Here at Paul and Page not only do we take on our own projects but we provide contractual work, including, but not limited to, extensions, remodelling, conversions and even improvements on energy efficiency.

If you’re looking for help, advice or expertise then you’re in the right place. We have an array of experts on hand to help with any questions you may have. We understand that taking on any work is a big decision. We also understand the need for perfection and ultimately we understand how to get the best out of materials; what works with what and how to achieve the highest of standards.

We’ve put together some information that we hope will help when you’re considering your project…

Energy efficiency

In recent years the need for an energy efficient dwelling has become one of the top 5 most important considerations. Whether you are wanting to improve the energy efficiency of an established build or you are looking to start from scratch we are here to help. Improvements are being made to move into complete energy efficient housing. Many testings have to be completed in order to comply with the Government’s standards on all new builds. However it is becoming more popular to take it that step further. Energy efficiency is not only good for the environment but in the long-term it will also have a positive impact on your wallet. Improving energy efficiency will ensure that once completed your monthly outgoings are as low as possible. We have many people in our team who are trained and experienced in delivering energy efficient builds. Should you require any further information then please get in touch and we will be happy to offer help and advice and answer any questions you may have.

It is believed that some of the worst energy efficient homes in the UK can emit over 22 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide a year. This is detrimental to our environment now and for generations to come. Over time the impact that these dwellings have will be catastrophic. This alone is enough to want to make improvements but in addition you will find that your monthly costs will go down. If you were to rent out a property or sell a property the energy efficiency of the build can be what makes or breaks a deal. The EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) will display your rating to any potential clients so you will need to be aware of this.

Remodelling

We are fully aware that what was once a suitable dwelling can become one that is no longer ideal. Our needs change and we need our homes and businesses to change with them. If you find yourself in this position then don’t fret. We know that sometimes obtaining the right consents to remodel your dwelling can seem daunting and isn’t always straight forward. After many years of working in the building trade we are in a position to understand the requirements and to perhaps even how to work around restrictions so your project is not compromised.

Conversions & extensions

This can fall under the same category as remodelling, As our needs grow we would like our homes to grow with them. Using the space you have you can alter the shape, size and use of most dwellings. We know how to obtain the best use of space for any dwellings, whether it is for business or pleasure. Adding onto an existing build can potentially become one of your most valuable commodities. Not only will this, over time, increase the value of your existing build but it will add space and opportunities that didn’t exist before.

At Paul and Page we work with high end materials and each material is designed for it’s specific use. We are able to distinguish what products are potentially best for your build and also for your lifestyle. The designs that we use are a collaboration but ultimately we work with your specifications. We are here to offer expert advice and show you what is achievable.

Let us take over the troubles and worries that come with any project. We realise that you need to continue with your lives as much as possible while any work is being completed but what is considered a short term disruption can become a long term gain.

Budget & value

Looking at current house prices and calculating the costs of moving (agent/legal fees, stamp duty, moving costs etc.), improving your current house can be more cost effective and an excellent alternative to moving to a new house, adding both space and value to your existing home in the process. Before planning and researching design ideas, be sure to think about whether your extension will add value to your property. Usually adding an extension will add value, but in some cases, there is a stage where it doesn’t make economic sense to add an extension.

Always ensure you’re getting the best costs for what will be a considerable expense, be realistic about your plans and how much you can afford to spend. Look at similar projects/houses and compare the value of the extended property in a similar area in comparison to your house value as it currently is.

We can come up with a plan to ensure that you get the most out of your budget but remember to have a contingency in case of unexpected costs along the way.

Local planning rules

What you’re planning to build and where it’s built determines whether you’ll need to make a planning application for your extension. Under the Permitted Development Rights (PD Rights), several extensions can be built without the requirement of planning permission. It’s always a good idea to research your local planning policies so that you’ll be aware of any issues at the start that may happen throughout. The amount of work one can do under PD rights is usually reduced if your property is a listed building if your house is in a conservation area or a national park. It’s worthwhile to see if local buildings/ houses have been refused by the local authority to find out why they have been refused.

This is a basic guide of what’s allowed, for a full criteria go to www.planningportal.co.uk.
Did you know you can start work without making a planning application or paying a fee if your project fits under PD rights? You won’t need to go through the hassle of getting planning permission for your extensions as long as:

– Extensions and other buildings are not greater than 50% of the total land area surrounding the original house. (As built or as it stood on 1st July 1948).

– Extensions cannot be built forward of the main elevation or side elevation where it fronts the highway.

– The maximum height for a single storey rear extension must be no more than 4 metres. Additions within 2m of the boundary should have a maximum eaves height of no more than 3m.

– For terraces and semis, single storey rear extensions must be no more than 3m deep, 4m for detached houses. (subject to a previous approval procedure the limits are currently doubled to 6m and 8m)

– Side extensions must be no greater than half the width of the original building and no higher than 4m and must be single storey.

– External Materials used must be similar in appearance to the original house (this doesn’t include a conservatory).

– A multi-storey extension can’t extend beyond 3m of the rear of the existing house or be within 7m of a rear boundary.

– Multi-storey extensions should have maximum eaves and ridge height no taller than the current house and should have a matching roof pitch.

– If windows are to be added to the upper floors of the side elevation they must be obscure – glazed and non-opening (the openable part must be at least 1.7m above floor level).

Building regulations

Most extension projects will require Building Regulations approval and there are two main ways to go about it. Your first option is to submit your architectural/structural drawings to building control, so they can fully approve of your detailed design which then gives you peace of mind that it meets the minimum standards. Alternatively, you can serve a building notice 48 hours before it is being completed or started. In both cases the project will be checked by an approved inspector at key stages of the build. If they’re happy then you will be given a completion certificate at the end of your project – this is an important document that proves the work has been completed in accordance with the Building Regulations.

Project schedule & management

When adding an extension to your home, the order of works will vary from project to project, but most extensions will follow a similar flow of what happens at each stage. Breaking the project down into key stages will help you budget and understand how long each one is likely to take. Also remember there might be a time you’ll hit a brick wall which could cause unexpected delays and costs, therefore delay your project. Planning each key stage will help you organise material deliveries and schedule the particular tradesmen needed, for example, bricklayers and roofers. It’s key to plan a schedule so everything can be completed in the correct order to finish the extension without delays.

You will have to allocate someone to be a project manager for your project to ensure everything’s running smoothly in terms of quality and timing. Some people consider taking on the role of being project manager to manage what’s happening on site at all times but bear in mind this can add unnecessary stress to your everyday life. An alternative to this would be staying near the site, so you can keep an eye on how things are going.

Single storey

Single storey extensions are a popular way of adding space and value to your property. Extending your ground floor and sacrificing a couple of metres of your garden is a perfect way of creating extra living space in your home. It’s helpful if you inform your designer/ planner if you have a terrace or semi-detached house so they can utilise the space you already have as these types of houses have restricted space and access so would be best with a side-return extension.

Planning permission for your single storey extension is the first thing you need to think about when planning. Ensure you have gone through your plans thoroughly with your local authorities as you may be able to make use of permitted development (PD) rights for your extension meaning there is no need to submit a planning application.

Double storey

Whilst sacrificing the same amount of space you will have done building a single storey extension you can create extra living spaces across multiple floors. As a double storey extension won’t cost you twice as much to build, building a double storey extension is more cost effective and will take around the same amount of time to build a single storey extension. It’s always worth investigating the PD rights to see if what you’re planning to build falls under them. There are various restrictions that comes with building a double storey extension such as the height, materials etc.

Glazed

Some homeowners choose to build a glazed extension which offers and brings more of the garden into your internal space. Just by using glass you can extend a houses floor space whilst maximising the amount of daylight that pours into the extension and through the original building. There are many different types of glazed extensions you can choose from depending on what design/appearance you are after. A glazed extension can be designed to suit your space, opening elements and shapes that can be created through a glass extension.

This type of extension can make peace with planning officers that don’t want to ruin the integrity of the building’s original architecture. Similar to a single storey extension some glazed extensions will be covered by the PD rights.

Conservatories & orangeries

A conservatory is a good alternative to an extension that gives you the extra space but at a more affordable cost. Similar to a glazed extension a conservatory will bring light into your property and creates that strong connection with the surrounding area.

Due to building regs not being as strict previously, conservatories were being built to a poor standard, therefore gaining a bad reputation for temperature extremes. However, the glass making industry has spent decades trying to solve the heat/light dilemma which now produce high quality results suitable to build conservatories with. Unlike before when people couldn’t make good use of the room due to it being too hot/cold, homeowners can now create open-plan spaces with their conservatories.

Loft conversions

If you’ve got some unused space, it’s worthwhile thinking about building into it to create a space that you can make use of. A successful loft conversion is a hugely popular investment that can increase a property’s value by 20% or more.

There are many ways in which you can add valuable new living space to your home without taking up any space in your garden. Whether you will need to invest in a dormer, mansard, hip-to-gable or rooflights completely depends on a number of factors that you will need to consider before planning. Something you need to consider before planning is how much space you have; do you really need a habitable space or would a storage zone benefit you and your family more. Here are some ways you can make your loft space a habitable space.

Dormer (gable) or gable (flat roof)

Dormer conversions are a popular, more affordable option for smaller lofts to increase the volume of the roof space while providing full head height. Adding a dormer extension is also an effective way of bringing natural daylight into the loft conversion. There are different types of dormer conversions, the most popular and cheapest being a simple flat roof dormer. A flat roof dormer is the most cost effective as it offers the largest amount of additional space inside. A gable fronted dormer is a more attractive option which is an alternative to a simple flat roof which features three sloping planes of a hipped roof as pictured on the top right. Inserting the dormer to the rear of the property can be built under PD rights but full planning permission will be needed if you wish to add them at the front or side of the elevation.

Rooflight

Rooflights are the simplest and most cost-effective way to add more living space in your house, just by converting the existing loft space. Installing rooflights can make your loft more habitable especially if there’s a clear attic void and there’s enough headroom. All the core changes are internal and changes to the roof are minor so planning permission is not required.

Velux Roof Terraces

Velux roof terraces and balconies bring in twice the amount of daylight as regular windows, making your extension feel brighter and bigger at the same time. Velux roof terraces make good use of outdoor space, if you have a sloped roof this could be a good alternative to building a dormer or a mansard, creating an extra outdoor space you can enjoy. This type of extension may require planning permission as the balcony may overlook your neighbours causing an issue for privacy.

Mansard

A mansard is built out from the slope of the roof angled around 70 degrees with smaller dormer windows to gain natural light that span the entire width of the house. A mansard is best for lofts with little or no headroom as it creates sufficient volume for an additional storey. The amount of volume added to the property when adding a mansard will definitely need full planning consent.

Hip-to-gable

A hip to gable conversion involves rebuilding your property’s roof slope to form an upright gable wall. The roof is extended over the gables therefore adding extra space with full headroom. Rear dormers can be added to maximise space in the loft conversion, creating and bringing in natural daylight. This project doesn’t require planning consent usually unless you can’t maintain the existing roof plane so it can be built under permitted development, although it will often exceed the volume limits.

Not sure where to start?

Get in touch and we can help you every step of the way.