You are slowly outgrowing your current home, whether that is because you require further bedrooms or you would like an extra room downstairs to use as either an office or a playroom for the children. But what do you do?
Your choices are to either move to a larger house, or if you have the land, extend your current home. Which one do you choose, and what are the pros and cons of each option?
Moving house can be a very exciting prospect or it can fill you with dread, depending on your previous experiences. It gives you the option to look for your ideal home – possibly in a different area. You may finish up with other benefits as well as the extra space, for example the new garden may be larger, or the house may be in a more ideal location.
However, there are considerable costs involved when moving home. Obviously, you have the problem and costs involved with selling your current property. Estate agents’ fees can add up to quite a large sum these days. Also you have stamp duty to pay on your new home – remember this is 1% of the value up to £250,000, but 3% for houses of £250,000 to £500,000. Depending on which area of the country you live in there are an increasing number of houses that fit into the upper bracket. Actual removal costs and solicitors’ fees could approach £2,000, and then, of course, there is the increased mortgage repayments.
Adding an extension to your house is obviously dependent on whether or not you have the available land adjacent to your property. If it is available, an extension may be a more viable option compared to moving house, especially in areas where the difference in price of a house compared to the next size up is a daunting prospect. House extensions can create hassle: you may not be able to use your drive or garden for a few months.
But you have the advantage that you don’t need to move, and therefore, you are not dependent on selling your property and finding a new one that suits your needs – both within a time limit.
The costs of getting a house extension can add up, as with moving house. You will have the initial costs of using an architect to draw up the plans and submit them to the council for planning permission and building regulations approval. And, of course, the council require a fee – in fact two fees – one for planning permission and one for building regulations approval. The fees for the building are, in general, going to be the largest outgoing, though you must remember that there may be additional costs depending on the type of extension you are planning. For example, if you are extending a room by knocking down an outside wall, you will have to pay a structural engineer to calculate the size of the RSJ (the beam that supports the wall above the new gap), and a quantity surveyor to calculate the cost of the bean. Sometimes, plans have to change after work has started and this may involve extra costs. Builders, in general, will quote you for what they can see, quotes can change if extra work below ground is required.
There may also be costs involving your garden, e.g. landscaping afterwards if part of your garden is taken up. If you are extending the kitchen then you may need to have a new one fitted. And, of course, there will be extra flooring (carpets, vinyl, wood etc), curtains and possibly new furniture.
There is no one answer to the question “Buy or Build?” – it is entirely dependent on an individual’s situation. Speak to estate agents and builders to get rough estimates of the costs involved in each option. You will need to weigh up the pros and cons of each option, and look at all the costs and decide which is the answer that suits your own situation.
House Extension Online wishes you all the best whichever option you choose.