When is a good time to extend my home?

As home renovation specialists, we are asked a whole host of questions from London homeowners who are looking to extend or renovate their properties. As we enter the new year of 2021, with a new national lockdown, it’s a good time to raise the question: is now a good time to extend my home? One thing is clear, and that is that there is no blanket answer to this question. Here at Home Tales, we realise there are tons of variables and individual circumstances that are unique to you. As a result, the answers should be tailored to you too. We thought we run through some key items to consider, to help you weigh up the pros and cons of extending, and whether now is the right time to take the plunge. 

Why do you want to extend? 

The first question to ask yourself is why you want to extend your home. Lots of our clients come to us with the desire for more space, but the reasons for this space vary significantly. Creating more space to accommodate a growing family is one of the top reasons for extending, in which case loft conversions are generally the preferred option as the requirement is for additional bedrooms. If you are working from home and need a quiet study or office area, a loft conversion is again, likely to be your solution. With that said, we do frequently create office areas within the ground floor, particularly if you are opting for a ground floor extension and adding valuable space to the property. Lots of homeowners want to create a more efficient use of their living and kitchen area, in which case a kitchen extension is most beneficial. Ground floor extensions on London terraces and can include loads of exciting features, such as bi-fold doors and Velux windows. 

When is the right time to extend? 

Once you’ve established your reason for extending, the next thing to consider is the right time. Is there a benefit to undertaking this project now? If your reason for extending is to accommodate your growing family, it might be a requirement to finish before a certain date. Lots of our clients come to us pregnant, with a strict deadline to finish before the baby’s due date. Some of our clients want to align the build phase of the project with an extended holiday. If you are intending on living in during the building works, the worst part is the strip out and demolition, which happens in week 1-3 of the building works. If you time your summer holiday with the start of your build, you can skip the worst part and return when things have calmed down a bit. 

From our experience, the build phase of your project takes some careful consideration and planning. The design phase is far more flexible. Here at Home Tales, we offer unlimited amendments to your floorplans during the design phase. This means you can take as long as you need to review the proposals and consider your designs. Once we submit to planning, it takes 8 weeks to get a determination from them. It then takes 2-4 weeks for us to produce your detailed drawings. These are the only two timelines that are fixed, so you have complete flexibility in everything else. Planning is valid for 3 years, so once approval is obtained, you have 3 years to build your scheme. 

In terms of the build phase, a typical ground floor extension will take 12-18 weeks to build and a loft conversion will take 10-14 weeks. 

Are the alternative solutions cost efficient?

If you need more space, one alternative solution is to consider moving instead of extending. Weighing up which will be more cost efficient and more effective is always helpful at reaching the best decision. One of the reasons so many homeowners decide to extend is because the costs and work associated with moving is often similar to the cost of an extension. On top of this, the extension will add value to your existing property, rather than ending up lost on tax and agent and lawyer fees. If you are buying and selling a property, remember to account for agent fees, stamp duty, lawyers’ fees both for selling and buying, mortgage broker fees and moving fees. A typical ground floor extension costs on a Victorian terrace between £35k and £70k and a loft conversion between £25k and £45k. We’ve recently written a blog on the average cost of a home extension which goes into these figures in more detail. 

If you are considering a home extension, get in touch with our friendly team today to discuss with us in more detail. Each project in unique, and all of the information above is fairly generic. We would be happy to offer more tailored estimates on timelines and associated costs. You can also book a consultation directly via our live bookings page. Alternatively, call us on 0207 043 2378 or email us hello@hometales.co.uk.

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