It was recently announced that UK homeowners can now add an extension to their homes without seeking planning permission. While semidetached and terraced houses can be extended up to 4m high by 6m, detached homes can be extended up to 4m high by 8m. This comes as the UK housing industry is growing in more ways than one. Here, Richard Banks, commercial director of PVCu windows and doors expert Euramax, comments.
Many homeowners ultimately have to make the decision — renovate or relocate? The UK housing market is constantly fluctuating in prices and availability and as a result, the number of people who choose to extend their home is on the rise.
These more lenient guidelines for home extensions were introduced by the government five years ago but have been made permanent due to the popularity and number of extensions that have been built onto homes since. It provides homeowners who cannot afford to relocate with the option to improve or expand their existing living space to accommodate lifestyle or aesthetic changes.
Permission for an extension can usually take months to be approved and the upfront fee has historically deterred homeowners from pursuing this option. However, removing the need for planning permission takes the strain off the waiting time and makes it easier for homeowners to achieve what they want without as much hassle.
While the number of existing property extensions increases, the need for new accommodation is increasing too. It is widely reported that there is a shortage of homes in the UK and the government believes that up to 350,000 more homes are need annually to address the issue. As a result, the industry is finding newer ways to construct houses at a quicker rate.
Recently, it has been confirmed that Japanese housebuilding company, Sekisui, will move into the UK market to build thousands of homes to boost this shortage.
Sekisui practice what is quickly becoming a popular method of construction in the housing industry – modular building. This construction method is where homes are built in factories and then shipped out to site. Modular builds are cost and time efficient, which means houses can be built quicker, compared to traditional methods of construction.
With the government making positive changes on the guidelines of how people can extend their homes, and newer methods are used to construct houses, the UK housing industry shows no signs of slowing down.