Move, or improve? 4 Ways to transform your home without extending...
It would seem the most obvious way to improve your home is to add extra space and extend. Whilst this can help solve many design problems, in some cases, extending isn’t always the best option. Before embarking on a project and getting an architectural professional involved, we always advise drawing up a list of everything you want from your home, get together an approximate budget and consider realistic timescales; all these factors can contribute toward how best to improve your home and meet your expectations.
Here are some of the ways to improve your home:
Adding natural daylight
Introducing natural light can make an interior space feel larger and change the feel of a room by creating a different outlook. Simple changes such as replacing existing standard sized windows with full height windows, installing a skylight, or forming patio/ bi-folding doors to the outside can result in relatively minor (and low cost) renovations that make a difference to how we connect with the space.
Certain factors need to be taken into account such as ensuring you have the right permissions, structural considerations, maintaining privacy for yours and your neighbour’s property and the orientation of the building in relation to the sun.
Does your home not have the right space, or suffer from an awkward layout?
A re-modelling scheme can help to understand what floor space is already available and create a new layout within the existing building confines. Within most homes it is easy to identify those unused corners, odd-shaped spaces, and under-utilised areas of the home. But, by rearranging the floorplan to create a more efficient use of space, this often saves the need for extending or converting parts of the home, saving time and money.
Generally, there is no requirement for Planning Permission if you are only altering the internal space (with exception to living in a Conservation area or Listed Building) but any changes will require Building Regulations approval and may require a Structural Engineer.
Add a garden room / office space
With more and more people working from home than ever, a garden room is a great way to introduce more space without extending the home that can be used flexibly; becoming a work space in the day and a entertainment space (that Gin bar you always wanted...) or a family retreat on the weekends.
Whilst a garden room might not add as much value to your property as a traditional home extension or conversion, they are often a more inexpensive way to introduce more space and can become a feature / selling point for any prospective future buyers.
Garden rooms and outbuildings can contribute toward the developable limit of your property and cannot always be achieved under homeowner permitted development rights, so before you embark on a project make sure planning permission is not required.
Garage / Loft Conversion
Lets face it - most of us don't use our roof space to its true potential. Aside from being a great home for spiders and somewhere to store the Christmas tree, a loft can be a great way to introduce extra space within the home; in some areas having a third-storey on a house can increase the value of a property as much as adding an extension.
The trickiest part of converting a loft space is ensuring the right head room is achieved and locating somewhere with a staircase to access the converted space.
Having a loft conversion can fall within your permitted development rights under certain criteria, but any conversion will require Building Regulations approval.
Word of advice:
Understand the ceiling price of the area you live in; sometimes no matter how much you extend, renovate and transform your home a property's value will not increase beyond a certain point. It is advisable to check the value of your property with an estate agent if you are considering large, costly renovation and extension works.