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To build or extend: When should you extend your home?

My next door neighbours recently decided to extend their home. Their kids were growing up and they were outgrowing the house. However, they faced many obstacles on the way – from walls collapsing to an underground well they were totally unaware of underneath the kitchen – it’s no wonder there were times when they were uncertain whether it was going to be worth it in the end or not.

Of course, it is usually cheaper and more convenient to extend your home than sell up and purchase another house, plus if you’ve grown fond of your home its likely you won’t want to up-root completely.

If you live in a flat, extending may not be possible, but for homes with a spacious garden that you don’t mind losing some of, or if you’ve got a room-sized vacant loft this could be ideal. Some houses even consider digging below to provide a basement space. When it does come to selling your home, the extension could increase the value up to 20% – therefore being a worthwhile investment (Nationwide Building Society).

Here are some considerations when deciding to extend your home:

Planning permission

planning-permission According to gov.uk, you need to apply for planning permission to build something new, make a major change to your building (like an extension) or change the use of your building and you can get in trouble with the council if you fail to comply with this. Your neighbours may reject planning permission if they feel the extension will block out light to their property, cause noise or privacy concerns. It is worth discussing your building plans with your neighbour first.

Will you mind losing outdoor space?

boy-playing-football If it’s important to you to have outdoor space for lounging and relaxing or for your children to play in, you may find you regret your extension and it would be better to find a larger property with a well sized garden to boot.

How long will it take?

handyman My neighbours had to use a camping stove for 2 months as they couldn’t use their oven. Could you bear this? Your drive/ garden/ kitchen could be unusable for a while and you will probably have to put up with builders working in your home for some time meaning a lack of privacy for you and your family.

Will the new space be big enough?

extension If you are forking out for an extension, ensure it will result in a satisfactory increase of space. Extensions can be very expensive, any way from £6000 up to £25,000 or more (conservatory prices UK). If it won’t be worth it, consider searching for a new home with that necessary extra space.

How old is your house?

old-georgian-houses Older houses, like my neighbours, will have different needs than more modern builds. They are made with different materials, and are at risk of being more fragile. You will probably want to ensure you maintain the character and style of your period property, so ensure you get reliable and reputable builders and architects to emulate the style effectively. Bear in mind all the costs. architect It’s not just the building that costs. Other costs to bear in mind are: o Hiring an architect o Hiring a surveyor o Extra furniture for your new space o Cost of decorating your new space o carpet/ tiling fitting o material costs

So it is clear there is a lot to consider when deciding to extend, and it is a decision to discuss the details with your family before undergoing any major changes, as once the builders have started knocking walls in, it is very difficult to go back. However, extending your home could be one of the best decisions you make, and that added space will make such a difference. When it comes to sell your house you can be sure that the extension will give your home extra value, and may even pay for it.

 

Photo credits: Shutterstock/ Africa studio Shutterstock/ Rawpixel.com Shutterstock/ Jan_S Shutterstock/ Kurhan Shutterstock/ Monkey business images Shutterstock/ Richard Hayman

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