How to get the most out of your home extension in 2018

Ryan Abell, owner of building company Abell Building Services, describes how homeowners choosing to stay put and extend their homes rather than move to a larger property, can make an extension to add space as well as value.

If you’re one of nearly 60% of homeowners choosing to improve their home instead of move this year, then you may still be faced with the problems that make people want to upsize in the first place.

A growing family is often the main reason for homeowners upscaling. However, according to research from Comparethemarket.com, 59% of homeowners would rather make home improvements than move, due to reasons such as inflation, stamp duty and economic uncertainty. Here are some top tips for extending your home in a way that adds space as well as value – ready for if and when you do decide to sell your home.

Make your home extension an extension

Firstly, do not be afraid to make your extension look like an extension. All too often people will be fixated on a making their extension look like a seamless part of their house, without realising the potential desirability of an obviously extended house.

Finding materials that will match your property can be difficult, and even when the extension is completed, if you’re not working with a builder who is highly experienced in extending period properties or similar, the chances are that you will be able to notice a difference in the construction of your home and the aesthetics of the extension.

A cheaper, faster and often much more attractive alternative is to add a statement extension; something that transforms your house into a home that works for you, but also shows that the house has been developed and a brand-new aspect has been added.

Extensions can be particularly effective in adding character to a property that looks the same as everyone else’s in the vicinity, or to a property that is otherwise plain and bland. Take a look at modern alternatives and you may be surprised by how a mixture of building materials such as glass or wood could complement your existing architecture.

Another benefit to this approach is that planning permission is often not required, as a transformative approach can be classed as remodelling under Permitted Development rights.

Extend your home upwards

The sky is the limit (alongside planning permission) with home extensions. If you don’t have a large garden or much space at the side or rear of a property, then building up is the way to go. There are several benefits to adding more storeys, as well as saving space for your garden. There is more access to light available the higher you go and usually it’s not much more expensive to add two storeys instead of just one – you will still need just one roof , so it’s really about adding to the budget for extra bricks and mortar.

Add more light to your home

Additional light and a longer line of sight throughout a house can make it seem far bigger than it is. There are lots of ways to achieve this with an extension, but a couple of our favourites are:

  • Sliding doors – if you have an open plan space that you’re looking to extend or remodel, then sliding doors will act as a barrier for sound or to close rooms off, but can slide right back to the walls to maximise light. For improved lighting at all times, try sliding doors made from glass, which can still create privacy if they are glazed, or with the use of blinds or curtains.
  • Sky lights – the more directions that light can enter your home the better. Even when the sun has moved to the other side of the house and therefore isn’t shining light into your window, a skylight will provide natural lighting at any time of day.

Add a mezzanine

If you have a high ceilinged room, wherever it is in your house, the chances are it would make an excellent mezzanine level. You don’t even have to think big – some people use mezzanines to simply fit in a bed and bedside table or to create more living and storage space in the main bedroom below. Others create a whole new living area within a dining room or hall to create room to relax or simply space for storage.

So, with so much uncertainty on the housing market, now is a good time to take a look around your property with a fresh pair of eyes to identify any great potential for creating an extension to your home.