Upgrading Your Home with Property Extension Designs

Upgrading Your Home with Property Extension Designs

There are countless ways to boost your property value, expand your living space, and improve the capacity of your home.

We regularly work with homeowners keen to expand but unsure how to start the design process or whether to extend upwards, outwards or down. We’ve collated some tips and advice to showcase some popular property upgrades, what’s involved, and factors to consider.

The Advantages of Investing in Your Home

First, let’s answer the obvious question – isn’t it easier to simply sell up and move to a larger property? The decision is, of course, entirely yours, but the average house move costs around £9,000 (plus the cost of purchasing a bigger home) and is considerably more disruptive than a few weeks of improvement work.

It also takes around 295 days to sell your current property (about ten months), and you’d need to think about marketing your existing home and buying somewhere new.

If you like your neighbourhood and are settled in the area, it’s well worth investigating the cost of a property upgrade rather than needing to relocate and potentially enrol in new schools or find alternative job opportunities.

Why Extend Your Property?

The advantages of an extension are compelling, and depending on what you’d like to achieve; it can be a relatively fast and cost-effective way of transforming your home:

  • Repurposing unused space: many properties, particularly period homes, have small side returns and areas that don’t serve a viable purpose. Using that capacity to extend can make use of empty land while significantly improving your property.
  • Increasing property value: the average extension adds 23% to your property value – with a sizeable 71% return on investment, or £14,000 profit reflected in the revised market valuation.
  • Creating extra rooms: most homeowners decide to move because they need a spare bedroom, home office or work area. An extension can add one or more additional bedrooms to your property or create a new kitchen or bathroom.
  • Cheaper and quicker than moving: while a larger-scale two-storey extension is an investment, it is also considerably faster and more cost-efficient than selling your home. Extension can be completed in weeks and ready for immediate use.
  • Upgrading your living standards: designing a bespoke extension is a fantastic opportunity to reconfigure your layout! Whether you’d love picture windows, a sleek contemporary design or classic heritage brickwork, you can play with inspiration to tailor your home to your personality and style.
  • Energy-efficiency benefits: modern extensions comprise all the essential features for improved energy efficiency, such as insulation, double or triple glazing and under-floor heating, making your home lower cost to run and better for the environment.

There are also many choices of material, finish and extension design.

If you have a limited budget, please get in touch for advice about the best ways to achieve your desired outcome while controlling overall costs.

Planning Permission Rules for a Full Property Extension

Planning permission is often perceived as a stumbling block to upgrading your property, but it can be straightforward if you understand the rules and file a comprehensive application.

The government’s Planning Portal explains all the exemptions and limits within which you can extend your home under permitted development rights.

Where planning rules do apply, the process works like this:

  1. Buy a location or site plan from the Planning Portal – you use this to show how the design will look and how close it will be to borders, roads or adjoining properties.
  2. Create drawings and architectural plans demonstrating the materials, construction and finished result of your planned extension.
  3. Work out the project dimensions using a volume calculator to determine the additional cubic metres your extension would create.
  4. Complete the planning application paperwork for Full Planning Permission, attaching your site plan and designs. The associated fee for most extensions is £238.20, including VAT.

Pinnacle Works is always available to assist with each step of the process, draw up technical designs and ensure your application is accurate and within all the relevant guidelines.

Popular Property Extension Design Ideas

If you’re unsure of the style or size of extension that would provide the most benefit to you and your family, it’s wise to review other property extensions and shortlist your priorities in terms of budget, additional rooms, and space required.

Two-Story Property Extension

Double-storey extensions can be in any shape – a rear extension, a side return or a wrap-around extension over two new floors.

The advantage is that you double the living space added, although a two-storey extension does not cost twice that of a smaller one-storey conversion. Homeowners who want to expand their property as much as possible opt for double-storey extensions since the cost is generally around 50% more than a single storey.

Much of the groundwork is identical, so you get more living space for each pound spent and can add an extra bedroom, home office or bathroom upstairs.

Modern Property Extension

A home extension doesn’t need to be a traditional ‘box’ added to the front, side or back of your property.

Alternatives include:

  • Extending the ceiling to create a double-height living space with a dramatic impact and an influx of natural light.
  • Replicating period features with modern, sustainable materials and efficient features such as triple glazing or roof lights.
  • Knocking through internal walls to open up living spaces and combine an outward extension with a larger scale open indoor room.
  • Blending the indoors with a garden is a popular option in urban properties. A garden room or panoramic windows can make darker rooms and even subfloor-level apartments feel bright and spacious.

Side Return House Extensions

A side return is an excellent choice if you wish to retain outdoor space but need a larger living area within your property.

Disused alleyways or slim areas where you keep bins and garden equipment can be repurposed, adding value to your home and plotting the extension across the length of the room and outward.

Side return extensions can be one or two storeys high and usually take around three to four months to complete, from digging the foundations to applying the final touches.

Choosing the Right Extension Design to Upgrade Your Property

We hope we’ve provided you food for thought and some ideas and information about the different home extension types to choose from and the factors to consider before you make any decisions.

Get in touch if you’d like further advice about any of the extensions discussed here, help with a planning application, or support from an experienced design team.

Benefits of Investing in Your Property Instead of Moving

Benefits of Investing in Your Property Instead of Moving

When you’ve outgrown your living space or feel like your home isn’t meeting your requirements, choosing whether to move or remodel is a big decision.

There are many compelling reasons to look at opportunities to upgrade your property, expand the number of bedrooms, or go for a loft conversion or extension, particularly if you love where you live.

Let us explain the benefits of home improvements and provide some suggestions from decades of successful renovation projects to solve your property dilemmas. If you’d like tailored advice about the options available within your home, please give us a call, and we’ll be happy to make some recommendations.

Reconfiguring Your Home Rather Than Relocating

One of the most significant challenges, if you’re considering selling up, is that a lot rides on the property market, which is notoriously turbulent. Currently, we’re seeing volatile demand, with peaks in some areas and dips in others.

Selling while the market is flat will undoubtedly mean either:

  • Accepting a lower offer than you’d like.
  • The stress of waiting for months for a buyer.
  • Breaking a property chain if you are unable to sell.

Another issue is around mortgage rates. Interest base rates are expected to rise steeply in 2022, which means that mortgages will become more expensive, in addition to the need to raise a large deposit, usually of at least 10% of the new property value.

Remortgaging to extend your current home loan or even short-term finance may be far cheaper than taking out a brand new mortgage on a different property. As lenders increase mortgage interest charges, it can also mean that homeowners cannot pass stricter affordability assessments to raise enough finance to purchase a larger home.

Costs aside, there are lots of other reasons to explore the renovation opportunities you have and rethink how you use your home to make it better fit your family.

The Best Home Improvement Projects for Investment Returns

Investing in home improvements does more than enhance your living standards – you can drive up the market value of your property if you later decide to move and retain a bricks and mortar asset that will likely grow in value in the meantime.

Some home investments deliver exceptionally high returns, depending on your region. A good example is off-road parking, which can cause no end of hassle for families in busy urban areas struggling to find parking spaces close by. Fitting a driveway or constructing a garage solves the problem while making your home appealing to prospective buyers in the future, and you don’t need to budget for the cost of moving.

While these are averages, the statistics below reflect how you can often double the value of your investment in a home improvement project:

Home improvement Average UK cost Average return on investment
Extending into loft space £21,000 – £44,000 170%
Adding a bedroom £15,000 – £40,000 115%
Building a single story extension £30,000 – £48,000 108%
Outdoor landscaping £100 – £125 per m2 100%
Installing a new bathroom £6,500 – £7,000 93.2%
Installing a new kitchen £5,000 – £14,000 91%
Replacing entrance doors £850 – £1,500 90.7%
Adding a deck, patio or porch £15 – £80 per m2 90.3%
Converting a basement £800 – £1,500 per m2 90.1%
Replacing windows £500 – £3,200 per window 89.6%

In comparison, moving from a three-bedroom house to a four-bed to acquire an extra bedroom will typically cost an average of:

  • £142,400 in the property value
  • £1,700 in removal costs
  • £11,300 in Stamp Duty
  • £800 – £1,500 in legal fees

Unless there is a tangible benefit in selling your home and moving to a larger property, it is hugely more cost-effective to expand or reconfigure your existing home. Eco-friendly improvements, such as replacing an old boiler, will also mean that your utility bills drop and your home achieves a better energy efficiency rating if you choose to put the property on the market at a later date.

Benefits of a Home Improvement Project

There are countless ways to change your property, from a complete remodel, removing internal doors, repositioning walls and building extensions. If you have an existing space that isn’t used, for example, an empty attic or a redundant side return, this space is perfect for extending into.

An experienced contractor, such as Pinnacle Works, is helpful since we can recommend the best solutions based on your existing home and the key aims you have for your home improvement, for example:

  • A rear single-storey extension doesn’t usually require planning permission. It could enable you to create a new living room, playroom, home office, sunroom, or increase the size of your ground floor.
  • If that might eat into your outdoor garden space, a side return extension is often a great option for semi-detached or detached properties.
  • Standalone home offices are ideal for professionals needing a dedicated working space but without the capacity to build extra rooms within their property layout. A separate office at the end of the garden can be fitted with complete plumbing and heating or used as a home gym or studio.
  • If you want to improve natural light, you could contemplate replacing old windows with energy-efficient double or triple glazing, installing roof lights or a dormer window.
  • Rooms that feel cold and draughty can be easily updated with a suspended ceiling.

Modern materials and efficient installations often mean your renovation or extension will be finished in a matter of weeks, creating a new way of living in your house with minimal disruption and heavily reduced costs.

Making your home a home and one that is suited to your tastes and preferences will ensure you feel truly comfortable in your property, with custom-designed spaces aligned with your family’s needs.

If you’d like more inspiration for ways to modernise your home, please get in touch with Pinnacle Works, and we’ll discuss some ideas to improve your living standards – and property value – for the long term.