Permitted development boost to RMI market

Changes to the rules for permitted developments, introduced in August by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, allow for much larger home extension projects, including the potential add new storeys to detached homes.

This change may add momentum to the already impressive growth of RMI (repair, maintenance and improvement) market in the UK over the summer. 

The most recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) report shows RMI work growing 20.3% in the three months up to August 2020, with private housing repair and maintenance growing by a staggering 35.6% in the same period.

These numbers add to the picture of home-owners turning their attention to neglected home-improvement projects. With holidays cancelled and entertainments drastically reduced, household savings, for those fortunate enough to be in secure jobs, have actually increased over recent months, providing the resource to finally tackle those home projects.

And when it comes to extensions, there are plenty of options. Extensions of up to four metres at the rear of a detached home, or three metres behind a semi or terraced house are permitted. The extensions do need to be in keeping with the original structure, which is likely to mean brick facades and limit the options for glass, steel or timber designs.

Adding that extra space is most likely to involve the use of aircrete blocks for the inner leaf of external walls. A cavity wall construction with brick outer leaf, insulation and 100mm standard grade Celcon Blocks will give a U-Value of between 0.22 W/m2K and 0.14 W/m2K, depending on the insulation used.

Added to an existing solid masonry Victorian or Edwardian terraced house, this construction acts a bit like a “hot water bottle”, providing a modern, well-insulated, high performance structure onto a much-loved period property.

And if future-proofing is part of the plan, it’s working considering using High Strength or Super Strength Grade blocks, allowing for future generations to consider that additional storey extension when the time is right.  We’ve already heard of local Building Control Officers suggesting this option.

With record housing transactions keeping a lively housing market buzzing over the summer, it’s likely that the RMI market – so often driven by new owners modelling the house to suit their needs – looks set to remain strong over the next few months.

To find your local stockist of Celcon Blocks from H+H, go here