To Move or Extend?

You are happy in your house but maybe you’ve had some children and the space seems to be running out…an extra space to play or another bedroom would be perfect. You start to look into buying a new house but moving is costly, you look into an extension, but will you have space and get planning permission? Here are some things to consider before you decide whether to extend or move.

Is this your forever home?

In an ideal world, would you like to stay at this location long term. Are the children in great schools? Are you close enough (or far enough away from) family?  Do you have the transport links you’d like? Close to work/amenities? Is it the right catchment area for a good secondary school? If you are older will it be suitable for you as you age (steps to the front door, narrow staircases etc.)?

These are all things to consider. You may decide that you want to look around for something else, but what do you need to think about?

How much will it cost to move?

People sometimes forget all the costs involved and it adds up quickly.

  • Stamp duty – check the prices of the houses you might like to buy and work this out (there is a free calculator here
  • Solicitor’s fees – you know they will do a slow job, but we still have to pay them and it’s not cheap!
  • Removal costs – You may be able to do a fair bit yourself, but it is unlikely you can move the whole contents of a house without professional help, especially if you add children into the mix. Even a DIY job will involve van rental fees.
  • Estate agent fees – listing and selling your house generally isn’t free, you can list privately but most people don’t because it is a lot of work and more hassle.
  • Renovation on the new house – it is unlikely it will be perfect, redecorating or revamping areas of the new property will cost money and time.

You can now create a realistic budget for moving, it may be more than you thought.

Or you may find that your current home ticks most boxes but just isn’t quite big enough, so what options are there with extensions?

There are a number we could mention but the top ones are as follows:

  • Loft conversion – create another floor in your house, this could be used as a bedroom with or without an en suite bathroom or create a playroom.
  • Single storey extension – create an open plan dining and kitchen space perhaps or extend the living area. There are a number of options depending on the layout of your property.
  • Double storey extension – add more space both upstairs and downstairs.
  • Wraparound or L-shaped extension – as it suggests, it is an extension that goes around more than one side of your house.
  • Over structure extension – extending over something such as a garage.
  • Sunroom – Different to a conservatory as has a solid roof to prevent overheating but many windows to let in natural light all year round, can be put at the back or front of a house.

 What are the costs of an extension?

  • Planning permission – you have an amazing idea but if it involves major changes and increased floor space it is likely it will need planning permission and this will incur a fee.
  • Architectural plans – you need professionally drawn plans for most building work, for loft conversions and large extensions it is essential. What you have sketched on the back of an envelope isn’t going to cut it. Builders all need accurate measurements or you’re going to end up with a door frame too small or a wall in the wrong place.
  • Cost of the actual work – you need to get a few quotes to ensure you get a fair price and you need to consider whether the work has a warranty, how experienced are the builders, do they have a back-up plan if any of the team are ill, is there a project manager included and do you get help with planning permission or architectural plans? Remember to do some due diligence and check out references and a portfolio of previous work. Generally, with large scale building projects cheapest is not best, you want to invest in your house and have high quality work that will last as long as the house, not cheap work that will cause problems down the line.

 Whether you decide to move and need help with renovations or are looking to extend, KT5 Construction is happy to chat through some options with you, please contact us here

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