Although London has seen property prices fall since the Brexit vote, much of the rest of the UK has enjoyed a rise. Property prices in East Anglia, the North West and the East Midlands all rose by at least 5%, and Scotland’s figures increased by 6.7%. These movements are likely to make it more difficult to know when to move house, with some in the capital worried they may be forced to accept a lower value for their property in order to sell. On the other side, homeowners in regions with rising prices may want to wait and see. Both cases have led to one thing, an increase in the number of home extensions.
It’s incredibly difficult to try and match an extension to a period property. The contrast can seem jarring, which is why so many people choose an extension style that’s a dramatic departure from the existing structure. However, this touches on an important point, the issues of permitted development rights and planning permission. Provided certain criteria are met, permitted development rights means being able to build an extension to your home without securing planning permission – and built in whatever style you choose.
However, a major caveat is that permitted development rights are not renewed each time the house changes ownership. If a previous owner of your home built an extension and used up your allowance, you will not be able to use permitted development rights.
Of all the rooms that homeowners are keen to expand, kitchens are increasingly popular. Fewer families sit together to watch television than in the past, and dining rooms are often impractical for people on the go. As a result, kitchens have become the focal point of modern homes. And this means they need to be larger. Writing for Ideal Home, Jennifer Louise Ebert explains:
“The generous, open-plan kitchen is now the epicentre for modern living. There are several ways to scale-up space, from combining adjoining rooms or adding a conservatory to building a completely new room or digging out the basement.”
If you plan on extending your kitchen at the cost of a portion of your garden space, use glass to optimise light. This can mean building a full conservatory, but a more durable option would be to use floor-to-ceiling windows instead. Since light is so important to overall health and the kitchen is where families are spending the most of their time, it’s a great consideration for any extension.
One extension that’s proven consistently popular in the capital is one built underground. An intense premium on space means it’s cheaper to create space beneath a home, typically incorporating luxury additions like a swimming pool. Some mega wealthy Londoners have created so-called “iceberg basements”, where several new floors are created underground, housing wine cellars, and cinemas.
It’s not just the price of building an underground extension that’s off-putting. Many parts of the UK are unsuitable for basements because of a high-water table. This would create a serious damp problem that would make an underground space nigh unusable.
If you’re thinking about adding an extension to your home, always use an architect and make sure you consult with the local council about what additions you can make.
Photo by MartinGardner