Questions and answers

How long does it take to build a Side Return Extension ?

Every extension is different, with the design, Party Wall requirements and ground conditions the biggest variables in determining the duration of the build. But once on site we would expect to finish a Side Return Extension in just 8-12 weeks.

What’s the design process for getting the Side Return Extension I want?

Our design process consists of taking a full brief from you about what you want to achieve, and using this to create a number of design options. We then refine and develop the one you choose into full plans.

Can I make changes to the design when the build is in progress?

We will always do our best to accommodate any changes you want to make to the design, but this may not always be possible, or could involve extra costs, for instance if materials have been ordered, or even delay the project, for example if the changes have to be approved by the planners. If you would like to discuss any design changes, you should contact your dedicated Project Director as soon as possible.

Who should I contact if I want to talk about any aspect of the works?

Every Build Team job is run by a Director of the Company, so they should always be your first point of call. So while numerous professional tradespeople will work on a project, there will only be one person overseeing the management of it.

If you have any questions before you appoint us, just call 020 7495 6561 or email and one of team will do all they can to help.

What’s the Party Wall Act?

It’s a piece of legislation that helps to ensure one person’s building works don’t adversely affect a neighbour’s property. Under a Party Wall Agreement, the works that can be done are specified in advance and progress is monitored to ensure they are being correctly carried out.

Can somebody stop me building a Side Return Extension by using the Party Wall Act?

As long as the works have planning permission, no one can use the Party Wall Act to stop you building, but they can use it to ensure that the works are done in a particular way.

Will I need a Party Wall Agreement?

In a built-up urban area like London, where properties are close together, any structural construction works will almost certainly require a Party Wall Agreement with your neighbours.

Will I have to deal with any Party Wall arrangements myself?

No. We can sort out all of that for you. It's all part of Build Team’s turnkey service, although you can of course appoint your own surveyor if you wish.

What about Planning Permission and Building Regulations?

Again, we take responsibility for obtaining any necessary Planning Permission and ensuring on-site compliance with Building Regulations.

Is it OK if I get quotes from others?

Absolutely. We would expect you to seek competitive quotes from others. We are absolutely transparent with our pricing, and happy to talk about how we have arrived at our figures. Further, there is no obligation at all to continue beyond the design phrase so you should feel free to obtain other quotes.

Doesn’t following a ‘process’ mean that I’m just going to get the same Side Return Extension as everyone else?

Having a tried and tested process for building Side Return Extensions ensures that they are constructed in the best possible way, to your budget, brief and deadline. But that doesn't mean that yours will look like anybody else's, since it will have been customised through your choice of design, windows and doors, fixtures and fittings, colour, floor coverings, and much, much more.

The process is only there to ensure that you get what you want as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Every good building project should involve a methodical construction and fitting out process. However, general builders and contractors who are not involved with Side Return Extensions every day as we are, never have the opportunity or need to develop a step-by-step process like ours. So every Side Return Extension they put up won't quite follow the same pattern as the previous one, which means they never develop or refine the best and most cost effective way of doing things.  Because Side Return Extensions are all that we do, we have the know-how and experience to construct them quickly, with minimal fuss or waste, to give you brand-new living space you can be proud of.

I want a dramatic contemporary design. Could you do that?

We’re proud of the designs that we create, though for most of our clients the priority is to create the largest possible interior space that they can use every day. By focusing on this, we believe we provide our customers with a great combination of service, speed of build and quality of product. 

If you are looking for a highly contemporary look for the exterior of your extension, we suggest that you seek the services of an architect who specialises in ‘statement designs’ where the contract sums are typically £150k-£200k. Always a good first point of call is the Royal Institute of British Architects at Alternatively, Dan’s brother is an architect (Ben Davidson) and would be delighted to help:

Do you do to other types of building work?

As a specialist company, our focus is on creating high quality Side Return Extensions that will add value and great living space to your home, so we don’t offer general building work on projects which do not involve a Side Return. However, if you instruct us to design and build your Side Return we will of course take care of any other building works you wish to have completed - such as bathroom refits, exterior landscaping and electrical or plumbing alterations.

To meet a growing demand among a number of our clients, we also offer a Side Return Extension and Loft Conversion package. This means that you benefit from the economies of scale that come from carrying out the works at the same time rather than separately. And because we’ve developed tried and tested methods for doing both simultaneously, we can minimise disruption by choreographing the order in which we work so we achieve more in the same time.

By designing your Loft Conversion and Side Return Extension together we can also complete all of the design, planning, structural engineering and building regulations drawings needed for both projects for just £4,995 + VAT.

I want the project to be as environmentally friendly as possible. What can you do to make sure it is?

We have developed our Green Side Return Extension to exceed the thermal efficiency required by the strictest energy efficiency standards.

On a day to day basis, we also aim to ensure that we are as sustainable as possible during the build by minimising waste and choosing the most appropriate materials. If you would like to discuss any environmental issues involving building works, please call 020 7495 6561 or email

Am I free to choose all fixtures and fittings?

Yes. The choice is always yours. If you wish, we can supply them for you, or you can order them yourself, in which case we will let you know when the items are required on site.

Why are your prices so cost-competitive?                            

There are two main reasons. First, as specialists in building Side Return Extensions we are able to spend the time identifying the right suppliers, then making sure we agree the best prices with them. And second, because we have quoted for and built so many Side Return Extensions, we have developed and refined very specific build processes that enable us to work with maximum efficiency, so build time is reduced and costly waste is avoided.

What’s your guarantee period?

Normally one year, though if other contractual obligations apply then we will of course abide by these.

Are you properly insured?

Absolutely. We have very comprehensive insurance, so you, your family, and your property will be fully covered in the unlikely event of accident or damage.

How long has Build Team been going?

Build Team was set up in 2007 and in that time has completed many Side Return Extensions throughout London and quoted on over 10,000 projects.

Can I still live in the house while you’re building the Side Return Extension? 

About half of our clients choose to move out during the works, but it’s perfectly possible to live in. If you want to do that, we can even create a temporary kitchen, usually in the rear dining room, until your Side Return Extension is ready.

One point to bear in mind is that if your property doesn't have rear access, then we’ll have to bring everything through the house. If that’s the case, we will always fully protect the hallway and any floor surfaces.

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