Planning permission – when to apply

Aspinalls Ltd, extensions, kitchens, bathrooms and much moreIf you build something which needs planning permission without getting permission first, you may be forced to put things right later, which could prove troublesome and costly. If you are in any doubt, Aspinalls Ltd recommends that you contact the planning department of your council.

When you need to apply

Here are some common examples where you would need to apply for planning permission:

  • adding or extending a flat or maisonette, including those converted from houses
  • dividing off part of your house for use as a separate home (for example, a self-contained flat or bed-sit)
  • using a building or caravan in your garden as a separate residence for someone else
  • building a separate house in your garden
  • dividing off part of your home for business or commercial use (for example, a workshop) or building a parking place for a commercial vehicle
  • building something which goes against the terms of the original planning permission for your house (for example, a planning condition may have been imposed to stop you putting up a fence in the front garden because the house is on an ”open plan” estate)
  • work you want to do might obstruct the view of road users
  • work would involve a new or wider access to a trunk or classified road

For further advice on when you will need to apply for planning permission visit the Planning Portal website.  You can also discuss your proposals by contacting the planning department of your council.

When you don’t need to apply

You can make certain types of minor changes to your home without needing to apply for planning permission – for example, fitting an alarm box or putting up walls and fences below a certain height. These are called your ‘permitted development rights’.

In October 2008, these rights were clarified and extended to cover more building projects. Projects that can be carried out without planning permission – as long as they meet certain important conditions (such as those covering the dimensions and position of an extension) – include:

  • extensions and conservatories
  • loft conversions
  • fitting solar panels
  • roof alterations
  • patios and driveways

Areas of special interest

In some areas of the country permitted development rights are more restricted. If you live in a listed building, a Conservation Area, a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you will need to apply for planning permission for certain types of work which do not need an application for in other areas.

Aspinalls Builders Ltd is an experienced family run business. We are London builders who offer a wide range of London building services covering areas such as loft conversions, extensions, brick work, plastering, painting, decorating, plumbing and electrics.


Top tips for bathroom design in your home

Aspinalls Ltd, extentions, kitchens and bathroom designBathroom design takes time, careful planning, and precise execution. The objective of a bathroom remodel is to upgrade the appearance of your bathroom with the latest bathroom designs, fixtures, and styles. However, bathroom remodelling can be a bit overwhelming. Even if you don’t install your new fixtures and furnishings yourself, simply selecting that perfect bathroom vanity, sink, and mirror can be more complicate than you think, especially if you’ve never remodelled a bathroom before.

Below are a few tips on what NOT to do when considering your bathroom design. Use these tips to avoid common mistakes and ensure that the look you intend for your bathroom is actually what turns out.

Bathroom Design Tip #1: Don’t Wing It

Some people think that remodelling a bathroom is a piece of cake and simply involves swapping out an old sink or vanity with a new one; however, because the bathroom involves plumbing, you need to carefully plan out your remodel. You need to make sure the new fixtures you select fit the space and the plumbing of your bathroom, or at least understand that rearranging the layout of your bathroom may involve rerouting some pipes.

Before you even think about the new vanity or sink you want to buy, establish the basic layout of your new bathroom. If the layout is staying the same, take note of the plumbing layout and keep that in mind when you’re shopping for a new sink, toilet, or vanity. If you’re rearranging a few items, draw out how you want your bathroom to look, measure everything to make sure your vision is realistic, and then see if you need to reroute any plumbing.

In some cases, you won’t know if your new bathroom design layout will call for new plumbing to be installed, so call a plumber and get his/her professional opinion. After you’ve mapped everything out and established the basic layout of your new bathroom design, then you can start shopping for your new lavish bathroom furnishings.

Bathroom Remodelling Tip #2: Don’t Buy the First Thing You See

The key to successfully remodelling your bathroom is to shop around. You never want to buy the first thing you find. If you’re not already set on a specific vanity or sink design, go online and check out the latest bathroom furnishings. This way, you’ll get a better idea of the number of different styles available without having to leave your home.

Shopping around will also give you the opportunity to comparison shop. Today, modern bathroom furnishings are more available and affordable than ever before. Thanks to wholesalers who purchase bathroom furnishings in bulk, you can get that elegant vessel sink you’ve always wanted at a price that won’t bust your remodelling budget. Before you buy, you better shop around.

Bathroom Remodelling Tip #3: If Don’t Know, Don’t Install It Yourself

Getting a new toilet is a different experience from getting a new bed. With a bed, you pay the extra $50 to get it delivered and put in your home. However, with a toilet, getting it delivered and put in your home is only the beginning. Bathroom remodelling almost always involves plumbing work. Even if you aren’t rerouting pipes or drainage systems, installing new bathroom fixtures (such as a toilet, sink, and faucet) takes a little plumbing know-how. However, not all of us are as “handy” as we would like to be. And when you’re dealing with running water, it’s important to know how to properly uninstall and install bathroom fixtures.

So, if you’re a novice at plumbing, call a professional. Many bathroom remodelling shops offer installation with the purchase of their products (for an added fee) or know of plumbers in your area who can install your new bathroom fixtures for you. Either way, if you’ve never installed a toilet, sink, or faucet, or had a bad previous experience with plumbing, it’s worth the money to have your new bathroom furnishings installed right.

When it comes to bathroom remodelling, it’s very important to plan out your new layout, shop around, and install your new bathroom furnishings properly. Failing to do so could cost you more money in the long run and result in a less-than-perfect remodel.

Aspinalls Builders Ltd is an experienced family run business. We are London builders who offer a wide range of London building services covering areas such as loft conversions, extensions, brick work, plastering, painting, decorating, plumbing and electrics.