• Phoebe

Five mistakes to avoid when planning an extension

It's surprising how many people end up with plans for a project that they're not 100% happy with.

At Plans For Extensions we'll work through as many designs as it takes (within reason!) to get your plans just right, but depending on who you choose to draw your plans, that's not always the case.

Here are five mistakes we see most often when customers come to us looking to replace an older extension or take over the design of their project:

Unnecessary Pillars

Depending on your budget and other structural factors, having a small pillar can be unavoidable. In most cases however, they aren’t needed or can be situated in a place that hinders how you use the space.

We often go to jobs with older existing extensions that have pillars in inconvenient places, that ruin the extension, and aren’t even needed at all if the customer is willing to replace them with steel beams.

When we’re designing extensions, we always try to reach a compromise between what your budget will allow and a design that meets your needs, without awkward structural elements.

Not Opting For a Portal Frame

This option also depends on your budget, but if you can afford it, we’d advise having a portal frame designed if you want your extension and existing rooms to flow without nibs or pillars.

Regulations require enough wall to be left in at either side if you’re taking the rear wall out of your home, but if you’re using a portal frame the rear of your house will be supported without the need for nibs either side.

This means when your rear or wraparound extension is finished, the walls for the new space will be flush with the existing ones, making it look like the single large space was always there.

Too Much Glass

Customers often worry that an extension will make the rooms behind it dark, however too much glass can mean your extension looks more like a conservatory and may not meet building control standards.

Modern extensions with large amounts of glass are often shown on TV and in design magazines, but in reality they might not be practical, especially when you’re using the space every day.

Wasting Existing Space

An extension should not only look like it’s always been a part of your house from the outside, but it should do the same on the inside too.

Instead of just being an extra room stuck on to your home, think about how you’ll use it alongside the existing rooms, whether you’ll be knocking through or using existing openings to access it.

Not Getting Planning Permission

Planning policy can be confusing. We can spend weeks negotiating with planning officers even on designs that we think are fairly simple. If you don’t get planning permission for your extension and start building, you could be told to change the design of it, or even be met with an enforcement notice to take it down.

If you’re not sure whether you need planning permission for your project, we can usually tell you on your free initial visit.


Don’t end up with an extension you’ll regret in years to come. Avoid these five mistakes

to design and build the extension you’ve always wanted.

434 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

With life getting back to normal, many builders will be returning to work and starting new jobs under the new government guidance. There’s a lot to go through and take in, so we’ve been through and ta