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CODE FOR SUSTAINABLE HOMES
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DOMESTIC EPC’S FOR LANDLORDS & HOMEOWNERS
A side return is the narrow strip of land that runs along the ground floor of a property.
A side-return extension can have a dramatic effect on the flow of the interior layout in your home. They are a hugely popular way of improving and extending semi-detached and terraced homes due to the fact that many English 19th and early 20th century properties have an original brick ‘extension’ to the rear. In this guide, we will give you some tips, inspiration and practical advice for you to improve the indoor-outdoor connection and to maximise the potential of your current property.
Many houses contain the space alongside the ground floor of a property that serves as a storage/dumping ground for bikes or fishing gear. To put it simply - extending into this space is a side return extension. It is an infill of the passage to the rear and side of a property.
A side return extension can make a significant difference to the internal layout and spacious feel of a home, although it may appear you will only gain a few extra feet inside when you look at the property from the outside. Rear extensions do carry the danger of loss of garden space, but side return extensions make use of a typically unused part of the property.
First, determine which type of side return extension you want. A single storey extension is doubtless the most affordable extension and in most cases, it is built as a kitchen extension. Two storey extension, although it will cost you more to build, will be more cost-effective – you will get more square footage for your money.
With the right design, you will be able to enjoy a bigger, more functional and brighter living space and our architect can advise you on how to make the most of it.
A side return extension is a relatively inexpensive extension, For a rough idea, expect to pay the following build costs on a single storey. Prices start at £1500 per square metre.
If your budget is tight, this is where you can make savings:
• Avoid adding a bathroom - it can add £10,000 on to the cost.
• Avoid a separate utility room or pantry.
• Minimise the number of kitchen and storage units.
• Ask an architect to design a kitchen based on standard carcasses instead of an expensive branded kitchen.
• Avoid overly large glass windows and doors.
• Consider different phases of the project if there is an element that is easy to complete at a later date.
Probably not, if a side return extension is to a freehold property. You can build under the permitted development rules, but the extension will be limited to maximum heights: maximum of 4m high and a width no more than half that of the original house. If the extension is within 2m of the boundary, eaves height should not exceed 3m. External materials typically have to be ‘similar to existing’.
You need to check with your local authority if you need Planning Permission in case you live in a Conservation Area, or in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you live in a listed building or there’s an Article 4 direction on your property.
One of the major benefits of this type of extension is how much lighter it can make your home. Consider bringing the light from above and let the light in with glazing. If you go for a single-storey brick extension, a series of sky lights is a great way to brighten your home. Another option is an all-glass roof over the extension, especially when tall trees are visible and a view of the open sky can also help the interior feel bigger and create the impression of being outside.
Also, you can reflect the light with clever colour scheming and compensate for the loss of the side window. Help the light to bounce around with pale kitchen cabinetry, reflective or high gloss materials.
If your extension makes the middle of the house dark you can use bi-fold or sliding doors or even floor to ceiling windows facing the garden to bring more light in.
Another important piece of legislation that may be relevant to your side return development is the Party Wall Act of 1996. Party Wall Agreement provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes involving party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.
If the work you’re proposing could undermine or weaken existing structures, the Act is there to ensure that if this happens as a result of the work, you must straighten it out. It is also there to protect you from fixing damage that is unrelated to your project.
Contact our professionals for any type of extension or conversion project on your home and get the most accurate information and most complete service possible:
freephone: 0808 1699964