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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A blog about the renovation of our old house and it’s garden in the English countryside. I also blog about interiors, general gardening tips and visits to glorious gardens.