5 Home Improvements that do not require planning permission 

  • Aug 14th 2020

For many of us, the lockdown has meant that we have had to use our home in many ways that we have not done before. From being a home, to a pop-up office, school at the dining table, and a playground in the garden, many families have had to adapt several areas of their home. In some cases, minor layout changes have taken place, to cater for the many functions a home has had to provide during the lockdown. 

As a result, you may be thinking what the ‘new normal’ will look like for your home. Will you need a more permanent office at home if you are going to be working from home (WFH), a different configuration of space to accommodate everyone at home for more extended periods of the day, or you might merely be reflecting on your surroundings, which in turn may have inspired you to decorate your living and outdoor space.

Whatever your motivation for wanting to refresh your home, you are now able to go ahead with most renovation projects, including adding two storeys to your home without full planning permission.

There are many ways you can enhance or extend your home under the ‘Permitted Development’ rights, which allow you to carry out specific work without seeking planning permission. 

Loft Conversions

Depending on your loft space, this can be converted into a light open space. This space can be used as a bedroom or a quiet office space. A loft conversion is a great solution to add more space and value to your property without extending the footprint of your house.

Garage Conversion

A survey from the RAC and Sainsbury’s Insurance found that less than a quarter of homeowners with a garage, use their garage to park their cars in. Often, this space is used to store junk or be used as a workshop from time to time. A garage conversion is an excellent project if you want to make good use of this space. Depending on where your garage is in relation to your house, this could be used to extend the kitchen if the garage is attached to your home or create an office or a children’s play area or both, depending on the size of your garage. 

Build a Log Cabin

A log cabin, summer house or a large shed can be built to create an outside space for the whole family. This space can be used as a play area or to create a workshop if you are looking to make use of your garage in a different way. 

Timber log cabins will allow you to create a great home office away from your home. Having a space in your garden where you can set up your home office with electricity, will allow you to still work from home, however, it will enable you to separate your home and work life.


This is a great way to extend the back of your home. It’s a great option if you are looking for that extra space that will bring light into the house. Often used as a place to relax, this space can be used to create a home office or even a place where the whole family can work and study. 

Front or Side Extension

Open plan living continues to be popular, with many new build properties offering this space as standard because of the sense of space it creates and light it brings in. 

You can build a single storey front or side extension to your house without planning permission provided it’s no longer than 4 metres. These types of extensions are a great way to make the most of those alley ways on the side of the house or those small spaces outside the house before the garden starts. 

How to Start a project?

First, you have to decide if you are going to hire builders to come in or if you are a DIY person, regardless of which option you choose, there are going to be some costs involved. Start by planning out your costs, not only for the build but also for the interior decoration. 

Double-check with a design professional to make sure that your project comes under the ‘Permitted Development’ rights. 

Remember that you will need to comply with building regulations. 

If you are looking to Buy, Sell or LET call us on 0116 266 9977!

This is subject to further government policy changes.