With the news full of uncertainty in the financial markets many of us are choosing to stay put rather than sell our houses and move, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of what we have and there are plenty of projects within all budgets that could make a real difference to your home without having to up sticks and move. By making changes and improvements to your home not only can it make your property feel like new but it will also add value once the market improves again.
Adding and Extension
Adding extra floor area is a guaranteed way of making your home feel like new.
Not only is finance more difficult to find but moving home costs a fair bit of money too with stamp duty on a £500,000 home amounting to £20,000. It’s these factors that have made staying where you are and extending a really good option.
“It’s true that it can be more difficult to make a big profit now on any work that you do to your home, but you will more than likely get back what you spend” says Kirsty Curnow Bayley at Living Space Architects. “In some cases, especially with homes at the top end of the market you can create a good extension for the same price as moving”.
Rear and Side Extensions
This is the most popular type of extension, often opening up to the garden at the rear of the property with the kitchen diner leading onto the garden. Families are looking for space where they can all be together that connects better with the garden and this will definitely add value to your home. Expect to pay in the region of £1500- £2000 per square metre including fit out. Consider employing an architect for the project, although it will add around 10-15% to your project the extra spend is definitely worth while; architects are space planning experts and will make sure you get value for your money. They will also help you negotiate the planning maze and can manage building contractors to help ensure a project is on time and within budget.
A loft conversion will cost in the region of £40,000 and is a great way to get another bedroom and can be a good option if your family is expanding but you don’t want to move. You may not need planning permission for a loft conversion although it is important to check that your house still has it’s permitted development rights before you start work. Always contact your local planning authority to check or speak to an architect who will be able confirm how big your extension can be to comply.
Adding a basement is one of the best options if your priority is to gain extra space as you can effectivly gain a whole extra floor. You can draw in extra light by adding a lightwell and extending into your back garden. Compared to an extension at ground level a basement is a more expensive option with costs of up to £3000 per square metre and can be disruptive. Make sure you employ a good architect before you start to make sure your basement is as light and airy as possible.
The traditional upvc conservatory extension is a bit of a quick fix solution and many people regret not having considered other options.
Again a small conservatory may not need planning permission and it is worth checking before you start.
When planning your sun room think about its orientation – south facing sun rooms are great but you do need to consider how to avoid overheating. You can create a sun room with a solid roof and rooflights to help control temperatures whilst still letting in light. Large roof overhangs can provide solar shading and some protection from summer showers.
Sliding folding doors are now extremely popular but large slim framed aluminium sliding doors are becoming more popluar as they give the best visual connection with the garden and look a lot more stylish.