Home Extension or New Home? We Help You Decide

If you’ve got your sights set on more living space, check out our blog on whether to extend or move.

 

To move or improve – that is the question.

You’ve got your favourite property search saved on Rightmove but can’t quite commit to taking the plunge into moving house.

If you’re wondering whether it’s better to move or to extend your home to improve we’ve looked at the pros and cons.

 

1 – Will you be able to extend your house how you want to?

Factors such as planning permission & your available space need to be considered. You may dream of putting on a 2-storey extension out the back but if there are restrictions to neighbours’ rights of light this may not go through planning.

You also need to think about the cosmetic nature of an extension you are planning as this will often be taken in to consideration when approving your application.

Certain extensions and improvements can be carried out without the need to apply for planning permission. These are known as permitted developments and are usually for smaller modifications. The Planning Portal has handy interactive guides which can help you work out if you need permission for your plans.

 

2 – What is the ‘ceiling value’ of your house?

Estate Agents use the term ‘ceiling value’ to refer to the fact that properties often have a maximum amount that buyers are prepared to pay. Often this relates to the area that houses are in and is also known as ‘outgrowing your street’.  In simple terms look at the average house price on your street. If you’re planning an extension hoping to eventually sell at well over this average, there’s a chance that buyers with that kind of budget would rather look at another area.

 

3 - Consider the cost of moving

Moving house is a costly experience. Stamp duty, solicitor’s fees, surveys, estate agent’s fees and removal services are just some of the areas where you’ll be forking out during a house move. The Money Advice Service has a really useful guide to help you estimate the cost of moving, including factors like the average ‘repair bill’ for new home owners which comes in at £5750.

 

4 – Best ways to extend

A good plan can be to go up into the loft or to dig down and create a basement, both options offer additional internal space without making the overall area of the house larger. Alternatively, a conservatory or garden style room can add a real wow factor to a home and often create a great space to act as the hub of the home.

Whatever option you go for, you’ll need to consider your overall plot of land. Compromising the garden too much to add additional rooms or converting a garage if there is limited parking available may not make financial sense in the long run.

 

5 – Definite No Nos

There are many considerations to make sure your home improvement project goes to plan. We’ve jotted down some of the crucial ones:

  • Avoid the cowboys – a recommendation speaks volumes when it comes to this kind of work. Make sure you get a number of quotes, see examples of previous work and speak to clients. Also consider how you get on with your chosen builder, they will be in your house for weeks if not months. Are they going to be sympathetic to the needs of your family while the works are carried out?
  • Don’t create through rooms – by this we mean rooms that can only be accessed by going through another. This is particularly important if your extension adds additional bedrooms
  • Don’t plan to use materials that jar with the existing structure. This doesn’t mean you have to stick to what your house is currently made from. There are numerous examples of contrasting materials being used in extensions. If you are unsure get professional advice before submitting plans
  • Not having adequate insurance – whether you decide to extend or move it’s really important to make sure that your property is fully insured.  With home moves the property becomes your responsibility from the moment you exchange so make sure you have home insurance in place. You should always inform your insurer if you are planning to get work done to your property