Considering A House Extension? A Brief Guide To Planning Permission

Home extensions are a great way of increasing the size of your property without the stress of moving house. Whether you are expecting a new addition to the family, your teenagers simply need more space or you are now working from home and in need of office space a house extension can be a great investment.

At Shomera there are many things we do throughout our journey with you to ensure your dream home is realised and your investment is safe and worthwhile. With our rich 23 years of experience and with over 2,000 projects under our belt, we find solutions within the limits you set. Some of our clients come to us not wishing to apply for planning permission to increase the size of their home. When this happens in most cases they are surprised to find out exactly how much they can do to their home without requiring planning permission.  

The good news is that you can extend without planning permission as long as you adhere to certain terms and conditions. We can guide you through these conditions and once you adhere to and meet them, a homeowner can build 40 square metres (430 sq feet) of space onto their home without any requirement for planning permission. 

How big is 40 sqm (square metres)?

To understand what space is permitted a typical Irish semi-detached house is 90-100 sqm. That’s roughly 45-50 sqm on the ground floor and the same again on the first floor.  A sitting room in one such semi detached home is approx 15 sqm. The permissible 40 sqm extension is therefore 2.5 times that size.  That’s a significant size to work with.

So what are the restrictions? 

Firstly, the extension has to be to the rear of the house, not the front or the side. Having built the extension you must still have a minimum of 25 sqm of garden space. Windows have to be a minimum of 1 metre from any neighbouring boundaries. The height of the walls of your extension cannot exceed the height of the existing rear walls and roofs should not exceed the height of the existing roof. 

One of the main benefits of building without planning permission is time saving. Planning applications can take up to 12 weeks to get permission (8 weeks for notice on decision and  4 weeks before permission is granted).  A Commencement Notice adds more weeks to the time before you can start to build.  The need to get planning permission can be off-putting for many home renovators so considering a build within the permissible 40sqm is very worthwhile. 

There are of course other ways to add space to your home that are also exempt from planning permission. You can add a front porch to your home of up to 2sqm.  You can also build a Shomera Garden Room in your back garden which can be up to 25 sqm. A garden room is not only a perfect addition to outdoor living but it also increases your living space. From increasing visual appeal and square footage to creating a private zone, garden rooms are also  a smart choice.

Either way, whether your planned house extension will require planning permission or not, when you come to Shomera you don’t just come for the build but for the entire process. Our architects, builders, engineers, surveyors, suppliers and trades team cover all aspects of your home design and construction.