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  • Writer's pictureKristian Brown

Bungalow Extension - How to do it

Bungalows are excellent versatile properties that have great extension potential, so if you own a bungalow, you don’t have to move in order to get the extra space you need. That’s right, you can increase the size of your living space and stay in the home and area that you love.

Why Extend Your Bungalow?

Extensions are a great way to enhance your bungalow and bring your family together. They can be used for all sorts of things; you might want more space for when you have guests, or maybe you need more room for a home office, playroom for the kids, or even an area where you can relax and unwind after a long day.

In addition to adding the extra space you need, a bungalow extension can also boost the market value of your property, save you the cost and hassle of moving to a bigger place and live in a space that is designed specifically for you.

What is the cost to extend your bungalow?

The cost of bungalow extensions varies, but it generally starts from an average of £2,500 per m² for a single-storey bungalow extension. However, this depends on the size of your extension and the materials used.

You may also need to factor in the cost of planning permission which will vary depending on the application type. Due to some changes in the development rules, you may be able to extend your bungalow without planning permission if your home meets certain requirements, let’s consider what these requirements are.

Will I need Planning Permission for my bungalow extension?

If you build within your Permitted Development Rights, you won’t be required to apply for full planning permission.

According to planning guidance, “permitted development rights are a national grant of planning permission which allow certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without having to make a planning application.” In 2020, adjustments were made to Permitted Development Rights, giving certain homeowners the right to extend their bungalows upwards without applying for full planning permission. As a result, homeowners can get prior approval from their local council so they could extend their home easily if their project complies with certain parameters such as, but not limited to:

  • Roof slope

  • Height

  • Volume

  • Windows

It’s important to keep in mind that even if you intend to build within your permitted development rights, in order to verify that your construction project was legal at the time of construction, you will need your local authority to sign off on the project.

If your bungalow extension project does not fall within the parameters of permitted development, it’s important to make sure that you know what type of planning permission is needed for your property and the type of extension you want to have.

It’s worth checking the most up-to-date guidance on permitted development rights as regular changes are made, you can find this in The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

If you’re unsure whether or not your project requires planning permission, it’s best to contact your local authority and confirm this before starting any work.

What types of extensions are available for a bungalow?

The beauty of a bungalow is that there are a variety of options available for you to choose from when it comes to extending; you have the flexibility to extend in a number of different directions.

The most common bungalow extensions include:

  • Dormer loft conversion

  • Single-storey bungalow extension

  • Rear or side bungalow extension

A dormer loft conversion could be an efficient and great solution if your bungalow isn’t on a large plot of land. This type of extension allows you to increase the living space in your bungalow without changing the footprint. In most cases, this type of extension falls within the Permitted Development Rights and is a great way to add more bedrooms to your bungalow without the added expense and effort of building an additional storey. To carry out works under Permitted Development new roof lines can’t exceed the existing roof and any side-facing windows need to be obscure glazing and non-opening below 1.7m*.

With a single-storey extension, you have the luxury of keeping your garden space or large plot area but still increasing the size of your living space by expanding upwards with more floors. This can usually be done under Permitted Development Rights, provided you meet the necessary requirements, but if you want to extend further, you can submit a full planning application. It’s important to bear in mind though that there are important structural issues that need to be considered when extending upward.

Bungalows that are on large plots of land, create the possibility of extending outwards and turning that unused space into valuable living space. If you have a larger plot, a rear extension or a side extension are great options. These types of extensions create more space in your property, which can give you the option of an open-plan kitchen and dining area, as well as adding extra bedrooms with a picturesque garden view and a layout that is ideally suitable for those with accessibility requirements.

What is the Technical Side of the Extension?

Once you have decided to extend your bungalow and have chosen which type of extension you want, it is important to consider the technical side of things. The structural side of the extension will need careful consideration. Since bungalows are often built relatively inexpensively without the required structural support for an extension, extending can be a bit complex. For example, bungalows are often built without load-bearing walls, a factor that would need serious consideration when extending upwards.

If you’re thinking of adding an additional storey to your bungalow, it’s imperative that you asses the foundation to make sure that your building is structurally stable and capable of handling the excess weight of an additional floor. This can be done by checking the building control records or hiring a structural engineer to determine the condition of the area.

Since bungalows often lack internal load-bearing walls, there is the possibility that you may need to install structural steel to support the weight of the extra floor. To avoid altering the foundations or underlining the existing structure of the bungalow, timber frames are utilised as an alternative to masonry to extend the bungalow upwards.

Why move when you can improve?

If your bungalow has some unused space, extending it could be the perfect solution!

As you’ve seen in this article, the possibilities are plentiful. Whether you are considering adding an extension to your bungalow to increase the market value of your property or create additional space in your home for your growing family, bungalow extensions are a great investment and come with a multitude of advantages, both in the short-term and in the long term.


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