Extension AND changing external finishes

29 Jan 2008
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United Kingdom
Hi all,

We have a pretty ugly house, as you can see here:

View media item 50058
We're planning an extension and as part of this we want to render the house white and reroof it with grey roof tiles (currently brown).

I've looked at a few recent planning applications for the area and they all have the following condition attached:

"The external finishes of the development hereby permitted shall match those of the existing building in material, colour, style, bonding and texture.
Reason: To ensure a satisfactory appearance to the development in the interests of visual amenity and to comply with policy DQ1/MD1 of the Sefton Unitary Development Plan."

Now our plans would totally contravene the above. I guess it varies from area to area as to how ridgid this condition is, but I wondered if anyone here has experience in compelely changing the look of a house as part of their build?

For info, the house is on the corner of the road and all the houses opposite look completely different to mine (and each other) and some are rendered.

Thanks for your input.
Andy :)
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Those are just standard conditions on most planning approvals.
But unless there is a specific condition on your property from the original planning permission, you can do what you want to the walls and roof.
Those are just standard conditions on most planning approvals.
But unless there is a specific condition on your property from the original planning permission, you can do what you want to the walls and roof.

Thanks Tony for your input.

I can't find any details of the original planning application online as its from the 70s, but there's certainly no covenants on the deeds.

When you say that you can do what you want to the walls and roof, do you mean as part of a planning application or do you mean generally? One of the thoughts I had was that we could render /reroof ahead of the planning application for the extension and in that way we would be matching the existing finishes...however that would generate extra cost as we'd be rendering a wall and retailing part of the roof that would then be covered by the extension once built.
Unfortunately, re-roofing + rendering the walls would have to be done as a separate operation to the extension, so some work and materials would be wasted.
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Thanks again Tony...I was afraid that would be the case.

The guy that's drawn up our plans has just added to the after drawings that the house will be rendered white, but I guess that's not likely to help the permission get through.

It's strange he's not mentioned it as a potential problem, but I guess he's just been paid to draw the plans not to get the permission granted.
There's nothing to stop you including the proposed finish changes in your application and no particular reason to think they will hinder the application if they improve the building.
I do sometimes wonder about some of the other architectural designers out there doing these sorts of residential projects. How the hell do these people ever get any work?

The issue will be that the materials used in the extension should match the house. If the appearrance of the house is being changed then the drawings should make this clear.

I have just completed a very similar project, ugly 1960's bungalow turned into contemporary home, white render and red cedar cladding etc. I just had to show the planners what the new finishes would be, we had a chat about it, I provided some photos and ended up doing fully colour rendered elevation drawings as the planner was being a bit dim.

We got the approval and the client never had to worry about it. All within my incredibly cheap fee which was probably not much more than these numpties churning out these hare brained schemes leaving the client in limbo so they have to ask advice on internet forums. (End of Rant)

Its a good job there are people like Freddy and Tony to pick up the pieces.
Thanks for the contributions guys.

So it seems there is a mix of opinions on what to do. I do recall seeing on grand designs once when the people were showing the planners samples of materials ahead of the build...I'm guessing it's that kind of process.

I suppose that the cost of putting a planning application in and it getting rejected, and then carrying out the rendering before re applying for planning based on the new look of the house, would be a lot less that the cost of completing the work on areas on the house that would be wasted once the extension was started.

For what it's worth, I paid 850 for the drawings for the proposed extension.
Just to clarify, from the description I do not think you need permission to change the external finishes on the house. Just make sure the planners understand that the finishes to the extension will match the house when it is completed. Otherwise they will see a proposed rendered extension on what is now a brick house and possibly reject it. Sometimes you have to really spell it out for them and make sure you have covered every possible reason they could find to reject it.

The example I gave was a bit more complicated because we were putting a new roof on and raising the ridge to create 3 additional bedrooms in the roof space so I had to jump through a few more hoops to keep the planners on my side.

£850 is fairly standard depending on the extent of work but I see so many threads on here where the designers only seem to do half the job and leave the client to sort out the details themselves, it really annoys me.

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