Renovate to make room for more family members
Expanding your home rather than moving can make a lot of sense.
You can upgrade your existing home to meet your current needs while adding value when you eventually choose to move on.
As you expand your home, it’s often a good idea to reconfigure the existing space to make the most of the new space.
This will allow you to establish the optimal layout to make the most of access, views, natural light and privacy.
To effectively integrate any new expansion and ensure you get real value out of it and use it, you may need to knock down some existing interior walls and move doors to get the space you want.
Consider the position of the entrance and the design of the central hallway – which should effectively lead to all main rooms and the relationship between key spaces, such as the proximity of bedrooms to bathrooms.
Before you start planning your extension, talk to a local real estate agent and find out what types of upgrades help homes sell well in your area.
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There’s no need to spend a fortune on an expensive extension that will put your property well above the selling price in your area. If you know someone who has recently undergone an extension, ask them for advice and recommendations.
First, you need to decide if the new section should be in a contrasting but complementary style or if you want it to look like part of the original structure. Contrast is much easier to achieve.
However, if you decide you want the extension to be seamless, be sure to carefully match materials and copy key design elements – or your new addition will look like an afterthought. This includes the pitch of the roof and details such as the bond of the brick and even the color of the plaster.
Keep in mind that an extension can remove some of the light sources from your original rooms, so you need to be sure to include plenty of glazing to bring in natural light.
Consider adding a feature, like a striking staircase design, an on-trend fireplace, or a kitchen prep island.
To go up
Adding a second story rather than extending at ground level can work well, provided the existing foundation and structure are adequate.
Your decision will also be influenced by who will occupy the new expansion. Older family members may not be able to negotiate the stairs, while teenagers would appreciate having their own space a bit away from the rest of the house.
If your garden is large enough, a separate building may well be a more reasonable and manageable solution than extending the existing house.
A garden building can provide additional games or home office space and would be ideal as self-contained accommodation with kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living areas.
If you plan to build a separate extension or outbuilding, you will need to apply for planning permission from your local authority.
Therefore, before submitting an application, it is wise to engage with your local authority early on and research local planning policies to find out what is likely to be approved. You must also comply with building regulations which cover issues such as insulation, drainage and fire safety.
That’s why it’s usually best to hire a professional like an architect, architect, or draftsman to draw the plans and submit all necessary documentation on your behalf.
Whoever you appoint, always check that they have the relevant professional qualifications and accreditations.
You could manage the construction project yourself to help reduce costs.
However, project management can be tough to juggle, especially with a full-time job, especially since you’ll have to manage each individual contractor.
One option is to find a good builder who can deliver the job on time and on budget. Personal recommendations are a good place to start, as you can check the quality of the work before nominating someone.
Nevertheless, you should always get several fixed price quotes to compare different builders.
Check that your potential builder has the appropriate professional insurance and certification and is happy for you to verify their past work.
Even if you expect the building to be very low impact, it’s always best to move at the worst of the disruption. If you don’t have friends and family in the neighborhood, book accommodation nearby.
Be sure to visit the site at least once a day to check on progress and deal with any issues that keep popping up. And never go on vacation leaving the builder in charge.
(Information: www.privateproperty.co.za/writer: Sarah-Jane Meyer).
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