Barbour ABI, a leading provider of construction intelligence services, has just released figures that show authorities in every region of England received increased numbers of planning permission applications for home improvement projects in 2016 compared to the previous year.
However, not everyone can be bothered with the forms and minutiae involved in applying for planning permission. Luckily, even the experts agree that a number of projects that won’t see you fumbling through forms can still have the desired effect. ‘Anything that’s done in good taste and is of high quality will add value to the property,’ says Ben Biker of the Biker Group, who specialise in construction services and have a dedicated bespoke joinery division. Adhere to certain rules – check the government’s Planning Portal website for the ins and outs – and you can add all sorts to your property without express permission.
One of these projects is adding or changing the windows and doors of your property. Something that the Biker Group have a lot of experience in. ‘From the environmental side of things, timber windows and doors outlast uPVC,’ explains Ben. ‘They’re traditional and there’s a subconscious value – if you see a property that’s 200 years old and its got plastic windows, it’s just not quite there. Timber windows can fit in with the surrounding building fabric and the period of the building. There have been studies to suggest that having timber windows can add anywhere between £10,000 and £20,000 in value.’
Home extensions don’t always require permission either. Depending on your location, an extension to your home could add thousands to its value, as well as giving you extra living space to enjoy before you decide to up sticks again. According to uSwitch.com, a home extension may set you back anywhere between £10,000 and £40,000, but could see the value of your property increase by upwards of £50,000. Paragon Oak is a leading provider of oak-framed garden rooms that can be built as free-standing structures or as an extension to your property and their range is well worth checking out, if this is something you’re considering.
A conservatory can also be a great addition to your home and doesn’t always require planning permission. Somewhere to relax, enjoy the sunshine (when we get it) and another room to put on your property’s floor plan when estate agents are marketing it, the humble conservatory ticks a lot of boxes. Have a look at Eliments’ range of conservatories to find one that suits your property’s style.
Similarly, you could add some kerb-appeal to your property without filling in planning permission forms by having a porch installed. While this may not add much value on its own, if you’re looking to sell your home any time soon, potential buyers may be put off before they’ve even got out of their car, if the front of your property isn’t spick and span. Check out Blackthorn Timber Windows’ range of porches to avoid this.
A March press release from the National Association of Estate Agents talks of gardens being very important in attracting potential buyers to your home. You’ll want a tidy garden with a good amount of privacy. Consider having a garden structure from Lushington Garden Buildings (a shed or a greenhouse, for example) constructed to help create this feeling – these are generally classed as ‘outbuildings’ and, subject to a few conditions, don’t require planning permission to build.
So, breathe a sigh of relief. You’re free from the forms. You’ve escaped the ennui. You’re not going to become just another planning permission statistic. Take stock of your property and decide which of these little projects you want to undertake, start contacting the experts and see your home’s comfort and value levels soar.