Latimer Hinks Solicitors
Spaced out: what will add value to my home?
By Martin Williamson, Head of Residential Property at Latimer Hinks Solicitors
Whether you’re expecting an arrival from the stork, or you’ve decided to ‘grannex’ out part of your home to a family member, sometimes you just need more room. You’ve got a choice to make: should I buy bigger or increase the space I’ve got?
If you work out the costings, expanding the size of your home can be a great way to create a much-improved living space and add value to your property when the time comes to sell up.
Two of the most popular methods are loft conversions and extensions, which are often sought after features, however you should check whether planning permission is needed if you go for the latter, and whether your house can accommodate what you want.
Loft conversions: 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 10 to 20 per cent, according to furnishings bible Ideal Home.
It provides ample space and storage and, by using skylights or dormer/velux windows (for which planning permission may be needed in some cases), there’s plenty of natural light.
If creating a loft bedroom, fitting an en-suite is a major selling point for future buyers, and can get you that extra boost on your asking price.
In the North East, the average loft conversion costs between £15k to £30k, with features including the size, windows, stairs, and fixtures and fittings all playing a part in how much you’ll pay.
This might seem like a big investment, but when you consider that the extra bedroom could add around 15 percent to your property’s value, it could well be worth it.
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.
Building regulations are different from planning permission so, although you may not need planning permission for your loft conversion, you almost certainly will need Building Regulation Approval and the appropriate certification.
Equally as important is to consider both the roof height and whether there is sufficient space to install a staircase, otherwise you could find your ‘lofty ambitions’ come crashing down!
Extensions: Before you invest one second of time, and more importantly, one penny of your hard-earned cash, into an extension, you should ask yourself two questions: what type of extension do I want and do I need planning permission?
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. They cost around £35k at the lower end and over £100k for something larger and more luxurious. If your extension is going to include a kitchen renovation, this must also be factored into the cost.
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, with prices starting at around £65k and going as high as £300k.
In most cases planning permission is not required for loft and side extensions and 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 per cent 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.
Don’t forget, planning applications, if needed, and building regulations cost between £200 and £1000, so you should budget for this too.
It is, of course, sensible to check if planning permissions are required before undertaking any major work on your home.
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.
Issued on behalf of Latimer Hinks Solicitorsback to Latimer Hinks Solicitors