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Don't Move - Improve

Add Space & Value With A Home Extension

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What We Can Achieve

Ground Floor Extension

Double Storey Extension

Add An Additional Room

Add Value To Your Property

Professional Workmanship

The Sky’s Your Limit

  • Add Space With An Extension

    Do you require more space in your home? Contact us today.

  • Professional Workmanship

    A professional construction doesn’t have to cost the earth.

  • Increase The Value Of Your Home

    Adding a new room to your home will increase the value of your home.

The Possibilities

  • Ground Floor Extension

    Don’t move! Improve your kitchen by making it bigger.

  • Two Storey Extension

    It may be possible to gain an additional bedroom too.

  • Additional Room

    It doesn’t necessarily have to be a kitchen extension. How about the addition of a home office?

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Claim Your 100% FREE No-Obligation Survey Today!

Fill out our simple form, and we will contact you within 24 hours to arrange your FREE NO OBLIGATION kitchen or home extension survey. The survey will be conducted by one of our professionally accredited building surveyors in London, at a mutually agreeable time. We will call you back to confirm the appointment.

Kitchen Extensions London FAQ’s

Thinking Of Adding Space To Your Home? Think Kitchen Extension.

An extension to your home will depend very much on your existing property and your own specific requirements. Modern living requires very different homes compared to the current layouts many older homes have in this country. We have an abundance of Victorian, Edwardian, and Georgian homes in the UK, and the different types of homes and where they were built reflect the changing history of Great Britain.

The 1930’s were a period when people escaped the city and we had the great urban sprawl. The 1930s and 1940s semi is now an iconic home in England. As fabulous and full of great history as these buildings are, nowadays we find them unsuitable to modern life. Modern-day living requires open plan, bigger spaces, glass connecting you to the outdoors and connected rooms, along with the need for more bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms.

That is a list of requirements pretty well on most house buyer’s check list, as well as on our customer’s lists when they contact us for their dream house extension.

Touchstone can help with all aspects of your Kitchen extension in London and your loft conversion in London. Touchstone Lofts is a dedicated specialist company expert in all aspects of an attic conversion in London and surrounding areas.

Open Plan Living With A Modern Kitchen Extension

Modern living requires open spaces and rooms connected, where the kitchen is connected to the dining and area and a lounge or snug area. Small completely separated rooms are much less desired these days. For many years a large percentage of homeowners have removed the wall between the front and rear lounge creating a spacious open plan living area. Kitchens are often opened up too – and the entrance and windows to the garden are enlarged, and a patio door is fitted. Bigger extensions can include a garage conversion which can add another reception area and many owners request a ground floor shower room to be added.

Additional Space Will Increase The Value Of Your Property

“A well designed and well finished home extension will add significant value to your home”. This is the view of Sarah Beeny, Kirsty Allsop, and Phil Spencer – in fact most property TV presenters will advise owners to fit an extension for investment purposes.

A house is generally valued on its location, size, number of interior rooms and the quality of finish. Increasing the floor-space will always add value. The amount added is very much dependent on the location and the ceiling price of the properties in that location. For example, adding a loft conversion with en suite in Kensington is going to add significantly more value than a wrap around ground floor extension in Wolverhampton. Look on any authoritative website for more information – Sarah Beeny’s recent TV program ” Double your house for half the money” is a title that shows how a home extension will increase the value of your home when you extend it.

The house extension needs to be well planned, well designed and finished to a standard that reflects the area of the property. Over developing, which refers to spending more money on the house than the maximum ceiling price of the area, will mean you may have a great home, but you will not recoup your investment if you sell your property. Here at Touchstone we can help you decide which way to turn when deciding on your home extension. Contact us now for a free no obligation feasible study.

Side Returns - The Answer To A Ground Floor Extension

A side return is a ground floor extension carried out on a terrace, usually on a Victorian or Edwardian period property. This type of extension is very popular and extremely effective. The loss of garden is not normally noticed, as this portion of garden is generally useless. The result widens the kitchen to create a much bigger living space. The roof can be a flat or pitched roof, and the ceiling can be filled with roof-lights to allow in a vast amount of natural daylight.

The Possibility Of Rear & Double Storey Extensions

A rear extension added to your home can extend your living space by extending your kitchen or lounge.

Other rooms such as a shower room, a utility room and a cloakroom can be created as the living space is extended. A large patio door can be fitted, creating a great view of the garden and a window/door system that has bi folding doors will mean you can open up the home into the garden. Double storey extensions are permitted developments in many areas, and this types of extension allows for more bedrooms on the first floor.

The Different Types Of Ground Floor Extensions

The main types of ground floor extensions for a typical Victorian terrace are a “Side return and rear extension”. This refers to the side garden which is rarely used due to its width, which is usually one to two meters wide and up to seven meters long. This type of extension widens the kitchen and adds a rear extension of up to three meters, depending on the size of the garden.

A side extension can be coupled with a rear extension. A side extension to a semi-detached could be a double storey of a full wrap around.

A detached home can be extended on any side; while forward extensions require planning permission, side and rear extensions are normally permitted developments and require no planning permission.

The roof construction for a side or rear extension can be pitched or flat with lots of glass for natural light. The rear elevation to the garden normally has a wide patio door allowing you to view the garden and easy access for alfresco living.

The Different Types Of Roofing For Extensions

The roof type for your home extension will depend upon a number of factors:

  • The style of your home – period or modern
  • The existing roof style
  • The existing roof covering, whether slate or tile
  • The roof style, e.g. hips or gables
  • Whether in a designated area – Conservation, Greenbelt or area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  • Your budget and preference in design
  • The position of your windows

If you have existing gables or existing hips you may want to extend following the same design scheme. If you live in a conservation area, you will be required to use the same roof slate as similar materials are required to maintain the look of the local area.

If your first floor windows are low, a pitched roof may be too close to the windows and a flat roof may be a better solution. A flat roof may look better as the rear elevation of your home is maintained. Our company fit GRP fibreglass flat roofs that offer a 20 year guarantee. They have a small slope which allows water to flow. A GRP fibreglass roof is an excellent solution for a flat roof as they perform much better than the traditional mineral felt roofing which only lasts around ten years at best if fitted well. We offer a free design service, and our consultant will advise you on the best layouts for your kitchen/home extension.

The Difference Between Planning Permission & Permitted Developments

Whether or not planning permission is required is again dependant on various factors regarding your property:

  • If your property is in a grade 1 or 2 listed area or in a conservation area.
  • If your property in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or in a Greenbelt area.
  • Any existing extensions on the property.
  • Any restrictive covenants on your property.
  • The size of your garden.

If none of the above apply, you have Permitted development rights. These are legal routes to do alterations to your property without the need for planning permission. For example, a porch can be added to your property without the need for obtaining planning consent, provided that it is built under the permitted development restrictions. The restrictions are normally the size of the porch, as the volume of your extension has restrictions.

Permitted developments are very complicated, and require expert help and understanding. In 2008 various changes were made to Permitted Developments which allowed the roof to be excluded from existing extensions. This allowed loft conversions to be undertaken under permitted development. In May 2013, the government allowed further changes to permitted developments to stimulate development and the construction industry.

These changes included allowing further home extensions for domestic home properties. Detached homes could be extended to the rear by four meters plus existing four meters, which meant the total extension could be eight meters There are various conditions to be met, and these extended permitted development rights are for a limited time only, until May 2016. So don’t delay to contact us, and a consultant will advise you on the process best suitable for your project.

Do I Need Building Regulations?

Building regulations are required so the work is carried out to regulations and standards set by the government. These include:

  • Structural calculations
  • Electrical certification
  • Foundation checking
  • Insulation inspections
  • Structural checks
  • Plumbing and electrical checks
  • Final inspections of finished works
  • Fire control inspections

A building regulation certificate will be provided once the inspector has passed the work. A building regulation certificate will be required when you sell or re mortgage your home.

Do I Need To Be Concerned About Party Walls?

A party wall agreement is required if you are undertaking any works with a meter of your neighbour’s boundary.

A Party Wall Agreement – Explained

If you are an owner of a terraced, semi detached or detached dwelling and are contemplating a home extension, this could involve some kind of work to the wall or walls between yourselves and your neighbour’s home. These walls are classed as “Party Walls” and therefore you have certain responsibilities under the act, being defined as a ‘Building Owner’ under ‘The Party Wall etc Act 1996′.

The Act requires a Building Owner of a property intending to carry out works to a party structure to serve notice on any affected adjoining owners (owner’s of detached dwelling are not affected by the above act).

An adjoining owner cannot stop someone from exercising the rights given them by the Act, but can influence how and when the work is done.

There are three options available to an adjoining owner and these are described as follows:

i. They may consent to the works described in the Notice. 
ii. They may dissent from the works described in the Notice and appoint a recommended surveyor to act as an Agreed Survey or 
iii. They may dissent from the works as described in the Notice and appoint a surveyor of their own choice.

The Act envisages that, in most cases, there will be agreement about proposed works between the relevant owners. Therefore it is obviously best to fully discuss your planned home extension with them prior to serving notice. A friendly discussion will allow you to explain the scope of the works and should reassure them that the work involved is relatively minor and of a straight forward nature.

However, you must receive consent to the works in writing by getting the adjoining owner to complete the counterpart of a Party Structure Notice.

Should the adjoining owner decide not to reply to the Notice within 14 days or dissent from the works and fail to name a Surveyor to act for them, a ’10 day Notice’ will need to be served requesting that they do so. If they fail to respond to this a surveyor will be empowered by the Act to make an appointment on their behalf so not to cause unnecessary delay to the commencement of the building works.

Unfortunately the surveyor’s fees are generally the responsibility of the Building Owner.

Please note that the Party Wall Surveyor is a ‘statutory appointment’: he or she has no client and cannot be dismissed or instructed. The role is to act in the best interests of the wall and parties to it and, therefore, it is quite acceptable for an adjoining owner to both dissent from your proposals and to agree to the appointment of an agreed surveyor to act for both of you. It is equally acceptable for an adjoining owner to consent to the works and this will not deprive them of their legal rights or common law protection.

Further information regarding the Act is available from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and a copy of an explanatory booklet is available on the ODPM website:

The party wall is owned by all those whose house is connected to it. If you are planning to do a loft conversion, you have to inform the neighbour, who has a total time limit of eight weeks to get the agreement in place with you. It normally only takes two to three weeks if all parties are working together well and good will prevails!

There are two forms, one is the Party Wall Notice form, used to formerly give your neighbour notice. The other is the Acknowledgement Form, which your neighbour has to sign and return, with their choice of a surveyor if desired.

The neighbour can’t stop you doing the home extension, they just have the right to have any work that would be done to the party wall checked out and an agreement put in place with a party wall surveyor.

Hopefully your neighbour will sign the form and decide to go ahead without the need for a surveyor. This will save you time and money. So if you can, it is in your interests to try to get them to agree to go ahead without a surveyor.

For further information, please visit:
http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/responsibilities/beforeyoustart/otherpermissions/partywall

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