5 Reasons Why You Might Not Consider a Home Extension.

As many of my readers know, we are awaiting planning permission on the old house. It is a listed building here in the UK which means that the history of the building needs to be protected. So far it’s taken almost a full year of negotiations and in that time, we have wobbled on what we would like to do, if we are doing the right thing and whether or not we can fund it all! It has also made us think about whether we really need an extension at all.

As children grow up they spend less time at home and you will need to budget for future expenses, such as college and university. Chances are there are a lot of hidden spaces in your house that can be transformed into useful areas. Before you decide to embark on an expensive and messy project of home improvement including adding an extension, find out why you might not want to do it after all. Even though the old house needs work, we could happily live in it as it is (we are!). It’s got me thinking about whether we need to go ahead with our renovations after all!
Your children are leaving in a few years. 
If you are living with teenagers you might think ahead. They might move out or find a job in another city soon, maybe go to university. You will no longer need extra space in a few years’ time, therefore, your investment may not pay off long-term. You can make temporary changes to the design, and wait a few years to reclaim their rooms or study corner. Your circumstances are likely to change, as well as your preferences and long term goals when your kids move out of your home.

You need to budget for other expenses.
If you have other expenses coming up, you might not want to invest in  home improvements involving an extension. If you work from home and need an office, it might be cheaper to rent a garage or a flexi space nearby than throwing tens of thousands of pounds into an expensive project. If you have to choose between a messy home for months or a new car, you might want to choose the latter. I worry that our children may want to go to University and that will be an added expense.
You are likely to move.

If there is the slightest chance that you have to move or temporarily relocate, you don’t want to make a lot of changes. If you move, you will need the money to make the most out of your new home, and save up the money. Chances are that if you complete your home improvement and decide to sell your house, the buyers will not pay the price that the entire property with the work carried out cost you. Luckily, we are hoping to start in the old house forever. We are very settled in this area and have steady jobs with family near by.
You can’t stand the mess.

There are some people who simply can’t stand mess and chaos. If builders leaving tools everywhere and dust covering your kitchen affects you as well, you might want to put off your plans for a home improvement. If you need extra space, you might want to erect a summer-house instead, which is less messy and can be completed in a day instead of weeks. This worries me slightly being a total neat freak! However, we know that we will have to live with mess and disruption to get what we want.
You haven’t tried space-saving home improvements.
Unless you live in a mansion, you will never have enough space. However, simple changes to your interior design, such as getting  wooden TV units with plenty of storage or a shelving that fits right in the corner can free up space instantly. For much less than the home extension would cost you, it is possible to reclaim under-utilised space in your house.
Whether you are looking for more space or better design when considering home extensions, you should think twice and make sure that it is the most cost-effective solution for you and your family.
We are hoping to hear any day now about our planning permission. I will keep you posted! I will also share more photographs of the old house as I know I haven’t yet.
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5 Reasons why you might not consider a home extension. Oldhouseintheshires. #diy

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19 Comments

  • UG! I cant tell you how many homes I looked at and left because of bad additions or remodels! When I told my realtor I wanted an old home, I meant I wanted an old home! They are hard to find nowadays. Of course, we do not have the old home here like you have there. Most of our oldest are nor much more than a century old.

    • Are you in the States?
      Our home was built in 1840 so it’s quite old, although some houses are older where I live. I love the character but not the damp! You are right though, horrid additions can really spoil a house.

      • Some of the homes I looked at in 2006 were old summer houses converted to residential houses. For me, they would have been fine if they had not been so extensively modified. Some were build in the 1940s or so. We do not have many from the Victorian period here, because there was not much more than logging camps here at the time. The area was developed more after the redwood was harvested very extensively to rebuild San Francisco and the Bay Area after the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906. There are older homes in the Santa Clara Valley, but not many. Most of the development that is there now happened in the 1950s and afterward. San Jose was established in 1777, but there just were not many buildings back then, and most of them are long gone.

        • Ah ok. Very different to here then. I’ve never been to your part of the world; would love to though. I’ve been to LA and SAN Diego years ago and studied in Kansas for a while on an exchange. Very different of course. I imagine lots of wooden houses whilst ours are stone. We have a few houses in my area that were built in the 1500’s which are pretty cool and one of my friends houses has a priest hole where priests were hidden in the time of Mary. X

          • Priest hole? That is a conversation starter. My old home in San Luis Obispo had a bomb shelter. Stone and brick are not permitted construction materials anymore. They do not survive earthquakes very well. Oklahoma and I suppose Kansas are not even as old as California, so do not have many buildings even from the Victorian period.

    • Thank you Brigid. Happy new year to you. Xx

  • You are one clever lady. For all the pros you weigh up the cons and question. I certainly think that squeezing every inch out of what you have first is the right way to go. Listed buildings do come with headaches. I swore blue blind that I would never ever do one again after the shenanigans I went through in Berkshire many years ago. So of course the little Maison Secondaire we bought here is un monument historique – go figure 😂. Seriously, I think the overwhelmingly most relevant point you raise is that of children flying the nest. Of course mostly they have an elastic and will ping back when you are least expecting it but one crosses those bridges. What is certain is that they will need support as they fly the nest and if the coffers have run dry it would be a major conundrum. Whatever you decide to do, I know you will do it gracefully and beautifully because that is your default 😊 xx

    • Thank you Osyth! We have scaled down the plans for sure but will go ahead as long as the permission comes though….a year on we are still waiting but at lexast we are sure about what we want. X

      • The brakes on us due to financial and time constraints have been SO frustrating but the silver lining is exactly that … a certainty of what we really want. And it isn’t quite what we thought we wanted so patience turns out to be a virtue as well as a frustration after all. The permissions for yours will transpire, the wheels will turn and you will get your hearts desire – promise 😊 xx

  • I completely agree, people do not need as much space as they think they do. My husband and I have almost 900 square feet and it feels big sometimes. I recently watched a documentary on minamali​sm and it showed a chart a house’s layout and then dotted the areas the family actually used during the day, and it was a shockingly low percent. In fact​​ whole rooms went almost unused. This really made me realize I do not want much if any more space then I currently have. And you are right, it is a great way to keep costs down!

    • Thank you for the considered comment. Hope you enjoy your home. X

  • Hi, we thought about having an extension but it was costly and added no real extra value so we decided against it in the end, we have a fairly modern house but I think sometimes its can ruin the features of an old property if not done well #MondayStumble

  • House sizes in the US are completely out of control. In 1973 the average new house was 1660 square feet; in 2016, 2687 square feet. Our older house is much smaller than even the 1973 average, and we like it that way.

    • Yes, I like the cosiness of older houses. x

  • So many valid points here! I’ve never really had much of an appetite for major home improvements and my hubby has never even lifted a paintbrush. Hence we are currently living in our third consecutive new-build home! My father in law jokes that we can’t just keep moving each time we need to decorate… I beg to differ! 😁 Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam x

    • Haha! We lived in 3 new builds in a row too! I loved the ease when our children were little. The old house is the dream though so hopefully we’ll be here forever now. X

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