Great time to improve the home

Recent changes to planning rules have made it easier to remodel the home, and with house prices still in free-fall, now is a great time to think about adding a conservatory.

Recent statistics from Halifax Bank of Scotland show that house prices have now reverted to where they were in 2005 following months of back-to-back price drops.

"From the beginning of this month (September 2008), the majority of homeowners will no longer need to get planning permission to extend their homes, leading to around 80,000, or one quarter, of all planning applications being removed from the system," according to easier.coms property section.

"With the cost of moving now exceeding £20,000 in fees and duties for an average property, its often cheaper to build space than buy it."

A conservatory can give extra living space that offers something different from just a second lounge or dining room.

A view of the garden can be the perfect backdrop for entertaining, especially if it is atmospherically lit during the evening.