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We would love to hear from you about your intended project.

Use the form on the right to contact SPACIOUS about an initial consultation or email us at:  hello@spacious.ie

 

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54 George's Street Lower
Dublin, County Dublin,
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01 5585205

Award Wining Architects based in Monkstown, Co.Dublin and working in all surrounding counties.

Specialising in sensitive contemporary design for domestic extensions, renovations, new-build houses and interior design.  We also design and build custom joinery.

RIAI registered architects, project managers & interior designers

Dublin Architecture Blog

Hofler Architects Dublin  - Our Blog of our news and views.

Filtering by Tag: Renovation

Simon Open Door Consultations 2017

Paul Mulhern

We took part in the 2017 Simon Open Door Consultations last weekend and are delighted that our donated time and expertise raised precisely €1,080 for the homeless charity. 

Over the lifetime of the annual open door events over €700,000 has been raised for the Simon Communities of Ireland.   Simon Open Door is a fantastic scheme. It benefits both the Simon Communities of Ireland and members of the public. Anyone can sign up and in return for a €90 donation to Simon receive an hour long consultation with a certified RIAI Architect.

This year we did 12 architectural consultations for homeowners who were considering various projects including home remodelling and renovation; house extensions to increase space, bring in more light and connect more fully with their gardens, and a number of proposed new-build houses.  It was interesting and exciting for us all to discuss potential, especially where the homeowners had been previously concerned that they had limited options.

We got fantastic feedback from everyone who attended about the information they got on everything from design potential to planning matters, building costs and the whole process involved in embarking on a building project with an architect.

Since 2005, the Simon Open Door initiative has been a permanent fixture in the calendar of RIAI Architects who, open their offices and offer their time and expertise to members of the public. Every cent raised goes toward's the work of the Simon Communities of Ireland.

SPACIOUS

T: 01-5585205

M: 089 2447264

 

Exempted Development Planning Guidelines for your Home Extension

Paul Mulhern

Exempted development works avoid the need to apply for planning permission

Exempted development works avoid the need to apply for planning permission

When you are planning any construction works around the house consideration of the planning requirements is critical.
The following information on works exempt from the requirement to obtain planning permission will be of use to those considering extending or renovating their home.  As well as extensions it also covers change of use work, converting a garage for domestic use and building a garage, shed or garden building.

This is intended as a practical guide. It is not a definitive legal interpretation of planning law. 
For more information you should consult your local planning authority.
A full list of the Schedule 2 Exempted Development Works is available here.

If you are in any doubt as to whether your project would fall under the exempted development provisions you can contact us here to discuss.

It is also possible to request a declaration from the planning authority as to whether development is exempted from the requirement for planning permission or not.
Hofler Architects can prepare this submission for you, which includes:
    •    Application Form
    •    The correct fee
    •    Adequate information to enable assessment of the matter (such as elevational drawings/plans etc. if relevant and a description of the development)

The guidance below does not apply to Protected Structures and not all applies to houses in Architectural Conservation Areas.  Talk to us for more guidance in these cases.


1. When do I need planning permission?
Generally, you need planning permission for any development of land or property unless it is specifically exempted from this need. The term development includes the carrying out of works (building, demolition, alteration) on land or buildings, and the making of a material (i.e. significant) change of use of land or buildings.

2. What is exempted development?
Exempted development is development for which planning permission is not required. Categories of exempted development are set out in planning law.
Relevant exemptions in relation to domestic developments are outlined in this leaflet. There are usually certain thresholds relating to, for example, size or height. Where these thresholds are exceeded, the exemptions no longer
apply. The purpose of exemption is to avoid controls on developments of a minor nature, such as small extensions to houses.

3. Can a change of use be exempted development?
Yes. Where a change of use is not “material”, planning permission is not required. (See Q3)

4. What is a ‘material change of use’?
This depends on the circumstances of each situation. Generally, any change of use of a substantial nature which has an impact or potential impact on neighbours or the local community will need planning permission. The planning authority can give advice on whether it considers any particular change of use is significant enough to be “material” for planning purposes.
See Question 19 below for details of how to resolve a question whether a development is or is not exempted.

5. Can I build an extension?
Small scale domestic extensions, including conservatories, do not require planning permission if the extension is to the rear of the house and comply with the following:
• the original floor area of the house is not increased by more than 40 square metres. It is important to note that where the house has been extended before, the floor area of the extension you are now proposing and the floor area of any previous extension, including those for which you got planning permission, cannot exceed 40 square metres;
• for terraced or semi-detached houses, the floor area of any extension above ground level does not exceed 12 square metres, this includes any previous extensions carried out;
• any extension above ground floor level is at least 2m from any boundary;
• any extension does not exceed the height of the house;
• any extension does not reduce the area of private open space, reserved for the occupants of the house, to less than 25 square metres.

There are also rules about the height allowed in such an extension. These are that:
• if the rear wall of the house does not include a gable, the height of the walls of the extension must not exceed the height of the rear wall of the house;
• if the rear wall of the existing house has a gable, the walls of the extension (excluding any gable being built as part of the extension) shall not be higher than the side walls of the house;
• in the case of a flat roofed extension, the height of the highest part of the roof may not exceed the height of the eaves or parapet. In any other case, no part of the new roof may exceed the highest part of the roof of the house;
• a gable is the upper part of a wall (normally triangular), between the sloping ends of a pitched roof.

There are also rules about the required distances between windows in extensions, the facing boundary of the adjoining property and the use of the roof of the extension. These are;
• any windows proposed at ground floor level as part of an extension should not be less than 1 metre from the boundary they face;
• any windows proposed at above ground level should be not less than 11 metres from the boundary they face;
• the roof of any such extension should not be used as a balcony or roof garden.

6. Can I convert my garage to domestic use?
The conversion for use as part of a dwelling house (e.g. as a living room or bedroom) of a garage, store, shed etc. attached to the rear or side of a house is normally exempted development, subject to the 40 square metre limit and conditions as set out in Question 5 above.
Contact us if you are unsure of any of the above conditions in relation to any proposed extension.

7. Can I build a garage?
You can build a garage, carport, shed, greenhouse, kennel for domestic pets etc., as long as it does not extend out in front of the building line of the house and does not exceed 4 metres in height, (if it has a tiled or slated pitched roof), or 3 metres (if it has any other roof type). The floor area limitation for exempted development is 25 square metres.
The structure may not be lived in, used for commercial purposes or for keeping pigs, poultry, pigeons, ponies or horses. Garages, sheds etc. to the side of the house must match the finish of the house. You cannot reduce the open private space, reserved exclusively for the use of the occupants of the house, at the side or rear of the house below 25 square metres.

8. Can I build a front porch?
You can build a porch without planning permission, as long as it does not exceed 2 square metres in area and is more than 2 metres from any public road or footpath. Where the porch has a tiled or slated pitched roof, it must not exceed 4 metres in height, or 3 metres for any other roof type. A front porch within these limits is the only type of development allowed to extend beyond the front wall of the building (the building line) and still remain exempted.

9. Can I erect walls, fences and gates?
Capped walls made of brick, stone or block with a decorative finish, railings and wooden fences, but not a metal palisade or security fences, can be erected as long as they do not exceed 1.2 metres in height in front of your
house or 2 metres at the side or rear. If the wall is made of plain blocks or mass concrete it must be rendered or plastered. Gates and gateways may be built or replaced providing they do not exceed 2 metres in height. You will need planning permission if you wish to make a new or wider access to the public road.

10. Can I build a chimney and a boiler house?
A boiler house or a chimney for a central heating system, or an oil storage tank (up to 3,500 litres capacity), is exempted development.

11. Can I build paths, ponds and patios?
Car parking spaces, hard surfacing, garden paths, garden ponds and patios etc. are exempt once they are not more than 1 metre above or below existing ground level. There are no other limitations to the rear of the house but no more than 2 car parking spaces to the side or front of the house are exempt.
We recommend that you use permeable paving so that surface water can soak into the ground rather than overload the public drainage system.

12. Can I put up a television aerial?
A radio or TV aerial on your roof is exempt once it does not exceed 6 metres in height above the roof. A satellite dish up to 1 metre across and below the top of the roof is exempted development only to the rear or side of the house. Only one dish may be erected on a house. A dish to the front needs permission.

13. Can I carry out internal alteration, external repairs and maintenance?
You can carry out any internal alteration you wish as long as you do not alter the domestic use of the house.  External works of repair, maintenance and improvement such as painting or replastering do not need planning permission so long as they do not materially affect the external appearance, thus rendering the appearance inconsistent with neighbouring buildings. You may need approval for certain external alteration e.g. a new connection to a sewer. This exemption does not apply to protected structures, nor to the subdivision of a house into flats or granny flats. Planning permission must be obtained for such works.

14. Can I demolish an old building?
You can demolish without permission a building other than:
• a habitable house, or;
• a protected structure or a proposed protected structure;
• a building in a terrace, or one which is attached to another building in separate ownership.

However, it does not automatically follow that you will get permission to build a replacement.
A habitable house is a house which is:
• used as a dwelling;
• is not in use, but when last used it was a dwelling and is not derelict;
or
• is provided for use as a dwelling but has not been occupied;
• it also includes a building where the last permitted use was as a house, even if it has been in unauthorised use since then.

15. Can I store caravans and boats?
One caravan, one campervan or one boat may be stored in your garden for up to 9 months of the year as long as it is not lived in or used for business purposes.

16. Can I put up advertisements?
You do not need permission for domestic advertisements up to 0.3 square metres in area, such as your house name or number and “Beware of Dog” type signs. If selling or letting your house the size increases to 0.6 metres but only one advertisement is allowed and it may not be left up any longer than 7 days after the sale or letting.

17. Are there any limitations to exempted development?
All forms of development which are normally exempted lose this status and require planning permission if they:
• contravene a condition of a planning permission;
• endanger public safety by causing a traffic hazard or obstructing the view of road users;
• build forward of the building line (except in the case of small porches);
• involve a new or wider access to a public road;
• affect a building, feature, site, character of landscape, view of special amenity value or special interest, etc.,(check your local development plan);
• obstruct a public right of way;
• are not wholly related to the use of the house for domestic purposes;
• involve development within a special amenity area;
• involve development to a protected structure;
• include any works to, or changes to, an unauthorized structure, or one where there is an unauthorised use.
(“Unauthorised” means without the benefit of planning permission or exempted development status).

18. Do the exemptions apply to apartments?
The exemptions listed above at 5, 7,8, 10, 11, 12 and 15 do not apply in the case of flats or apartments and the provision of car parking is only exempt when to the rear.

19. Where can I get more information on exemptions?
The full list of exempted developments is set out in the Planning Acts and Regulations. The planning authority can advise on whether they consider planning permission is necessary, or not, in a particular case (See note on Declarations above). If you disagree with the planning authority on whether planning permission is needed, you can obtain a formal ruling by referring the decision to An Bord Pleanála on payment of the appropriate fee.
Further information is available directly from the Board at 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1, Telephone (01) 8588100.

20. What happens if exemption limits are exceeded?
The limits must be observed and the planning authority has powers to stop the development if they are breached.  If, due to an oversight an error is made, you should apply to the planning authority for permission to retain the
work done. This is generally known as “retention” permission. It does not automatically follow that this will be granted. This fee for a retention application is 3 times more than the standard fee and you may have to take
down, alter or rectify work done, which can be costly.
Prosecution for breaches of planning law can result in heavy fines or imprisonment. You may also find it difficult to sell property which does not comply with planning requirements. If buying property check that the building
itself and any extensions or alterations comply with planning requirements or you, as the new owner, may be liable to enforcement action.

21. Should I consult the planning authority before carrying out exempted development?
If you have any doubts or queries on any planning aspect you can contact the planning authority.  Refer also to our comments on seeking a Declaration of Exemption or contact us directly.
See also Question 23 in relation to Building Regulations.  You can also contact SPACIOUS Architects for advice on all planning and development matters.

22. Should I consult any other bodies?
You should contact your local E.S.B. office if your proposed works are near existing electricity lines, if there is a question of clearance heights under power lines or if the construction work will bring anyone within reach of the electricity supply to your house. In fact, you must do so where any overhead lines come within 6 metres of the construction works.

23. Do Building Regulations Apply?
Your development must be in accordance with all applicable current building regulations. These regulations set out the basic design and construction requirements and apply to all new buildings, extensions, alterations and certain changes of use of existing buildings. Details of the building regulations and of the associated procedures are available in PL.11 - A Guide to the Building Regulations. Further information may be obtained from your local authority.
You may also need other types of approval e.g. making a new connection to a sewer. Contact your local authority in such cases.

24. Should I notify my neighbours beforehand?
This is not a legal requirement for exempted development. However, it is in your interest to let neighbours know about work you intend to carry out to your property. They are likely to be as concerned about work which might affect them as you would be if the roles were reversed. You may be able to meet some of your neighbour’s worries by modifying your proposals. Even if you decide not to change, it is usually better to have told your neighbours before the building work starts.  If you or your contractor need to go on to a neighbour’s property, you should obtain his or her consent before doing so.  Alterations or additions to your house may make it more vulnerable to burglary.

Any development that involves works to a shared or party wall will require special attention, discussion and agreement with your neighbour.

The law governing the planning system is set out in the Planning and Development Acts 2000 and 2001 and the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 to 2002.  These may be purchased from the Government
Publications Sales Office.
They are available online here

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Read an eloquent client testimonial here and what the Irish Times have said about some of our work here.  

If you are planning to extend, renovate or build a new dwelling - Talk to us about your project.  You can contact us at any time here.

Return to our homepage or view our blog articles index page.

SPACIOUS Architects, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

Tel: 01-5585205

Two of Our Favourite Things...

Paul Mulhern

Great Coffee & Working Drawings!

Working Drawings - How Architects & Designers Communicate.

Working Drawings - How Architects & Designers Communicate.

Great coffee is up there as one of our favourites.  After spending three years in Melbourne how could it not be?  The coffee and cafe scene there are quite an amazing experience.

The other favourite is communicating our design intentions to the contractors we work with through the medium of the Working Drawing.  Clients usually get to see more of, and pay more attention to the earlier stage Design Sketches, but it's the working drawing that determines a great deal of the success of the final building.

If you were to hand the same sketch or planning stage drawing to three different builders you would get three vastly different tender prices and buildings.  Quality, finishes, details, standards, performance, weathering, would all be left open to interpretation - good or bad.

The Working Drawing's purpose is to flesh out the details of earlier sketch and planning stage drawings.  It describes the full intention of how the building is to be put together (in a lot of detail).  It tells builders what is to be done and therefore what way it's not to be done!  It allows for accurate pricing (along with the written specification) so you know you are comparing one builder's apples with another's apples.  It is used for the new Building Regulation compliance requirements (BCAR) and it records the professional input that goes into your building giving you peace of mind.

Without comprehensive Working Drawings great buildings don't happen.

Look what goes into a simple coffee pot.  Think about what goes into the drawings for your new home, renovation or extension!  Come and have a chat with us about what's involved in the various stages of commissioning architectural work for your home.  We'll even shout you a great coffee!

Melbourne Coffee and Cafe's

Hofler Architects, Monkstown - Working throughout Dublin & beyond.   - Our Blog.

Hofler Architects have extensive experience in house extensions, refurbishments, sustainability, conservation of protected structures and  one-off new builds.  We are a highly experienced team of architects based in Monkstown, Co. Dublin. The practice was established in 1992 and offers a full range of architecture services for domestic works, conservation, housing & apartment developments, and many commercial sectors including bars, restaurants, offices, educational and retail.

"This is a great example of a meticulous period restoration - as green as a period house can be" - The Irish Times.

READ OUR LATEST BLOG ARTICLES HERE

Health & Safety - A Guide for Homeowners Planning Work.

Paul Mulhern

This guide tells you what you need to know and do when you are having construction work done in your home. The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) developed this guide in light of new responsibilities for homeowners under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013. The regulations apply to construction work that you pay to get done in your home. They do not apply to DIY (Do it yourself) jobs.

The responsibilities on home owners are quite rigorous and are set out in the document.  Hofler Architects will guide you through the process and your responsibilities at the outset of a project.

What do the regulations mean?

The regulations mean that you have to appoint competent people to carry out construction work. For riskier and or longer jobs you must appoint competent project supervisors to oversee and co-ordinate safety. The role of the project supervisors of your work is very important. They co-ordinate the work of designers and contractors and make sure that the work is completed safely.

When works are being done in or near your home, you need to make sure that they don’t put you and your family at risk. The new regulations aim to reduce the number of people killed and injured while carrying out construction work. Specific requirements are set out in European law for those who hire people to carry out construction work as well as for construction workers themselves. The Construction Regulations put these requirements into Irish law. 

What do you have to do?

By law, you have to:

  • determine the competency of people doing paid construction work for you,
  • appoint project supervisors if required,
  • keep the safety file for the work as appropriate, and
  • let the Health and Safety Authority know if your project is going to take longer than 30 days or more than 500 person days (person days mean the number of days the work takes multiplied by the number of people doing the work). 

HSA Summary of what you have to do.

HSA Summary of what you have to do.