Bigger is better: 5 ways to extend your home without breaking the bank

There is a lot to be said about creating more space in your home in order to increase its value, and there are now a number of ways you can extend your home without actually getting an extension. Some of these space solutions come with no planning permission, no messy building work and no waiting for months on the completion of a project.
1. Commission a garden studio
As more and more of us find ourselves working from home, and as fewer properties have studies or office areas due to an increased need for bedroom space in modern homes, garden studios have become an increasingly popular solution. Not only do they offer a completely separate, secluded and private area for you to work in, away from the noise and chaos of the home, but they also increase the living area of your property. The great news is that, unless you live in a designated area, such as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or Conservation Area, or live in a Listed building, your single storey garden office may not require any planning permission at all, meaning these tiny ‘extensions’ are the ideal addition to your garden.
Do your research when it comes to purchasing a garden studio – there are now many companies offering a ‘quick-fix’ solution. But, particularly if you are looking to use this studio as a home office, you will need to consider the need for electricity to be installed into the space, and installed safely. 

2. Erect a conservatory
Conservatories have long been a family favourite, and for very good reason. A conservatory will add additional space within the home, but often in a far more interesting and functional way than an extension would. With masses of glass, these rooms offer versatility throughout the seasons, flooding themselves with natural light all year round, combining the benefits of your garden space with the comfort of your house. Adding a conservatory to your home is a proven way to add value to it, and it is often a feature on prospective homeowners’ wish lists. They look great, and they also provide the opportunity for a potential buyer to reinvent the uses for the room.  
Similarly to a garden studio, generally a conservatory will not require planning permission, however you DO need planning permission if;  
• More than 50% of the land around the ‘original house’ is to be covered (this includes any other buildings)
• The extension is forward of the front or side of the ‘original house’ that faces onto a road
• If you live in a designated area or fall under an Article 4 Direction
• If you have a listed building, you do require a Listed Building Consent.
• The conservatory is higher than the highest point of the roof
• The eaves and ridge height are higher than the existing house (single-storey and two-storey)
The eaves’ height is more than 3 metres, if within 2 metres of the boundary
You can find out more about conservatories and their permissions here. 

3. Adapt and repurpose spaces
From turning one room into two to creating multi-level living there are lots of ways to change a room without knocking down walls, or in fact, any building work at all. Multifunctional rooms can be created with some clever ‘zone’ creation by using storage or partitions to create boundaries. For instance, wooden screens or contemporary metal designs not only add character into a room, they also serve as dividers, effortlessly changing an open-plan living area into a clearly defined sitting room and a dining room or turning a large bedroom into a sleeping area and a dressing area. The same effect can be achieved by using a large shelving unit, this creates that defined division while also offering a stylish and practical storage solution for each side of the divide.
Glass doors are a great choice if you’re looking to create a division without loosing light and space – they assist in creating natural separations between areas of the home, without shutting them off from the rest of the house. For children’s bedrooms, bunk beds offer the addition of levels within a room. Many now come with storage beneath, or space for a desk for drawing and playing, creating a further, more exciting dimension to the space.

4. Convert your loft space
Converting the area in your attic sounds like a daunting process, but it could actually be the perfect solution to create more space for you and your family to grow, easily and cost effectively.  The first thing you will need to do is check your home is suitable for conversion. Again, there are some exceptions but most loft conversions will not need planning permission – you can ask a builder or surveyor for their personal opinions on the feasibility of the project. You could also ask other homeowners on your street with a similar property whether they have considered or carried out a conversion. 
If you go ahead with a loft conversion, you should plan for some major disruption to your home for at least a few weeks. Perhaps consider moving in with a friend or family member for a short while, or if this is not an option, you should try to vacate the house as much as possible during the day while work is being carried out.  There are many different types of loft conversions, and it is important to do your research into what will provide you with the most practical living space. Whichever you decide on, this solution is a great option for adding extra sleeping and living space for a modern family.
Read this article from Which? for a comprehensive guide on choosing a loft conversion. 

5. Overhaul your garage 
An extra bedroom, a further reception area, maybe even a home cinema! Your garage space could well be sitting vacant and screaming for the opportunity to be converted into a more usable room. Many garage conversions could even be carried out by a seasoned DIY-er, without the need to call in a professional, however, it is advised to check that the building is structurally sound before creating a full-time living space inside it. Permission isn’t usually required for a garage conversion, provided the work is internal and doesn’t involve enlarging the building. Again, of course, there are exceptions. Use the website to find out the constraints of planning. 
You should weigh-up losing a space to store your car overnight compared with gaining an additional living area. Do you have a driveway or any other off-road parking? Do you need that storage for garden tools or similar large items? Once you have considered these points, you are ready to decide on what exactly you want your newly converted garage to accommodate (our vote is still on that home cinema!)

Contact us today…
Are you considering selling your home? Contact your local Guild agent today to see how they can help you sell your property fast, and at its true value.


Financial Services

Contact a specialist from Aston & Co Financial Services for help with finding the right mortgage.

Read What Our
Customers Say

Jodie Skinner

From the beginning, our experience with Michael and Rhys has been brilliant. Whenever we had a question to ask or needed some additional information, they were both just a phone call away and were always happy to provide us with an answer. As first time buyers, they made us feel ...

Sue Smith

We can’t fault Aston and co in Syston, for their handling of the sale of our property. We were kept up to date weekly and nothing was too much trouble. Both Micheal and Rhys were approachable and very professional. I would definitely recommend using them for an efficient and hassle ...


Having had issues with other agents, we came to Astons who gave us an honest appraisal of our house – not overpricing it like others to gain business. Michael and Rhys are a great partnership and Rhys being local was able to provide viewers with information that other agents hadn’t. ...

Andy Freer

Recently sold our house with Aston & Co. We honestly could not have asked for more. From the moment Michael came to value the house, to the day to day communication from Rhys we have not had to chase them once. Michael and Rhys are a great partnership and a ...

V Pears

We chose Aston & Co in Syston to handle the sale of our property. We were kept up to date regularly and Michael and Rhys dealt with all matters efficiently and quickly.We would definitely recommend using them for an efficient and hassle-free move.

Gareth Mueller

We bought a house from a vendor who used Astons & Co as their agent. Rhys was helpful and professional from start to finish and regularly kept us in the loop with how things were progressing. Communication was efficient and swift all the way through.

Julie Pearson

From the first visit to value our property to the final phone call informing us of completion Rhys and Michael at the Syston office have been brilliant, down to earth, realistic with valuation very easy to get in touch with.Making everything less stressful.Regular updates were very reassuring . I would ...

Charlotte Hings

The team at Astons are great. They’re really down to earth, take time to listen and help resolve anything they can for you.Their communication is excellent as they always keep you in the loop with what is happening with your sale. They keep both seller and purchaser happy.Fees are reasonable ...

Julie Perkins

We have recently used Aston & Co to sell our property. At all times we received regular reports from them on interest and following viewings . When our property sold Astons managed the chain keeping all parties fully informed and I believe that without their input our sale would have ...

Tina Poole

Michael and Rhys handled both our sale and purchases. They had good local knowledge, their valuation turned out to be on point. Our sale viewings were nearly all on the same day and we accepted an offer very quickly. We were kept up to date regularly with that and our ...

How Much is Your Property Worth?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation.