Gaining space in a tighter economy can be a challenge. One way to get around this problem is to extend your current property outwards, upwards and even downwards. From loft conversions to conservatories, extensions are a guaranteed way to add extra value to your property wherever you live. Although these activities can be fruitful, there are a handful of things to know before parting with any money. Here are six to read up on.

Local Land Value

Before undertaking such a large project, local land worth should be calculated. Homeowners can do this by making price inquiries to local estate agents and researching current houses for sale on the property market. Multiply the extension space by this average local price in square foot to gain a general idea. Similarly, if the houses in an area are pristine and their owners shop at websites such as, this is usually a good indication that overdevelopment should not be a worry.

Home Extensions: 6 Things You Should Know

Your Budget

Leave no stone unturned. When it comes to a big investment project, a budget plan should be drawn up to manage money throughout the project. Planning laws, builder’s salaries, contractors and furnishings should all be factors into a structured list.

Planning Permission

Like anywhere in Europe, planning permission in Italy should follow a set of guidelines in order to adhere to the law. These factors are usually decided by a community or region. One huge factor which can decide the fate of any build is the historical importance of the property or whether it is in an area which is famed for its natural beauty such as Umbria or Tuscany. In these cases, you must find out height restrictions as well as aesthetic guidelines in order to proceed with the project. If a property has already been given planning permission, always check the validity of the period. When in doubt, it is best to speak to the local authorities. Without the legal paperwork, a new build could be at risk from demolition.

The Rights of your Neighbours

Neighbours are a big factor in any big build. Their rights such as ‘right to light’ could override any planning permission if they feel that their home is being compromised by a recent development. A main concern for neighbours is the long lasting effects of a new build and whether their windows and views will be blocked from natural light.

The Value of a Garden

A small garden should not be destroyed by a large extension as this can actually de-value a property. Rather than a side extension such as a conservatory or garage, opt to build either up into the loft or down into the basement. Basement spaces are a particularly attractive option as they do not need planning permission. On a similar note, large swimming pools in the garden are often considered to be a dud investment as the actual instalment costs can sometimes outweigh or be equal to the added market value.

Building Structure

Before a homeowner draws up any plans for a hefty loft conversion, a thorough assessment of the property should be carried out in order to fully assess the situation. A full check should include any listed or protected features, a structural check of the main supporting walls and a past history check of any structural incidents such as water damage, subsidence, rot and cracks.