Annex army on the march

The words ‘Granny’ and ‘annex’ may go together like salt and pepper but converting existing outbuildings into residential space is no longer the preserve of those needing to home elderly parents.

Lockdown syndrome

The events of the past 18 months may have given annexes a new lease of life. Councils received approximately 9,000 planning applications for annexes in 2019-201, perhaps unsurprising given that lockdown has made extra space increasingly desirable. Confined to our homes and trying to work from the dining room table or sofa, the thought of a home office has appealed to many.

A desire for extra space may be a major motivation to convert an old shed, but it isn’t the only reason to add an annex to your home. Research suggests an annex adds an average of £91,000 to the value of a property and generates greater interest among buyers.

To host or not to host

If you are thinking of joining the annex army, you first need to be clear what your conversion is for. A home office is relatively simple, requiring a single room and perhaps toilet facilities. On the other hand, if your ambition is to host airbnb guests, you’ll probably need several rooms, including a full bathroom, kitchen facilities, living space and bedroom.

Plan your planning

It’s important to consider planning permission too. If you’re converting an existing outbuilding, like a garage or shed, you might not need it. However, you probably will need to submit a planning application for larger projects.

Even if you don’t build anything, acquiring planning consent before you sell can boost your property’s value because prospective buyers will know they have the option to build their own annex should they wish.

1Churchill Home Insurance, 2021