Extending and converting a property

June 2022

Extending and converting your property

Extending your property or converting an existing room can offer a cheaper and more practical solution for gaining extra space and higher property value without moving house. But while there may be a number of reasons why you want to extend your property, it can be a costly, disruptive, and time-consuming process.

Before setting your mind on the idea of property extension, consider the following:

Is an extension a good investment? 

The additional space gained from the extension might fit your needs at the time, but in the foreseeable future you may decide to move to a different location. If the extension hasn’t added value to your property, with the consideration of ceiling price of other properties in your area, the potentially costly and freeing idea of an extension may not be the right economic decision in the long-run.

Would a single storey extension or double storey extension be better? 

If you’re planning to build to extend the space offered by your property, it’s worth weighing up the benefits of both a single storey and double storey extension to determine which would be the most beneficial, from both a financial and practical standpoint.

Could any practical issues arise from the extension or conversion? 

Aside from the construction process, there are several potential issues that could cause problems further down the line if they are not assessed sensibly before the construction work starts. For example, consider accessibility, such as the number of cars parked on the drive, and the impact it might have on day-to-day access and living arrangements, as well as the possible refusal of planning permission related to the planned work. It’s also a good idea to consider the access needed for building materials, tradesmen and construction before drawing up plans or undergoing any extension or conversion work.

Have you really considered all the costs? 

It’s worth considering the potential cost of all the necessary building materials, including windows, doors, and furnishings. Always consider whether or not the extension will add value to your property, as the process could require you to borrow thousands of pounds, or even remortgage your home.

Other factors may impact your decision, such as soil type, services, and surrounding trees or vegetation, any past flooding, and rights of way.

Converting a room

Another easy way to get some extra space is to convert another room into a living space – most commonly a garage or loft. Unlike extensions, space is already there, and unless you wish to extend the room, there is no requirement for demolishment or any intrusive work, and the denial of planning permission is unlikely as the room is already part of your property or designated driveway, unless stated otherwise on the property documents.

Converting a room can add value to your home and is the most cost-effective method of extending a property. While the cost is lower than moving to a new house or even extending your property outright, there is still the possibility of additional fees, denied planning permission, and the restricted access to other rooms or garden areas connected to the room that is being converted, causing disruption. Additionally, there are still surveys, improvements and repairs that may be required before the work takes place, depending on the complexity of the project and each property’s individual planning permissions and circumstances.

You should consider all these factors before deciding whether or not a room conversion is feasible or economically viable. Always be sure to ask for a second opinion and, if necessary, involve the help of professionals before drawing up plans for an extension or room.

Source: https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/advice/garage-conversion