Hanzo Design Site Survey

Dream Home in 7 Legal Ways

More and more people are making use of every available living space. However, most of them do not know what it takes to design, plan, build and construct a dream home. Most people do not know the requirements of the building regulations.

It is everyone's dream to own a decent home. Also, you have a right to alter your home to make it better. However, you have to do modifications within the confines of the law. It is essential to know what your local laws say about altering homes.

Dream home made out of extending an old bungalow
Above: Creating a dream home by making single-storey-side and double-storey extensions of a 1930s bungalow.

What should you know about extending your house?

1.‘Right to Light’ is Prescriptive, not Legal

There is no such thing as “right to light” in law. However, if you are a long-term resident of a neighbourhood, you can always arrive at a mutual consent with your neighbour regarding how you can light your windows. However, it is illegal to construct a window overlooking your neighbour within 2.4m from your boundary. Besides, it is illegal to create windows, which permit so much light as to infringe on your privacy and that of your neighbour.

2. There is no Specific Location for Bathrooms and Water Closets

It is no longer required by the Building Regulations that the water closet and any room should be separated by a lobby. However, the law requires that every water closet should have enough ventilation and should have a wash basin. Furthermore, you can locate your bathroom anywhere. The dimension of a typical bathroom should be 90cm by 180cm. The inclusion of a wash basin and water closet can extend the width from 180cm to 260cm.

3. Ceilings Can be of any Height

The Building Regulations do not cap ceiling heights anymore. However, for planning purposes, there is a certain height beyond which it is impractical to construct lofts and cellars. It makes practical sense for a ceiling height not to fall below 210cm, especially in rooms with a slanted ceiling.

4. Site Insurance is Necessary

You need to know that housing insurers cover the home you insured before altering it. The moment you start extending, converting or refurbishing your home is when housing insurance will stop covering your home. You need to acquire A-rated insurance for your site to cover the altered edifice and the works during the period of alteration.

5. Do not Create Lobbies out of Rooms

It is difficult to assess an extension. However, you do not have to create a lobby out of your rooms just because you want a throughway to your extension. You will be disappointed to realise that you have partitioned a good-sized room just to access an extension that adds only a single more bedroom of approximately the same size. Do not let ignorance prevent you from earning a dream home.

6. Incorporate a Conservatory into Your House

The existing house can accommodate a conservatory through the extension of any room. The requirement of the Building Regulations is that a set of external quality doors should separate the existing house from the conservatories. Be sure to create a conservatory, which is at least 300cm by 400cm to avoid it being isolated from the other rooms and ending up as being disused.

7. Basement Space Should be a Useful Addition

You can transform a cellar of your basement into a useful living space. You do not have to exhaust the allocation of volume, which the "permitted development" rights stipulate. Besides, you do not have to plan on creating external access and basement windows. However, you should be cognizant of the policy of local authorities in basements.

In summary, you have to know what the local laws require of you when planning, designing, building and constructing a dream home. Ensure that you have site insurance. You can cheaply add a conservatory but pay attention to what the building regulations say about adding a basement.

Here at Hanzo Design, we will help you overcome legal obstacles to earning your dream home. We have helped people successfully to document aspects of home improvement, which the law permits. Moreover, we have helped our clients to get the approval of their planning permissions with relative ease.

We are knowledgeable about the requirements of building regulations. Our talented team of draughtsmen can draw a detailed and precise computer-aided design drawings, which accurately capture your needs and style. Hence, we will be looking to help you in this regard. Do not hesitate to contact us.

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