There are so many reasons why we look to improve our homes. You might be looking to sell and want to bump up the potential value, feel like a complete cosmetic change indoors, or you’ve watched one too many episodes of Grand Designs and decided that a full on extension is the way to go.

Whichever applies to you, it’s not just something that you should run head on into without taking the time out and actually thinking “do I know everything I need to know about this project?”. If you don’t, it could all end up horribly wrong.


Here are a few of the important questions you should really be thinking about.

What value is this going to add onto my home?

There are a number of really good things you can do to bump up the value of your home if you’re thinking about selling. Investigating the various fireplace packages on offer to improve the ambience of the living room for example is a great place to start. As is thinking about getting a wood burning stove installed. These on trend design statements, not only make your house great to live in, and look good, they’re also extremely attractive to potential buyers. Sprucing up the kitchen, either by getting a new kitchen fitted or working on the existing one, is also a sure fire way to improve the value of your home. As is getting an extension; but that can be a little more risky.

Have I thought about my neighbours when it comes to extending my property?

When you extend your property, you need to get planning permission from the local authority. This can at times be quite an arduous task when it comes to ticking all the boxes. One thing you may not have thought about is how this could impact on your neighbours’ enjoyment of their property. If for example you block their view, or infringe on their “Right to Light” (although this is only in city centres) they could potentially block your application. It’s something to consider.

Is my conservatory an extension of the home?

When you get a conservatory fitted, in most instances this will be bolted on to the rest of the house. To show this as an add on, there will be doors separating it from the room it is joined onto. This can sometimes make it feel isolated and not really part of the home. There is the potential to have a conservatory fitted as an actual extension whereby sections of the plastered wall are incorporated with an insulated solid roof. In order to do this, however, you need to be in contact with the planning department, and provide them with calculations that show the amount of glazing in the windows, doors and roof, along with the amount of glazing in the house does not exceed 25% of the floor area of the conservatory and the house together.

Am I making the best use of the space I have?

You can turn your basement into a conversion without using up your permitted development rights (the volume you can add to a house without the need for planning permission), making it a viable option for an extension. You could add a new lounge or a bedroom with an en suite quickly and easily. This would be a very appealing feature to those looking to buy and could really bump up the asking price.

Do I know all the building regulations?

We’ve touched on the need for planning permission, but there are other building regulations you need to stay on top of. If you’re not sure, don’t start any work, until you’ve been in touch with a planner from the local authority. It’s best to work with them, rather than against them.