Planning extensions & renovations -Making the best of your property

We are all at home, now more than ever. This can certainly make you reflect on how well your home serves your lifestyle.
We help our clients unlock the potential in their homes through planning extensions and renovations.
We are experts in helping you to improve instead of move, and unlocking the potential of your home. Until now, it may have been that the garage has sat empty and this could this be better used as a teen-room/ snug. The conservatory, which can is cold in the winter and too hot in the summer, could be replaced to create a big family social kitchen that the family can comfortably spend time in all year round. And the un-used playroom could now be the perfect study/ office.

Here are our top tips for how to start planning extensions and renovation projects to better suit your needs:

1.        Write a list of your needs

This is a great time to have a discussion with the household members about what the priorities are. Ask yourself, how do you use the home on a day-to-day basis? This is a particularly useful step for multi-generational living where the parent-in-law has their own accommodation within the property. Or you might be coming up to retirement age and want your home to better serve your own needs now that the children have left home.

2.      Research designers

Choosing who will design your project is one of the most important decisions in any home renovation or new build project. Reputation, reliability, planning and structural expertise are all worth considering. You will be working with this person for some time, it is key that you are on the same page.

Likewise, look at a builder’s portfolio of work, speak to their customers and read their reviews. A recommendation is often a good way to find a good builder. For example, you might hear that your colleague had a good experience with their builder, this is promising.

3.      Factor in time for council approval

While it is not the case for new build homes, conservation areas and listed buildings, not all extensions require full planning permission. Various projects fall under Permitted Development Rights.

These types of projects require a confirmation from the council to confirm that your intentions are, in fact, lawful. Two reasons why you should obtain the council’s confirmation:

A.        Peace of mind that no enforcement action can be taken

B.      Conveyancing purposes

Have a look at your local council website to explore their policies, as this can affect the timelines of any project.

Whether your project requires full planning or a permitted development application, you should factor in 8 – 10 weeks for the approval process.

4.      Begin discussions 

Reach out and get to know your consultant – this could be initially by email, phone or Zoom call.

In terms of build cost – before drawings are completed, builders may be able to provide approximate costs per sqm. Check out suppliers to scope out the approximate kitchen costs and get a feel for the range of price. Bathroom and kitchen specification can alter the price of a project significantly depending on the finish and quality you are looking for.

Building a positive, trusting relationship with those managing your project is essential – a personal relationship helps the process run much smoother from start to finish.

Feeling inspired about your project? Plan & Design undertake pre-construction approvals for projects ranging from £30K – £250K. For more information, visit or call us on +44 (0)20 3902 1645