Many of our home extension clients ask the same question: Does a home extension make financial sense? It’s a good question to ask. A home is one of the biggest purchases many of us will make, so we need to think carefully about the money we invest into it.
However, there are two ways to look at what ‘worth it’ means. The first is in simple financial terms – the cost of the extension. The second is in emotional terms – the value of the extension.
Whether you have a bundle of joy on the way, a house filled with teenagers or want to create the perfect haven for relaxation, a home extension is ideal for enhancing living space. Not only are extensions a cost-effective alternative to moving, but they also add property value.
If you are considering building a home extension, yet still not entirely convinced, then we are here to help! We understand that any construction work on your home is a significant investment, and you must be set on your decision before scheduling any work to commence. With this in mind, we have put together a guide answering the question ‘are house extensions worth it?’, including a wealth of excellent benefits.
A Home Extension In Simple Financial Terms
In terms of seeing a financial return, a home extension is something you should be thinking of as a medium- to long-term investment – say five or more years.
As house prices rise over time, if you plan to stay in your home long term, your home extension will likely become, in terms of financial profit, worth it. You will also have had years of enjoying your home extension.
If you’re not planning to stay where you are for the long term, we suggest a better way to realise value is to gain planning permission for the extension, but not build it. The value that planning permission will add to a property is typically far more than the cost of securing it, making it a ‘quick win’ in comparison to building the extension.
Other Things Matter
Before you get carried away by the idea of adding thousands of pounds in value on to your home simply by building a small add-on, it’s also important to think carefully about the wider context of the property. First of all, don’t forget that the value of a property is very rarely decided by one feature alone. There are plenty of other contributing factors which cause a property to shift in value. One is the location, for example, which can’t be changed. Others include the state of the decor, the size of the rooms and whether or not it is a leasehold. Adding an extension might be able to offset some of these concerns, but it doesn’t necessarily negate them. So when you begin researching the possibility of an extension, it’s well worth thinking about whether or not it makes sense.
It’s also worth thinking about what you might lose. On the face of it, building an extension can seem at first like a zero-sum game, with everything to gain and nothing to lose. However, by definition, an extension will cause the loss of some outdoor space, and it’s important for you to make sure that you decide in your mind whether or not this will be acceptable. Whether it’s a patio, a driveway or even just a sliver of the garden that you decide to sacrifice, you need to be sure that the value of the outdoor area you’re losing is lower than the value you’ll be adding on with the extension. Check out our range of Melbourne home builders for your dream house.
The Purpose Is Important
When it comes to deciding whether or not to extend your home, it’s also important to define not just the process you intend to follow but also to be certain in your mind what the purpose of the extension will be. After all, there’s no point making a decision to invest time, energy and cash into an extension without having it clear in your mind what you want to use it for when it’s done.
Suppose the only aim is to sell on the entire property for a higher profit than you might otherwise have made had the extension not gone ahead. In that case, it’s possible to assess the market and the local area to find out what sort of extensions are adding value in your locality and base your decision on that. However, if you need the extension for purposes which are not necessarily universal, perhaps due to a growing family, your requirements are likely to be more bespoke. If this is the case, it may end up being that the main value it brings is the value of additional space in the here and now. Potential buyers of your property may not value the extension as much as you do, and in financial terms, you may end up disappointed.
Is Building An Extension Worthwhile?
Sure, everyone likes a little extra living space, and extensions increase the square footage of a property which usually adds value. But, before you rush in, take your time to consider the following factors so you can be sure an extension is right for you:
Ceiling Price In The Area
All areas have a ‘ceiling price’. That’s the maximum amount people will pay for a house in a specific area, regardless of what work has been done to it.
People will often look to buy the worst house on the best street. Few people want the best house on the worst street.
Therefore, before starting work on extending the property, check that the house isn’t already approaching its ceiling price. A good estate agent will be able to advise on this.
Build Costs Vs Value Gain
In most cases, adding an extension will increase the value of a property. However, that isn’t the only consideration you should make.
If you are planning on selling your property in the near future, the cost of creating an extension must be less than the value you’ll gain from doing so.
You can get quotes from local tradesmen for the cost of the build and then compare them to the estimated value increase you’ll get.
Complexity Of The Build
The complexity of building your extension will also come in to play when asking if building an extension will add value to your property.
If you are looking to build on sloping ground, for instance, the extra work that will be required to lay the foundations could make the extension more expensive than the amount you’ll gain in added value.
Quality Of The Build
If you’re looking to build to add value to your property, make sure that qualified people do the work to a high standard.
For instance, if the extension will require electrical work, use a Part P qualified electrician who will ensure the work meets current building regulations.
A poorly built extension that doesn’t comply with building regulations can lower the value of the property, rather than increase it, as potential buyers will need to factor in the costs of rectifying the issues.
Inconvenience & Stress
Of course, as with any major property renovation, there will be an element of upheaval for anyone living at the property.
You’ll want to be sure that the amount you’ll gain in property value increases, justifies the inconvenience and stress you’ll experience while the works are ongoing.
If you don’t have the money to pay for the extension costs up-front, be careful that the cost of gaining the finance needed will not outweigh the value you’ll add to your house.
Best Extensions For Increasing House Value
If, after considering the above factors, you have decided an extension is worth adding to your property, the next step is to decide which type of extension is best for you.
This will depend on a number of factors, not least the style of property you have, but the best types of extensions for adding value tend to be as follows:
This is one of the most popular types of extensions, primarily due to its relatively low cost and the fact it is one of the least disruptive ways to add extra space to a property.
A loft conversion is generally used to add an extra bedroom, and sometimes a bathroom too. It’s estimated that a loft conversion will add around 12.5% to the value of your house.
Single or Double-Storey Extension
Useful for adding extra space to living rooms or kitchens, single-storey extensions are often used to increase the living space of a property. If you want more bang for your buck, make it a double-storey extension to add extra bedrooms or create room for an en-suite.
A full-blown double-storey extension could add as much as 11% to the value of your house.
With the irregular British weather, conservatories have become a must-have for creating a space where the garden can be enjoyed all year round.
They are relatively cheap (you’ll be looking at around £5,000 and upwards) and easy to install and can add around 5-7% to the value of your property.
Most single garages are too narrow to fit modern cars comfortably. As a result, most people use them as a dumping ground for items they don’t need anymore.
With living space at a premium, it might make sense to convert your garage into an additional bedroom, particularly if it’s an integrated garage. You can always leave part of it as storage space if you are worried about losing places to put things.
Converting a garage into a bedroom with an en-suite could add as much as 20% to the value of your home. If you use it to create a playroom or study, you could be looking at a 10% increase in value.
Alternatives To Extensions
While extensions do add value to your house (in most cases!), there are a number of factors that may make you decide against adding one to your home. If this sounds like you, don’t despair as there are other ways you can add value to your home.
For example, rather than building the extension, you can always get the planning permission in place. This will make it more desirable to buyers who want to extend and will, therefore, increase the value without you needing to spend the money and time having the work done.
You can also check out our article on how to add value to an investment property since many of the methods also apply to homeowners if you are putting your property on the market and want to increase the likelihood of getting a higher sale price without any building work.
Are House Extensions Worth It? The Top 5 Benefits
Any construction work on your home takes careful consideration and extensive planning to ensure that you can enjoy your new living space. Particularly when building a home extension, you must bear in mind factors such as the desired use of the room, along with whether you have enough land to accommodate the build. To help you to determine whether a house extension is the best route for you, we have delved deeper into the following five benefits:
Alternative To Moving House
In the past year alone, house prices have increased up to 4%, which means that many homeowners are now seeking a cost-effective alternative to moving house. As the most common reason to move is due to lack of space, instead of moving to a bigger property, families are now opting for extending their current home. This, inevitably, costs considerably less and removes the hassle of house hunting, packing up your home and moving into the next. Instead, all you will have to put up with is construction work on your home for a few months then you can begin living in your spacious property. You would have saved a considerable amount of money which can be invested in decorating your extension.
Investing in a house extension as opposed to moving is also ideal if you have a growing family who is settled in the area. Moving nurseries, schools and colleges can be incredibly stressful for the younger members of the family, not to mention daunting. In staying in the same area, children can stay with their friends and continue their studies where they feel comfortable, without the disruption of having to start fresh.
Tailor The Design To Your Family Needs
When enlisting a professional construction company to install a home extension, you are free to tailor every component of the design to suit the needs of your family. From windows and doors to the overall architecture, every aspect of your conservatory can be made bespoke to your requirements. When opting for house extensions in Woburn Sands and the surrounding areas, you will be paired with a skilled architect, who will work with you to bring your vision to life. Architectural drawings are ideal for giving you an accurate idea on what to expect from your home extension once it is complete, allowing you to make any amendments before the build commences to ensure that you are thrilled with your results. Finding the right Melbourne home builders is an important decision. Check out our range of the best home design constructions at MJS Construction Group.
You Do Not Always Need Planning Permission
The beauty of a house extension is that, in most cases, you do not need to apply for planning permission in order to extend your property. The majority of extensions fall under ‘permitted development’ which is rights that you are given as a homeowner to make changes to your property without having to contact local authorities for permission. Most property owners should never have a problem with regards to planning permission, aside from those who live in ‘designated areas’. If you live in, for example, a National Park, World Heritage Site or Conservation Areas, then you may have difficulties gaining permission to begin construction work on your property. However, if you do not fall into the above categories, you can schedule a home extension providing that it meets the following criteria:
- The extension does not take up more than half of the properties of land.
- The top of the extension does not exceed the highest part of the current roof.
- The eaves of the extension are not higher than the existing properties eaves.
- The extension is not built forward of the principal elevation or if it fronts a road, the side elevation.
- The extension does not include a balcony, raised platform or veranda.
- No alterations have been made to the existing roof.
- There has been no chimney, flue or vent pipe installed in the extension.
- The extension does not have a microwave antenna such as a satellite dish.
Provides Additional Living Space
By far, one of the most sought-after benefits of constructing a house extension is its ability to provide additional living space instantly. As mentioned previously, a home extension is perfect if you are beginning to outgrow your property, yet want to avoid packing up and moving to a new area.
There is an abundance of opportunities when considering the uses of your new space, and your final decision should be based on the needs of your family. Have you recently started to work from home and need an office? Would you like to build a playroom for the younger members of the family? Do you want to create a space where you can entertain guests? The possibilities are endless, which means that you can transform your extension in any room that you wish. You could even opt for combining your extension with your existing home to create a large-scale open-plan space. This is fantastic for those who adore the idea of an open-plan kitchen-diner that integrates with the living room. Adopting the open-plan living approach continues to grow in popularity, thanks to its ability to encourage all members of the family to spend time together as opposed to shut off in separate rooms. If you’re stuck for inspiration on how to decorate an open-concept space, we love the 30 stylish ideas featured on Elle Decor.
Although every homeowner is free to transform their extension into any room that they wish, we suggest keeping the basics neutral to future-proof the room. Keeping walls, flooring and ceilings a simple, neutral palette means that should you want to change the use of your extension in the future, there will be no need to redecorate completely. You will, instead, have a blank canvas which can be decorated to incorporate your theme through furniture, accessories and finishing touches. Opting for a neutral colour scheme is also ideal for creating the illusion of a larger space. As opposed to dark colours which absorb light, paler shades reflect both natural and artificial lighting, allowing it to bounce across the room.
Why DIY Is a Beneficial for House Extension Projects
Because we take care of everything, from planning and design to construction and fit-outs, BIY makes for a simple, one-stop-shop for people looking to extend. This means that many of the costs you face when extending by going to different professionals – lawyers, builders, planning departments and architects – are handled in one, streamlined fashion. At MJS Construction Group, we offer a wide range of duplex build.
Since we do it all day, every day, the savings we generate are passed onto customers meaning you can’t find a better alternative when it comes to Irish home extensions. Remember, too, that we design extensions for all sorts of reasons but that one of the primary aims is always to add as much value as possible to home once it is complete with its new addition.