The complete home improvement magazine
Renovation expert Michael Holmes
Discover how to transform the exterior of your property, and perhaps even increase its value by replacing windows, adding cladding or updating the roof. Includes information on what you can and can't do without planning permission according to Building Regulations.
The whole look of a property can be altered if you change the windows. By using permitted development rights, it can mean that you won’t need planning permission.
You can update modest 1950s and 1960s windows by adding large openings with a horizontal emphasis and narrow frame profiles. If a modern house lacks character, add period-style small casement or sliding sash windows with door openings to match. Budget around £600-800 per window, supplied and fitted. If you choose to fit windows yourself, you can expect to budget £200-350 per window.
Building Regulations requirements: You must use a FENSA-registered installer (fensa.org.uk), or submit an application to the local authority with the right fee — you can either fit them yourself or hire a builder to do it for you.
If your roof is covered in moss, an inexpensive way to freshen it up is by pressure-washing it. To replace sun-faded concrete roof tiles on a 1960s or 1970s house, budget £28-35 per m² for interlocking concrete roof tiles, including labour and materials.
Changing the roof covering will cost from £40-80 per m². Altering its shape is more expensive but can have a dramatic impact, such as raising the roof height, which will require planning permission. The cost can be mitigated if the new roof is tall enough to allow for a loft conversion.
Building Regulations requirements: Changing a roof covering is usually classed as permitted development, but you must add roof insulation at the same time to comply with the rules.
If the exterior of your home is looking tired, you can create a new look by removing or covering it and re-finishing the walls using a different material.
New cladding options include render (sand and cement, or a modern flexible, breathable polymer modified render for houses without cavity walls), or New England-style timber boarding, hung tiles and brick slips (thin brick tiles). To give a 1970s house a contemporary look, budget £30-40 per m² for self-coloured render on the ground floor, and £90-110 per m² to clad the first floor in horizontal oak boarding.
Building Regulations requirements: Changing the cladding is usually classed as permitted development. If you are cladding the exterior, it’s a good opportunity to add external insulation to improve energy efficiency.