Things to Think About before Building an Extension

Wanting more space is something every home owner seems to experience so it’s totally understandable if people want to fling themselves in to adding an extension to their home. However, there is quite a lot to consider before starting to spend money on the process starting with whether it’s plausible at all and then into what sort of extension would be most practical as well as the most desirable. Here are some of the considerations it is a good idea to make before launching into adding an extension to your property.

Planning Permission

The good news is that some extensions don’t require planning permission at all. If you add an 8 metre long extension that is no more than a single story high to the back of a detached house, you don’t generally need planning permission, depending on size of garden and other considerations. However, if your property is Listed, that’s a different scenario altogether and you will need to speak to a specialist in Listed properties before proceeding. For most properties which aren’t listed, they’ll still possibly need planning permission if the extension you’d like falls outside the above parameters. Getting planning permission can be time consuming and expensive. There are also unforeseeable issues like awkward neighbours who may hold up your application so planning for this in regards to your timeframe is also important.

Neighbours can be even more of an issue if the extension could involve a wall or boundary you share with them which is when it is a good idea to get a Party Wall Award.


Something that often gets overlooked in the excitement of planning an extension is access. How easy will it be to get building materials and tools to the part of the property you’d like to extend? Is this likely to cause major disruption, mess or even damage to other areas or is the access even feasible? Again, these are issues you need to consider before starting.


We have all seen Grand Designs and other TV programmes where people start a building project and end up going spectacularly over their original budget because they encounter issues they hadn’t planned or budgeted for. Obviously, how likely you are to incur extra costs will depend hugely on the type of extension you want and the type of building you have. Speaking to a surveyor before you instruct an architect could help you anticipate possible issues so you can be prepared in the event of overly optimistic architects/builders under-quoting initially.


You may want to go for maximum space but if the extension you’re planning doesn’t really suit the style of your house, it could affect the resale value or cause planning objections. There are lots of clever ways to create space or the feel of space but keep in character with the property. This is why instructing an architect is a good idea. They may have ideas that you or your builder wouldn’t have thought of and stylish ways of optimising the space or just making the extension look really appealing. It’s easy to see a style of extension you like on someone else’s home and think ‘I want that’ but then find it’s not very practical for your property.

As an experienced project manager, Marc can help people plan their extensions by looking at what’s feasible and trying to foresee any potential issues that could lead to extra costs. He can also liaise with architects and tradespeople on your behalf to manage the project so it all gets done as quickly and with as little disruption as possible. To talk to Marc about your extension plans, call 01273 281624 or email

Contact Us

Tate Surveying Services,
Freedom Works, Unit 7 Hove Business Centre, Fonthill Road, Hove, BN3 6HA

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