Improve or Move?


Improve or Move?

A dilemma faced by many homeowners. Your housing needs have changed, and you are unsure whether it would be best to improve your current home or sell up and move to a new home.

Moving to a new house can be an exciting prospect, but is also costly, time consuming and comes with all the risks on the unknown. You must factor in stamp duty, removal costs, legal fees, surveyors’ fees, agency fees and the risk of new neighbours.

While, the alternative is to extend or improve your current home, this could be the ideal solution. However, this might present just as many risks. You will possibly need to obtain planning approval, find a reliable architect and builder.

But what if you could make alterations without needing to spend months convincing the local planning department to approve your proposal it might be a more attractive option. We shall take a look at the alterations which can be carried out without planning approval:

A summer house/ home office

  • It can be up to 15 meters squared
  • Must not be used as a bedroom

A porch

  • No more than 3 metres above ground level
  • No more than 3 square metres in size
  • No part of the porch is within 2 metres of house’ boundaries or highway

A loft conversion (Only non-designated areas)

  • No higher than the highest part of the house
  • Made is similar material like the rest of the house
  • The conversion volume should not exceed 40 cubic metres for terrace house and 50 cubic metres for detached or semi-detached

A conservatory or extension

  • To be less than half of the land surrounding the property
  • No higher than the highest point of the roof
  • No more than 4 metres high, if the property is single storey

A fence (non-listed buildings and other rules apply in conservation areas)

  • No more than 1 metre high next to a highway or over 2 metres high elsewhere
  • Taking the fence down

Always consult a reputable local architect or planning specialist to ensure the correct consent is granted before commencing works. Bear in mind, you may not require planning approval, but will often still need building control sign off for any structural alterations. These documents will be very important when you come to re-sell your home.