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Your Build - Spring 2018

Construction Materials Online Doing more with less: Top tips for tackling a home extension With house prices Callum Tasker, operations director at Construction Materials Online, discusses the options available to homeowners wanting to extend their homes, as well as the range of material choices on offer continuing to rise, the market for home extensions is booming, with many now looking to ‘improve rather than move’. Facing the problem of limited space, the trend isn’t slowing, with statistics showing that over 23,700 extensions were completed in the year to June 2017, alongside planning for ‘householder developments’ rising by 20% in the last four years. There is a plethora of options for households wanting more space, from extending lofts or basements, to creating self-contained properties, such as an annexe or granny flat; functioning in the same way as any interior space should, fully insulated, light and warm. However, for even the most experienced self-builder, navigating through various planning rules and regulations, as well as selecting the right materials and build processes can prove a daunting task. Planning particulars It pays to be well-informed when it comes to understanding the complex rules and regulations on obtaining planning permission for home extensions. For those building a new structure or making a major change to a property, planning is likely a requirement, however, an addition or minor home extension is often considered a ‘permitted development’, with planning not a legal necessity – but only if an extension meets a set of strict rules and requirements from minimum room dimensions, to structural design. However, even if planning permission is not a requirement under permitted development rights, building regulation approval must still be obtained. The Building Regulations set out minimum requirements for structural integrity, fire safety, energy efficiency, damp proofing, ventilation, and other key aspects that ensure a building is safe. While this is a helpful starting point, the HomeOwners Alliance recommend that homeowners contact their local planning authority to check whether a project requires planning permission. Energy savings When extending a space, such as a loft or basement, it is vital that the right materials are used to ensure not only comfort, but also longterm energy-efficiency and compliance with Building Regulations. For example, choosing the right insulation for a loft is one of the most effective ways to make an extension as energy-efficient as possible, and if not, as much as 50% of a property’s energy could be wasted annually. Insulation also plays a vital role in sound-proofing between rooms or in outside structures. Up to five times thinner than traditional forms of insulation, multifoil and vacuum insulated panels are a perfect solution for smaller spaces, with the ability to perform in line with their thicker counterparts and hit Building Regulations. Getting the light right Ensuring that there is sufficient ventilation within any interior space is crucial to creating a light, breathable, and comfortable environment. The right choice of ventilation products will improve air quality and overall home efficiency. To maximise the potential of any extended space, glazing should be factored in to extension plans early. Roof windows or skylights are one of the most efficient ways to make the most of daylight as part of a pitched roof extension, and are ideally suited for those working with limited space. For example, sloping roof windows can potentially bring in twice as much daylight when compared to vertical windows of the same size. Go Green For those living in urban environments, or highly populated cities, a roof extension can not only provide more space internally, but can also create additional green space externally. The addition of a green roof as part of a wider extension can be an attractive, viable solution to overcoming lengthy planning guidelines and design regulations. Green roofs are generally flat or slightly pitched with a covering of vegetation. Modular roofing systems are one of the most popular green solutions for small areas, and consist of single pre-grown module trays. Whilst not only improving the aesthetics of a building and ensuring sufficient drainage, other benefits include the mitigation of local air pollutants, providing effective insulation, boosting thermal performance, as well as preserving and enhancing biodiversity. www.constructionmaterialsonline.co.uk Home extensions 18 Spring 2018


Your Build - Spring 2018
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