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Baby on the way? Or maybe, your elderly dad is about to move in with you? Тhere could be various reasons for you to need a bigger place to accommodate your new living space needs. And we all know that when it comes to the above, there are two ways of resolving that crowdy feeling at home.
Extend or move.
So, with this post, we’ll try to look in more detail whether it’s better to sell up and move to a new larger house or go down the path of building an extension. We’ll explore the challenges of extending in the UK, especially if you live in a city like London, we’ll look at the current housing market trends and see if either option can be a feasible solution to your dilemma.
Right then, if you:
You better read on.
Extending your house could be an affordable way to add more space to your property. And with the new changes in planning legislation and specifically in the Permitted Development regulations since last year, you may be able to build, say, a large rear extension, providing you’ve got the space. And that’s not all, you can now exercise your Permitted Development Rights and not actually have the need to apply for planning permission, in order to commence your building or renovation project. On the other hand, any type of building work can turn into a little nightmare, where the result is not exactly what you’ve expected. So, let’s have a look now at the pros and cons of extending your property.
For starters, more often than not, building an extension is more affordable than moving houses, which will involve selling up, placing a deposit on your new house, paying Stamp Duty in certain circumstances, and last but not least, allocating funds for the actual removal process. Add the fact that you could be buying possibly a more expensive property than your old one and you get the picture.
There are, of course, two sides of the same coin with everything and going down the road of extending your home is no exception. Here are some of the challenges you may get confronted with.
Depending on what type of property you have and the size of your outdoor space, as well as on quite a few other factors (location, local building restrictions and so on), you could go for one or more types of extensions that we list below.
Detached and semi-detached houses can be extended sideways, especially if you consider that the space on the left or right of your property is rarely utilised properly. Get inspiration from house owners in your area if they’ve gone down this path! Remember, however, that side extensions require planning permission, so check with your local council what you need to get a permit.
As mentioned earlier, rear extensions can usually go ahead under the new rules of the permitted development scheme. As long as you have a decent-sized backyard, you can add to your living space by building an extension at the rear of your home. Quite often, kitchens face the back garden, so you can turn the heart of your home into a nice open-space dining room with a modern kitchenette. Add some gorgeous French windows and you’ll end up instantly with a light and spacious room for the whole family to gather.
Front extensions are also possible through building a porch. Usually, you don’t need to apply for a permit with your local planning authorities. Additional storage space if you have a tiny entry hall, not only gives you more space to hang coats and store shoes but it can also improve the insulation of your home, as well as enhance its security.
If your budget allows it, you can build a second floor, once you go through the challenging process of getting planning permission. “Shop around” for a good architect, though, as a two-storey extension is not that straightforward. Depending on the initial design and structure of your property, you can even incorporate a roof garden or terrace and achieve a better functionality of the available space, this exterior feature of your home can offer.
Conservatories are a rather easy-to-install and affordable extension option and many folks in the UK take advantage of increasing their living space this way. The glass structure improves insulation, as well as it can give you the opportunity to enjoy your garden view no matter the weather.
Not many properties have a high ceiling but if you’re lucky enough to live in a Victorian or Edwardian house with a ceiling that is over 3,5 -4m in height, then you can add to your living space by building a mezzanine level, say, in your living room. This can be turned into a bedroom, a home office space or workshop area. As a mezzanine would be in effect an internal modification to your home, you won’t face heavy regulations, in terms of the ‘go-ahead’ with the construction process, providing the property is not classed as a listed building.
By removing ceilings, you can utilise the loft space to either open up the room and allow more light through installing a skylight, for instance, or say, to create additional storage space. With this sort of interior alteration, most likely, you won’t need to apply for a permit with your local council, unless your property falls under some kind of restrictions.
Moving to a bigger house can be also a viable option of gaining more living space, of course. And depending on where you intend to relocate and your personal situation, it could be actually more cost-effective for you than trying to build an extension. Post-lockdown in the UK, we actually see a surge in people looking to sell up and move, in the hope of improving their quality of life, escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city and expand their interior living space and recreational outdoors.
The advantages of moving to a bigger house (in 2021) are dictated, in a way, by the global health crisis, we’ve been all living through for months. And although the housing market is heading for uncertainty, for some sellers and buyers, there could be a window of opportunity to make that important move smooth with a bit of luck. For instance, you can leave the overcrowded capital city and move to picturesque Canterbury, which is not only still close by if you need to commute but also the larger properties there are much more affordable in comparison. You can get a 3-bedroom semi-detached house for under £300,000 in the cathedral city, whereas an average asking price for a similar property in London is around £630,000.
The biggest drawback of moving is mainly related to cost and time. Again, this is strictly individual, so we cannot generalise too much here. In short, you may have to budget for a housing deposit (if you’re buying a more expensive property), survey fees, conveyancing fees, (in some cases, pay stamp duty), estate agent fees and removals expenses. Timewise, especially if you’re selling up first, the process of going through viewings, signing up a deal, buying and moving may take a while. In other words, you’ll need to plan well, pick a good estate agent and hope for the best. Here are a few more disadvantages of making such a big step in your life.
Are you making that move of opening a new chapter in your life any time soon? Then, why not choose Fantastic Services to assist you? We provide all-in-one removals services, performed by experienced moving experts who are equipped with modern Luton or Transit vans. We can help you with various tasks, from decluttering your home, cleaning it and clearing unnecessary furniture to providing you with moving boxes, packing carefully all your stuff and transporting it securely to your new home. Whatever your moving needs are, we can customise the service to meet them to the last detail. And if you wish to place something temporarily in storage, we’ll organise this for you, as well.
Just contact us online or via phone and we’ll take it from there!
Entrust your relocation to the Fantastic removals teams!
Did you find this article helpful? Are you confronted with the dilemma of moving or extending? Please, tell us more in the comments below!
Image source: Shutterstock/Paul Maguire