Downsizing, upsizing and right-sizing

I love my home but need more space

Have you outgrown your home? Maybe you need more bedrooms and extra living space, or maybe your working situation has changed and now you need a proper home office.

Moving to a bigger place is one option, but if you’re happy in your current home and love where you live, it’s worth exploring other ways of getting the additional space you need.

Here are three possible solutions for transforming your too-tight home into something that’s the perfect size:

  1. Extending

You might be able to add space by extending your home, as long as your plot is big enough and you can make it work with the style and layout of the rest of your home.

The best extensions feel like they’ve always been there, so if you think this might be possible, consult an architect who’s experienced in adapting homes like yours. They’ll be able to outline some options – and understand that you may need to be prepared to pay more for the most sympathetic design.

Also think about whether you can live with the work going on around you, or if you might need to move out temporarily until it’s finished, which could add to the overall cost of the project.

  1. Converting

If you’ve got a big enough loft, a basement or an attached garage, it might be possible to convert the space into sleeping or living accommodation. A conversion is generally less disruptive and less expensive than an extension and can be a great way to gain usable space without changing the overall look and layout of your home.

One key thing to consider is whether the conversion will require a staircase to be built and how much of an existing room or hallway this might take up.
 

  1. Building in the garden

The options for constructing units in the garden have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, and there has never been more choice for homeowners. There are some great-looking and environmentally friendly prefabricated units that can be ready to move into in just two or three weeks – perfect for a home office or an extra room for teenagers.

If you want something bigger, such as a self-contained annexe, that will take longer to build, but if your garden is big enough it can be a great solution. This kind of separate, flexible accommodation should also make an attractive selling feature as and when you move on.

Two important things to consider before you finalise any plans:

  • You may need planning permission for any building works – including putting a unit in your garden – so speak to your local council as early as possible to find out whether you’ll have to apply. As long as it’s a straightforward application, you should get a response within eight weeks.
  • Even if you’re creating your ‘forever’ home, at some point you might want or need to sell, so it’s a good idea to speak to an estate agent to find out how much value the work you’re doing will add to the market price. Although it may be possible to create something that meets your needs exactly, the investment just might not make financial sense.

Whether you’re moving or carrying out a home-improvement project, we’re always here if you want to discuss your plans or would like our professional opinion on the potential value of your home. Give us a call on 01234 290685 or email bedford@belvoir.co.uk – we’d love to help!