As housing prices in the UK continue to rise, the option of purchasing a brand new home is ruled out for many. Fortunately there are ways to make an old home feel new. Expanding your home instead of purchasing a new one will not only be more affordable, but it will also increase its value in the long run.
It also means a change of scenery without you having to actually uproot your family. No need to find new schools for your children, or to register a new address with various authorities. You provide you and your family with a better home without any of the inconveniences that accompany a big move, and you give yourself a better chance of climbing the property ladder later on.
Here are some suggestions on how to successfully extend your home.
What areas should you focus on?
As with any kind of home improvement, you need to have a plan. Especially if your hope is to increase the value of the home so you can sell it later on. In that case, you need to know which parts of the home will make the strongest impression on potential buyers. Here are some suggestions:
The kitchen: According to Phil Spencer in the Telegraph, kitchens have become the showpiece of our homes. They are no longer just a place for cooking, but a place for living, working and talking. If your kitchen isn't up to scratch, make that your point of priority when it comes to home extensions. A spacious kitchen, featuring a modern design, will add at least 4.6% to the value of your home, and improve your own experience dramatically for however long you and your family intend to remain there.
The front of the home: Good first impressions are important, and whether you’re looking to impress guests or potential buyers, the front door and the entrance hall are the first parts of the home they're going to see.
Consider installing mirrors in the entrance to hall to effectively double the size of your home. It’s probably one of the cheapest home extensions you can pull off, even if it is merely the power of illusion at work. A new doorknob and letterbox and repainting the front of your home are also cost-effective home improvement options.
The loft versus the basement
The loft is usually a prime candidate for extension, especially if you're just looking to add another bedroom. They are easily accessible to the building crew, as opposed to the basement which requires them to dig into the foundations of the home and potentially unleash all manner of buried ancient evils. However, alterations to the basement – as disruptive as they may be – are the most effective way to increase the value of your home and improve its longevity.
Questions you need to ask yourself before embarking on home extensions:
- What will the additional space be used for? Do you want to add an extra bedroom or two so you can rent them out? Are you hoping to add a “granny flat” to your home, so that grandparents or tenants can move in? Are you looking to boost the overall value of your property?
- How long will alterations take and how disruptive will they be? Have you got alternative accommodation available in case you need to move out during the extensions?
- Will you require planning permissions? According to Which.co.uk, most (though not all) major alterations to a property will require planning permissions. Your local planning office is the one to ask, as it will have the final word on what construction work occurs in your area.
For professional advice on home extensions and what impact they can have on your investment, don't hesitate to contact our expert online estate agents.