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Side return extension - do you have one that runs right against your neighbour's wall?

(7 Posts)
HiDBandSIL Mon 09-Jan-17 20:12:37

This is a long shot, but has anyone had a side return extension that involved building right against your neighbour's wall? If so, was your wall joined to your neighbour's wall in some way or is there a narrow gap?

I'm just about to get planning permission to do this and I've seen lots of extensions like it but I'm not sure what to actually ask the builders to do.

(I am foolishly trying to draw my own building regs drawings, not from scratch but using a set that I had drawn a few years ago for a slightly different extension that I didn't end up building. The chap who drew them says he is too busy to amend them and I don't want to pay for a whole new set of drawings.)

dandeliondelilah Mon 09-Jan-17 22:35:34

I am following this as may find myself in same position when we eventually get going with ours next to neighbour's existing one. I don't know what is best practice but definitely speak to your builders to ascertain what they plan to do.
My friend's neighbour has had a full side return extension right up against the side wall of my friend's house - the builders have stuffed the 3-4 inch gap with polystyrene sheets and but not sealed it in any way... not only does it look awful but my friend is worried about a home for vermin having been created and a narrow damp gully where surely dampness will be an issue.

JW13 Mon 09-Jan-17 22:47:21

We've just had one done and ours is built on the boundary line. The neighbours haven't done their side return yet (property is owned by the council so doubt it will ever be done) but if they do they would use that wall as theirs. It meant both sides get slightly more space than if 2 walls were built and it was all approved during planning.

I guess it depends what your neighbour has done - if theirs is completely on their side I guess you would just build up to your boundary.

Sorry I can't help!

HiDBandSIL Tue 10-Jan-17 20:36:38

dandelion that sounds awful! I am definitely hoping for a better solution than that.

JW what you've done is what we hoped to do on the other side but unfortunately our neighbours don't want it. On the side where the neighbour has already extended, I'm assuming the boundary is right against their wall but I don't know. It's an old house and there are no documents setting out where the boundary is. I wouldn't think his wall is a party wall though so I'm thinking it is best just to build right up to it.

JW13 Wed 11-Jan-17 09:00:35

I would have thought you were right in relation to the neighbour who has already done it. Surely you must be able to build to where they have built.

It's a shame about your other neighbour - seems short sighted of them as you could both have more space in the long term.

We've had no kitchen since September now - although we have had a temporary kitchen with microwave, fridge, washing machine, sink in our dining room. The build took about 8 weeks but I picked the most complicated new kitchen/flooring just to make it more difficult. I'm really happy with the extra space though, you cant really imagine the extra space until you see it!

W8woman Wed 11-Jan-17 10:11:47

I've been developing London terraces since 1994. Do you want my honest opinion? Don't do it. They are very expensive for the space you gain, they don't add value beyond what you've spent, they're a bugger for causing project creep (because you're excavating and re-routing drains and you never know what you're going to find until you do). Most important of all, they can be the kiss of death to neighbourly relationships.

Install some Skyframe or bifold doors at the back of your existing kitchen, and put in a new kitchen. Job done.

JW13 Wed 11-Jan-17 10:37:31

I agree with W8woman that it is expensive (there is definitely danger of creep) and our estate agent advised that it wouldn't add value beyond what we spent.

But, with ours, we have balanced the living space with the size of the house (five large double bedrooms over 3 floors upstairs vs usual Victorian terrace living room through to dining room and a reasonable kitchen downstairs). We are planning on staying in our house for at least 5 years and for us it was definitely worth adding the extra 'family space'.

If you're developing for re-sale I wouldn't bother (the possibility of doing the side return is always something you can 'sell' to purchasers) but if it's for your home then it's a different story.

Our builders accidentally sprayed our neighbour's house with concrete (blocked pipe) - they're still speaking to us. Builders cleaned it up and it looks better than before. grin

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