Commonly asked questions about our extension services. Extending your house can be worrying for you especially when it comes to its design, how it will work for you and you need to consider building regulations, planning permissions and permitted development.
You have lots of different ideas to consider as the space that you wish to build into or convert can be confusing. When it comes to how you wish to use the space – and how your ideas will work – and of course how much and the time it will take, it can be confusing.
If you have questions relating to extending your home, be that a rear extension, a side return extension or a loft conversion to make use of space already available whether it’s outside or in the attic then Milbarn Construction are ready to answer questions and take your project to the next level.
Here we will attempt to answer the leading questions that our clients often ask us.
Our advice would be yes. The reason for this is because the drawings provide all of the specific details for the construction of your extension. It will give us details such as whether it's being constructed using face brick, or block work, exact footing sizes, drainage requirements, what insulation is required, size of roof timbers etc etc. All of these differences can make a huge difference to the overall cost of the extension. If you invite builders round to provide you with a quotation without any drawings, the builder doesn't know exactly what materials to include in his quotation, and will therefore just provide you with a rough cost that may not be anything like what the actual cost will be.
Another positive of having drawings, is that you know all of the quotes you are getting in are based on exactly the same materials and procedures, rather than each builders own interpretation of your project.
Yes, we have a select few architects and structural engineers that we use on a regular basis, who we can put you in touch with. We are also happy to deal with them on your behalf, if required.
Whilst every job is different, a typical single storey rear extension for example will take about 6 weeks, a loft conversion will take about 4 - 6 weeks and chimney breast removal will take about 1 week. Of course, once we have quoted your job, we will advise you on how long it will take and how the process will be carried out.
If you can construct additional space utilising outbuildings, attached buildings or improving the interior then usually this can be done under Permitted Development (PD). If you require planning permission you can usually send your plans and visit your local planning office at the relevant council authorities to discuss your designs and special requirements.
A building company can help you with those plans, getting to grips with electrics, drainage and other issues that need consideration.
When you do need planning permission, a flat fee of around £150 will be required. You will need a building warrant and will need to call in building regulations when structural, electrical and gas works are required.
From the beginning, you may ask for plans and drawings for your ideal extension which can cost anything between £600 to £1,500 depending on the type of construction and finish. An example of a more expensive build is an open plan dwelling or added space which will require stronger construction, as opposed to having many separate rooms which is the more traditional route to take.
Figures are for guidance only and we would always talk to you for free to discuss requirements until you are ready for us to take you to the planning stage, should you have not approached this step yet.
Yes we follow them, they are our 'rulebook'. Building Regulations ensures the health and safety of people present on a building site. They also make sure that the building is accessible to all, and that an extension or building is conserving energy. The Building Act 1984 governs the powers covering Building Regulations. The policy applies in England and Wales with the current editions of Building Regulations being The Building Regulations 2010. The majority of construction and building projects, including new developments and extensions, must comply with the regulations.
Planning rules determine whether a build can go ahead. In most cases, extensions do not always require planning permission but building regulations need to be followed to ensure an addition to a building complies.
Conservatories should not be constructed if they are going to restrict access by a ladder to a window servicing a loft conversion especially if the window is designed as an escape exit. You will need planning permission unless the expected extension is less than 30 square metres in size and is at ground level only. Porch and conservatories are generally exempt from planning permission yet all glazing must comply with safety glazing requirements set out by Building Regulations. We are always able to give you information but recommend contacting your local planning section to discover more about your planned extension.
If you are building a garage as an extension to your home then you will potentially need planning permission as they may interfere with flue outlets. Should you be adding a detached garage then providing the floor area is no more than 30 square metres and is single storey then you will not need planning permission – it also must not contain living space. There are other guidelines that must be followed with this type of extension and we can assist with this.
We can help you to manage your proposed extension with what the budget may be and what can technically be achieved. Milbarn Construction have experts that can help with design that build on your initial ideas and then can assist with subsequent planning permission and building regulations. Should you already have architects drawings in place then our superb team can work with those also.
It is difficult to know exactly where to start when considering a particular extension. The most popular questions that come up are below.
It is difficult to know exactly where to start when considering a particular extension. The most popular questions that come up are below.
Q: Do you have any advice on permitted development rights on a rear extension?
A: Certain areas of constructing rear extensions are confusing to some of our clients. The Town and Country (General Permitted Development) Order of 2008 came into force with the intention of simplifying information for home and property owners. The new policy is still causing confusion as there are various guidelines that must be complied with when constructing extensions, including single storey rear additions.
In your case, there may be restrictions on the size, the area on which you can build, and its height including the roof and the eaves and its width need to be considered. The distance from the boundary, and material finish also will affect your ability to construct the rear extension that you need.
Even with our help, should you find that you can construct a rear extension within permitted development (PD) rights we would still always recommend applying to your local planning authority. We will assist at every stage. You will need a Lawful Development Certificate to maintain the legalities of extending your home or property, this will also help you to find out if there are any specific restrictions on the area as a whole.
In the first instant we welcome you to contact us so that we can assess your proposed rear extension and so that we can help you in the initial stages where the Lawful Development Certificate is concerned.
We have drawings for a ground floor extension to our home, do we need written agreements when we obtain quotes from builders?
The experts at Milbarn Construction would certainly recommend that you obtain a written agreement to help avoid disputes and cover fundamental issues concerning your extension. Points covered should be:
Your name and builders name
Start and proposed completion dates
What constitutes the finished project
Price including VAT – what this includes such as drawings, schedule of works, payment terms etc.
Working hours – weekends or permitted noisy times
Insurance and guarantee details
Confirmation of public liability and buildings cover
Procedure when issues arise and extra work is required
What occurs if work takes longer than expected
Arrangements for access to people needing to be on site
For simple home extensions these items could simply be set into a letter of intent. Milbarn Construction can help if you need to discuss the suitability of a form of contract – we are always happy to assist.
A well planned, well-proportioned extension will nearly always add value. Extra bedrooms and increased kitchen sizes will always help with this.
This will depend on many various factors which will include things such as the size of the proposed extension, the land and area on which your proposed extension will be constructed, and if you are able to exercise your rights to ‘permitted development rights’. Please click through to see this government chart for help on these (PD) rights.
Yes although each individual project is assessed by your local council, there are certain conditions that must be adhered to.
As an example, a single storey extension constructed at the rear of a property will not be permitted if it is intended that it will extend past the rear wall of the existing property by more than 3m. This is the case if your home or property is a semi-detached or terrace. Should your property or home be detached then you will not be permitted to extend it more than 4m from the rear wall of the property itself.
Permitted development rights allows you as the home owner to make certain changes to your property without the need to apply for planning permission.
Permitted development rights will allow many ‘standard’ building work procedures to be carried out to your home, but the PD rights do not apply to other properties such as flats and maisonettes.
Although this is a scheme that derives from the government, each local authority, or designated areas, may have different restrictions than others. For example, if you live in a conservation area or an area of natural outstanding beauty (ANOB) this may cause more restrictions to be in place. The team here at Milbarn Construction recommend contacting your local planning authority to discuss any of your questions. We also welcome you to contact us where we will be more than happy to advise you.
This will depend on the size of your proposed extension, and if any particular restrictions have been put in place by the local authority or the architect and the construction method. An example of this will be whether blockwork and a rendered finish or face brickwork to finish will be used.
We are always delighted to discuss all of the options with you during the quotation stage, and we can offer you alternative options to suit your budget and cost comparisons.
Standard rear extension will take approximately 6 weeks depending on the size and internal functions of that space. We can discuss this directly with you, of course weather and the elements or any issues discovered during the project where extra work is required may affect the timescale.
Yes of course, we will ensure that everything is locked up at the end of each working day. If bi-fold doors are to be incorporated into the extension, we will construct temporary boarding in the opening to secure your property whilst the bi-fold doors are being constructed. This will be removed on the morning that the bi-fold doors are to be installed.
No. There will be a lot of work going on, but we are continually keeping the site clean whilst our team work. We understand that you will be concerned about tools and items being left in the way, sometimes materials need to be left so we can access them easily. That said, we have vehicles purely for rubbish removal and staff that collect all waste created and dispose of it correctly. We pride ourselves on a clean, well presented site, giving our team a safe work environment.
Yes we guarantee all of our work. We are public liability insured and will follow building regulations to the book during the project – we want our clients to be confident that our construction work is the best it can be and that guarantees are in place to cover you, the home owner, and to ensure we know you are content about our finished project.
We have been using the same team of trusted trades’ people for years, all of whom are fully qualified and experienced in their own trade. The entire team complement each other perfectly. Please see our meet the team page to find out more.
Combining our knowledgeable team, collectively we have and impressive 200 years of experience between us. Milbarn Construction as a group have been carrying out extensions since it was founded in 2004.
Yes of course, we are very experienced in our work and we are familiar with most of the local authorities and their policies. These include Havering, Brentwood, Basildon and Thurrock.
Our team will contact the local authorities as and when they are required for site visits and update you every step of the way.
Yes we have fully qualified and experienced architects and structural engineers that we have used for many years whom can liaise with you and discuss your requirements. If you may have already contacted an architect and have drawings in please, our experience means that we can follow these drawings and ensure that your extension works for you in terms of its design right through to the finish. We will assess the designs and the areas you wish to extend and help from the initial planning through to completion.
Yes. We are covered with a £5,000,000.00 public liability package and a £10,000,000.00 employer’s liability package.
Our Promise – we promise to respect and treat our customers how we would expect to be treated, and treat their homes as we would expect our own to be treated.
We are an established professional Essex based builder and have hundreds of satisfied customers that will testify to our abilities and expertise. Our work is always completed to a high standard and you can see so many of the projects we have carried out on the website, or when you meet with us. Our testimonials are true client comments and if you look at the point below, we welcome you to meet with our previous clients to give you that extra bit of confidence about our company and our ability to deliver your project on time and on budget.
Yes of course. We can arrange a meeting with yourself and a current / previous client to visit their ongoing home extension or completed home extension which will hopefully give you piece of mind.