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My Guide to Building a House Extension took 15 Years to Write

If you want to extend a home in the UK, you need experienced advice. I have been running my own architecture practice since 2009 and I focus exclusively on altering and extending homes. 

The guide is a PDF download and costs £10. Buying the House Extension Guide allows you to claim the cost off any future online consultation you book with me on Real Life Architecture. 

I wrote this project guide for regular homeowners, who have never hired an architect or set foot on a building site before. Over 21 pages the House Extension guide explains things you need to know, and it covers three topics. 

How to find the best local Architect for your project

I am based in Edinburgh and I offer impartial advice to anyone with a home in the UK. I am not trying to persuade you to hire me to design your house extension, I want to equip you with the knoledge to find the best local Architect for the job.

How to find an Architect for a House Extension in the UK

The guide contains detailed information on the following points to help you find a local architect for your house extension. 

  • How to create a shortlist of potential Architects 

  • a draft email to send to potential Architects

  • detailed information on Architects fees

  • and the one question you should never ask an Architect

A guide to house extensions in the UK by Real Life Architecture

How is a house extension project organised

What comes first, planning permission or building regulations? When do you start looking for a builder? How long will construction take? Do we need an Architect for the whole process? What happens after building work finishes? 

The design and construction process for a house extension explained

The guide contains straight forward, easy to understand information about the process, from start to finish, including;

  • Including a detailed flow chart

  • an explanation of the process from start to finish, in six stages

  • helps you understand the sequence of events and their likely timescales

  • explains when planning applications, building regulations and tendering happen

Part of the project flow chart for a uk house extension project

What else should you do before starting a house extension

Aside from the legal and technical aspects of a building a house extension, there are other issues that will affect the project. Can you live in the house during the project? How big a deal are load bearing walls? How stressful will this be in reality? 

17 things you need to know

The guide contains straight forward, easy to understand information about the process, from start to finish, including;

  • Including how this might affect your relationships

  • why permitted development isn't the answer

  • why load bearing walls aren't a big problem

  • why you shouldn't talk to builders on site

  • which insurance you need

  • what preliminaries are

  • and why you don't really pay an architect for drawings

A house extension in the UK

What isn't in the House Extension Guide

The purpose of the guide is to explain the process, help you find the best local architect for the project and make you aware of a wide variety of issues beyond the legal and technical.


The house extension guide does not contain detailed advice on design, construction costs or specific planning guidance and building regulation requirements. If you need this level of advice then an online consultation is best. 


Buying the project guide allows you to claim a £10 discount off the price of an online consultation. Instructions on how to claim the discount are in the project guide document. 

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