Remember there is always a solution. Improve with budget and profitability in mind.

Homebuilding and renovating, real homes magazine

Looking to buy?

Don’t be put off by a house because of the carpet, have the vision and imagination to see through it. A house will very rarely be perfect. List everything you can see wrong with it and then turn that negative into a positive to add value.

OK, so you have finally found a potential home in the perfect location and its affordable… there’s a ‘but’, it’s a bit too small, lacking kerb appeal and you’re just not that head over heels about it. Fear not!

First of all – check the structural, subsidence, damp, wiring and plumbing. Are there cosmetic improvements to be made such as giving it a makeover, new kitchen and bathroom? The worst house on the best street is the finest opportunity to make value on the property.

Are you looking to stay in the property for a long time and does it require an extension to gain more rooms to future proof it?

What is the value of my property? Use Rightmove and Zoopla for previous, sold and current prices.

Making your current home work better for you

If you are already in your long term home and don’t want the expense of removal costs and  stamp duty it may make sense to spend more in the build compared to moving.

Stamp duty calculator

Construction cost calculator



Draw up the existing floor plans try this Stanley floor plan app.  Don’t get hung up on the existing use of the rooms, in fact don’t even label them! Which of the spaces do you use the least, is there a patchwork of small spaces and poor circulation? Yes! I hear you cry, then open up the spaces, address where you need light, how you approach the spaces, where are your views and where does the sun rise and set. Does the box room or dining room ever get used? Is your kitchen pokey and dark?


The objective is to gain a sense of space and light. Blend part of your outside space into your inside space to make the inside seem larger. Create a visual connection by using the same floor tiles inside and out, glass balustrade and large glazing such as bi-fold doors, we like Offset energy lost through glass by upgrading the insulation in the floors, walls and ceilings.


Loft conversions

Can you add a mezzanine or vaulted ceiling to give the sense of space and height? Add a sleeping platform or play area. What if there isn’t enough height, can you lower the ceiling below or raise the roof pitch? There is always a solution.

Do I need planning permission?

Permitted development will allow you a roof extension of up to 40-50 cubic meters, add dormer windows and convert hipped to gable ends, this is subject to meeting certain criteria, see here. Perhaps you have a cellar or garage that could be converted? You can extend to the rear at single storey up to 8 meters, the side ½ the width of your ‘original’ house and two storey rear up to 3 meters.

Extensions costs approx. £1400-£1700 per sq m however do bear in mind that it’s between £3000-£5000 for a new basement.

You could also add garden rooms for ancillary use such as a home office, gym or games room.


When looking to add more space always consider the wow factor, cosmetic improvements, parking and privacy.


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Lewis Visuals – transforming lives through design

Renovating for profit by Michael holmes