Getting started

What is the project?

The most exciting part of planning your home improvement project is visualising the finished product. If you have ideas about improving your kitchen, converting your loft space or adding an extension to your property, you can explore our interactive detached house, terrace, flat and shop guides to help you in your planning, advise you on what changes you can make under permitted development rules (without requiring planning permission) and give you information about how the building regulations may apply.

You can also find project-specific information in our common projects pages which include detailed guidance on over 50 homeowner projects and take a look at our end to end project advice for six most popular home alterations.


Everybody's taste varies and different styles will suit different types of property. Nevertheless, a well-designed building or extension is likely to be much more attractive to you and to your neighbours. It is also likely to add more value to your house when you sell it. It is therefore worth thinking carefully about how your property will look after the work is finished.

Extensions often look better if they use the same materials and are in a similar style to the buildings which are there already and some local authorities may insist this. It is impossible to give a single definition of good design in this context: there may be many ways of producing a good result. In some areas, the council's planning department issues design guides or other advisory leaflets which may help you. You may wish to consider using an experienced and skilled architect.

Find a trade professional.

How long will the project take?

This all depends on what your project is and the support you have with a build or installation. If you do decide to use a professional, the timescale should be one of the items factored into a building contract.

Find out more about building contracts