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No matter how spacious a house is before you move in, by the time it starts to feel like a home most of that space will have disappeared.
Well, the obvious answer would be to move house but then you have a lot of things to consider: a new mortgage, chasing solicitors, stamp duty, fees, school zones, a new commute, a new local shop, new neighbours, and that's not even the half of it.
When you really think about it moving sounds very unappealing.
Extending Your Home..
If you can extend your home you have total flexibility to add whatever rooms or space you or your family needs. The end result is a home that feels new but is perfectly tailored to what you want, which is not something you can guarantee when moving.
An extension can add value to your home; a single storey extension can add 5-10% and a double storey extension can add 20%. It can also be a great selling point turning your home in to something completely different to the rest of your street.
What Type of Extension Do You Want?
Do you need an extra bedroom for a growing child? Do you want a larger kitchen? The important thing here is you need to know what you want to use the space for, to be able to plan effectively so that you extend your home in the best way for your family.
A standard rear extension is the most common type as this can add tons of invaluable space and gives the option of both a single and double storey extension.
Some people are put off an extension as it can eat in to garden space, whilst this is true there are four ways you can extend to keep the value of your garden.
1. Build a conservatory though it eats in to the garden, you get to enjoy your garden more. We'll talk about this in the next section.
2. Convert your loft or garage
We'll talk about the pros and cons of these later in the newsletter.
3. Build a rear extension with a roof terrace
This can be a really great selling point for your home, particularly if your garden doesn't get as much sunshine as you would like or you live in a more cosmopolitan area where floor space is highly valued.
You could make your roof terrace accessible from your second floor and from your garden via some stairs.
4. Build a side return extension
These extensions are quite popular, particularly for homes that are terraced. This is an extension in to a side space down the back of your home, this space is usually part of your garden.
It's usually not a large space but it can make a huge difference to the inside of your home, especially if you have a small & long kitchen running alongside this space. You can add something unique and valuable to your home.
Never Do Things 'On the Cheap'
A good builder will do everything properly, as they have nothing to hide, so if a builder comes around promising low prices and ways to 'get around' council regulation you need to do your home a favour and find a reputable installer.
Without the proper paperwork for any works carried out you would struggle to sell your home in future and these regulations exist so that your extension is built properly without damaging your home. Find builders more interested in quality building work who have a good reputation.
Final Tips for an Extension:
1. Always, always, always, use a reputable builder. Or you'll pay more in the long run.
2. Find an architect you can agree with. Builders build, but they build even better when following the careful designs of an architect. They can source cheaper materials and bring your ideas to life with their expert knowledge.
3. Plan your budget carefully. Also add a 10% contingency fund for just in case things do not go to plan.
4. Know what you want. Decide what you want the space to be used for and remember to plan the interior design of the extension too.
5. Be area aware. As mentioned every street has a ceiling value and will appeal to different types of buyers - i.e, you wont see much return adding 3 more bedrooms if every home on your street is 1 or 2 bed.
6. Speak to your neighbours. It's important to try and get on with them but at the very least you should let them know your thoughts about getting an extension and you should listen to their thoughts too.
Extending the kitchen?
If your current kitchen is impractical or doesn't give you the space you need, then a kitchen extension or renovation can transform your home, increase it's value and help you fall back in love with cooking.
You'd need to plan how much space an extension would give you to work with and how you can use this to your advantage. A big and bold extension can give you loads of space but equally a side return extension will give you a lot more floor space to play with too.
Get the best and most durable materials you can afford, as when well kept these materials will stay looking new for many years. Which is ideal whether you want to move or stay put in this home forever. Going cheap will look great at first but will start to look worse after 5 years or so.
As with an extension remember to base what you spend on the value of your home, or if you spend too much you will never recoup or if you spend too little you will devalue your home.
A kitchen extension/renovation can be an incredibly fun and rewarding home improvement, and is one that can continue to look brand new and stylish after 5, 10 or even 20 years time. It's a long term commitment designing a new kitchen, but it is one well worth the work and the cost.
Find Expert Kitchen Installers
As with any other type of extension you need to think exactly what this room will be used for before you get started - will it be a lounge room, a dining room, a breakfast room, an office, a place for pets, or do you just want to have a space to grow some exotic plants?
When done right a conservatory can quickly become any homeowners favourite room in the house, but it is important you do things properly or you could end up with a room you never loose at all.
•Think Size: Don't forsake your space to save a few quids, you can't increase space once it's built and if it's too small you will be very limited for furniture choices.
•Think Matching: Make sure your new conservatory suits the style of your home and if you want to go for something a bit outlandish speak to designers and installers and listen to their expert advice.
•Think Materials: uPVC is common; aluminium is stronger and more modern looking; wood looks more traditional, is strong and durable but will cost in maintenance.
•Think Glass: Double glazing is important but we also advise you at least look in to window film options, these films can reduce heat lost in winter and reduce overheating in the summer.
•Think Interior: Plan the inside look of your conservatory, don't leave it as an afterthought, as you can make everything fit in the space perfectly or design the space around what you want.
•Think Heating: Underfloor heating, a radiator, or at the very least a portable heater is advised. Base your choice upon how cold your winters are and whether you'd want to use this space during winter.
•Think Garden: Don't make your garden an afterthought too, as you can plan your gardening around the conservatory installation, otherwise what is left after construction will be a mess.
A conservatory will also be a fantastic addition to your home, and a brilliant selling point in the future. Very quickly your new breakfast/dining/lounge room will become your everything room.