With the current state of the housing market being one of stagnation, many families in the UK find themselves in a very difficult situation. There are certainly hundreds of thousands of families currently desperate to move for one reason or another who just cannot sell their home.
Consider your options
For those looking for a larger house then the answer may well be to stay put and consider adding rooms to the property they already have. A bedroom, conservatory, dining room or even a granny flat can be added to many homes without costing anywhere near as much as actually moving into a bigger home. Planning permission, building regulations and of course household insurance all have to be considered when adding to or altering your home but it may well be worth it.
First of all you need to identify an area in or around your property that can be utilised. This may be the attic, spare land to the sides or the rear of the house or even above the garage. You perhaps have to look at your property in a way you have not considered before.
Once you have identified the area you can use, then it is best to draw up a rough drawing to see what can be achieved using the space and if it will be sufficient to live comfortably in your present home. Make a plan and get a ball park figure off a builder, if indeed you would need a builder, before you commit yourself to anything concrete. If you are happy with the space and have identified a workable design the next thing to do is check to see if you need planning permission.
Planning permission not so difficult
You may be pleasantly surprised on this score. Town and Country Planning was amended in 1995 with the result that many small extension projects no longer need planning permission. Many local councils now allow residents to put in a rough sketch (not an architect’s drawing) of their proposed project and for a small fee give them a quick answer on whether planning permission is necessary. In many cases residents can go ahead without any official permission being needed, this will almost certainly be the case for a small extension or change of use of a room, if it does not affect a neighbouring property in any way.
Do things right
Building Regulations are quite different to Planning Permissions and usually apply to any building work. There will be a fee for this, because it often requires a building inspector to visit your home to check that the work is done according to regulation and complies with such things as drainage and insulation issues.
Of course it is important to inform your home insurance providers that you are carrying out work in your home and to ensure you get a new home insurance estimate once the work has been done.