Need more space for the family but love where you live? Extending your house could be the answer. Research shows that more and more homeowners are choosing to extend instead of moving. It will certainly improve and enhance your home, but needs careful consideration before taking the plunge.
First of all you will need to assess the space you have available to use. Single storey extensions to the rear of a property are popular, but expanding out to the side could be a better option for you. Make sure you are happy to sacrifice the appropriate amount of garden! Consider moving upwards too, as a two-storey extension doesn’t actually cost twice as much as a single one – it’s only about 80% more. If you already have a single storey extension you could always add another storey on top of it; a builder will be able to tell you whether this is possible.
Next you will need to arrange finance. A typical extension size of 15 to 25 square metres should cost around £20,000 - £30,000. Most people will finance this by extending their mortgage – which makes sense as the work will add value to your property – but a personal loan can be worth consideration. Get at least three written quotations for the work from reputable builders. Of course personal recommendation is always the best way to find one; otherwise try the Federation of Master Builders at www.fmb.org.uk.
Consider using the services of an architect to help with design – essential if it’s a grand one – although many good builders can do this for simple projects. And remember you may need to obtain planning permission and must comply with appropriate building regulations.
Here’s a rather unnerving fact, as highlighted in research from insurance company CPP: a million Britons have moved house because of disputes with their neighbours. Yes, one in 20 of us have opted to sell up because of increasing tensions with — or bad behaviour from — the people who live nearby.