The top 5 home renovations or additions that do not require planning permission

What can be done to a property without planning permission? A great question, as home improvements can drastically raise your house price. What’s more, all the suggestions are things that would add quality to a home (whether a rental property, buy to let, or even to your own home). 

As a note, we’ll avoid anything that includes dangerous building works. We know some people may attempt these themselves and gas line into the house aren’t something to mess with, there could be significant damage and you really want to get someone with a certified engineering qualification. 

First on the list is a fence. This may seem like a very simple place to start, however there are some important features to note. These only apply in very specific case, but always worth reminding those with property they want to improve. Remember: you will need planning permission to put up a fence if it’s over 1 metre high next to any highway used by vehicles or the footpath or if it’s over 2 metres high elsewhere, also if your property is listed or backs on to a listed property it can be quite a complicated issue (so check if you aren’t sure!). Apart from these qualifications, the rules are very relaxed, and it’s one of the most simple ways to make a property more secluded. What’s more, a replacement fence can alter a garden space drastically which can increase the price of property with almost no investment. 

Second to look at is a porch. Something to note is that this extension style has qualifications to the regulations (it has to be no more than 3 metres above ground level and if the ground floor doesn’t exceed 3 square metres). This is a great way to make a property larger, with somewhere to store coats, shoes, etc, and give you an opportunity to rearrange the inside of the house due to the external space becoming available. Something else to note, especially with terraced properties, is the aesthetic value that a small porch can have on a property – it can really improve the looks of the house! 

Thirdly, why not think about a loft conversion? If you live in a national park or World Heritage Sites, you may get in touch with local authorities. However, for most people loft conversions do not need planning permission, so long as the conversion is made in a similar material to the rest of the house and not higher than the highest part of the roof. This open space at the top of a house can lead to excellent storage space. You could also insulate the room and use it as an extra room for someone to live in (a great renovation idea for properties such as HMO lets. 

Next, let’s think about a conservatory.  These are excellent ways to improve the space at the ground level of your house. The warning we give for this addition to your property is that is must cover less than half the land that is surrounding the property, and the conservatory should not be higher than the highest point of the roof. A conservatory  is another way to ensure you have a great deal of extra space in a property; in this circumstance a buy to let property may be a good example to use, as space to make into an office or dining area would be a great benefit and add a great deal of value to a home. A final note with a conservatory is a reminder of the extra light that can come into an existing property through the glass that is used. 

Finally, a shed or ‘summer house’ is a great way to make some space (though not technically inside of a house).  You do need to be sure with an outdoor office or summer house that the floor area of the building is less than 15 square metres and the building is not used for sleeping. It can possibly be larger than this, but that would require inquiring with the local council to make sure that they have no objections. The external space can again be sued to make storage room, however an external office is a great selling point for a property, or even a room for those with teenage children!

There are several additions to your home that can be made hassle free and without planning permission. If you want more advice, have a look at the range of property development books available on the shop page on our website. 

Nick Fox started his property investment career 10 years ago and his portfolio has grown to one of the largest in the UK. Nick now mainly focuses on HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) and works to help others achieve property success too. Visit here to find out how he can help you.

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