We’ve touched on before about some of the challenges of moving in our post, Find First Sell First, however, for some, the preferred choice for getting that extra reception room, or a couple more bedrooms or that long deserved ensuite and dressing room is to extend. It certainly cuts down on the stress of moving, there’s no need to change schools, and as long as you get on with them, you’ll retain your friendly neighbours!
One of the first things to consider is, don’t extend if you’re planning to move soon afterwards. And by soon, we’d say give it at least three and ideally closer to five years before putting the property on the market. The issue being that it’s extremely rare to make back the cost of the extension any sooner.
Mentally, we tend to consider the value of the property before we extend and add the cost of the works to get the new and increased finished value. Now, it will depend on what sort of property you're looking to extend, but let’s consider the relatively common one of taking a three bedroom property and extending over the garage to get a fourth bedroom.
From a developer’s point of view, the cost of building a three bedroom verses a four bedroom one is only marginally different. They bulk buy all the materials, have the equipment in situ and the person-power to get the job done. It’s always going to be more expensive to in effect retrofit. You may need to make some structural changes to support your planned changes, and materials and labour costs are going to be higher.
Staying in the property for a reasonable time after the extension means that any improvements you’ve made are swallowed up in the natural inflation of the property.
Secondly, whilst you’ll be extending to meet a need that you have, be mindful that you may want to sell the property at some future point. Fulfilling that lifetime ambition of building a fully functional Millennium Falcon cockpit with a combined sauna and bar is probably best saved for a large lottery win!
When looking to extend, you need to consider what effect will the extension have to the value to your home. Will the work result in an increase in value the same as the cost, more than the cost or less than? To get an understanding of this aspect, please invite us around and we’ll chat through your plans. We have done it ourselves and have also had the benefit of seeing many houses where others have done so with varying results.
With our knowledge and experience of what improvements and extensions give the best return on cost we can provide clear and concise advice. That doesn’t mean your idea isn’t a good one if it suits what you want but it will mean you can proceed in the full knowledge of the options and impact.
If you’re a first-time extender, the whole process can appear quite daunting. You’ll be dealing with local planning authorities, building regulation requirements, architects and obviously builders. It makes sense to meet with us for a no obligation before and after appraisal figure.
You can drop by our offices anytime and we’ll happily chat through any plans you have, although aspiring Han Solos need not apply!