Planning permission is the legal authorisation for you to build or build upon a property. If you’re planning on remodelling, renovating or adding an extension to your property you may or may not need planning permission; depending on what you aim to do. Many projects can be completed without planning permission under what is known as permitted development rights.
Nevertheless, building regulation is almost always required, even if the building work is classified as a permitted development.
Local Planning Authorities
Remember though, some permitted development rights are not fixed and local planning authorities have the power to remove them from your area. Therefore, it is always advisable to contact your local planning authority for guidance first before you begin any work. It is also recommended that you obtain written evidence that you are exempt.
Permitted Development Exceptions
The following list of projects may fall under the category of permitted developments:
- Household extensions (not flats or apartments)
- Loft conversions
- Doors and window renovation
- Solar panels and wind turbines
- Garden structures
- Building a garage
- Gates, walls and fences
- Minor home improvements
Permitted Development for Extensions
Planning permission is not required in most cases for general extensions that reach up to 15% of the property’s original size. The maximum size you can add is 112 cubic metres; any more than this will usually require planning permission. See below for more information on particular properties:
- Terraced houses –up to 10% increase in size.
- One storey extensions – Cannot be higher than 4 metres or 3 metres for a flat roof.
- Two storey extensions – You can build up to the existing floor level.
At all times your extension must not be higher than the highest part of the roof. Extensions to the side of the property may only be one storey, with a maximum height of 4 metres and a width no more than 50% of the property’s size. In most cases, to avoid planning permission, your extensions should not include balconies or raised platforms. Lastly, your extension should take up no more than 50% of the area of land around the property.
Increased Extension Sizes to May 2019
Between May 2013 and May 2019, you can build certain one storey extensions without the need for planning permission. These include:
- Detached properties – usually the allowance is up to 4 metres beyond the back wall – now you can double this to 8 metres.
- All other properties – usually the allowance is up to 3 metres beyond the back wall – now you can double this to 6 metres.
Still Unsure Whether You Need Planning Permission?
If your plans do not comply with any of the permitted development criteria, you will indeed need to apply for planning permission. Ultimately, as the owner of a property, it is your responsibility to comply with planning rules and building regulations. Failure to comply will result in remedial action against the owner, which could go as far as demolition.
It is highly recommended you seek general advice from your local planning authority and from the people responsible for building your extension prior to the project commencing. If you are still unsure whether you need planning permission for your extension project plans, contact our team today on 01172 591122 for more information.
When it comes to celebrity homes and luxury mansions, architects take building design to a whole new level. The sheer size of some celebrity-owned properties is enough to take your breath away, never mind the detailing. In fact, some of the planet’s biggest stars have dwellings that are bigger than your whole neighbourhood! Seriously!
So if you are easily jealous, perhaps this blog isn’t for you. But if you would like to take a sneak peek at how the other half live, join us on our journey through the most luxurious mansions from around the world.
The Microsoft Mansion – Bill Gates
Let’s begin with one of the big hitters – Mr Bill Gates. One of the richest, most powerful businessmen in the world has a 66,000 square foot mansion located in Washington, USA. The technological guru regularly appears on the World’s Rich List and his home certainly supports this status.
Microsoft’s CEO owns one of the most expensive properties ever built – with several bedrooms and it’s very own in-built library. We wonder if the building comes with its own IT support department – probably not!
The Playboy Mansion – Hugh Hefner
There is no way we could have a list of luxury mansions without including the obvious – the Playboy Mansion! The Heffner makes no secret about what goes on inside his home, which is perhaps why it is one of the most recognised properties in the world. The mansion full of bunnies contains several swimming pools, tennis courts, luxury wine cellars, games rooms and even its own fully functioning zoo!
The Posh and Becks – David and Victoria Beckham
We couldn’t have a list of famous/luxurious properties without a mention of Posh and Becks. One of the world’s most famous couples have been reported to have snapped up this £27m country estate in Gloucestershire. The property boasts ten bedrooms, six bathrooms and enough space for a staggering 380 football pitches!
It’s just a pity David isn’t able to show off a World Cup winning trophy in there, eh?
The Talk Show House – Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is one of the richest women in the world, so it’s no surprise she owns a ridiculously lavish home. In fact, this is not just any home, it’s a great big treehouse! Based in Colorado, the high-tech treehouse sits over 3 acres in the Telluride Mountains. Designed by tech mogul Bob Wall, the house comes with lots of cool features and design elements.
Perhaps the coolest of features is the $150,000 Fibre optic glass bridge hallway that changes colour and the heated driveway that lights up as someone pulls up the drive.
The White Russian – Roman Abramovich
Let’s jump back over to this side of the pond again and take a look at Kensington Palace Gardens – home of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. This London based property contains everything from a tennis court to an auto museum and even a health centre! We’ve heard John Terry can be found at the back too!
The Vertical Home – Mukesh Ambani
Indian billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani owns one of the most unique properties on the planet. With an estimated value of around £1 billion, the 27-story estate covers 400,000 square feet and comes with 600 members of staff. 600 members of staff! What could you possibly need all those members of staff for?
The owner of the second-largest company in India can also boast three helipads, six underground parking levels and an unbeatable view of south Mumbai.
Buckingham Palace – The Royal Family
Our list of lavish celebrity homes would not be complete without the inclusion of the planet’s most expensive home. Billionaires across the globe can show off with their grand and luxurious properties, but none will ever be more regal of lucrative than the Queen’s stately home!
Valued at over £1billion, the palace contains 775 rooms, 52 guest bedrooms, 78 bathrooms, 188 staffrooms and 92 offices! So it is fair to say, the building has its fair share of glass – and a rather tired window cleaner!
That’s it for our mini list of lavish and luxurious properties. Keep following our blog for more information and interesting reads. Next up, we will be discussing planning permission and when you may or may not need it. Keep watching!
Are you thinking of moving from your commercial property and putting it up for sale? Maybe you are just interested in your property’s value and wish to add to it for future-proof purposes. Adding value to a commercial property requires very similar efforts to domestic dwellings, but with added influencers such as health and safety regulations. Read on to find out how you can add value to your commercial property.
Convert Your Empty Spaces
Adding an extra room or utility space to your property can really help boost its value. A large empty space can be thought of as an alluring blank canvas for many property buyers. On the other hand, a vacant room gathering dust can be a major put-off. This is especially true if you have a block of offices, where desk space is required in abundance.
Renovate Your Kitchens and Bathrooms
Kitchens and bathrooms require the most amount of attention in the majority of constructions; both commercial and domestic. New buyers will want to move into a property straight away, without having to worry about fixing old-fashioned fittings and features. This is especially true for commercial properties as various strict Health & Safety regulations govern the state and quality of these quarters.
A Lick of Paint Won’t Hurt
An obvious quick and easy improvement to any property rests within its decoration. Just a simple change of colour scheme may be the change that helps you sell your property faster. Keep it simple and decorate according to the location, purpose and size of your building. Remember, do not over-do your design; instead decorate in such a way that will allow a potential buyer to build upon it.
Maintain the Property’s Exterior
The exterior of your property will be the first feature a potential buyer will see, so hiring a gardener to maintain the plant life and public pathways will be a major benefit. It’s all about presentation when it comes to your building’s surroundings. If the outside of your property is unkempt what will that say about the inside?
Install a Glass Extension
Glass extensions are a fantastic way of adding space and a fresh dimension to your commercial property. You have almost endless possibilities here, so it is difficult to predict just how much value an extension will add to your building. Nevertheless, an expertly designed and constructed extension will allow more natural light, provide more space and undoubtedly increase the amount of purchasing interest in your property.
Properties such as the Three Crowns in Devon have benefitted massively from the instalment of a glass extension; adding both value and increased public interest.
Energy Efficient Windows
Energy efficiency will always be a hot topic and a hugely influential selling point for property buyers everywhere. Installing energy efficient glass can save property owners hundreds and thousands of pounds a year, so this is simply a must! If you need to replace your windows make sure you are buying quality materials; otherwise you may lose money instead of adding value.
Talk to our team today for more information on energy efficiency.
Consider Installing a New Roof
Just like any other commercial investment, a potential buyer will want to see both demonstrable benefits and a solid return on their expense. According to many commercial property agents throughout the UK, almost half of your properties’ curb appeal comes from the state of the roof. Many estimates claim that you can add as much as 6% in value to your building by installing a new roofing surface; so it is definitely something to consider. The benefits are clear to see – your roof will be more visually pleasing, it will require less maintenance and you may benefit from increased building efficiency.
It’s National Gardening Week and to celebrate the event we’re bringing you our top 5 tips on how to let the outside in and introduce a little nature to your property. Whether it’s a domestic or a commercial property, bringing the outside into your interior can really freshen things up a bit; making you feel more comfortable and less confined within your property.
National Gardening Week is devoted to green fingers, gardeners and horticulturists alike. Celebrating all things garden related, it’s a wonderful week packed full of events, workshops, guided walks and garden parties. Don’t let the fun and enjoyment stop at the front door though, with summer fast approaching now is the perfect time to find ways of bringing the outside into your property!
Introduce Some Plant Life
An obvious starter, but yet still extremely effective. It’s not so much the addition of plant life that will make an impact, it’s more the actual choice of greenery that will make the difference. Dotting a few plant pots here and there will not aid much of a transformation, especially if you have a large property. However, introducing some large and leafy plants or some exotic flowers will certainly spice things up a bit and allow you to enjoy your surroundings in naturistic bliss.
Consider Some Wooden Furniture
Wooden furniture is quite literally made from the outdoors. So this one is a no brainer, right? If you have already introduced a little foliage into your property then some wooden furniture is the perfect accompaniment for it. Introducing more wood into a property really helps to add to the natural, alfresco atmosphere and is visually appealing too.
Encourage Natural Light with a Glass Extension
Allowing more natural light to pass through your property is another great way of letting the outside in. This is especially true if you have light-painted walls, such as whites and creams, as natural light will reflect off of these shades perfectly. Floor to ceiling glass is the best way of letting as much natural light pass into your property as possible.
You may also consider installing a glass extension, or consider installing frameless sliding doors on your existing extension. Doing so will provide a beautiful and natural living environment, giving your property some extra light and some more space at the same time. If you are contemplating a new glass extension, or require some renovation work on your existing structure, give our team a call today.
Sway Towards the Seaside
Keep things nautical and sway towards the seaside as a fun way of bringing the outside in to your property. If you live with children this can be particularly useful and effective for you, as you can include shells they have collected from the beach as house decorations and ornaments. Anything beach related brings back good memories of holidays and family outings, so this is another fantastic way of allowing the outdoors to creep inside your home.
Use Colours Inspired By the Outdoors
Green, brown, yellow and orange are all colours that remind us of the earth, grass, plant life and the sun. Sky blue is also a great colour to use to brighten up a property and freshen things up a bit, reminding us of water and the sky. Neutral tones such as whites and beige’s make your interiors feel natural and clean too. So as you can see, just like introducing some plant life, bringing the outside in can be as easy as simply changing your colour scheme.
National Gardening Week 2016
National Gardening Week 2016 is currently taking place and will come to a close on the 17th April. Originally launched just five years ago by The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the event has since grown tenfold to become the UK’s largest celebration of all things gardening.
Glass is not just meant for windows and conservatories you know! We can do so much more with this wonderfully versatile and robust material. Some of the world’s most famous and iconic buildings are made almost entirely from glass; creating both unique and fully functional construction masterpieces.
With this in mind we have brought to you 10 of the world’s most impressive and iconic glass buildings and structures. From the visually beautiful to the architecturally astounding, each and every construction in this list is impressive in its own right. So without further ado…
National Centre for the Performing Arts
First up we’re in China – also known as The National Grand Theatre – this wonderfully futuristic building can be found in Beijing close to Tiananmen Square. Designed by architect Paul Andreu, the droplet shaped dome is situated in a man-mad island and plays host to a whole concert hall, opera house and a shopping centre!
Built in 1989, the Louvre Pyramid is just like everything else in Paris – smothered with romance! Situated right next to the Louvre Museum, this is one of the most iconic structures in the entire world.
Kanagawa Institute of Technology Workshop
This completely transparent studio space is not that complicated at all, but its beauty lies within its simplicity. Students and occupants of the building can work in optimal natural light, creating a beautifully natural place of work. This is how to bring the outside in!
The Aldar Headquarters
How this was designed and constructed baffles us all! To call this an architectural feat is an understatement. Located in Abu Dhabi, The Aldar Headquarters is an office building with a difference – it is completely circular. Covered completely with glass panels, it’s like the sky has its own monocle!
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Designed by world renowned architects, Willem Jan Neutelings and Michiel Riedijk, The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision truly is a masterpiece. Officially one of the most colourful buildings in the world, the visual appeal rating is through the roof! The building is shaped like a cube and covered with hundreds of coloured cast-glass panels.
The Sage’s primary function is to act as the centre of performing arts and music education for the city of Gateshead in England. A lot of conferences are also held in the building, designed by leading architects Foster and Partners. Steel and glass are the construction’s primary materials.
The Gherkin is the affectionate name given to 30 St Mary Axe, due to its unusual shape and size. This building maximises the use of natural daylight with thick, laminated glass surrounding the building. This is an iconic image of London’s financial district and will be for years to come.
The Dancing House
The architectural design of this building is simply mind-blowing. Where do we even begin? Designed by architect Vlado Milunic, this building in Prague is meant to bear a resemblance to famous dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. How it looks will depend largely on your own personal taste – this one may be too ‘out there’ for a lot of traditional architects and designers. But we love it!
Basque Health Department Headquarters
Another building dripping with architectural wonder is the Basque Health Department Headquarters situated in Bilbao. Used as an office building (surprisingly) the 13-storey structure is one of the most recognisable in Spain. The polyhedral glass facade allows natural light to invade and drench the interior.
Last but certainly not least, the tallest building in England! Completed in 2012, the facades of angled glass reflect sun rays upwards towards the sky. So the appearance of the structure changes depending on the weather – which in England can change in an instant! The view it provides of the capital is unrivalled anywhere else and it has changed the skyline dramatically for photographers to admire for years to come.
People of England it’s time to get your travel bags and your maps out – it’s English Tourism Week! Running between the 5th and 12th of March, English Tourism Week is a week-long celebration of events, special destinations and activities all centred on England’s tourism industry.
Businesses large and small are getting involved this year, from bed and breakfasts and small local cafes to national hotel chains and large restaurants. Not only does this represent a chance for us to enjoy some of England’s most beautiful destinations; it also provides a wonderful promotional opportunity for businesses who wish to market towards a wider audience.
England’s Hidden Gems – Where to Visit
So to mark the occasion and support such a fantastic event, the team here at Glass Extensions have come up with a list of some of England’s most obscure places for you to visit. You won’t find a Stonehenge or a famous opera house here; instead we recommend visiting some of these lesser-known places for something a bit different!
Secret Gardens of Kilver Court – Somerset
The appropriately named ‘Secret Gardens of Kilver Court’ can be found right at the heart of Somerset. First created by Ernest Jardine over 100 years ago, the landscape has since been influenced by a number of different designers, the most affluent being Francis Showering. Here you can walk the herbaceous borders, visit the parterre and explore the millpond in blissful and exotic surroundings. If you’re looking for the prefect countryside escape, this is definitely up there!
Three Crowns Chagford – Devon
Chagford is an attractive, vibrant and quiet little town based in Dartmoor, Devon. Sitting right at the heart of the town is The Three Crowns Inn – one of the most charming pubs you’re ever likely to visit in the whole of England. The flag ship 16th century tavern has undergone a large scale renovation to offer you a warm, stylish and elegant stone-walled building filled with beamed ceilings and Inglenook fireplaces.
The boutique bedrooms are beautifully decorated and cosy, blending comfort with personality and character. The team here at Glass Extensions had the pleasure of working alongside some of UK’s leading architects to produce a design for the court yard here, check it out.
Botany Bay – Kent
Once a famous setting for 18th-century smugglers to bring in contraband, now Botany Bay is an absolutely breath-taking natural arena for you to stand and admire. Located between Broadstairs and Margate, the gorgeous coastline is dotted with huge chalk stacks and soaring cliffs; creating an awe-inspiring backdrop to the beach. When the tide is out take the opportunity to go fossil hunting – you’ll be surprised at what you might find!
Hatfield House – Hertfordshire
This massive country house is set in The Great Park on the eastern side of Hatfield in Hertfordshire. The house itself was built by Robert Cecil, Chief Minister to King James I and First Earl of Salisbury, in 1611. It has remained the home to the Cecil family ever since and represents a wonderful example of Jacobean architecture.
We are extremely proud to have some involvement with this astonishing building. The team here at Glass Extensions were tasked with building a light and contemporary glass space to form part of a new restaurant, integrated with the old coach house.
Blakeney Point – Norfolk
Blakeney Point is a sand/shingle spit stretching out into the sea, starting from the very heart of Blakeney national reserve. Here you can take a boat journey to sea grey seals basking on the sand and the Old Lifeboat House – home to National Trust rangers. From the visitor centre you can discover rare habitats and see all of their inhabitants up close and personal. A wildlife tour unlike any other!
It’s funny, isn’t it, how our style choices and design ideas differ from application to application and with different product options? Even when considering the exact same materials, we may have completely different sets of preferences for each application. For example, thick and chunky frames with wide angle lenses seem to be all the rage these days in the optical industry. Hipsters and boffins alike are advocates of the trend lately, with every city in the UK filled with long beards and thick framed spectacles.
This, however, is in stark contrast to the architectural world; where thick-framed glass installations are a definite no-no! Structural glass allows a way for you to introduce a modern twist to your property and completely transform the look of your space. At the same time, high quality glass doors are also perfect for creating a bright and contemporary feel; permitting natural light to shine through your property.
Traditionally, glass doors have been fitted with thick, bulky frames which take up space and can look very unsightly. So what happens when super structural glass meets ultra-slim framed sliding doors?
Completely Clear Glass Vision
Slim framed or frameless sliding doors provide completely transparent views of your surroundings; creating a structure without the unsightly obstruction of a noticeable frame. This creates an open, spacious feel for your property and allows you to bring more light into the room. So you can enjoy your garden from the comfort of your home, or open up an office space for a truly open-plan effect.
To put it simply, if you’re looking for a way to break down the barrier between the inside and the outside, look no further than frameless glazing. This innovative glass technology does not impair your view and introduces a touch of modern panache to any property.
Wide Range of Applications
One of the primary features of frameless sliding glass doors is their adaptability to a wide range of applications. Patio doors are the most common application but they are also often used as interior doors to separate two rooms. Other possible applications for sliding glass doors include:
- Glass walls (office)
- Balcony doors
- Swimming pool enclosures
- Restaurant/café enclosures
Visit our projects page for more beautiful examples of sliding glass door installations and applications.
Leading Glass Structural Engineers
All of our products here at Glass Extensions have been designed in conjunction with leading structural engineers and they incorporate the latest in structural glass technology. Our products exceed all safety legislation guidelines and can withstand every extreme of the Great British weather.
With glass panes strong enough to walk on you can rest assured that maintenance and cleaning tasks are easy, safe and reliable. Here we make use of toughened glass for both panes of our double glazed units and these panes meet BS6206 Class A standards. Our structural sliding doors have sight lines of 17mm and heights of up to 4000mm; making them the architect’s choice when it comes to designing contemporary living environments.
Our system and products have been tested by Sandberg Consulting Engineers under British Fenestration Rating Council guidelines; allowing us to calculate the exact U value of any proposed structure. Typical regulations require U values to be a maximum of 2.2 W/mK, however Glass Extensions exceed this with an average value of 1.6 W/mK. Our silicone edge sealed units are Argon filled to achieve these values and thermal efficiency is achieved by optimising the type of low E coating and the edge details used.
Welcome to the Glass Extensions blog – the home of cutting edge design advice and all things related to structural glass. Here at Glass Extensions we offer homeowners and commercial property owners the chance to enjoy a unique and modern extension; much different to your traditional conservatory design. So we feel it is only right to offer the same individuality when it comes to our blog offerings too.
From this point forward we will be releasing regular blogs with topics ranging from industry specific events to structural design information and general pieces of advice. As with our extensions, we aim to make our blogs a little bit different from the norm. For now though, let us introduce ourselves properly…
The Glass Extensions Team
The team here at Glass Extensions are unmistakably glazing mad and love nothing more than producing beautiful, quality living environments for our customers to enjoy. Our bespoke glass products come with frameless installations and an added option to incorporate our magnificent Infiniti sliding doors.
With these wonderful resources and such a skilled team of glazing specialists, you can add extra light and space to any living environment and create a real focus point for your property as a whole. Our team members are fully up to date with the latest glass technology and our construction specialists can provide both double and triple glazing solutions to ensure your extension remains the right temperature all year round.
Improving our Social Presence
Social media is extremely important for businesses online and this is certainly true for our industry also. Sharing quality and valuable information online not only establishes our company as being an industry thought provider, it also helps our customers find solutions to their problems online.
We also realise it is important to interact with our customers and keep them in the loop with current goings on, events, promotions, news related stories and so on. So we will be putting a lot more effort into our blogging and social activity this year in the hope of becoming a valuable source of information for all things glazing! We love our customers here at Glass Extensions and so we’d love to give something back!
Through the Looking Glass
Keep your eyes through the looking glass and watch this space, our next blog addition will focus on the incorporation of slim framed sliding doors and the amazing benefits they can add to your property. Valentine’s Day is also just around the corner, so we will be sharing some loved-up posts on our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts too.
Until next time…