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To Build or Not to Build?

To build or not to build? That is the question.

Extending your property has long been a popular way of gaining extra space for a growing family, as well as increasing the value on your property.

If an extension is your desired route, take a look at some important factors before going ahead with the big build. But, it is important to take into account the costs of extending and future plans as to whether you wish to sell your house fast and move, or remain in your existing home long term.

Is it more expensive to build or buy a house?

One way of determining whether to build or not to build an extension is by comparing the cost of extending to selling your house and moving into a new one. In some instances, it may be considerably cheaper to add an extension to your existing house.

A good way to work out whether building an extension is cost-effective, search around for potential houses that you are be interested in. For instance, if you currently reside in a three bedroom house worth £280,000 and nearby is a four bedroom house for sale at £350,000, then the cost of moving would be approximately £70,000 – excluding fees.

On the other hand, if your extension is quoted to cost around £50,000, you will be saving close to £35,000, so building an extension is a far better option. However, be aware of additional costs such as 10% construction costs on fees for architects, structural engineers, building regulations checks and planning permission.

Things to consider before building an extension

Remember planning permission

Planning permission can cost anything from £300 – remember to add this into your calculations. It is vital that you do enough research before submitting your plan, to ensure you submit a plan that is likely to be accepted so you don’t waste money on re-submitting plans every few months. It is worth checking the property market where you live and ascertain if houses in the area have extensions and how likely it is to get planning permission.


Photo credit: Dave Head / Shutterstock 

You’re in control of design

Despite questioning whether to build or not to build, the beauty of an extension is you’re in complete control of its design, space and interior design. Of course subject to planning and any problems encountered, you can work closely with your architect and builders to design your extension exactly how you want it to make life easier for you and your family.

From start to finish, you can personalise your home by choosing anything from kitchen units and tiles to bathroom cabinets, making your house your home once again.

It adds value to the property

Any extension – large or small – will inevitably add value to your home. The only instance where this may not ring true is when it has been poorly built, or is an eye-sore.

Depending on the size and number of additional rooms you add, the amount of value added will differ, and will often change yearly. Bear in mind, however, that property valuations tend to double over a ten year period, so any form of extension will add some value to your house whether it be a short or long term investment.

But, before you proceed, it is essential to get expert advice as a poorly built extension can add little or no value at all. It is also worth using trusted builders who have been recommended by friends or family, to ensure you won’t be ripped off.

Consider adding a conservatory

If an extension is not financially viable or you simply do not have the space, it is worth thinking about adding a conservatory to add space. It is a much quicker and easier way of adding space to your house, and is often much more affordable.

Don’t disregard your garden space

Your outside space is an important attribute for many potential buyers, so do not destroy your garden by means of adding an extension for extra space.

Even though an extension may increase the value of your home, it can also have a detrimental effect if you remove too much of the garden space. Green garden space is always in high demand – in fact our study has shown that a garden can increase your property value by 20%. So, ensure you get the balance right to ensure potential buyers have the best of both worlds and aren’t put off.


Photo credit: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock 

If you cannot afford to add an extension to your property, you may want to know how to make a room look larger on a budget. There are several tips and tricks that you can implement to create the illusion of a larger space, such as painting walls white and adding mirrors.

Feature image credit: stefanphotozemun/Shutterstock 

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