We wanted to move to a larger house, but now the house next door has come on to the market. Our home is one half of a semi-detached pair of listed cottages - could I buy the house next door and simply knock through some doorways to create a larger house?

First you must check the title deeds of both properties to be sure there are no restrictions or'covenants' which would stop you making the two houses into one.

You should also liaise with the listed building officer at your local planning authority to be sure that the merging of the two semis will not contravene the listing of the cottages. This may depend on whether the listings are Grade I or Grade II.

If the properties are Grade I listed the knocking through may not be possible. If the properties are Grade II listed, depending on exactly what is listed, you may be able to merge the cottages, as long as you don't change the exterior or damage the listed elements. You will have to apply for listed building consent.

Do you have a mortgage over your property? If so you will need your lender's consent. It's also worth considering whether it makes financial sense to buy the second cottage, knock it through and make your detached home, if there will be no financial return compared with the money you are going to spend. You should also discuss with the council what council tax you will be liable for with the two cottages, or for the bigger single home.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.