House Extensions

If you’re considering a house extension, one of the most important steps is understanding the legal requirements. Getting this wrong can end up causing you a lot of unwanted stress and financial burden. Whether you’re thinking about a simple single storey extension or a sophisticated wrap around extension, it’s important to be fully aware of the required permissions and regulations in place.

Planning Permission

Obtaining planning permission is one of the first obstacles homeowners face when extending their properties. The planning system is intended to control unwanted development and to assist in facilitating suitable changes. However, not all extensions require planning permission, depending on their size, scope, and location a concept known as ‘Permitted Development Rights.’

Neighbour Consultation Scheme

For larger extensions, you will need to go through the Neighbour Consultation Scheme. This scheme allows neighbours to be consulted before larger extensions proceed. If any objections are raised, the local planning authority may decide to refuse permission.

Building Regulations Approval

Even if your extension doesn’t require planning permission, it might still need Building Regulations approval. These regulations ensure that the extension is structurally sound, safe, energy-efficient, and has sufficient access, among other things.

Party Wall Act

If your extension involves work on a party wall a wall shared with a neighbour, or if new foundations are close to the boundary of your property, you’ll likely need to comply with the Party Wall Act. The Act requires homeowners to notify their neighbours in advance of the proposed works, and if objections are raised, a surveyor must decide what work can be done.


It’s easy to overlook, but it’s important to notify your home insurer about your extension plans. Failure to do so could invalidate your policy. Furthermore, your construction team should have its own sufficient insurance, including public liability insurance.

Contractual Agreements

Lastly, a detailed contractual agreement should be in place between you and your construction team. Clear outlines about the scope, costs, and timing of the project are necessary. This will protect you legally, should any issues or disputes arise during, or following, the completion of work.

The process can certainly seem daunting, but with the right knowledge and advice, it’s completely possible to navigate through this legal maze. When considering house extensions, it’s best to approach it with an open mind, clarity, and legal knowledge to ensure a smooth and successful development.