Basic things to consider when planning your extension

  1. Find out if it’s exempt from planning

You don’t necessarily have to get planning permission to extend your home but you need to tick all the boxes to qualify. There are restrictions on floor area (in ROI less than 40sqm), eaves height (in NI no more than 3m high), etc. If you have any doubt, ask for a Section 5 Declaration from your local authority (ROI) or a Certificate of Lawful Development (NI) to make sure your plans don’t require planning permission. After that, make sure you abide to all relevant building regulations.

  1. Think design

It’s not because it’s small that you shouldn’t give the design the due diligence that it deserves – for example if you’re adding a kitchen would you like it to be exposed to the morning sun? Then it needs to face the eastern elevation. And don’t forget to take into account the context of the site and connection to existing house.

  1. Check the location of doors and vents

We live in a notoriously windy corner of the world so consider which direction the prevailing winds are coming from and avoid placing ventilation openings and doors on those elevations in order to prevent draughts.

  1. Invest in your new doors

We give a lot of thought to our windows, but doors are a weak link too when it comes energy efficiency and security. Fiberglass / GRP doors are relatively new to the Irish market but tend to be well insulated and lightweight so are worth investigating.

  1. Get the neighbours involved before work begins

You may or may not need to get planning permission but in all cases, let your neighbours know what you’re up to as early as you can – ideally at the dreaming stage. It’s common courtesy and they may have information about your house or site that could be interesting to know!

Exterior inspiration for your new extension:

Interiors inspiration for your new extension:


Get FREE tickets to this years Love Your Home Show. Northern Ireland’s largest home event Love Your Home Show 2017, created for home lovers will take place in the Titanic Exhibition Centre 13th-15th October 2017. 

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