The huge increase in house extensions over the last few years is quite understandable considering the problems involved in selling up and moving into a newer, larger house but what are the options when considering a house extension?
Before devoting your hard earned savings to spending on a house extension have a good, hard think why you want an extension and what you are going to use it for. Sometimes the best idea is to consider what you have in the house already and rearranging space or having a serious clear out of all the unnecessary junk that has been accumulated since you first moved in. Most people think they want a house extension because they feel they have to have extra living space. You may find that with a bit of thought you can create all the space you need by sorting out internal space or even combining two rooms into one. You might even make some money by selling all that stuff you don’t really need rather than spending the money on a building.
When that idea has been safely eliminated or passed over, the next step involves working out exactly what you want the extra space for. It might be an extra bedroom for a new member of the family or an older relative who has come to stay. It might be that you really want a larger kitchen as you seem to spend so much time hanging around the kitchen / dining room area anyway or maybe it is a place where the kids can go and play or a shed or work area that you can keep tools or a computer.
The most common type of extension for growing families and the cheapest option is a loft conversion. Most older houses have lofts, which are usually little used or useless when it comes to living space and at best get filled with all the stuff that is never used and probably could do with being dumped in somebody else’s house rather than yours. The loft extension can provide an extra bedroom or two and is often great for teenagers who want a little more privacy than when they were younger. Older family members or granny or granddad is less likely to want the new space as it means having to climb up too many stairs.
The best option for living space and kitchen space is a kitchen extension. This gives a bigger food preparation area and more up-to-date possibilities for cooking. Having a bigger kitchen means that the area is easier and more comfortable space for spending time in. A comfortable multi use area makes heating bills much more economical as well.
Basement conversions are also popular and can provide a lot of space for extra living or a whole self-contained area for an older relative. They are generally more expensive than the types of extension because of the amount of groundwork that has to be done and the possibility of extra strengthening that might be required. One benefit of a basement conversion over a side extension is that the extra space comes without the loss of garden space.