House Extensions :

A commonly asked question is “do I actually need planning permission to build an extension to my home” and ” how can I avoid the delays and extra expense of preparing a planning application“.

Generally speaking (subject to conditions outlined below) you are allowed to build up to 40sq.m at the rear of your home, provided it is not visible from the road, and up to 25sq.m for a garage, provided it remains behind the established building line.

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What is considered an exempted development?

Minor developments such as small extensions and sun rooms to the rear of the house do not require planning permission but beware.  There are strict guidelines such as:

  • All developments must be to the rear of the property – no part of the extension may project beyond the side walls of the existing dwelling

  • For terraced or semi-detached houses, the floor area of any extension above ground level should not exceed 12 square meters

  • Your extension must not reduce the area of private open space to less than 25 square meters

  • The original floor area of the house should not be increased by 40 square meters

  • Where the house has been extended previously, the floor area of any such extension, taken together with the floor area of any previous extension or extensions constructed or erected including those for which planning permission has been obtained, shall not exceed 40 square metres.

  • Where the house is terraced or semi-detached and has been extended previously, the floor area of any extension above ground level taken together with the floor area of any previous extension or extensions above ground level constructed or erected, including those for which planning permission has been obtained, shall not exceed 12 square metres.

  • Where the house is detached and has been extended previously, the floor area of any extension above ground level, taken together with the floor area of any previous extension or extensions above ground level constructed or erected, including those for which planning permission has been obtained, shall not exceed 20 square metres.

  • Any above ground floor extension (i.e First floor level) shall be a distance of not less than 2 metres from any party boundary.

  • Any window proposed at ground level in any such extension shall not be less than 1 metre from the boundary it faces

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Are there restrictions with roof height?

Yes there are height restrictions for extensions including the following :

  • No part of your development must exceed the top height of the house

  • If you’re building a flat roof extension, you must not exceed the height of the eaves.

  • If the rear wall has a gable, your extension must not exceed the height of the rear wall.

  • If the rear wall of the house does not have a gable, the height of the extension must not exceed the height of the rear wall.

  • The roof of any extension should not be built as a balcony or roof garden.

house-extension-ireland-exempt-planning-permission2What about windows?

  • Any window proposed at ground level in any such extension shall not be less than 1 metre from the boundary it faces.

  • Any window proposed above ground level in any such extension shall not be less than 11 metres from the boundary it faces.

  • Where the house is detached and the floor area of the extension at first floor level exceeds 12 square metres, any window proposed at above ground level shall not be less than 11 metres from the boundary it faces.

What are the regulations with a domestic garage?

You can build a garage, subject to the following guidelines :

  • The roof must not exceed 4m in height if it’s a tiled or slated pitched roof.  Roof height is reduced to 3m in height if it has any other type of roof such as a flat roof finish.

  • The finish of your newly built garage must conform or match the external finish of the house

  • Your new garage must not extend beyond the front build line of the existing house.

  • Private open space must not be reduced to less than 25 square meters

  • Ground floor area is restricted to 25 square meters.

  • The garage shall not be used for human habitation or for the keeping of pigs, poultry, pigeons, ponies or horses, or for any other purpose other than a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the house as such.

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Can I demolish an old building?

You can knock down any building other than:

  • Protected Structures or Proposed Protected Structures

  •  Buildings in a terrace or attached to another building in separate ownership

  •  A habitable house (included a house which is used as a dwelling, a house not currently in use, not derelict, but when was last used was a dwelling, a house ued as a dwelling but is currently not occupied and a building where the last permitted use was a house but may be in unauthorised use since then

  • Any building or buildings greater than 40 square metres within the curtilage of a house

  • Building or buildings greater than 100 square metres within the curtilage of an industrial building, a business premises, or a farmyard complex.

 Beware: You can knock an old building, but it does not follow that you will automatically get planning permission to replace it with a new one.

house-extension-ireland-exempt-planning-permission3Are there restrictions when you build boundary walls, fences and gates?

Walls and fences can be erected as long as you ensure

  • The maximum height of fences or boundary walls at the front of house must not exceed 1.2 meters including capping

  • Maximum height at the back of house must not exceed 2 meters including capping

  • Standard block or mass concrete walls must be plastered

  • Gates must not exceed 2m in height

  • No such gate shall be a metal palisade or other security fence

  • You must apply for planning permission if you wish to make a new or wider access to a public road

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Are there any other restrictions on exempted development?

All forms of development which are normally exempted lose this status and require planning permission if they:

  • contravene a condition of a planning permission;

  • endanger public safety by causing a traffic hazard or obstructing the view of road users;

  • build forward of the building line (except in the case of small porches);

  • involve a new or wider access to a public road;

  • affect a building, feature, site, etc., listed for preservation in the development plan or draft plan (check your local development plan);

  • obstruct a public right of way;

  • are not wholly related to the use of the house for domestic purposes.

  • consist of carrying out under a public road of works other than a connection to a wired broadcast relay service, sewer, water main, gas main or electricity supply line or cable

  • interfere with the character of a landscape, or a view or prospect of special amenity value or special interest, the preservation of which is an objective of a development plan for the area in which the development is proposed

  • consist of or comprise the excavation, alteration or demolition of places, caves, sites, features or objects of archaeological, geological, historical, scientific or ecological interest

  • consist of or comprise the extension, alteration, repair or renewal of an unauthorised structure or a structure the use of which is an unauthorised use

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Do I need to appoint an Assigned Certifier ?

From 1 March of 2014 the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 apply, and for a new house or an extension greater than 40 square metres internal area you will have a duty to appoint an Assigned Certifier.

Do the new Health & Safety Rules apply to my house extension?

From August 2013 the new Health, Safety and Welfare at Work (Construction Amendment) Regulations 2012, legally requires a home owner to:

  1. Appoint a suitably qualified person to carry out construction work;

  2. Appoint project supervisors;

  3. Keep a safety file;

Works which are proposed to be carried out in less than thirty working days or 500 man hours are exempt from these regulations.

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private courtyard extension ‘to an extension’ of an old stone building

The effect of these regulations is that from the 1st June, 2013 any person considering building works in their own home must appoint a project supervisor for the design stage and for the construction stage (PSDP and PSCS) and notify their projects to the Irish Health and Safety Authority (H.S.A.) The project supervisor for the design stage will be an Architect or engineer and the construction stage will be the Contractor involved.

Both of these parties must be able to demonstrate that they are in a position to carry out their duties competently.  Failure to appoint the project supervisor for the design stage and the project supervisor for the construction stage or failure by these parties to carries out their duties can result in large fines and even jail sentences.

Examples of the construction projects that would be subject to the regulations would include:

* Building a new house, extension, porch or garage;
* Converting an attic or refitting the kitchen;
* Re-slating a roof, fitting sky panels or a skylight;
* Rewiring the house.

Does my client need to appoint a Project Supervisor Construction Stage (PSCS) for a domestic project going on site after the 1st June 2013, where I have already done the design work?

No. The revised regulations are not and cannot be retrospective. The requirement to appoint a PSCS applies only to projects where the design process commences on or after June 1st 2013.

 

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“But my Mate’s a Builder and knows his stuff..”

So why should we use you ?

House extension drawings and designs which are exempt from planning control, still need to be carefully designed and considered with regards to light, views and dynamic use of layout etc. for example ; how an open plan kitchen – dining – family room interacts with the existing layout and work together to maximise every aspect of your plot, be it a rural home or within an urban setting is hugely important.

“If the requirements are for more space with little thought given to a 40sq.m box added to the rear of an existing dwelling, the end result of such ill-conceived notions can unfortunately result in some homes having dark depressing inner rooms which were otherwise bright and airy, even prior to a new build

This creates a cold and unpleasant environment for the family and can subconsciously place the occupants in bad humour while actually devaluing a property, and more often than not the only way forward is to demolish such construction and extensions to move forward, which never makes financial sense to the people who’ve forked out for it

Whilst some builders have commendable napkin skills and all-round ability, care must be taken not to become penny rich with design and pound foolish with costly construction”

 

Use an experienced team of professionals from the outset ;

Email us for a quick Quotation on your proposed home extension today, attach sketches or even iphone images of features and elements that interest you and include as much detail as possible such as a map of the location, the listed building status (important), overlooking properties / privacy issues etc. and we will get right back to you.

click here to view a 3d animation of a typical semi-detached home extension in South Dublin