Buying a ‘project’ house? 

Are you thinking about purchasing a house that requires an extension or renovation? Well, you are not alone! We see tons of homeowners who want to buy to extend or renovate. There are massive advantages in doing so, the most appealing one for most is the potential financial increase. If you can add value to a property, you increase the value you own within the property, decreasing your ‘loan to value’ with the bank (assuming you have a mortgage). 

Another huge advantage is the ability to make the property your own. You can tailor it to your needs and requirements and design everything around you and your family unit. 

How do I find a property that requires renovation? 

Finding a ‘project’ property can be subjective – what some would consider in need of a renovation, others might not. With that said, an estate agent should guide the seller on what they consider the property to be worth and to acknowledge any modernisation or renovations it might need. Most of our projects are period properties, built well over one hundred years ago. If they haven’t been updated in some way or modernised over the years, they will need some form of renovation. We recently renovated and extended a mid-terrace on the Southfields grid that didn’t have a central heating system; in fact, we found coal under the stairs during the strip out and demolition. For this project the entire property was stripped back to brick and started again. The internal walls were re-built, and the electrics and plumbing were started from scratch. The windows were replaced with double glazed accoya wood, as well we the front door and all new internal doors. 

Others might not so be clear-cut. Many properties have been well maintained but just appear out-dated or in need of a face-lift. In this case the renovation is a bit more straight forward as it might just need some plasterwork and some new paint. 

How do I understand the potential of a property when I find one?

Good question! We offer free telephone consultations, and we would be delighted to discuss your ideas and project in more detail. We can speak to you at any stage of the process, whether you are pre-offer and just looking at properties, or have a property under-offer subject to contract, or post-exchange and completion. Book your free consultation here. When you book a consultation just remember to specify that you don’t yet own the property. If you select that option you will be able to include a link to the sale listing. That is very helpful for us as we can see the floorplan and photos of the property to assist us in the advice we give during the telephone consultation. Following the call we will issue you with a no obligation quote for the work. Our quotes include our design fee which will cover architectural design, planning permission (if relevant) and the building regulations pack. We have a recommended builder and we will also include a build budget estimate price so you can assess feasibility of the project from an early stage.  

What is the best extension for a project house?

If you are buying a property which requires substantial renovation it might be a good time to consider an extension. For a renovation project, the scope of works becomes much more efficient if you are extending as the renovation becomes an ‘add on’ to the larger scope of works. 

Loft conversions are arguably the most efficient extension at adding value onto your property as they tend to add the most in area. In some cases, they can add an entirely new floor to the property. Loft conversions tend to add bedrooms and bathrooms. For a typical mid-terrace Victorian property, we would generally add an l-shape dormer which would add two double bedrooms and a bathroom. 

Ground floor extensions don’t always add as much space, but they can transform the ground floor and give the property a ‘wow’ factor that can certainly swing a sale or ramp up the value of the property. There is much more opportunity for unique designs such as open plan design, the use of internal doors and windows, exposed brick or steel, large glass doors to the garden (the list is endless). 

There are other extensions available such as garage conversions, side extensions, first floor extensions and out-houses. They can also very effective at adding floorspace and are open to a whole range of opportunity.

If you want to discuss a property that you are thinking of purchasing, have recently purchased or that you have under offer, book a free consultation with our team today via our live diary. You can also call the office on 0207 043 2378 or email

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