House Extensions
18th February 2015

Tired of the same old New Year’s resolutions?

18th February 2015

2015 is the year to move, improve and renovate!

Homeowners – ditch the diet. Facelifts, extensions and home detoxes are so much more fun. Here’s why 2015 is the year to put your home on the resolution list.

  • Take more exercise? – Boring.
  • Cut out sugar? – Tried it (and failed)
  • Spend more quality time with the family? – What’s that then…?


We’ve all had good intentions we’ve embarked upon with smiles and hopeful hearts – but how long does it last? Not long. Because resolutions are rarely fun or good for the bank balance.

Well, this year is the perfect year to have fun with your house! Make move, improve or renovate your New Year’s resolution.

Why 2015 is the year to move

Stamp Duty – If you’re reaching bursting point in your home, the government are making it easier to move home and upgrade your living space.

Sold Home For Sale Real Estate Sign in Front of Beautiful New House.

Sold Home For Sale Real Estate Sign in Front of Beautiful New House.

In December 2014 the new stamp duty rates came into force – a more progressive, less rigid system that George Osborne states will benefit 98% of homebuyers. Before now, you had to pay the entire percentage of duty, depending on the band you fell into. Now you only have to pay a proportion of this.

By moving away from the old system, often described as ‘slab tax’ and towards one that works in a similar way to income tax, the majority of homeowners will pay less. Instead of paying £20,400 stamp duty on a £510,000 house under the old system, now you’d only pay £15,000 – saving £4,900.

However, it is being hailed by some as a ‘mansion tax’, as anyone buying a property worth more than a £million will find themselves worse off with the two top bands dramatically increased to 10% for properties over £950,000 and 12% for properties over £1.5 million, compared to 5% and 7% in the old system.

But on the whole, if you fancy upgrading to a whole new home, the changes in the Stamp Duty mean it’s a great year to take the plunge.

Why 2015 is the year to improve

Permitted development just means ‘without planning permission’, and I expect you’ve all heard of planning permission. Those two words are enough to conjure up a cold sweat in most homeowners, but it really doesn’t have to be a barrier.

Recent changes in permitted development rules allow the possibility of extending your home by up to 8 metres (subject to certain criteria being met around property location and proximity to surroundings. Find out more about the criteria here).

The great news is that the rules around Permitted Development are intentionally lenient, so there’s very real chance that the things you want to do to give your home a makeover, redesign its layout, or add more space, can be done without a planning application, which saves you time and money.

What comes under permitted development?

Easter PP3

Easter PP3

  • Most conservatories and orangeries
  • Rear extensions up to 8m
  • Loft conversions
  • Side extensions up to 4 metres high
  • Outbuildings like garden offices or workshops
  • Porches

Why 2015 is the year to renovate

a cottage in an english village

a cottage in an english village

Change of use – If you’ve been known to peer through the grimy window of an office to let and know exactly where you’d put the sofa, or do a double take at a dilapidated barn and dream of bi-fold doors and double-height entrance halls, you’re going to love this.

Thanks to a concerted effort by the Government to stimulate the economy and fulfil their housing goals, there are permitted developments concerning ‘change of use’ – meaning you could convert an existing office building, retail unit or agri-building into a residential property.

Of course, criteria does apply, and it’s a good idea to contact us if you see a property you like. We’ll tell you what restrictions will apply and what is possible concerning turning it into a dream home.



Lewis Visuals works closely with you to advise on the how to get the space and design you want at the lowest cost, whether it’s the home you’re in now or one you’ve got your eye on.
Ask for a free one-hour consultation, call us on 01252 714 985 or visit our website

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