If all of your home improvement aspirations get halted by the need to attain planning permission, this is the article for you, as we've done our research and found a slew of brilliant additions that need no official permissions to get started! Your architect will always be able to advise you as to the best options for your home improvement dreams, if you don't want to be applying for permits, but as a jumping off point, none of the following ideas will require you to get the go-ahead from external officials, as you could carry them out under Permitted Development Rights. Interested to find out more? Then let's begin!
There are a few guidelines to make sure your single-storey extension doesn't need planning permission, but in essences, as long as it doesn't jut out too far, is built in complementary materials and isn't too tall, you won't run into problems. Be aware that the closer you are to a boundary, the less height you can add, but for all the up-to-date dimension rules, ask your architect or builder.
Unless your house is listed (which is a whole other kettle of fish!), you should be able to swap out and even move your windows and doors. As long as the structural integrity of the home is maintained and you won't be looking directly into a neighbour's property, you should be good to go.
If you have an integrated garage as part of your home, there is nothing stopping you from making it something more useful, such as an extra bedroom. Your architect will be able to advise you about skylights and access, but all in all, it is a fairly straightforward process to turn a garage into more living space, as long as the footprint of the house stays the same.
As long as the total footprint of your home does not increase, you can, within reason, do whatever you like with the interior. Yes, you can remove walls and change the layout, but do be aware that any construction work carried out will need to meet current building regulations.
Loft conversions are such a valuable asset to add to any home and don;t always need planning permission either, which might come as a shock! Permitted Development allows dormer windows to be added, which will add extra headroom, as long as they don;t sit any higher than the existing roof.
Conservatories and orangeries are generally beholden to the same rules as standard single-storey extensions, but given that they are frequently modest additions, there is little to worry about. If you plan to add an extension on top of a conservatory, you might need to look a little more closely at the rules though!
The first thing to know is that an outbuilding without planning permission cannot be used as a residential property, but you might be able build yourself a place of work without applying for permits. This is dependent on your outbuildings not exceeding 50% of the total area of your plot of land. Roof heights and boundaries will play a role here, just like with single-storey extensions.
A pretty little porch, on the front of your house, is not only a practical and aesthetically pleasing addition, it is one that shouldn't require planning permission. Naturally, if you add a porch the size of a bungalow, you WILL need permission, but a single-storey, small entrance is nothing to concern yourself about.
Gates, fences, walls or other 'means of enclosure', are not subject to many planning permission issues at all! If you are adjacent to a highway, you need to keep the height of your new addition to 1m or lower, but for any other location, you have 2m to play with. The only exception to this rule is listed buildings!
What goes on in your garden is, usually, your business and that includes laying some simple and sleek decking! Of course, you can't go building a huge raised platform that will tower over neighbouring gardens, but if you are thinking of a lovely and understated patio, you go right ahead!
Now then. We bet this is a HUGE shock, but you really don't need planning permission to build a pool in your garden, as long as the finished product does not exceed 50% of your total garden area. That seems pretty reasonable to us and would probably leave room for a little pool house, which, again, wouldn't need planning permission.
Unless your house is affected by Article 1(5) , which refers to Areas Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you should be absolutely fine to clad your home in any array of stone or timber that you want to. We would like to say here that getting your neighbours onboard will be vital, unless you want a dispute later down the line!
As long as your prospective solar panels don't jut out more than 200mm beyond the plane of the wall or roof and the highest part is not taller than the highest part of the roof (excluding the chimney), you are able to up your green credentials without planning permission. Freestanding panels are an exception to the rule and will be liable to boundaries and listed buildings will have different sanctions in place.
For more planning tips, take a look at this Ideabook: Home extension project planning guide.