Usually extending your home not only adds space - in many cases it can mean a serious profit.
While the housing market is booming, it can be cheaper to add on than to move on; so we are spending record amounts improving our properties.
Mishal Husain looks at the homeowners who have spent £100,000 on extensions to add £200,000 on their home's total value compared to other similar properties in their road.
She also examines cases where extensions can end up devaluing a property, as well as the rogues trying to cash in on the house extension boom.
Also in the programme, the battle to get guns off our streets.
Ten months have passed since four teenage friends were shot down in front of 40 witnesses at a party in Birmingham last January, but still no-one has come forward to help police bring charges against those responsible.
Two of the girls, Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis, died in the gangland shooting after being caught in the crossfire.
In this exclusive report Real Story follows their mothers to New York to see how the authorities and community groups have worked together to bring gang related gun crime under control there and take the lessons back to their own troubled communities.
And, with dog theft up by 50%, our secret cameras go inside the ruthless world of the dognappers where owners face ransoms of up to £3,000 for the return of their beloved pets.
These highly organised networks of thieves are breaking into padlocked kennels and warning people that they will never see their dogs again if they contact the police.
Real Story: Monday 10 November 2003 at 1930 GMT on BBC One and streamed live on the Real Story website.
Anyone with any information about the murders of Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis can telephone West Midlands Police in confidence on 0121 606 7803 or text on 078999 33544.