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minimum width of side passage

  • 07-04-2021 5:47pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 629 ✭✭✭ houseyhouse


    What's the minimum width for a side passage for access to the back garden? We have a semi-d with wide side access that we'd like to extend into. There's about 3.45 meters between the side of the house and the party wall at the moment.


Comments

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,942 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    What's the minimum width for a side passage for access to the back garden? We have a semi-d with wide side access that we'd like to extend into. There's about 3.45 meters between the side of the house and the party wall at the moment.

    There is none for this type of thing.
    It comes down to what you can comfortably leave and be happy with.

    But I always advise people doing these types of works to leave 900mm for wheelie bins, kids bikes, lawn mowers, bouncy castles etc

    Also, the devaluation of removing the side entrance could influence the decision also.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,560 ✭✭✭ Prenderb


    Also be careful about encroaching over services (e.g. drainage) and onto the garden wall foundation.

    For future access I'd consider leaving a minimum width to allow a minidigger access. Don't know what that is, maybe 900mm would work per post above, but just some thinking points.

    Don't forget you may need planning with a side extension (open to correction here)?


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,971 ✭✭✭✭ Calahonda52


    900 mm clear between the door jambs and try an avoid any sewer pipes, door steps etc that will narrow it down


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,588 ✭✭✭✭ Penn


    Prenderb wrote: »
    Also be careful about encroaching over services (e.g. drainage) and onto the garden wall foundation.

    For future access I'd consider leaving a minimum width to allow a minidigger access. Don't know what that is, maybe 900mm would work per post above, but just some thinking points.

    Don't forget you may need planning with a side extension (open to correction here)?

    Planning permission would be required. Also if any windows are proposed along the new side wall, they must be 1hr. fire rated if closer than 1m to the boundary. So personally to allow for all the previous points raised (minidigger, step at side door, rainwater/drainage goods, fire separation), I'd try to leave 1m between the boundary and new side wall.


  • Registered Users Posts: 629 ✭✭✭ houseyhouse


    Penn wrote: »
    Planning permission would be required. Also if any windows are proposed along the new side wall, they must be 1hr. fire rated if closer than 1m to the boundary. So personally to allow for all the previous points raised (minidigger, step at side door, rainwater/drainage goods, fire separation), I'd try to leave 1m between the boundary and new side wall.

    Didn't know that about the fire rated windows. Thanks.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 629 ✭✭✭ houseyhouse


    Thanks for all the responses, folks. I agree that a wider side passage is nice. It's a tough trade off with the size/quality of the internal rooms. A 900mm side passage leaves 2.55m for the extension, which means internal rooms would be around 2.2 wide. A 1m passage would mean the rooms are only 2.1m wide. Don't want to have an unusable side passage but don't want to make the mistake of building a glorified corridor on the side of the house either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 467 ✭✭ Bargain_Hound


    I'd seriously begin to question if its worth it to end up with a 2.1/2.2m wide room. That's narrower than our box room upstairs which is very limited in usability.

    Loosing side access to push it to 3.1m wide would be a big compromise IMO.


  • Registered Users Posts: 629 ✭✭✭ houseyhouse


    I'd seriously begin to question if its worth it to end up with a 2.1/2.2m wide room. That's narrower than our box room upstairs which is very limited in usability.

    Loosing side access to push it to 3.1m wide would be a big compromise IMO.

    That's my worry. Don't want to spend €€€€ only to end up with poor functionality, either in the house or in terms of rear access. I think 2.2 would work for utility space and bathrooms but not for living space or bedrooms.


  • Registered Users Posts: 526 ✭✭✭ Fine Cheers


    Are you thinking of a 2 storey extension ? If so maybe the first floor could be the full width and ground floor have the 1m passage way. Not cheap I'd imagine but an option subject to planning and neighbour's co-operation. What does the neighbour's elevation look like facing you and what gap is there between their house and the shared boundary ?


  • Moderators, Regional North West Moderators Posts: 43,673 Mod ✭✭✭✭ muffler


    That's my worry. Don't want to spend €€€€ only to end up with poor functionality, either in the house or in terms of rear access. I think 2.2 would work for utility space and bathrooms but not for living space or bedrooms.
    Decent enough for utility room etc. but you should rethink future upgrading and extending to the rear.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 629 ✭✭✭ houseyhouse


    Are you thinking of a 2 storey extension ? If so maybe the first floor could be the full width and ground floor have the 1m passage way. Not cheap I'd imagine but an option subject to planning and neighbour's co-operation. What does the neighbour's elevation look like facing you and what gap is there between their house and the shared boundary ?

    That's an idea. We're hoping to do 2 stories. Could really use an extra bedroom (or two). The neighbour has done a ground floor extension and their side passage is quite narrow- maybe 60-70cm. Many houses in the estate have done the two stories, including the house we're attached to. From looking at planning applications it looks like the extra rooms are usually between 2.2 and 2.4m wide. Of course some would have had a little more land to the side before they started so were able to do wider.


  • Registered Users Posts: 629 ✭✭✭ houseyhouse


    muffler wrote: »
    Decent enough for utility room etc. but you should rethink future upgrading and extending to the rear.

    We might also do a rear extension at ground floor. Not sure we could do much at upper level to the back without blocking light to the existing rooms. Lots to consider.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 10,101 Mod ✭✭✭✭ BryanF


    Penn wrote: »
    Planning permission would be required. Also if any windows are proposed along the new side wall, they must be 1hr. fire rated if closer than 1m to the boundary..
    If greater than 1m2


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,942 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Penn wrote: »
    Planning permission would be required. Also if any windows are proposed along the new side wall, they must be 1hr. fire rated if closer than 1m to the boundary. So personally to allow for all the previous points raised (minidigger, step at side door, rainwater/drainage goods, fire separation), I'd try to leave 1m between the boundary and new side wall.

    Maybe a calculation based on the unprotected area to the boundary will mean a window is fine.

    B9 Requires
    b) if the amount of unprotected area in the side of the building is restricted so as to limit the amount of thermal radiation that can pass through the wall, taking the distance between the wall and the boundary into account, and


  • Registered Users Posts: 799 ✭✭✭ Hibernicis


    What's the minimum width for a side passage for access to the back garden? We have a semi-d with wide side access that we'd like to extend into. There's about 3.45 meters between the side of the house and the party wall at the moment.

    I've had this dilemma on a number of occasions. The ideal is to leave enough clearance to get a mini digger around in case you ever need to dig out foundations. However this can be a big imposition especially if you want to put a door/gate (and frame) in the side passage and can eat into your new room. My fallback rule of thumb is always "the width of a standard wheelbarrow and room for my knuckles" - this has stood me in good stead on a number of occasions and may be your best bet.

    I had a neighbour who built a two story extension with a side passage on the ground floor (the resulting narrow room was used as an office/teenager's den, and the overhead bedroom extended out over the side passage allowing it to comfortably fit a double bed. The side wall of the bedroom came as far as the boundary. I also meant that the side passage was roofed. If you are contemplating this make sure that you have a good engineer who is capable and willing and committed to navigate this through planning.


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