A Beginner’s Guide to Planning a Home Extension

Brits inhabit some of the smallest houses in Europe, according to a study by the University of Cambridge. It’s no wonder that home extensions are so popular – there’s noise and construction for a few months, but it’s a small price to continue living in a much-loved home, remain in the neighbourhood, and have minimal life upheaval.

In light of the UK housing crisis, many are choosing to remain in their current homes, possibly adding extensions for new generations of the family to live in. As with any home renovation, it takes some serious thought and budgeting.

beginner’s guide to planning a home extension

What Are You Extending?

Is it a case that you find one room lacks adequate space to work effectively, or do you need an additional room as a bedroom or study? This will inform the type of extension you have. An extension designed to add space to a room, such as the kitchen or living room, is best added at the back of the house into the garden. By contrast, if you need to add an extra room you may find an underground extension works best, and these can be very versatile as they effectively add a store to your property which can serve as a living room, study, or bedroom and bathroom.

How Will You Design It?

Adding onto an existing building means you don’t just question the practical uses or hindrances’ on the both, there’s the question of aesthetics. A conservatory is a popular type of extension, but they don’t work for every property – ask an estate agent for their opinion. If your home is a fairly recent build, it should be easy to find the bricks and mortar to match the rest of the house style without looking garish or makeshift. Comparatively, it is difficult to design an extension on an older build. “Pure white rendered extensions work well on period buildings,” advises architect Guy Morgan-Harris, as a simple, clean, and glassy design complements any existing features.

Will It Add Value?

One big consideration for many homeowners looking to the future is maximising the value of their property when it is time to sell. The maths dictates that you need to add on at least the value of what you have spent, which is why it is so important to ask for professional opinions before you begin building.

Fortunately, the majority of home extensions do add quite a bit of value – especially for an extra room, adding approximately 150 – 200% value to your home. Additionally, if your extension has any eco-friendly features, such as double glazing or solar panels, it is more likely to appeal to new buyers and sell for above the asking price.

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