House extensions might seem so much easier to do on paper, but the reality is that these types of home improvement projects require a lot of hard work, commitment, and focus.
It’s certainly something you don’t want to walk into lightly – you need to be prepared in advance in order to get the most out of it.
Below I have outlined a guide to building a home extension and the pros and cons that you need to factor in. We’ll address many common issues and lay out the general process to follow when extending your home.
Reasons to consider house extensions:
- Get additional space and extra mod-cons .
- Add value to your home and further increase the sale price.
- An ideal opportunity to spruce up your home.
But many come with an argument that why spend your money and time on extending your home and go through all the hassles instead of flipping your current home for a newer bigger one.
Home extension Vs Buying a new home:
In the first glance, it might seem an easy and cost-effective thing to do. But it is not. In fact, buying or building a new home is an expensive option.
Why is this the case?
Because you forgot to factor in these additional costs of buying a new home,
Real Estate Agents Costs – including marketing & advertising, sales commission.
Mortgage Loan Costs – including switching from one property to another.
Home Purchase or Building Process Costs – including stamp duty, hiring a removalist company, Internet connection, home alarm monitoring, telephone, utilities and so on.
Another factor that will help you decide between home extension and moving to a new home is the locality you live in. If you like the amenities, schools and your neighbours then you’ll probably want to continue living there. But if on the other hand, you don’t have such a great relationship with the people in your neighbourhood, then I’d dare say it’s much better to move on.
House Extensions: where to start?
Maybe the most important thing here is what you want to achieve with your extension.
So, try and pinpoint the fundamental reason you want to do it. Some people need larger living space, whilst others need to accommodate more people inside their home like a new baby, growing teenagers, or elderly parents.
Start with finding an answer to these questions
What’s your budget?
Are there any major life events that could get in the way? E.g, a wedding?
Where will you live during the renovation?
How to take it forward?
You will need to work with a professional in order to create the right design for your renovation. There are many different options for who can help you including an architect, interior designer, or a licensed builder.
We always recommend you hire the right people for a home extension job as they’ll be much more experienced at undertaking larger home improvement projects.
No matter what kind of home extension you are planning – period, terraced, small, modern, semi-detached, two-storey, or a loft – keep in mind that you need to match windows, tiles and doors with the ones you already have in your home.
As you can see there are many house extension options, so think carefully about the scale of the project before you start the design process. The grander the design and the bigger the job, the more time and money it will take.
How Much Does house extension Cost?
This is always the first question that springs to mind when someone is considering house extensions. But it’s a mistake to rush off and get quotes on what it will cost at this early stage of the renovation.
Builders require in-depth building plans in order to provide you with an accurate price. It’s no wonder they get so frustrated with homeowners that want quotes when they only have a vague idea of the size and scope of the job.
A home extension can be costly or inexpensive, and it all depends on how much you want to actually do to your property. If you have a very low budget, then stay away from big extensions.
Focus instead on a simpler approach like converting a space you already have instead of building something new. And always work with a professional to get the job done properly.
What Else Do I Need to Consider?
If you are a DIY addict and you love the idea of doing the job yourself be aware and be prepared. A home extension build is not for the faint-hearted. It’s also not the same as a bathroom or kitchen remodel either.
Do your homework and due diligence every step of the way. I’d also suggest you do start doing an owner builders course as it will arm you with all the right information to project manage the job yourself.
Here is a piece of advice from an experienced guy – Working with reliable builders and a good architect is the best way to get the best job done when it comes to house extensions. Even if you pay more you’ll get a better quality build which in the end should be your main goal. If you hire an architect, make sure they have a lot of experience too.
And don’t forget about the planning permit. This can be expensive and take a while to get so it’s a good idea to talk with the local council in order to acquire one as quickly as possible.
Remember that working closely with the neighbours might actually speed up the permit release process, so try to keep that in mind. And a home-baked cake wouldn’t go astray either!
Final Tips For House Extensions
Be realistic with your expectations of what you want to achieve.
Set aside some budget just in case anything goes wrong.
Make sure that you have the funding available before you start a house extension.
Don’t forget the cost of obtaining a planning permit.
Hang on to some budget for decorating your new home extension, i.e. furniture, appliances.
Before paying your builder the final amount for the completed work, make sure you are completely satisfied with it.
As you can see, house extensions can be a challenging process but they can also be very rewarding. All you have to do is create good building plans and work with experienced, dedicated professionals such as architects and builders. That’s how you’ll get the best results in the long run.