Blending Period Homes with Modern Design

Just as vintage wine pairs beautifully with modern fusion cuisine, or a classic leather-bound book looks striking on a sleek glass coffee table, blending period homes with modern design can make a big statement.

Instead of adopting a tunnel vision approach and attempting to stay true to the era, incorporating contemporary elements can transform your period property into a space that’s stylish, functional and completely unique.

The appeal of mixing-and-matching styles

Picture walking into a Victorian home filled with mahogany antiques, oil paintings and Persian rugs. Unless you’re a period drama location scout, chances are the whole thing feels a little stuffy. Now, picture that same Victorian home furnished with modern, minimalist pieces. The contrast of old and new isn’t just striking but infuses new life into the space.

Our point? Marrying period architecture with modern design can be a clever way to enjoy the best of both worlds. Here’s why we love the concept:

Aesthetic appeal – The juxtaposition of old and new creates a visually stunning home. There’s just something innately beautiful about spaces that allow history and innovation to coexist.

Increased value – Thoughtful renovations that respect the past while incorporating contemporary features can boost the market value of a property.

Functionality – Period properties are beautiful but they’re not always functional. Modernising a historic home can improve functionality without compromising on charm. Think open-plan living areas, state-of-the-art kitchens and energy-efficient systems.

Sustainability – Updating an old home with sustainable materials and technologies can improve environmental credentials. Energy-efficiency was a big focal point for the award-winning Corn Yard project in Sheffield, which transformed an old industrial site into a nationally acclaimed architectural icon.

How to achieve a seamless blend

Respect the original – Instead of completely gutting the interior, take steps to preserve the integrity of the original structure. This means careful restoration of features like cornices, fireplaces and woodwork.

Planning and permissions – Renovating period properties can involve a decent amount of red tape. Check you have all necessary permits and that your project complies with regulations before getting started. For the Lindrick Farm project in Tickhill, the owners and architects negotiated extensively with Local Authorities Planning and Conservation teams to develop blueprints that honoured the heritage importance of the property.

Cohesive design – Create a tasteful look by selecting materials, colours and finishes that complement both the old and the new.

Modern needs – Adapt the space to suit contemporary living without losing historical charm. This could include creating open-plan layouts and integrating smart home technologies.

Approaches to blending historic and modern

Thoughtful architectural solutions

A good architect can be crucial to the success of an extension or renovation project, particularly when older homes are concerned.

Sympathetic extensions – Extensions that match the scale and style of the original building provides extra space without compromising the home’s character.

Restoration – Focus on restoring original features. This approach modernises the home while preserving and celebrating its historic elements.

Tolan House, a unique barn conversion project in in Derbyshire, is a perfect example of the importance of thoughtful restoration. The brief? To connect the existing, partially completed barn conversion to the old agricultural shed and create a luxurious home set around a central ‘family hub’ surrounded by more domestic spaces.

Yes, the ‘big’ features like double-height glass walls and picture windows to showcase the country views are important. But a good architect knows that small details, like the meticulous preservation of the original ‘arrow slit’ windows, can make all the difference.

Open-plan layouts. Reimagine the internal layout to improve flow and functionality while retaining period features. This was exactly the brief for Willow House, a former RAF officer’s residence in North Yorkshire. A spacious extension was added to create contemporary open plan living spaces perfect for family life, with high-end fixtures and fittings throughout for a luxurious finish.

Interior design

Mix old and new – Don’t take an exclusive approach to décor. Mix things up and pair contemporary furniture with antique pieces. For instance, a modern sofa can look fantastic under a vintage chandelier.

Neutral palettes – Use neutral colours to unify different design elements and allow both historic and modern features of the home to stand out.

Art and accessories – Contemporary art and accessories instantly make a period space feel current and lived in.

Modern materials and technologies:

Glass and steel – Use modern materials to create head turning contrast with traditional masonry. A glass extension, for example, can flood a historic room with natural light and look amazing juxtaposed against red brickwork. In the Tolan House project mentioned earlier, you’ll see contemporary materials like polished concrete floors used alongside more traditional ones like natural oak stairs.

Smart home technologies – Bring your period home into the 21st century with smart systems for lighting, heating and security.

Sustainable solutions – From eco-friendly insulation to roof-mounted solar panels, sustainable materials and technologies can be used to improve energy efficiency and reduce the environmental footprint of your character home.

Bring your property to life with CODA Bespoke

The bottom line? Blending period homes with modern design is an art. It balances preservation with innovation and aims to create beautiful, functional spaces that honour the past while embracing the future. Here’s how an architect can bring your period property to life:

Hone your vision

Architects bring years of professional experience to the table. They have the expertise needed to transform the dreams of clients into liveable spaces that respect historical features while incorporating innovative design solutions.

Technical expertise

Renovating or extending period properties calls for highly specialised knowledge. A qualified architect takes the stress out of handling structural issues, planning permissions, conservation requirements and other niche areas.

Hands-on project management

Architects step up and manage every aspect of the project, from initial concept to final execution. Not only does this help you hit timeline and budget goals, but it ensures your vision is executed just as you imagined, if not better.

Personalised solutions

An architect works closely with homeowners to create spaces that inspire. At CODA Bespoke, all projects start with a brief, which is used to create an overarching design ethos. This design ethos is constantly referenced throughout the project to ensure the client’s vision is being bought to life.

Brief us on your project today to get started.

From complete design freedom to significant cost savings, embarking on a self-build journey is a rewarding path for many Brits. It’s exciting, yes. However, self-builds can also be daunting, especially when it comes to critical decisions like selecting the construction method.

At CODA Bespoke we love to bring visions to life, which is why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the most common self-build construction methods. The goal? To help you make an informed decision that aligns with your vision, timeline and budget.

The benefits of a self-build

First, let’s take a moment to spotlight the benefits of a self-build.

  • Creative freedom

With a self-build you’re free to explore options that may be off-limits with traditional builders.

  • Customisation

You’re at the helm with a self-build and are free to create a space tailored precisely to your needs.

  • Cost savings

Self-building can be more cost-effective compared to purchasing a ready-built home, as you have more control over expenses and can choose where to save or splurge.

Understanding construction methods

Next, let’s define what we mean by ‘construction methods.’ The term refers to the techniques and materials used to build the structural components of your home. Each method has its own advantages and challenges, so it’s important to consider your options carefully.

1. Traditional brick and block

The brick and block method is a classic choice in the UK. Known for its durability and timeless appeal, this method involves constructing walls with an inner layer of concrete blocks and an outer layer of bricks, separated by a cavity.

Advantages of brick and block

  • Thermal efficiency – The cavity can be filled with insulation to improve thermal performance.
  • Longevity – Brick and block homes are known for their long lifespan and low maintenance.
  • Aesthetic flexibility – Bricks come in various colours and textures.

Challenges of brick and block

  • Construction speed – This method can be time-consuming.
  • Labour intensive – Building brick and block homes requires skilled labour, which can increase costs.

2. Timber frame

Timber frame construction is not only fast but offers environmental benefits. The method involves creating a structural frame from timber, then cladding it with materials like wooden weatherboarding, fibre cement, render boards or brick slips.

Advantages of timber frame

  • Speed – Timber frame homes can be put up quickly. This not only reduces on-site construction time but also means you can have a weathertight shell in a matter of weeks.
  • Sustainability – Timber is a sustainable and renewable resource, which makes it a great choice for eco-conscious self-builders.
  • Thermal performance – Efficient insulation solutions like mineral wool work well with timber frame homes.

Challenges of timber frame

  • Fire risk – As a combustible material, timber can pose a higher fire risk. That said, modern treatments can minimise the risk.
  • Moisture sensitivity – Timber is a natural material and must be protected from moisture to prevent rot and decay.

3. Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF)

ICF is a modern construction method that combines the strength of concrete with the excellent thermal performance of expanded polystyrene (EPS). Blocks of EPS are stacked to create walls, which are then filled with concrete.

Advantages of ICF

  • Strength and durability – Concrete provides a robust and long-lasting structure.
  • Energy efficiency – EPS blocks help prevent heat loss which keeps your home comfortable and reduces energy bills.
  • Sound insulation – ICF homes provide superior soundproofing compared to other methods.

Challenges of ICF

  • Cost – The initial costs of ICF builds can be higher due to the specialised materials and labour.
  • Limited flexibility – Modifications after construction can be more difficult and costly.

4. Steel frame

Steel frame construction is common in commercial buildings but is also a viable option for self-build homes.

Advantages of steel frame

  • Strength – Steel frames are incredibly strong and can support large, open spaces without the need for load-bearing walls.
  • Durability – Resistant to pests, rot and fire, steel frames offer impressive longevity.
  • Speed – Similar to timber frames, steel construction is fast and efficient.

Challenges of steel frame

  • Thermal bridging – Steel is a heat conductor, which means extra insulation may be needed to meet energy efficiency standards.
  • Cost – Material and labour costs can be higher than other methods.

5. Modular and prefabricated

Modular and prefab homes are built off-site in sections, then transported and assembled on-site.

Advantages of modular and prefab

  • Speed and efficiency – Building off-site allows for simultaneous site preparation and construction, a benefit that can significantly reduce the total build time.
  • Quality control – Factory settings ensure consistent quality and minimise the risk of weather-related delays.
  • Minimal waste – Prefabrication is an ultra-precise process with very little in the way of material waste.

Challenges of modular and prefab

  • Design limitations – Transportation constraints can limit self-builders in terms of design and creativity.
  • Transport costs – Large modules can be expensive to transport to the site.

Choosing the right self-build construction method

Building your dream home is an exciting journey, filled with important decisions like choosing the right construction method.

Why is making a smart, well-informed choice so critical? Because the construction method you choose sets the tone for your entire build, shaping not just the aesthetic of your home – but also key aspects like budget, timeline and thermal performance.

Without a doubt, choosing the right construction method can significantly impact the success of your self-build project. By understanding the different construction methods and their unique benefits and challenges, you can choose a solution that best aligns with your vision.

Ultimately, choosing between timeless brick and block, efficient timber frame or cutting-edge ICF depends on several factors. Here they are, at a glance:

Budget

Consider both initial and long-term costs. Some methods may be cheaper upfront but more expensive to maintain.

Timeline

Are you working to a deadline? Methods like timber frame and modular construction can save time.

Location

The site conditions can influence your choice. For example, a site with limited access might be better suited to prefab construction.

Design

The construction method you choose should align with your architectural vision and functional needs.

Environmental impact

Consider the sustainability of your chosen method and its impact on the environment.

The value of a professional architect

Navigating the complexities of a self-build is incredibly rewarding but can also be challenging. This is where investing in a professional architect truly pays off. An experienced architect can help you visualise your ideas and transform them into detailed blueprints that streamline the entire self-building process.

At CODA Bespoke, our team of RIBA-accredited architects brings over 40 years of experience to every project. For self-builds, where the stakes are high and the risks of exceeding timelines and budgets are all too real, this experience is hugely valuable.

Brief us on your project today to get started.

Efficient resource allocation is everything when it comes to planning an extension. Even the most high-end projects usually have budget restraints, which is where strategic decision-making comes in. Knowing where to spend or save helps balance your dreams with your budget and, ultimately, ensure the end result is both functional and beautiful.

Spend: A professional architect

One of the most valuable investments you can make during your extension project is hiring a professional architect. At CODA Bespoke, we believe that a skilled architect isn’t just a luxury but a necessity for anyone seeking a seamless blend of creativity, functionality and innovation in their home extension.

Why is an architect worth the spend? Let’s take a closer look:

Expertise and vision

Architects bring a wealth of knowledge and a unique vision to the table. Their expertise in spatial planning, design aesthetics and construction techniques ensures that your extension is not only beautiful but also practical and structurally sound. An architect can transform your ideas into a coherent design that maximises space, light and flow, ultimately enhancing your living experience.

Innovative solutions

An architect's ability to think outside the box can unlock innovative ideas and solutions that you may not have considered. For instance, our Yorkshire Farmhouse project is a testament to the power of creative thinking. The flawless balance of country charm with modern luxuries, like the subterranean swimming pool and spa, showcases how an architect can elevate a project beyond the ordinary. This blend of old and new creates a home that’s both timeless and contemporary, incorporating modern luxuries while retaining historical character.

Planning and regulations

Securing planning permission and navigating building regulations can be overwhelming – unless you have an expert on your team. Architects have experience dealing with local authorities and their understanding of the legalities involved in extensions can save you time, money, stress and potential setbacks.

Long-term value

A well-designed extension can increase the market value of your home, making an architect a smart financial investment. Prospective buyers will often pay more for a property that’s been thoughtfully designed and beautifully executed.

Save: DIY where possible

Hiring professionals for structural work is non-negotiable but there are areas where you can save by taking on tasks yourself. Painting, decorating and landscaping are excellent opportunities to get hands-on and enjoy big savings. With a bit of research and some elbow grease, you can achieve professional results without the invoices stacking up.

DIY tips

Painting and decorating: Taking the time to learn proper techniques and put them into practice is the key to achieving professional results. Investing in high-quality paint and tools will also help improve durability and achieve a textbook finish.

Landscaping: Simple tasks like planting trees, creating flower beds and installing garden paths can be done yourself. Getting your hands dirty can not only save money but allow you to add a personal touch to your outdoor space. And of course, it comes with a great sense of satisfaction.

Spend: Quality materials

Quality should never be compromised when it comes to materials as they can directly impact the look and longevity of your extension. This is especially important for structural elements like foundations, roofing and windows.

Examples of quality material choices include…

Windows and doors: Energy-efficient windows and doors aren’t a splurge. They can genuinely reduce heating costs and improve the overall comfort of your home. Not to mention give your home that sought-after ‘wow’ factor, as seen in our Bolsterstone project where our clients invested in full-height glazing for a cinematic finish. Double or triple glazing, combined with well-insulated frames, is always a wise investment.

Flooring: Durable flooring materials like hardwood, stone or high-quality tiles not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home but withstand the test of time.

Save: Repurposing and recycling

Sustainability is more than just a modern architecture trend. Repurposing and recycling materials can be a terrific way to reduce the environmental footprint of your extension, enjoy long-term cost savings and inject a sense of uniquity into your space. At CODA Bespoke, we’re always on the lookout for ways to incorporate character-soaked materials like salvaged wood, reclaimed bricks and vintage fixtures into projects.

Spend: Professional tradespeople

DIY can be a great way to save money but there’s no denying certain tasks should be left to the professionals. Electrical work, plumbing and structural alterations call for the expertise of certified tradespeople to ensure safety and comply with regulations and building codes.

Save: Simplified design

A complex design can quickly drive up costs for your extension. In contrast, a more straightforward design can achieve the same style and functionality without overspending. This doesn't mean sacrificing aesthetics. Rather, it's about finding a balance between creativity and practicality.

For example, extensions that champion open-plan living, like our breezy Willow House project in North Yorkshire, reduce the need for additional walls and doors. This design strategy not only lowers material and labour costs but creates contemporary, open-plan living spaces perfect for family life.

Spend: Custom features

Investing in custom features is an expense but can elevate your extension into award-winning territory. Bespoke elements tailored to your lifestyle can also enrich the functionality of your space, like the custom storage solutions and large seated corner windows incorporated into our Carter Knowle Road project. From an aesthetic point of view, customisation delivers a unique, streamlined look that off-the-shelf options simply can't achieve.

Spend and save with CODA Bespoke

Whether you’re reimagining an urban terrace or converting an historic character property, planning an extension is a balancing act between dreams and budget. By making informed decisions about where to spend and where to save, you can execute an extension that enhances your life and adds long-term value to your home.

Investing in professional expertise, quality materials and custom features will pay off in the long run, while smart savings on simpler tasks and design choices can keep your project on track financially. At CODA Bespoke, we are dedicated to helping you navigate these choices and translate your blueprints into architectural masterpieces. Brief us on your project today.

Home extension projects are always exciting, promising to transform your living space and enhance your property's value. No matter how big or small your extension, the journey from conception to completion calls for careful planning and a keen eye for detail. This is where help from a professional architectural design firm comes in.

At CODA Bespoke, we understand that extensions aren’t just about adding space – they’re about creating environments that enrich your everyday life. This means a one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t cut it when planning an extension. Instead, we carefully assess the unique needs of every client. Here’s what we consider:

Individual goals

Before diving into the specifics of the build take the time to define your goals. Clarity on what you want to achieve with your extension is essential and will help underpin the entire project.

Are you looking to create more living space, add value to your property or perhaps enhance natural light in your home? Maybe you need a home office, an expanded kitchen or an extra bedroom.

Understanding your goals when planning an extension will help steer the design process, assist in decision making and ensure the extension fulfils its intended purpose effectively.

Budget and timeline

Setting a realistic budget is crucial and should include all aspects of the project, from architectural and engineering fees to construction costs and interior finishes. It’s also wise to allocate a contingency fund of around 10-20% for unforeseen expenses.

Anything leftover at the end of the project is a bonus and can be channelled back into your savings account or spent on furniture and finishings.

In addition to a detailed budget, a clear and realistic timeline is equally important. This will help ensure your extension progresses efficiently and without any major roadblocks. A well-defined timeline helps manage expectations and coordinates all parties involved in the construction process. It can be useful to break down your project into the following phases:

  • Design
  • Approvals and permits
  • Construction
  • Finishing touches

Each phase should have a start and end date, providing a clear roadmap for your extension project. Be sure to consider lead times for obtaining necessary planning permissions and building regulations approvals, as these can often take longer than expected.

Also, factor in the time required for the procurement of materials and scheduling of contractors, which can be influenced by market demand and availability.

Cover your back and include buffer periods to accommodate potential delays, which are common in construction projects and can be caused by anything from weather to supply chain issues. Planning for contingencies will help reduce stress and avoid rushed decisions.

Planning permission

Most extensions require planning permission from your local council, particularly if you intend to alter the structure or appearance of your existing home significantly. The planning permission application process can vary depending on your location, scale of the project, environmental impact and other factors.

There are also building regulations to consider when planning an extension, which cover aspects like safety, energy efficiency and accessibility.

Design and aesthetics

The design of your extension can complement the existing style of your home, make its own architectural statement or achieve a combination of the two. The choice is yours, though guidance from an experienced architect always helps.

Consider how the new addition will interact with your current space and how changes might affect the overall flow and functionality of your home.

Materials

Material choice can have a big impact on both the project's cost and its overall aesthetic. It's important to select materials that not only match or complement your existing home but also meet your expectations for durability and maintenance. It’s also worth considering sustainable materials to reduce the environmental impact of your extension and potentially improve energy efficiency.

Natural light and layout

Natural light can transform a space, making it appear larger and more welcoming. Consider incorporating large windows, skylights or bi-folding doors to connect indoor and outdoor spaces when planning an extension.

The internal layout is just as important – think about how the space will flow and how the rooms will be used. This is where clever design and bespoke architectural solutions truly make a difference.

Impact on day-to-day life

It’s important to consider how the construction process will affect your day-to-day life. Construction can be disruptive, so plan for potential challenges such as noise, dust and periods where utilities might be disconnected. Additionally, think about the long-term impacts of the extension, such as increased property taxes or higher energy bills, and balance these against the anticipated benefits.

Future proofing

Your extension should not only meet your current needs but also adapt to future changes. This might involve flexible room layouts that can evolve as your family's needs change. Another example is the incorporation of advanced home technologies for energy management and home automation. Considering these factors during the design phase of planning an extension will ensure your space remains functional and valuable for years to come.

Team selection

The success of your extension greatly hinges on the team who bring your vision to life. From architects and interior designers to labourers and general contractors, every professional should be aligned with your vision and committed to the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship.

Final review

Before construction begins, review every aspect of the project with your team. This includes finalising designs, ensuring compliance with all legal requirements and reconfirming the budget and timeline. Taking the time for this final review can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure everyone involved in the project is on the same page.

Kickstart your extension with CODA Bespoke

Planning a home extension isn’t just a major financial investment in your home. It requires a generous serve of time, energy and creativity. By considering the factors explored above, you can pull off not just a successful construction project but a transformation that enhances both your property's value and your quality of life.

At CODA Bespoke, we’re here to help guide you through each step of the journey and ensure that your new space is everything you dreamed of, and more. Brief us about your project today!

In the domain of home design, few elements are as coveted as light. Its ability to transform the look, feel and function of a space is unparalleled – and your dream kitchen is no exception.

Thoughtful lighting can not only improve functionality but help create an inviting atmosphere and elevate the overall ambiance of the kitchen. This is why we always place a special focus on light when spearheading kitchen extension projects.

Want to learn more about why maximising light should be a top priority? Read on as explore a variety of strategies to help you harness the power of light and pull off a radiant kitchen extension.

The power of natural light

Unless you live in an especially unique building, it’s safe to assume that most kitchens have windows or at least some source of natural light. Beyond function, sunlight has myriad benefits that make it worth prioritising when designing your kitchen extension. Let’s take a closer look:

Mood-boosting properties

Natural light has incredible mood-boosting properties and the power to improve your mental health and well-being. Exposure to sunlight has been shown to increase serotonin (the happy hormone) levels, promote Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) synthesis. It also helps to regulate the circadian rhythm, the natural cycle that dictates your sleep/wake patterns.

A valuable design tool

From a design perspective, natural light can make a kitchen feel larger and more spacious. In a kitchen extension, where space may be at a premium, inviting natural light to flood the room can help create a more enjoyable environment for cooking, dining, entertaining or simply relaxing with a cup of coffee and the morning newspaper.

How to maximise natural light in your kitchen extension

Now that you know more about natural light's transformative power, let's get more specific with design strategies. Here are six ways to maximise light in your kitchen extension:

1. Strategic placement of windows and skylights

The placement of windows and skylights can make a world of difference when maximising natural light in your kitchen extension. Ideally, you'll want to position these portals to capture as much sunlight as possible throughout the day. Decisions will generally be driven by the orientation of your home and the sun’s path.

If you’re lucky enough to have a south-facing kitchen, capturing natural light should be easy. For kitchens on the house's north side, consider installing skylights to allow indirect sunlight to pour into the room. Solar tubes, cylindrical skylights that capture sunlight and funnel it indoors, can be a clever way to bypass roof or attic spaces and direct natural light into your home.

Along with size and placement, the style of your windows can impact the amount of light in your kitchen. For example, floor-to-ceiling windows can create a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor spaces.

2. Use reflective surfaces

Windows and skylights aren’t the only way to maximise light in a kitchen extension. Clever design strategies like the incorporation of reflective surfaces can help amplify light.

Materials like glass, granite, stainless steel and glossy tile can bounce light around the room, making it feel brighter and more spacious. Similarly, incorporating glass-fronted cabinets or open shelving can not only create visual interest but allow light to penetrate deeper into the space.

One material we’ve embraced over recent years is polished concrete. Ideal for floors and countertops, polished concrete has a high-gloss surface that reflects light around the kitchen. As well as brightening the space and creating a modern aesthetic, polished concrete wins serious points in the durability department.

The industrial-inspired material is perfect for high-traffic spaces like the kitchen and requires minimal maintenance. Plus, it has excellent thermal mass properties and can help regulate the temperature of your space. If you want to bring a sustainable edge to your kitchen extension, polished concrete can be a clever way to enhance energy efficiency.

3. Get clever with colour

As a general rule, choose light-coloured finishes for walls, ceilings, countertops and cabinetry. All have large surface areas, meaning colour can dramatically impact the overall look and feel of your kitchen. Soft whites, creams and light pastel shades are excellent paint choices for kitchen walls. The same goes for flooring, with options like pale wood or light-coloured tiles helping to reflect light upwards and create an airier feel.

4. Optimise layout and functionality

Consider how light will affect the layout and functionality of your kitchen during the design process. For example, positioning workstations like sinks and prep areas near windows or under skylights can help capitalise on natural light. Likewise, opt for sleek cabinetry and furnishings that won't impede light flow throughout the room or obstruct views.

5. Trim outdoor foliage

Strategies to maximise light in your extension can extend beyond the kitchen itself. Consider trimming trees, shrubs and other foliage outside your kitchen windows that may block natural light or cast shadows.

6. Enlist the help of a professional architecture firm

Hiring a professional architecture firm to oversee your kitchen extension is one of the most effective ways to maximise light. They take the guesswork out of design and use specialised techniques like sun shadow studies to visualise how natural light interacts with your space. Assessing sun angles, exposure and shadows can help enormously when it comes to the strategic placement of windows, skylights and reflective surfaces to optimise light distribution.

Illuminate your kitchen extension with CODA Bespoke

Kitchens are more than just functional spaces. They serve as the heart of the home and provide a space to socialise, entertain and come together as a family. For some homeowners, kitchens are creative outlets for self-expression. Others rely on kitchens as hubs for health and wellness, or as spaces to simply relax and unwind. And of course, from a property perspective a thoughtful kitchen extension can significantly impact the resale value of your home.

Whatever your motivation, at CODA Bespoke we’re committed to offering tailored kitchen extension solutions that will make your space shine. We collaborate closely with every client to integrate personal preferences with architectural principles and out-of-the-box thinking. The result? Beautiful, light-filled kitchens that merge form and function.

Tell us about your project today to take the first step towards your dream kitchen extension.

From luxury home renovations to innovative new builds, bringing your architectural vision to life is always exciting. Preparation is the key to success, which is why it’s so important to put in the groundwork before starting your project. This is where planning permission comes in.

Regardless of size or scale, planning permission is generally the backbone of any construction project. It helps streamline the overall construction process, minimise delays and ensure the finished product is 100% legal and above-board.

Wondering whether you need planning permission? In this hands-on guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about planning permission. This includes a definition of the term and breakdown of the application process. Our goal? To empower you with the knowledge and confidence to navigate your construction project with confidence.

What is planning permission?

Dreaming of converting a centuries-old farmhouse in the Yorkshire countryside into a high-end home? Maybe you want to breathe new life into an existing property with an extension that champions light, space and open-plan living? Whatever your project, there’s a high chance you’ll need planning permission.

What is planning permission exactly? Granted by local authorities, planning permission is formal consent for certain types of development or changes to a property. Also called planning consent, it ensures that proposed construction projects comply with local policies and regulations, with a goal to safeguard the interests of both the property owner and the wider community.

Do I need planning permission if I own the property outright? Yes, even if you own your property, you’ll still need a permit to proceed with most major development plans.

The Federation of Master Builders defines planning permission as “the approval given by the local authority under the power given to it by the 1948 Town and Country Planning Act to allow the building of, or changes to, a building.”

Planning permission is typically required for:

  • New build developments
  • Property extensions
  • Significant alterations or renovations to an existing property
  • Change of use or rezoning of a property (for example, from residential to commercial)
  • Development in designated areas, for example National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Some demolitions

Why planning permission matters

If you proceed with a construction project that requires planning permission but fail to secure approval, you may be forced to demolish work or make significant changes. Needless to say, this can be an extremely costly venture.

Do I need planning permission if I plan to sell the property down the line? Absolutely. Properties that have been illegally developed may also be ineligible for a mortgage. This can create major issues when it comes to selling your property or using it as collateral.

When is planning permission needed?

Determining whether you need planning permission for your project depends on several factors. These include the size and nature of the proposed development.

In general, you’ll need planning permission in the following scenarios:

Major construction work

You’ll almost always need planning permission for new builds, as well as large property extensions and conversions that exceed certain size limits. Planning permission is also required for major alterations that change the appearance or function of the property.

Changes to listed buildings

Do I need planning permission for heritage buildings? Yes, you’ll need to request Listed Building Consent before making changes to a building with historic or architectural interest. This includes extensions and alterations that affect the character and appearance of the building. If the property is heritage listed, you might also need planning permission to modify outbuildings. The Historic England search tool is a terrific resource to check the listing status of a building.

Development within designated areas

While possible, development within National Parks, Conservation Areas and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty comes with unique challenges. Development is more restricted for buildings located in these types of areas, and often planning permission is required for minor work that would usually be exempt.

Alterations to the exterior of a property

Any modifications to the exterior of a property, such as adding or removing windows, installing new doors or altering the roofline, may require planning permission.

Changes of property use

Do I need planning permission for conversions? If you're converting a property for a different use, it’s highly likely you’ll need planning permission to ensure compliance with local zoning regulations. Our award-winning Corn Yard development is a prime example, which saw a 200-year-old industrial corn mill transformed into a pair of luxury, energy-efficient homes.

Exemptions for planning permission

Do I need planning permission for smaller projects? While planning permission is required for most construction projects, certain developments may be exempt and eligible for permitted development rights.

For reference, the government defines ‘permitted development rights’ as “the improvement or extension of homes without the need to apply for planning permission, where that would be out of proportion with the impact of the works carried out.”

Examples that may fall under permitted development rights include:

Minor property alterations

Small-scale changes or extensions that fall within specified size limits and don’t significantly alter the external appearance of the property.

Loft conversions

Converting an existing loft space into habitable accommodation may be permitted under certain conditions. These may include maintaining the existing roofline and not exceeding specified size limits.

Certain types of outbuildings

The construction of sheds, garages and other outbuildings may be permitted provided they meet size and placement criteria outlined in local planning regulations.

Secure planning permission with CODA Bespoke

Navigating the planning process can be daunting, but you don't have to go it alone. At CODA Bespoke, our experienced team of architects and planners are here to guide you through every step of the process, including obtaining planning permission. Here's how we can help:

Initial consultation: We'll start by discussing your project goals, ideas and any concerns you may have. Our team will assess the viability of your proposal and provide expert advice on planning requirements and potential challenges.

Design development: Once we have a clear understanding of your vision, we'll work closely with you to develop detailed design concepts.

Planning application: Our experienced team will prepare and submit a comprehensive planning permission application on your behalf. This includes gathering all the necessary documents and information to support your proposal. Why does this matter? A polished planning permission application can have a big impact on your project timeline and drastically reduce delays.

Negotiation and resolution: In the event of objections raised by authorities or local residents, we'll represent your interests and negotiate on your behalf to secure planning permission.

Construction oversight: Once planning permission is secured, our team will coordinate the construction phase of your project. We oversee every stage with acute attention to detail to ensure your vision is faithfully executed and the finished product exceeds expectations.

Ready to explore the possibilities for your construction project? Contact CODA Bespoke today to schedule a consultation and bring your vision to life.

© CODA Bespoke 151 Arundel Street, Sheffield S1 2NU