Plan for per­fec­tion

This week, JU­LIA GRAY re­veals the things you want to avoid do­ing when ren­o­vat­ing your home

Rutherglen Reformer - - House & Home -


IF you’re go­ing to spend money on build­ing work, en­sure you get the max­i­mum ben­e­fit from it, both in terms of im­prov­ing your home and adding value to it. So don’t take on a big project un­less you can af­ford to do it prop­erly.

With loft con­ver­sions, for ex­am­ple, in­cor­po­rat­ing a dormer win­dow (plan­ning laws per­mit­ting) will give you most head height and use­able space in the loft room/s. Chang­ing the line of the roof from slop­ing to ‘straight’ (look­ing from the front or back), with a dormer at the back span­ning almost the whole width of the house, costs more but gives you the best pos­si­ble loft room/s. Some homes have a con­verted loft that can’t of­fi­cially be called a bed­room be­cause it doesn’t com­ply with build­ings reg­u­la­tions. If you can make your con­ver­sion com­ply, and get a com­ple­tion cer­tifi­cate to prove it, it will be worth a lot more.


UN­LESS you’re not con­cerned about re­coup­ing the cost, don’t over­spend on your home.

It’s easy to splash out on ex­pen­sive home im­prove­ments, but it’s wise to spend in pro­por­tion to the value of the prop­erty and the area.

Don’t, for ex­am­ple, pay £30,000 for a kitchen in a prop­erty that’s only worth about £150,000, as you’re un­likely to see that money back.


IN decades past, beau­ti­ful pe­riod fea­tures weren’t al­ways as val­ued as they are now, but orig­i­nal cor­nic­ing, floor­boards, fire­places, doors and the like add value and make your home more at­trac­tive and sell­able.

Fea­tures can of­ten be re­stored if they’ve been re­moved, ei­ther orig­i­nal or re­pro­duc­tion ones – eBay’s a great place to find them.


LOOK at what your neigh­bours have done. Not im­prov­ing your home in line with the rest of the neigh­bour­hood could cost you dear.

Take win­dows as an ex­am­ple: if all or most of your neigh­bours’ homes have the orig­i­nal wooden sash win­dows, re­plac­ing your win­dows with UPVC case­ment ones will prob­a­bly de­value your home.

Care­ful plan­ning is es­sen­tial if you want to ma­kee the most of your money and some ren­o­va­tion works will add more value to your home than oth­ers In some ar­eas, UPVC win­dows are ev­ery­where, so fit­ting them is more likely to add value than not.


PLAN­NING per­mis­sion is, of course, some­times re­quired for build­ing work, but it’s not al­ways ob­vi­ous when you need plan­ning and when you don’t – if in doubt, ask the lo­cal coun­cil.

Flats and maisonettes don’t have per­mit­ted de­vel­op­ment (PD) rights, so if you live in one of th­ese, you’ll need plan­ning for things that you wouldn’t if you lived in a house, such as erect­ing a gar­den shed.

Some houses have had their PD

rights re­moved, so they have the same re­stric­tions, and houses on ‘des­ig­nated land’, which in­cludes con­ser­va­tion ar­eas, are sub­ject to dif­fer­ent plan­ning rules to those that aren’t.

If your home’s listed, al­ter­ations usu­ally re­quire listed build­ing con­sent from the lo­cal coun­cil, or in some cases English Her­itage. And if your home’s lease­hold, you usu­ally need the free­holder’s per­mis­sion for al­ter­ations, de­pend­ing on what the lease says. Even if you own a share of the free­hold, you still need the other free­hold­ers to agree.

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