different, so this might be an impossible question to answer, but thought I'd try, as the extensions I have seen online are of buildings with less storeys. We would probably redesign the interior and likely would remove the outer kitchen and master bedroom walls as well as the wall dividing them to then create a large open plan extension. Any comments or advice are greatly appreciated. Cheers!
  21. Hi all, just joined the forum to seek some advise and knowledge on my new smallish project. Have a 3x4m single storey extension to an existing workshop. It's a lean-to against the main house.. so planning class it as attached and hence an extension... Even thought the lean to is not linked structurally. House and workshop are both 1860ish solid stone. Workshop is 18" thick solid stone walls and concrete slab floor. Have planning approved to extend by the 3x4m with same external materials. I'm at the stage of starting ground works to dig out foundations.. there is not a lot as it's only 2 wall - about 5m. Ground is a bit of top soil then seems to be some large rocks (too heavy for me to move by hand) about 30cm down. It's bedrock in the local area. I was under the impression that foundations for this wont need to be very deep (50cm)- but do I need to remove these huge rocks - to then replace with concrete foundations? How do I work out the width of the foundations? Any suggested type of foundations... Strip or trench fill?
  22. How to chose the most suitable building material to add an extension to a 1939 red sandstone mid-terrace house I attached the plans to my earlier post. Planning permission has been granted. What I have read so far: (1) Timber - benefits as well as being cost-effective, timber frames are highly versatile, as they can be clad in almost any building material. But, problems can arise with the shower room in the timber frame extension due to mould. The easy answer is to install a shower cubicle but that makes wheelchair access more difficult The other options are (2) Brick (3) Prefab (4) Modular (5) Anything else to be considered before approaching local builders? I haven’t a clue. Usually building firms usually work with one type of building material. Guidance would be welcome Thanks
  23. Hi all, A bit about our project - we have planning permission for a large-ish double storey side extension for our house in Hertfordshire. There is a single storey infill extension (block and brick) that I built in 2014, attached to and converted one of two detached double garages that were already there.  I’m at the stage now where I’m researching different build types for the extension and am really drawn to the ICF and SIPs style of build, particularly Durisol. The problem I’m having is finding a structural engineer that isn’t going to charge me an absolutely fortune (£8000 the first quote!!) for an existing foundation review and design of a raft foundation so if anyone can recommend a good structural engineer with experience of ICF in particular I’d be eternally grateful!! I really get the impression that the professional services see that you’re a self-builder and add a zero onto their quote!! I’ve attached the existing and proposed elevations and the ground plan that shows the existing foundation make up. The existing flooring on the plan that shows the Family Area is block and beam, the kitchen and garage are a concrete slab on strip foundations and the utility area is proposed ie. hasn’t been built yet!!Any advice would be really appreciated!!
  24. I'm planning a ground floor extension to a student property that we own. It will be to make a couple of bedrooms more spacious and form a new kitchen/diner/lounge area. One side of our house forms the boundary with a neighbour, and the other side of the house is within 3m of the other neighbours. I understand that I do need to comply with the party wall act. Both neighbours are nice people and accommodating and I'll be speaking to them next week to see whether they have any objections to my plans. I understand the notices that I need to serve on them to comply with the act - do I need to get a solicitor involved if everything proves to be straightforward?
  25. Hi, We're planning to build a ground floor extension to our 1960/70s terraced house, which is semi-detached at the end of the row.We have a manhole cover to the side of where we plan to build the extension and although we don't plan to build over it, we were wondering if anyone could give advice on whether the sewer pipe is public or only serves our house. Photos below. If anyone could advise the best strategy for dealing with sewers/drainage, so as not to risk any issues when creating the foundations of the new extension it would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks, JM. 1. This is the man cover removed. To the top left is the end of our house, the extension would continue along this line of brickwork. 2.Close up of sewer pipes. 3.Sketch showing layout of sewer and house.