I have been in home building and renovation business more than a decade now. So believe me when I say that you should prefer home extensions anytime over buying a bigger home. I mean if you have a great plot area and ample space to allow for an extension, why are you even considering moving to a bigger one?
Moving is a headache
Moving to a new place spells hassles. New place, new school for the kids, adjustment problems, selling your old property for a good price, taxes, the list goes on. That’s the reason 50% of home owners who self build their homes go for extensions. and it’s a smart choice. Good use of plot area with added advantage of getting what you want without moving anywhere else. Benefits of home extension can be summed up as:
- You save a lot of money by avoiding real estate agent costs, a new home loan for a bigger property, taxes and moving costs.
- You save time. A lot of time is wasted or invested in finding a new property, moving and adjusting to the new place.
Now with all the money you saved here, you can easily renovate your home and make necessary additions. However, there are certain things you need to keep in mind before extending your home.
Reasons for building an extension
You need to be crystal clear as you why you need an extension. Are you doing this for value addition for your home or do you just need a bigger home for family? Also, you need to plan everything in advance. From budget to where you’re going to stay during renovation, everything needs to be sorted out before you go for it to avoid last minute chaos.
Go through the extension options
Know your home better before going for renovation. Building materials you are procuring for extension must be similar to the materials used in your existing home to ensure structural harmony. Make arrangement for matching tiles, windows and doors as well. There are many extension options available, the most common one’s being
- You can transform your back porch area into a backroom. You’ll get a room with better natural light.
- If you have a strong foundation then you can go for a second story. This is a wonderful option as you retain the original home design while extending your home vertically.
- If you have ample plot space, you can design a retreat by the pool. It’s a separate addition so you won’t have to move out while renovation. It doubles as a guest room.
- Addition of a second bathroom is also a very common extension. A fairly useful one as well.
Hire a good architect
When it comes to designing an extension, always seek help of a professional. You might want to have a DIY moment here but then there are chances of it ending up as a disaster. An architect can help you plan your renovation while considering minutest of details such as soil quality, type of material used in construction, wind direction, availability of sunlight, and will come up with a design that’s in accordance with Building Codes. Also, an architect will help you calculate a correct estimate of renovation cost.
Get a Building Permit
Receiving a Building Permit from your local government is of utmost importance before you begin. If your design does not violates any Building Codes, you’ll get a permit easily.
Also, ask thy neighbor. It is good to take them into confidence and obtain their consent beforehand.
Getting quotes from builders
Get multiple quotes from local builders. The reason I am emphasizing on local builders is that they’re more likely to use locally sourced materials, which is a good thing. Also, they’ll have reasonable charges. Once you select a builder, a detailed building contract outlining the job specifications and completion time should be signed by both the parties.
I have tried to put forward the various aspects of home extensions in the simplest way I can. If you’re looking forward to getting your home extended, go through these points to see whether or not you’re missing something important. If not, all green lights to your home improvement plans.