Is it better to add a house extension or to move home?
House extension or move house?
Many families find that they simply outgrow their current home as they welcome new family members, accumulate more possessions, or both. In this situation, they are faced with a challenging conundrum. Should they extend their current property or move to an entirely new house altogether? It’s not an easy question to answer, and you may be weighing up the pros and cons at the moment. So how can you work out if it’s better to extend upwards or sideways or head to new pastures?
Of course, every situation is different, and it is difficult to make any general assumptions. However, the best place to start is at the beginning by assessing your current position and setting your priorities.
Firstly, determine how much money you have ploughed into your house and what modifications (if any) you’ve made since you’ve been there. For example, you may have renovated your kitchen or bathroom or replaced all the windows. Perhaps you fitted a new heating system. Next, figure out the extent of your investment and calculate whether you will be able to claw back that expenditure should you sell the house. In other words, has the property accumulated in value to such an extent that you would be happy to start again elsewhere?
Then, project some of the potential costs you may face if you stay in your current property. For example, how old is the boiler or water heater? Some of them have a life expectancy of between eight and 12 years, after which they will typically need to be replaced.
Next, work out why you are asking this question in the first place. In other words, why do you feel that you’ve outlived your current space, and what additional room do you need? For example, could you be served by adding another floor to your home or building an extension to the front, side or rear?
Once you’ve considered the extent of the problem, you have three choices. You can either stay put and try to handle your current restrictions, sell up and buy a new home, or build a home extension.
If you were to sell, you would need to take into account the significant steps involved.
- How long would it take you to sell the property, given the state of the market in your area?
- What fees would be involved, taking into account estate agents, photographers, generating an EPC (energy performance certificate) and so on?
- How much would it cost to hire a removalist to take care of the heavy lifting?
- What type of contingency fund would you need to have on hand? This would include money spent on fixing any new-found plumbing, roofing, heating or electrical problems at the new place. You may also need to buy curtains and carpets or even consider a kitchen or bathroom renovation.
- How much would you need to spend to bring your current property up to marketable condition? Certainly, you may be proud of the way you look after your place but there is almost always work to be done as you exit.
- The value of the home you buy will likely be higher due to the additional space. Unfortunately, this means that you’re facing an increase in your mortgage payments, as well as insurance.
- Finally, remember that there could be a stamp duty to pay on the new property.
- As you can see, some considerable costs are associated with buying a new property and selling your existing home. Don’t underestimate the stress and disruption it may invariably cause your entire family.
Now, consider the other option, which is to extend your property instead.
- How much will it cost to draw up some designs in order to increase your existing floor area?
- You will need to get some quotes from a reputable builder.
- You will probably need to get planning permission for this kind of work, and there is a process (and some small costs) involved in this.
- Of course, there are hard costs involved in getting an extension, and you may need to raise a mortgage to do this work. Get some quotes so you can compare the overall costs of getting an extension against the cost of buying a larger property.
- Certainly, you can expect some disruption as the work takes place, but if you choose a first-class builder, they’ll do everything they can to minimise this hassle. They’ll come up with a plan, so you know what to expect and can adjust accordingly.
There are certainly other “intangibles” associated with a move. For example, will you like the area and crucially, what kind of neighbours will you have? If you get on very well with your current neighbours, such a move could represent a risk in this department.
Many people in your situation decide to stay put and extend. Their next task is to find a first-class builder like The Market Design and Build.
Should you choose us, we’d be delighted to discuss your needs and introduce you to our six-step process, created and perfected over the years, to make building as straightforward and clear as possible. We give you a breakdown of each stage of the process so you know what to expect, and you will always have a dedicated project manager to guide you.
- We begin with a site meeting and consultation, followed by a build quote.
- Then you get a project feasibility report with pricing outlining the scope of work, duration and timelines.
- Once you are happy, we will provide you with a contract and assign your project manager and start date.
- The kick-off meeting will be arranged before the start with the schedule of work.
- When the build commences, we will assign the project foreman and a head of projects, who is in charge of quality assurance.
- Finally, we provide you with a completion certificate with guarantees or warranties and the necessary certification.
The Market Design and Build is a proud member of checkatrade.com, where you can see more than 700 positive reviews from our past clients. We are also a member of the Local Authority Building Control, an organisation that ensures the standard of buildings across England and Wales.
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