By John Gibb
There are lots of problems with home improvements: they’re a lot of trouble to arrange, they can be expensive, they often decrease the value of your home or at least don’t make back what they cost, and you have to put up with weeks or even months of noisy, dirty building work being done on your home.
Also, houses were usually planned the way they were because of space restrictions, especially in larger towns: if you just go around building extensions in unusual places, the look and layout of your home can both be compromised. Is it really worth converting a garage into a bedroom? No, it isn’t – the garage is much more valuable, often adding as much as 10% to the value of a property.
Another thing you might not have considered is that if you improve your house too much, no-one who wants to live in your area will be able to consider it. In general, expensive houses are in expensive areas for a reason – there are plenty of people who want to buy a cheap house in an expensive area, but very few who want to buy an expensive house in a cheap one.
Given all this, there is an alternative that you might not have considered: why not just move? Many people extend their homes to avoid the costs and troubles of moving, but when you compare them to the costs of extending, moving actually often comes out ahead – especially if you move to a larger house that is just down the road.
While you won’t get your extension designed exactly to your specifications, moving works out much cheaper in the long run, as other people’s ‘used’ extensions will be cheaper than your new one, and rooms that were built with the house will be cheaper still. Who knows, you might even find something you like even better than your own plans.