We're looking to buy a house which has a newly-built external triple garage, which has an external staircase to a storeroom above the garage.

Our plan is to turn this storeroom into an office.

What I'm curious about, though, is the staircase. At the top of it it has a small landing area. I've not taken measurements, but if, say, the staircase is 1m wide, instead of just having a 1m x 1m square at the top, there's actually something roughly like 2m x 1m. You can either go up the stairs and turn left into the storeroom, or turn right onto a tiny balcony.

Would we be able to extend that balcony? To make it (say) 3m x 3m instead, with space for a couple of chairs and a table?

As I understand it any decking etc that's more than 30cm off the ground requires planning permission. I've looked at the planning permission for this garage, built a few years ago, and it doesn't show or mention the current balcony.

I'm not sure if the previous owner did something naughty by adding the extra 1m x 1m at the top of his stairs, or if there's actually a building reg that says you MUST have x amount of space at the top of a staircase, or what.

All of that aside, how hard do you think it'd be to get permission to extend the balcony, if we applied for planning permission? The main house is 100 years old and isn't listed. The garage is 4-5 years old. It's not in a conservation area and no other houses overlook it.



In the U.S., our Codes require a “landing” at the top of stairs that are as wide as the stairs and extends the width of the stairs...so it’s a landing that’s as wide and as deep as the width of the stairs.

So, that’s a minimum dimension required. If the previous owner enlarged it, you’re lucky, especially if you’re going to add a door that swings into that landing. Then minimum dimensions change, especially if it on a side next to the top step.

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