10 Home Improvements Without Planning Permission

by | May 26, 2020 | Extensions, Garden Rooms, Loft Conversions, Your Home

We all know planning can be a nightmare. There’s plenty of horror stories circulating with the power to put you off home improvement projects for life. The good news is there’s plenty of improvements you can make to your home without ever having to seek planning permission. Here’s 10 ideas to get you started…

1. A Garden Room

As long as you stay within permitted development rules, you can get a garden room without planning permission. The key here is that you don’t plan to use it as a separate sleeping area or an annexe. If you do decide it would be more useful for this purpose later, you can apply for a change of use.


2. A Loft Conversion

Again, if you stick within the permitted development rules relating to loft conversions then you won’t need planning permission. A simple conversion is likely to be fine and this suits most people’s needs and keeps the budget low, whilst still adding value and utility to your home.


3. A Ground Floor Extension

Yes, you really can build an extension without planning permission. But there are rules (you guessed it, permitted development). Simply check out the guidelines and make sure your plans stay within them. An important thing to remember with extensions, though, is to apply for a lawful development certificate. This will prove to future buyers that your extension is legit.


4. Install Exterior Lighting

You normally don’t need planning permission to install exterior lighting to your property. It can improve look of your home, act as an additional security feature and be a practical aid when you need to find your keys or want to sit outside at night. Just make sure you don’t annoy your neighbours by pointing it towards their property or installing extremely bright lights. Make sure that it’s not too sensitive if motion-triggered or every person, cat and passing pigeon will set it off.


5. A Basement Conversion

It is within your permitted development rights to convert an existing space underneath your home, so long as it doesn’t act as separate accommodation, require excavation or you plan on adding a light well or other exterior altering feature. If you have ‘dead space’ under your house, a basement conversion can be a great way to gain space and add value to your property.


6. A Porch

Under permitted development rights, porches are the only project allowed to extend beyond the front wall of your home. A porch can really improve the look of the front of a property and they’re also pretty useful as well for storing all those coats and muddy boots. To avoid planning permission, you will need to keep your porch within three square metres. Check the permitted development guidelines for porches to make sure you’re following the rules.


7. Change Your Floorplan

When it comes to home improvements, you have a lot more freedom inside your property because planning permission is mainly concerned with exteriors. Open plan living spaces are really popular these days and can be a great way of improving family life. One of the latest trends is broken plan, which involves different zones being created with clever design – this is definitely worth checking out for those considering a change of floorplan. Do keep in mind that, if you want to knock down walls, you will need to consider building regulations.


8. Replace Your Windows

As long as the style is in keeping with the existing look of your property, you can replace your windows without planning permission. This can really upgrade the look of your home without the hassle of major building works. It can also help to improve insulation of the property, boost its energy efficiency and save you money on your energy bills.


9. Improve Your Exterior Walls

Providing you don’t live in a conservation area or a listed building, you can make home improvements to your exterior walls without planning permission. This includes pebbledash, cladding, rendering, tiles, timber or painting your walls a different colour. If you’re not sure about the rules where you live, just check in with your local council to be on the safe side.


10. Make Eco-Improvements

Eco improvements can boost the value of your property, reduce your bills and help you live in a way that’s kinder to the environment. Consider installing solar panels, upgrading your windows or improving your home’s insulation. If you drive an electric car, or plan to do so in the near future, you could install an electric car charger.

More on permitted development rules can be found here.


Building Regulations Approval

While the above may not need planning permission, number’s 2, 3, 5 and 7 will all need Building Regulations approval.

We can provide a single set of Building Regulations Drawings for these projects and get Building Control approval. Our inclusive service eliminates the hassle, as we will also submit the drawings to the Planning Dept to get what’s called a Lawful Development Certificate. This is basically written confirmation that the works don’t need full planning permission and that the works are legal and above board. This is particularly useful when it comes to selling a property, as it lets potential buyers know that everything is approved and won’t cause them problems in the future. If you would like a quote click here.