Need more space but don’t want to move house?
Thinking of getting some building work done to your house but not sure where to start?
Well we’ve got you covered.
In this blog post we’re going to break down you’re your options and the pros & cons with each.
We’ve even graded each option to the following categories:
Renovation Ratings (out of 10):
Cost – this will give you ball park figures on how much it’ll cost you
Speed – how quickly the work can be done
Expertise Required – some of these options are fairly easy to do whilst others need specialist designers & builders to do them properly
Hassle & Upheaval – how much grief you’ll have to your everyday life to do one of these options
Square Metres Created – how much does your house get physically bigger
Living Space Usability – more space doesn’t necessarily mean more living space so we’ll talk you through that
Return on Investment – how much will this work add to the bottom line of your house
Now to get more space out of your home you only have 4 options which we’ll cover here. And these 4 options are:
1) Remodelling or reconfiguring your layout
2) Loft Conversions
1) Remodelling or Reconfiguring
Well first up is remodelling or reconfiguring the layout of your home.
This is the least used method of getting more space out of your home.
And the reason for that is because the return on investment on the sale value of your house will be at the lower end of the scale when compared to other solutions where we add square footage to the house.
However in terms of improving the quality of living in your home and getting more space without making the house physically bigger then this is one of the best solutions there is.
Basically it involves us removing walls, making new openings and moving things about a bit in your house so we can create a lot more usable space that’s currently going to waste due to the out-dated layout of your home.
Cost-wise it is the cheapest way to get more space from your home.
Structurally all that’s involved is putting in some steel beams and moving walls around a bit.
And as a result it’s also the quickest way to get more space out of your home too.
You also don’t need planning permission for reconfiguring your home but you do need to contact your local building control.
That said not every Joe Soap can design or build these adequately.
Expertise is essential here if you want to get as much usable space as you can out of your home and as a result the designs tend to be more expensive than extensions or loft conversions.
You’ll also need a builder who understands building structure, a lot can go wrong here in the wrong hands.
I have a feeling that this is one of the reasons this method isn’t used more, but you’re really missing out if you don’t take advantage of reconfiguring the layout of your home.
In terms of hassle & upheaval there is quite a bit as a lot of the work will be concentrated in your living areas. Luckily the work can be done quite quickly so it balances out at the end of the day.
In terms of square meterage increases to your home there isn’t any. We are simply reconfiguring the layouts as they stand.
However you are getting back a load of usable living space that you couldn’t use before due to the inefficient layout.
2) Loft Conversions
We are now entering the world of actually adding physical living space to your home.
Lofts are kind of a remodelled roof but as this space isn’t usually accessible then it goes into the added square footage model.
Now in terms of actually adding square footage to your home loft conversions are one of the cheapest ways to do just that.
Not only are they relatively inexpensive but they are also the quickest type of extension you can do too.
You can convert your loft for around £100/square foot for a basic conversion up to £175/square foot for a luxury model.
These figures are a bit subjective and do depend on where you live. A loft conversion in London costs a lot more than a loft conversion in Inverness for example.
However converting lofts isn’t as simple as it sounds.
There are important design considerations to be made and the structure of your roof must not be compromised by converting the loft space.
Basically you need to hire someone that knows what they are doing, a jack of all trades ain’t gonna cut the mustard here.
Loft conversion can be done relatively quickly but you do require planning permission and you’ll need to notify your local building control.
In terms of hassle & upheaval, loft conversions are quite kind to your home because they aren’t located near the living areas like your kitchen, dining area or bathroom.
Most if not all the material and equipment can be winched up the side of the house and most of the work can be done from the outside too.
Depending on the size of your house you can create roughly 2/3’s of a floor if the loft is done right which is really good and as a result loft conversions do have a really good return on investment, they can increase the value of your home by around 12.5%.
In addition because loft conversions are isolated from other living spaces, you get a lot of living space from the new spaces as they don’t take away from any adjacent rooms which can be a problem we’ll be encountering in the next section of this blog post.
If you would like some inspiration for your own loft conversion then you can check out our 10 Weird & Wonderful Loft Conversions blog post which is crammed full of… well weird lofts! There’s even a space shuttle in it!
You can access that here: 10 Weird & Wonderful Loft Conversions
There’s also a blog post here on how to check that your loft space is suitable for converting to start with because not all roofs are suitable: [Step by Step] How To Check That Your Terraced House Roof Space Is Suitable For A Loft Conversion
Now we are into some serious solutions for extra space in your home and next up is the extension.
Extensions can be expensive and can cost anywhere from £125/square foot for a single storey extension to £180/square foot for a 2 storey extension.
They also take some time to construct so are one of the slower ways to make your home bigger.
There’s more red tape with them too in that you might need a party wall agreement with your neighbour if your work affects their property at all.
You will also require planning permission and you’ll need to notify your local building control.
In addition they do cause quite a bit of upheaval as they affect your living areas such as the kitchen & dining areas.
Now there is something else you need to know about extensions. And that is that they affect the other spaces & rooms that sit adjacent to them.
And they tend to affect them in a negative way.
You will be adding square footage for sure but all you will end up doing is adding space with one hand but taking it away with another as you make the internal spaces near the middle of the house less usable.
Renovation Rating Without Reconfiguring the Adjacent Spaces:
We have another blog post on this site about this and can be found here: Top 5 Kitchen Extension Mistakes
So what we advise here at Bespoke Home Design is that you remodel or reconfigure the adjacent rooms and spaces so they sit better with the extension.
This does require a bit more expertise but it’s worth it.
You’ll make your home a lot better to live in, give it a natural flow with the new space you’ve created and unlock a load of extra living space that would otherwise go to waste.
Renovation Rating With Reconfiguring the Adjacent Spaces:
If you don’t want to remodel the adjacent spaces then you can get away with an average designer & builder as extensions are pretty much their bread & butter.
In terms of ROI a single storey extension can add up to 12.5% on to the value of your home which is comparable to loft conversions.
If you would like some ideas for your own home extension you can check out our 15 UK House Kitchen Extension Ideas Blog Post where we have an extensive list of what we consider to be some of the best house extensions in the UK.
You can find it here: 15 Kitchen Extensions Blog Post
And finally the last way to make your house bigger is with a basement.
Basements are the big daddy of extensions.
Cost-wise they are the most expensive, it’ll cost around £200/square foot to do the digging & structure and another £100 to fit it out giving a big total of £300/square foot.
Another consideration is that constructing basements take time, we’re usually talking a few months for a decent sized one and there is usually a lot of red tape that comes with them too.
So you’re into party wall surveyors and all the hassle that comes with that.
You will of course require planning and building control approval.
And the designers & builders need to be specialised with a lot of experience to do one of these bad boys.
They are pretty complicated beasts so paying a bit more on good consultants will save you a lot more money during the building work itself where any hiccups at all will cost you an arm & a leg.
There’s also a fair bit of hassle and upheaval but not as much as you might think.
For starters the access for builders and equipment is under your house so they are largely separate from the rest of your home.
Secondly your main living areas won’t be affected as again all the work in located underneath.
With that said, noise will be an issue and there will be muck about the entrance to the basement work which will affect the front of your house.
However the square footage you can create is enormous, you are effectively adding a full floor and if you decide to extend out underneath your back garden then you be massively adding to the size of your house.
The basement can also be designed to contain whatever rooms you desire so you can get the full benefit from every square inch of your new basement.
The return on investment really depends on how much your house is worth. If your house is worth £600/square foot then for every £1 you spend on your basement you’ll effectively be getting £2 back which is a 100% ROI and that’s nothing to be sniffed at.
If you would like some ideas for your own basement you can check out our 39 Rooms You Can Put In A Terraced House Basement blog post. It even comes with an infographic that you can use as inspiration for your own home.
You can find it here: 39 Basement Rooms Blog Post
So has this post stimulated any ideas for you? If so let us know in the comments box below: