Planning for Renovation Success: Laying the Foundations

Inspiration, Projects — 11.08.23

Whether it’s breathing new life into a historical structure or creating a harmonious balance between contemporary and traditional styles, the success of any design and build project lies in meticulous planning. In our current Airedale Avenue project, the significant impact of detailed planning became evident as we thoughtfully shaped design proposals, ensuring the family gains enhanced space and functionality.

Planning is the blueprint that dictates every subsequent step, ensuring that visions are realised accurately and efficiently. A well-structured plan serves as a roadmap, guiding the entire project from beginning to completion, highlighting potential challenges and providing timely solutions. Without this foundational groundwork, even the most ambitious projects risk losing direction, facing objection and resulting in costly overruns, delays, and compromises on quality.

Proposed Layout

For the Airedale Avenue project, our Zulufish team devised two primary design approaches:

Option 1 – A Contemporary Flat Roof Extension that promised uniformity and modern elegance.
Option 2 – A Pitched Roof Extension that leant distinct characterisations to each living space.

Both designs were anchored around the concept of a full wrap-around extension, an architectural choice that seamlessly extends the living space by integrating the side and rear extensions. This approach, while aesthetically transformative, is intricate in its execution.

The technical distinctions between the two designs posed varied challenges. The flat roof option offers a consistent ceiling height, enabling flexible space divisions for living, kitchen and dining. However its 3.5m height may infringe on neighbours’ daylight, potentially leading to rejection by the council or recommendations for roof modifications.

The pitched roof design promotes open-plan living. Though its roof height is within guidelines, the side extension might seem disproportionate to the original building, hence, we advised limiting the extension’s depth to 1.5m. This approach also carries some planning risk due to the necessary structural changes in the reception area.

Brick and Timber Details
Daylight Study

One of the most critical technical considerations was height adjustments, especially near boundaries. Local planning guidelines often employ principles such as the 45-degree rule, to prevent new constructions from overshadowing neighboring properties or obstructing light.

This scenario brings to light an important phase in the design and build journey: pre-planning. Pre-planning is not just about foreseeing potential design alterations, it is about anticipating challenges, understanding local authority guidelines, and making informed decisions that ensure the smooth progression of the project.

Thorney Hedge Project

We firmly believe in the foundational importance of the pre-planning stage. Pre-planning is a strategic step that, while potentially adding to initial costs and programme time, greatly increases the chances of achieving a successful application and ultimately the desired outcome. The investment in pre-planning pays dividends in the final result, ensuring the project not only meets but exceeds the client’s expectations.

Abinger Road Project – hand sketch

At Zulufish, our track record speaks for itself. With a success rate exceeding 97% for planning applications, we’ve masterfully designed and submitted myriad planning schemes for diverse London properties. Our architectural team is dedicated to crafting unparalleled living spaces—ones that are not only aesthetically captivating but also meticulously planned to cater to modern living needs.

Through a structured, RIBA-based, staged approach, we simplify the complexities of design, ensuring our clients enjoy a transparent and straight-forward process. Our design team approaches each project with enthusiasm and precision, collaborating with clients to achieve the highest potential of their visions. If you’re considering a renovation, get in touch with Zulufish today for our award-winning design & build services.