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Considerations Before Extending Your Home

Considerations for home extensions

Homes are an emotional purchase and the biggest purchase many would make in their lifetime; this is why the market is so irrational, and there is so much volatility and flexibility in the market, if you know which indicators to look at as an investor.

Housing, like any market, goes through its boom and bust cycles, and if you're not emotionally tied to your home, it can result in huge profits for you. These market cycles take years to switch, and it might not be time to sell your home — you might need some thoughtful extensions and renovations instead and add value when it does turn into a seller's market!

If you're thinking about getting a premium price for your home, then read further and find out how you can save money in the short term for long term gain by merely adding another room (or two).

1. Looking at the market

With the property market in an unsure state right now, it's no wonder many families are choosing not to sell up and move out of the family home, but rather make some home expansions on it instead. Building an extra room saves a lot of money over buying a completely new house, and for many is an excellent solution for if a new baby comes into the family or if one of your grown children has moved back home.

Perhaps you've always wanted a second living room for just relaxing and making a mess, a studio workshop for your small business or the kitchen to open up into an alfresco entertainment solution for impressive backyard dinner parties.

There are many good reasons to stay put where you are, and if you're looking into expanding your existing home, there are a few things to think about before your journey begins, mainly your reasons for wanting to expand your house.

2. Strategies for home extensions

As touched on, there are many motivating factors for increasing the size of your home, and some of these reasons may not have come to mind yet. Converting some or all of your home to an open plan space is an effective way to make the flow of your existing homework better.

This may be as simple as removing a few walls or may require extensive structural work to ensure stability and that your idea works in practice. This is why it is always best to seek out the assistance of a professional, who will be able to advise with certainty what your expansion or renovation will entail.

Storage is an often overlooked thing when we first move into a home, but as the years go by, many families accumulate a lot of storage which can quickly get out of hand. At the same time, you might want your garage back actually to park your car in, and this leads to a loss of storage space. Storage expansion is an excellent solution to this problem and can be designed and built with maximum space and organisation in mind.

3. Expanding and letting light in

An expansion might also be to encourage more natural light into your home. This could be conducted through the use of wall removal and replacement with full glass windows, or roof extensions with skylights which utilise the power of nature to bring more light into your house.

Finally, you might want a radical space change, such as moving your living areas to the back of the house. This may mean smaller existing rooms need to be built upon and extended to match the needs of household members.

By considering what your needs are, it will be easier to liaise with building professionals to maximise the current potential of your home and ensure you're abiding by safety laws as well.

4. Looking at the cost of home extensions

Extension costs can quickly become expensive, so it's essential to keep your budget in mind as well. The most expensive areas to renovate or extend in a home are generally bathrooms, followed by kitchens, then living areas and bedrooms.

This makes sense due to the amount of plumbing work that may have to be reconfigured to make your expansion work. There is also the electrical work to think about, as expansions may involve building a room from scratch that previously would have had no electrical networks whatsoever.

The cheapest room to extend upon or renovate is garages — as these can easily have proper walling and insulation installed. It's much easier to expand on an existing building than building one from scratch, so this is something to keep in mind as well.

5. Boosting your home's value

If you're thinking of adding an extension to sell up in the future, you're in luck. Reports have found that homes with added extensions can see a price increase of up to $150, 000 in international markets on your property value while locally it can see an increase of between R200 000 or more.

Internationally the costs of one room expansions being within the region of $12, 000 - $30, 000, while locally it's around R20 000 - R50 000; which makes this is absolutely a good return on investment. As long as you have a reliable and trustworthy contractor, this can be a profitable exercise.

When renovating your home, you shouldn't only consider what you would like but also what others would want since it pays to know what buyers are willing to pay more for in your region, making your home more attractive in the market.

6. Don't skip the admin and admin costs

Don't forget that many professionals, paperwork and other necessities such as land surveying are things to also consider into your budget and pricing when planning a home extension. It's always best to be prepared so that you can be enjoying your newly expanded space in a shorter amount of time.


About the author

Luke Fitzpatrick has been published in Forbes, The Next Web, and Influencive. He is a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have time to spare why not check out these related posts and dive deeper down the rabbit hole that is home renovation.

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