Building On or Moving On
01323 729025

Building On or Moving On

22 June 2017

When you need more space at home there’s two options; move on, or build on, with an extension or reconfiguration of your internal space to make better use of it.

If there’s good reason to stay put, such as remaining in a neighbourhood or school catchment, or simply being happy with your home – just needing more of it! – then extending makes sense. Instead of money going on valuations, stamp duty, legal fees and more, you can focus your money on work you’ll directly benefit from. 


What to Consider Before Extending

An obvious question perhaps, but will the added space you envisage actually deliver the extra accommodation you need and contribute positively to the overall flow of rooms within your home? Or are you compromising one room to gain another? Should you perhaps also look at re-purposing rooms at the same time to get the most from your newly added space?

Aside from the fitting out/decorating costs, a two-storey extension isn’t always substantially more than a single storey venture since you’re only adding walls and floor joists – a roof and foundations are needed either way. 

So, it’s worth considering whether this could work for you (bearing in mind the space you can extend under the Permitted Development Rights system according to whether you’re adding a single storey or double – see below).


Practical Points

There are practical concerns to think about too, such as access. If the proposed work is on the back of your property can it be accessed directly via a side or rear entrance for the unloading of building materials to avoid everything coming through your home? Other site considerations might include surrounding trees, any history of flooding, and changing ground levels that may demand additional preparatory work, for example.

Finally, what will the quality of light be like within your newly found floor space? Will it impede other rooms that might now become internal and, if so, how can you mitigate this with glazing and lighting. The roof lantern (pictured) is a stunning addition to an extension by Colbran & Wingrove and, along with full width doors, helps bring light in.


VAT on Building Work

Whilst *VAT is zero-rated on new build homes including self-builds this doesn’t apply to extensions, unless you are renovating somewhere that has been empty for two years or more. In this instance it can be treated as a conversion enabling you to benefit from a reduced rate of 5%.


What are Permitted Development Rights?

The Permitted Development Rights system means home extensions can often be built without the requirement of planning permission. 

  • You can extend a detached dwelling by 8m to the rear if it’s single storey or 3m if it’s double
  • There are height restrictions. A single storey extension not being higher than 4m in height to the ridge and the eaves, and ridge heights of any extension not being higher than the existing property
  • Two storey extensions must not be closer than 7m to the rear boundary
  • It must be built in the same or similar material to the existing dwelling
  • Extensions must not go forward of the building line of the original dwelling
  • Side extensions must be single storey, maximum height of 4m and a width no more than half of the original building
  • In Designated Areas side extensions require planning permission and all rear extensions must be single storey
  • An extension must not result in more than half the garden being covered
  • You can only do it once and the original building is either as it was on 1st July 1948 or when it was built. In Northern Ireland it is as it was built or as it was on 1st October 1973


If you’re considering extending your home and would like to discuss the best options for your property contact the Colbran & Wingrove team. Call 01323 729025 or contact us by email. 

*(VAT concessions are only available via a VAT-registered contractor. Please check VAT ruling prior to any work, information provided as a guide only). 


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