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Renovated house

Part 1: Diary of a renovation

This is our home….and it’s about to undergo a transformation!

Date: 28 August 2015

We moved into our house in November 2012 after falling in love with its history - it used to be the village hall and prior to that was a boarding house for passing travelling gentlemen! Although we love the house, the upstairs is too small for the three of us and from day one we knew we would want to extend. We have finally put the plans into action and finances in place to create our dream home. 

There is already a single story extension to the rear so our aim is to build on top of it to create a larger bathroom, a double bedroom and an ensuite for the master bedroom. We’ve sourced an architect following a recommendation from a builder that we know. He has drawn up the plans and submitted them to the council for planning permission.

As well as floor plans, the submission had to include specification information too. This detailed everything from cavity walls and windows right through to roof construction and drainage. Due to the age of our home, we also have to ensure we remain sympathetic to its character.

Our architect has advised us on what we need to be mindful of in order to secure planning permission. In our case, the three main things are: 

  • As we are building on top of the kitchen there may be a light issue so we need to ensure the kitchen still gets plenty of natural light by installing a lantern. 
  • The village is in a conservation area so there are restrictions on how much you can extend a property. 
  • We also need to be careful of how much the building will encroach on our neighbours’ property. As the house is semi-detached, we have to ensure the build is less than 45 degrees of the first habitable window of the adjoining property. 

Our architect also told us to let our neighbours know about the build as they would be sent a letter to see if they had any objections. 


Once the plans were submitted, the council told us it will take up to six weeks for them to get approved so we should hear back in September. A planning notice has gone up so residents can have their say if they want to (hopefully no one will!). In the meantime we are speaking to a structural engineer to work out steel and joist calculations. Once we have these we can start to get quotes from builders. I’m also bulk buying home interior magazines for inspiration on what to do with the décor.

Read on for:

Part 2: Planning approved

Part 3: The renovation begins

Part 4: One month in

Part 5: External structure complete

Part 6: The builders have finished

Part 7: Just when it was going so well

Part 8: Time to turn to interiors