Architect Tools On White Background With Drawings and a model house

Planning a home extension is a popular venture that offers increased space and comfort without the rigours of moving house. However, a responsible and sustainable extension involves more than just grand designs. It requires careful consideration of neighbouring properties.

Read on to discover four key factors to consider when planning an extension to ensure harmonious relationships before, during and after your build.

Property Boundaries

One fundamental aspect when extending your home is understanding and respecting property boundaries. Encroaching even slightly onto a neighbour’s land can lead to legal disputes and unnecessary delays.

To avoid such complications, refer to your property deeds and consider enlisting the expertise of a chartered surveyor to accurately delineate boundaries. This proactive step ensures that your extension remains within your legal limits, safeguarding against future conflicts.

Rights of Light

In densely populated urban areas, rights of light are a critical consideration. Neighbours have the right to a certain level of natural light in their properties, and any extension that could overshadow their homes may face legal challenges.

Conducting a thorough Rights of Light assessment early in your planning process can help identify issues and allow for adjustments to mitigate any impact on neighbouring properties. Open communication and negotiation with affected neighbours can also foster cooperation and prevent future disputes.

Damage Prevention

Construction work can carry risk of damage to adjoining properties like subsidence, cracks, or water damage. Homeowners must ensure they have adequate insurance coverage and take preventive measures such as underpinning shared walls or installing protective barriers.

Conducting a pre-construction survey of neighbouring properties can provide a baseline condition report, invaluable in resolving any disputes that may arise over damage claims.

Roofs and Guttering

Attention to detail such as roof designs and guttering is paramount. Overhanging structures can inadvertently encroach on neighbouring properties, potentially causing water runoff issues or obstructing maintenance access.

To prevent future conflicts, ensure all structural elements are designed to remain within your property boundaries. If overhangs are unavoidable, seek explicit consent from affected neighbours to avoid future disputes.


Prioritising neighbourly matters isn’t just about legal compliance. It’s about fostering goodwill and maintaining positive relationships within your community. Clear communication and proactive planning can ensure that your project proceeds smoothly and contributes positively to your neighbourhood.

For more expert insights on planning your home extension responsibly, read our full opinion piece on neighbourly matters and home improvements.

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