Expanding the size of your home is a great way to add value and create a much- improved family living space.
Two of the most popular methods are loft conversions and extensions - although such projects should be carefully costed as, in some circumstances, it could be cheaper to simply move home.
Usually the more bedrooms a property has, the greater its value, although it’s important to consider every street has a top price limit. If the project costs exceed that limit, then a homeowner might never recoup the outlay in any future sale.
According to the National Association of Estate Agents, a loft conversion probably provides the best value for money compared to alternative renovations.
The cost is generally half that of an extension, the building work involved is less intrusive and it’s estimated it can increase the value of a home by 15 to 20%.
Going up into the loft is a popular choice for homeowners as it provides plenty of space and storage and, by using roof or dormer windows, there’s plenty of natural light. If creating a loft bedroom, fitting an en-suite is a major selling point for future buyers.
However, it is important to consider both the roof height and whether there is sufficient space to install a staircase.
There are various other options when it comes to extending a property. The side-return extension is a popular and cheap choice. This involves extending – usually the kitchen - into a side alley. It is worth noting the kitchen, especially a large well-lit one, is always one of the most important selling points of any home.
A single storey extension, usually at the rear, is a fantastic way of creating greater space, especially if combined with roof lights and patio or bi-fold doors.
A two-storey extension offers the greatest scope to transform a home and its value with an extra bedroom upstairs and the ability to extend the downstairs living space. However, the cost is typically more than double that of a single storey extension.
Reconfiguring the internal layout can provide an extra bedroom, especially in larger, older properties. Even in terraced homes it is possible to create extra space or rooms by adopting a more intelligent approach to layout.
Open plan living creates the impression of more space and has become a popular aspect of modern living. However, the eventual cost will depend on whether the walls are load bearing so it’s best to have an expert check before picking up the sledge hammer.
There has also been a boom in conservatories and orangeries which provides useable space with the minimum of disruption. Conservatories are estimated to add 15% to a home’s value.
Many homeowners no longer use the garage for its original purpose so a good clear out of junk can provide a fantastic new living space
In most cases planning permission is not required for loft and garage conversions and side extensions as long as they meet certain conditions. Many are able to be dealt with by Permitted Development Rights (PDR).
PDR can also apply to two storey extensions. The main rule being it cannot exceed 50% of the total area of land.
However, even if planning permission is not required, in most cases it will be necessary to apply for building regulations approval. This sets minimum standards for the construction and alteration of buildings.
Once the work is done it is essential to have it inspected and a Building Regulation Completion Certificate issued as you will be asked for this in the event of a future sale.
As ever, it’s sensible to check with your local planning authority first before undertaking any major work.
Please note: This article is intended as guidance only. No responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by Latimer Hinks. In addition, no responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by the firm.
For further information contact Martin Williamson: 01325 341500