The government has made a number of announcements recently, including a new law which is expected to come into effect in September. This will enable you as a homeowner in WD3 to add two storeys to your property, and you won’t even need planning permission first. This means if you have been looking to extend your home, it may give you an alternative option. But can raising your roof raise the value of your home?
Currently, the changes will only apply to those who own a detached property built between 1948 and 2018, but if that’s you, you will be able to increase your living space upwards by two storeys up to the maximum height of 18 metres. Speaking about this Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “It will mean that families can provide much-needed additional space for children or elderly relatives as their household grows or family members return to live with parents and children.”
Although you may not be eligible to take advantage of this new law, there are other changes you can make to your home without obtaining full planning permission.
You can extend up to four metres at the rear of a detached home, or three metres behind a semi or a terrace house. However, the extension must not take up more than half of the outside space and the materials used need to be in keeping with the original house.
Side Return Extension
You can do this without planning consent if you are not building higher than four metres, or more than half the width of the original house.
You could have the potential to extend upwards via a loft conversion. Loft conversions are known to be one of the most popular UK home improvements and, if done correctly, have the potential to add value to your home; they can also add extra space which you as a family may be in need of. But adding value may not be the deciding factor for you. You may have already boarded your loft and have been using it for storage – over lockdown, you may have started to use it as an actual space, such as an office or even a bedroom, but is it legal?
It’s worth taking professional advice from an architect or builder before you start, but most loft conversations will not require planning permission, as they tend to fall under permitted development. Permitted development is a set of conditions your proposed conversion needs to satisfy, such as the height and roof materials used and the amount of additional space you are creating, keeping the space you create to no larger than 40 cubic metres for terrace houses or 50 cubic metres for detached and semi-detached houses. It’s also worth seriously considering the look of the loft and keeping it in line with the architectural design of your home, as something disjointed could make your property less appealing should you wish to sell.
As we have stated, any works on your loft conversion will need to comply with building regulations; this is to ensure that all works have been done properly and your loft is structurally sound, fire safe and reasonably insulated. To comply as a ‘sellable room’ the doors used will need to be fire-resistant and you will also need mains-powered smoke alarms. Have your floor and beams been strengthened? This will raise the floor level and so reduce the ceiling height – can you actually stand up?
Other things to consider are to ensure that the space has been insulated sufficiently to keep the noise between rooms to a minimum. Stairs are always a huge consideration, as this could mean losing or reducing the size of a bedroom; will access to this new room be via a bedroom? Retractable ladders are not enough, as the new staircase has to provide an escape route in case of a fire. It may work for you as a family, but what impact could this have when selling your home? At Trend & Thomas we are always happy to give you advice on the probable saleability of your home following planned works.
Have you thought about the government’s ‘green investment’ package, the “2 million scheme” launched by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak? Designed to help homeowners make their properties more energy efficient, from September, you can apply for a grant to cover energy-saving projects. Covering up to two-thirds of the cost, the grant will cover loft insulation amongst many other efficiency upgrades.
Costs and value
To give you a guide, for a ‘room-in-the-roof’ single space loft conversion, costs start at around £15,000, roughly – depending on your plans, the costs increase from there. Many people seeking to fully utilise this space opt for an additional bedroom and bathroom, making this extra space into a glorious master suite. Other homes are on the smaller side, and a single use option is the best choice – though that’s not to say that with some clever storage you can’t make it into a multiuse space.
What value could it add? At Trend & Thomas we don’t like giving values as there are many considerations to take into account that are unique to your property. This is why we always prefer to view your property and your plans so we can give you an estimate, which will be revised once the works have been completed. Nationwide, however, have undertaken some research which estimated that the value of a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house could increase in value by 20% through the addition of an extra bedroom and bathroom.
Improve or move
If recent weeks have shown you that some extra space is much needed, then you are probably pondering whether you should move or improve. Extending your home can provide you with the ideal solution, but again the costs and even your home’s structure may be giving you doubts. Before you make a decision, why not have a look at what’s available on the market at the moment? It may even give you a few ideas for your property.
Whether you decide to stay or go, our team are always here to offer advice and support to help you make the right decision for you and your family. Call in to our office in Station Road in Rickmansworth but don’t forget your face mask – or you can just give us a call on 01923 773 616.