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Architectural, planning and design expertise in St Albans

Ready to start your house extension or renovation project in St Albans? Here's everything you need to know from planning application to design.

5 min read

Renovating or extending your home is notorious for being stressful. From navigating a tricky planning system to rifling through oodles of paperwork and paying all those sneaky admin fees, it can feel overwhelming. We get it – and we’re here to help demystify and simplify the process from start to finish.

Our team includes experienced architects and designers, technicians, surveyors and planning professionals so, whatever your renovation or extension project, you’ll have every aspect covered with Resi. Read on to learn more about how we can bring your St Albans home transformation to life.

Getting a home extension in St Albans

For some homeowners, the answer is a simple desire for more space. Whether that’s for a growing family, more working-from-home room, building a forever home or simply carving out freedom to breathe, home extensions can be absolutely transformative for your day-to-day life.

So, what does getting a home extension look like in St Albans?

As a St Albans resident, it’s likely you’re either born and raised in this picturesque commuter town or you’re a commuter that’s been taken in by the area’s proximity, and yet total contrast, to central London. It’s known for its charming cobbled streets, bustling bars and restaurants, and historical landmarks (like striking tourist hot spot, St Albans Cathedral). These elements make it an ideal place to live for anyone – from young families to young professionals and older folk.

What’s more, an average London abode will set you back £723,104 while an average St Albans property comes in at a (slightly more modest) £675,074. An annual season ticket that zips you from St Albans City to London Thameslink stations in around 35 minutes comes in at £4,184 so, if you are intending to commute, the amount you’ll save for more space and a slower pace of life at the weekends and in the evenings is huge. And if you’re still keen for more space at home, an extension in St Albans is also likely to be cheaper than in London. It’s a win-win.

To get the ball rolling on your home extension dreams, book a free advice call with our team.

How much will a St Albans home extension set you back?

While each and every home extension project will differ depending on size, materials, contractors used and a whole host of other factors, we wanted to give you an idea of how much each type of extension could cost in St Albans. We’ve pulled the numbers from our database and found the average among the figures. For a more detailed estimate, try our Quick Quote calculator or go ahead and book a free call with one of our consultants.

  • Single-storey extension: £46.5K
  • Two-storey extension: £103K
  • Rear extension: £49K
  • Side extension: £37.5K
  • Wraparound extension: £60K

The planning statistics for St Albans look promising for homeowners exploring the home extension route. In the past year, 87.5% of householder applications that were submitted were approved. One downside to consider is that only 75% of these were turned around in time (it’s supposed to take a maximum of 8 weeks) and the average time elapsed from application to decision was 9 weeks.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the more detailed your application, the higher the chance of it being accepted. Each householder application costs £270 and this is due to increase by around 25% in April 2024 – a significant admin fee that you wouldn’t want to pay more than once. So, it's worth ensuring that your application is as ironclad as possible.

Conservation areas in St Albans

Alongside this, it’s worth noting that in St Albans there are 19 Conservation Areas. These are established in an effort to protect, nurture or improve an area because of its cultural, historical or natural significance. This is important because the measures in place could restrict whether you’re authorised to add an extension, how big it can be and even the materials that you can use to build it.

If your property falls into a Conservation Area, it’s in your interest to have an architect or designer that’s familiar with the limitations and create a proposal that’s likely to be accepted. And, if your project is a little more ambitious or unusual, our knowledgeable planning team have the experience across the architecture industry – from roles within councils to private consultancy – to be a powerful guiding force for your home renovation project and to help ensure that your planning application is successful.

But, you might not even need planning permission…

In certain cases, particularly for simpler, smaller, or more standard extensions, you may not necessarily need to obtain full planning permission. In other words, you can construct your extension without seeking prior approval from St Albans City & District Council.

However, the regulations for Permitted Development are stringent. To ensure the legality of your home extension, it is advisable to consult the Design Guide for Extensions in Residential Areas on the St Albans City & District Council website or seek guidance from a professional architect before commencing your project.

Obtaining a Lawful Development Certificate from the council is the most effective way to future-proof your extension under Permitted Development. While it involves some bureaucracy, it’s typically easier to acquire than planning permission. This certificate signifies that your project is legal during the construction phase, which can be crucial for prospective buyers in the future or if a new neighbour raises concerns about your property. Proving it was legal at the time also protects you from future rule changes.

Find out more about the planning process for home extensions in your area, book a free advice call to talk it over.

Finding the right contractors for your home extension

Having the right team on board to bring your project to life will be vital to its ultimate success. But knowing who to choose and how to find them can be challenging if you’re a first time renovator or if you’re simply wary of making the wrong decision. We understand this and have a team dedicated to introducing you to skilled, vetted contractors in your local area. Learn more about how they can assist you here.

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