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Do I need planning permission to build a house extension?

There is no simple answer to this question. When trying to ascertain whether or not your project requires Planning Permission, there are several factors that need to be considered. Amongst these considerations are – the size and location of the proposed works, analysis of neighbouring properties, contents of local area plan etc. Diarmuid Keane + Associates will be quickly able to determine whether or not planning permission is required for your project.

There are certain exempted works that can be carried out to your property which do not require the benefit of planning permission. Such works are categorised as Exempted Development and are outlined in the Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2006. For example, a residential extension of up to 40m2 to the rear of an existing dwelling house is generally classed as exempted development, however there are certain conditions which the proposed works must comply with in order to qualify for this exemption.

At DKA, we can quickly assess your proposed project and provide advice as to whether the works fall into the exempted development category.

How do I apply for planning permission for a house extension?

Planning applications must be submitted with the relevant local authority and there are a range of drawings and documents that need to be submitted as part of the application. It is always best to have a suitably qualified and experienced professional prepare and submit a planning application on your behalf. Contact Diarmuid Keane + Associates and we can prepare and manage your planning permission application for you.

Can I build a private garage without planning permission?

You can build an exempted private garage as long as it meets certain conditions. The primary conditions are that the proposed garage does not exceed 25m2 in floor area and is not higher than 4 metres in height. Furthermore, any such private garage cannot break the front building line of the existing dwelling house and the finish will generally need to compliment the existing dwelling house. In addition the private open space at the side and rear of the existing dwelling house must not be reduced below 25m2.

What is the first step in the planning and design process with DKA?

At the beginning of a project, Diarmuid Keane will meet with a potential client for an initial meeting, which can be on site or in our office, or both if required, in order to discuss the feasibility and scope of the proposed project. Diarmuid will discuss various design ideas with the client and will ask the client various questions in order to gain an understanding of the clients design requirements and tastes. A fee agreement will be drawn up based on the initial meeting.

A formal site visit will always be required at an early stage of the project in order to determine any landscape views or features of note which may be of value to the design and in order to identify the best possible position to locate the proposed building. Furthermore, any relevant engineering considerations will assessed at this stage such as traffic sight lines, topography and potential waste water treatment issues. A topographical site survey will also be undertaken at this stage if this service is required.

A first draft design will be prepared by Diarmuid Keane + Associates based on the client’s requirements and tastes. Often, DKA recommends that a pre-planning meeting be arranged at this stage in order to request the input of the local planners. A draft design can be altered and revised until such time as the client is completely happy with the design.

When the final design has been agreed with the client, DKA will begin preparing the planning application. A newspaper notice will be submitted to a local paper, and DKA will be in a position to submit within 2 weeks of the date of the newspaper.

What is involved in a planning application?

An application for planning permission requires the preparation of a range of documentation, maps and drawings. A planning application must be submitted within 2 weeks of the date of the local newspaper that planning notice was advertised in. The application will then to go through a number of stages in the Local Authority before a decision is made. A decision must be made within 8 weeks from the date the application is submitted. The local authority can decide to grant or refuse the application and may also request further information if they deem this necessary.

Generally, the following documentation and drawings are required to be submitted as part of a planning application for a single dwelling house on an un-serviced rural site:
• 6 copies of a fully dimensioned 1/100 plans, elevations and sectional drawings of the proposed house
• 6 copies of contiguous elevations showing neighbouring buildings                                                                                                                                                 • 6 copies of sight line detail drawings showing adequate site distances are possible                                                                                                                       • 6 copies of marked 1/500 site layout map
• 6 copies of a marked 1/2500 OSI map
• A copy of the site notice
• An original page with the newspaper planning notice
• Planning application form
• Documentation showing local need for proposed dwelling
• Letter of consent from landowner
• Schedule of Drawings
• EPA Site Suitability Assessment
• Miscellaneous information

What is Sustainable Building?

Sustainability is best defined as ‘meeting the needs of today without compromising the needs of tomorrow’. Sustainable building is design and construction that is as environmentally friendly and as energy efficient as possible. However, it also takes into consideration a variety of factors such as the location of the building, whole life cycle use, proximity to services, carbon footprint of materials used in the build, to name but a few.

What are Tender & Construction Drawings?

Tender/Construction drawings are a comprehensive set of documents which are specifically prepared in order to assist with the selection of a contractor for a construction project and the subsequent execution of the works. They are different to planning drawings in that they contain specific information with regard to the materials to be used in the construction. Tender/Construction drawings cover items including insulation, wall finishes, types of window etc. Construction/tender drawings generally form the basis of the detailed cost for the proposed works and so they allow for greater cost control on the build.

Diarmuid Keane + Associates offer a range of different Construction Drawings packages to suit a client’s particular needs and budget.

What are Stage Inspections?

Stage inspections are carried out at various stages of the construction of a new dwelling house e.g, foundations, floor slab level, blockwork, roof, fixes, finishes, completion. Stage inspections are carried out by a suitably qualified construction professional who has been appointed by the client to inspect and certify Bank Stage Payment Certifications and to sign off on the Building Regulations and Planning at the completion of the project.

Diarmuid Keane + Associates provide a thorough stage inspection service to clients. The number of inspections that we carry out generally depends on the complexity of the project but DKA generally carry out a minimum of 10 stage inspections during the course of any construction project. In our experience that it is always best to identify and rectify an issue on site at an early stage and this can only be done with a proper inspection service.

What is Practical Completion?

Practical completion is the stage where the construction works reached a stage of completion whereby the building can be occupied by the owner. At this point, a certificate of practical completion is prepared by the relevant professional inspecting the construction in order to certify that this stage of the project has been reached.

Who needs a Pre-Purchase Survey?

Any person in the process of purchasing a new residential, commercial or industrial property should have a pre-purchase survey carried out by a suitably qualified construction professional. Purchasing a new building is one of the biggest investments that anyone will make in their lives and so it is important to ensure that the building is in good condition and fit for purpose. A qualified Building Surveyor can carry out a pre-purchase survey and prepare the subsequent report.

How long does it take to complete a Pre-Purchase Survey?

This duration of a pre-purchase survey will generally depend on the type of property, in particular the age and condition of the property. Most surveys take between 1 and 2 hours to complete. Older properties are usually more complex and so can take a longer period of time to survey.

What is the difference between a Pre-Purchase Survey & a Snag List?

Snag lists are undertaken properties that have not been previously occupied. The snag survey will involve identifying any incomplete or defective works such as substandard finishes, breaches of building regulations etc and highlighting them on a detailed list which will in turn be passed on to the builder/developer who will be required to rectify the issues. Diarmuid Keane + Associates carry out both Pre-Purchase Survey’s and Snag Lists where required. Please see our services page for a full list of the professional services that we offer.

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