Home Extensions, Loft Conversions & Basement Conversions

Home Extensions FAQ

July 24, 2016

This section is designed to answer all of those FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) concerning home extensions from building regulations to planning permissions. Identifying the areas and pit falls that concern most customers when considering a home extensions project.

Frequently Asked Questions – Home Extensions

Q1. Are Building Regulations necessary to adhere to when building an extension?

A1. The simple answer here is Yes – However, when building a conservatory or a porch that has been built up from the ground and is within 6 metres of the main dwelling, in this situation it is not necessary and this type of extension is in fact exempt, just as long as the necessary glazing regulations are adhered too within the safety glazing requirements as detailed in (Part K), with the thermal separation from the main dwelling has been maintained and the space has independent heating. It is important to speak to a Building Control Surveyor for further information on safety glazing aspect. Choosing a Fensa certified installer is the best option.

It is further, advisable to endeavour to ensure that a conservatory is not constructed causing restricted ladder access to windows serving as a room in the roof or a loft conversion, especially if in the scenario that window is needed as a means of emergency escape in case of fire in the property.

Q2. What are Building Regulations?

A2. Are a list of requirements (referred to as Schedule 1) that are designed to ensure that minimum standards for health, safety, welfare, convenience, energy efficiency, sustainability and to prevent misuse, abuse or contamination of water supplies are all adhered too.

Further information can be found in the link below regarding Building Regulations.

Issue Of: “Do I Require Planning Permission To Build A Home Extension?” (Read Below)

Q3. Which alterations require permission and building regulation approval?

A3. Below is a list of the types of alternations that require building regulations.

Home extension – depending on size of the extension

Any change of use of a particular building would then require approval

Replacement windows and boilers- however in these situations it is possible to employ an installer registered with the competent persons scheme.

Loft conversions- however in these situations it is possible to employ an installer registered with the competent persons scheme.

Internal structural alterations – however in these situations it is possible to employ an installer registered with the competent persons scheme.

Installation or alteration of any controlled fitting e.g. bath, shower, boiler

Underpinning of foundations to a building- however in these situations it is possible to employ an installer registered with the competent persons scheme.

Electrical installation- however in these situations it is possible to employ an installer registered with the competent persons scheme.

Re-roofing and re-plastering a building- however in these situations it is possible to employ an installer registered with the competent persons scheme.

In the case of the project undertaken involves the following:

Any alterations to the structure of the building (in the case of the removal or part removal of a load bearing wall, joist, beam or chimney breast) potentially making the building unsafe if carried out incorrectly

The possibility the fire precautions would be affected, either inside or outside the building again potentially making the dwelling unsafe.

Or affecting the access and facilities for disabled people.

If building regulations do apply all the contracted work carried out must comply with the appropriate regulations stated.

Q4. What is the competent persons scheme?

 A4. (CPS) has been specifically brought in by the UK government to ensure that individuals and organisations carrying out work are able to elf certify that their alternations comply fully with Building Regulations as dictated by UK Law. This has been developed as an alternative to submitting building notice or having an external inspector approve the work carried out.

A5. What is an approved inspector?

A5. With the building control process being deregulated it isn’t necessary to get your home extension project inspected by the local council buildings control department. As there are specialist professionals who are approved of by the government who will be available to ensure the project will meet all appropriate government related building regulations.

Q6. Is approval needed for any electrical work?

A6. Yes- To ensure the safety of inhabitants of houses and flats the Part P Regulations have been introduced concerning electrical work, including new circuits serving gardens, outbuildings such as sheds, detached garages and greenhouses. The design and installation of electrical installations associated with these dwellings falls under the Building Regulations.
These rules have been introduced to ensure the following:
Reduction in the number of deaths, injuries and fires caused by faulty electrical installations
preventing cowboy builders leaving electrical installations in an unsafe condition
As, if the building regulations are not followed:
electrical work undertaken may not be safe
There may be difficulty selling your home if the correct certification is not in your possession.
The regulating body may insist that the faulty work be put right.

House Extensions, Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered

Q7. Is it necessary to apply for planning permissions for an extension?

A7. Simple answer YES. Depending on the type of home extension project which is to be carried out.

Q8. What is planning permission?

A8. Planning permission is the consent granted by the local planning authority, in the United Kingdom or Ireland, in getting permission to build on land or change the use of the land or building in question. It usually is a formal document issued by the relevant council detailing the specific permissions granted to the site by the local authority.

Q9 What is permitted development?

A9. There are some kinds of home extensions which do not require planning permissions to be granted, which are defined as permitted development these include, porch up to 3 meters squared, as well as some single story extensions which should be within 6 meters of the dwelling or exceed 4 meters in height. The recommendation is to apply to the local authority for written confirmation of the rights. However, Building Regulations would be needed to be adhered too in any home extension project carried out.

Q10. What is the party wall act?

A10. This is when an agreement must be obtained from neighbours if the home extensions project to be carried out is within 3 metres of a neighbour’s property.

Here is some additional important information concerning permissions:
Replacing windows? – It is necessary that all windows being replaced fully conform to all building regulations in full. The best option here is to ensure Fensa approved installers are contracted to replace all windows.

Erect a conservatory?

In most cases building regulations are not required to erect a conservatory, however, all the details are given above of the necessary criteria which must be complied with for the conservatory to be exempt.

Erecting a porch?

 Again building a porch would not necessarily require building regulations or planning permission, the necessary criteria must be met as mentioned above.


Converting a loft?

Yes in this case it is recommended that the application is carried out for the necessary planning permissions and building regulations.

Building a detached garage?

Yes in some circumstances

Building a garage extension to a house?


Extending a house?

Yes, depending on the type of extension, please see above for details

Carrying out internal alterations?

Yes depending on the type alteration, please see above for details

Repairing a property?

Yes depending on the type of repair, if its major structural work or removal of substantial part of walls etc. reroofing etc.

No if the repairs are minor in nature.

Changing the use of a building e.g. convert a house into flats? 


Inserting insulation into a cavity wall?


Demolish a building?

Yes the necessary building control services will have to be informed if a demolition id intended to take place at a property, if it has an external volume greater that 50 cubic meters. It is further recommended to ensure whether planning permission is required.

This is informational purposes only for you as our potential customer to understand the extent of the service we offer. As we will provide all the relevant information for any planning permission applications that need to be undertaken and we will ensure all of the works carried our by ourselves during your home extensions project meet all the necessary Building Regulations set by UK Law.

Leave a Reply