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Improve, don’t move - if you want to extend your home in 2023 here are our top tips

Looking to upgrade your space this year? Explore insightful timelines to help you organise and top tips for improving over moving.

4 min read

Loving the space you live in shouldn’t be a luxury considering we spend a third of our lives at home. But some facts can’t be avoided: it can be costly and stressful to renovate, and even more so to relocate. That’s why increasing numbers of homeowners are looking to their property and exploring innovative ways to improve, not move. If your home is overdue a glow up and you’re not sure where to begin, this guidebook is for you.

Go big or go home – let’s talk extensions

It’s no industry secret that one of the most radical ways you can improve your home is an extension. Whichever type best suits you and your property, one thing you can be certain of is that you’re going to gain space. And whether you’re creating room for a growing family or dreaming of a brand new home gym, an extension is an investment in your everyday as well as in the value of your property in the future.

What to expect at the start of your extension journey

At the very outset of your extension journey, it’s worth noting that there is no guaranteed timeline for a project so you can set your expectations flexibly between seven and 15 months (sometimes significantly longer). Before you begin, set yourself a budget and list out your priorities – setting these in stone can help you stay on track down the line.

Still seeking some inspiration? Explore our deep dive into different types of extensions. It’ll also help when you approach architects for quotes – shopping around is really important at this stage so try and get at least a few numbers.

House extension timelines - what to expect

The home renovation timeline

If you’re considering a home renovation but you’re unsure where to begin or how big your commitment to the build is likely to be, use this diagram to deep dive into just what home renovation might look like for you.
Home renovation timeline

How hard is it to get permission for an extension?

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer – it really depends on your property and local planning rules! Certain properties are eligible for permitted development rights (which can simplify and speed up the process). This is a scheme that allows you to extend or renovate your home without the need for a full planning application.

If you can undertake your project under permitted development then there’s no need to submit a planning application. However, we recommend requesting a lawful development certificate to prove that your project was legal at the point of construction. Should you decide to move in the future, these will demonstrate that you’ve stayed firmly above board.

Breathe new life into unused space

Look for pockets of your home that aren’t being celebrated and consider how to make the most of them. “Dead spaces” like hallways and under stairs cupboards are wellsprings of untapped potential that could make all the difference to your day-to-day life. Reinvigorate remote working with a brand new home office tucked away somewhere unexpected, create a satisfying new order with savvy organisational solutions or create a cosy hideaway like a reading nook.

Improving your house by using unused space

Get inspired by nature

Improving your home is easily achievable with an injection of much-needed greenery – particularly in bustling cities. Our Happy Home Report revealed the importance of ‘nourishing’ spaces when it comes to our mental and physical health. Indoor plants naturally purify air quality, making it healthier for you to inhale and offering your breathing a break from the hustle and bustle of busy roads.

Aesthetically, indoor gardening is enjoying a moment in the spotlight too. To emphasise the depth of your space, we recommend choosing hanging plants that tumble from a height and draw the eye higher up. If daily pruning is an activity you enjoy and the impact you’re seeking is bold, consider installing a living wall in your home – getting closer to nature has never been easier!

Improve your house with hanging plants to enhance the height of your ceilings

Refresh your (colour) palette

If your walls are zapping you of energy and leaving a lot to be desired, you’re not alone. Lick Paint’s Lead Colour Specialist, Tash, explains, “In psychological terms, colour is emotion. Colour has a specific influence on us on all levels: mentally, emotionally and physically.” On the positive side, this means that you have great potential to boost your mood while transforming your home by opting for a brand new colour scheme.

If you’re craving a change but you’re not ready to commit to big, vibrant colours, COAT Paints’ prediction that deep beige will make a comeback will be welcome news. It’s subtle enough not to shock the system while being a warming shift that’ll effortlessly evoke feelings of comfort. On the other side of the colour wheel, toasty oranges, earthy greens and velvety pinks are set to dominate interior design Instagram feeds this year.

If you’re still looking to reinvigorate your property, discover more ways to fall back in love with your home.

Looking to improve your home?

Which part of your property would you like to extend?

Ground Floor
First Floor


How long does a house extension take?

Depending on your project, it can take between 7 and 15 months.

How can you improve your home with an extension?

An extension can help you get that extra room you need, and gain more space in your home. It will also add value to your house.

How can you improve your home without extending?

If you want to improve your home but are not ready for an extension, you can repurpose unused space or opt for smart storage solutions so that you can free and gain some space.

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Track record in getting planning approval


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34 days

Average time from survey to planning