Conversion Versus Extension: What’s Better?

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People do grow extremely attached to their homes. They may be just brick and mortar (or concrete, but you get the drift), but the memories made within them seem to take on a life of their own. And that means that even when they are no longer suitable, it can be hard to leave them and go elsewhere.

Which is when the idea of an extension or a conversion pops up. If the reason you might have considered moving house was for space, then surely adding more space to your existing house solves the problem? Well, it can do. But how are you going to add that space? Will it be an extension or a conversion?

The Extension

Having an extension can add up to 20 percent onto the value of your home, and in these modern times that can be a good few thousand pounds. But we know it’s not all about selling on and making a profit. An extension can also be a fantastic way of gaining more space by utilising your garden area. Take some of the patio or lawn that you no longer want or need and create an entirely new room on the back or side of your house. What could be better?

Scaffolding
Image credit: Rob Glover – https://flic.kr/p/7ymF1G

There are problems associated with extensions, however. The first is planning permission. Unless you have an architect and designer such as Mitchell Wall, you could be in trouble with the council when it comes to your extension. An architect will be able to liaise with the planning department on your behalf, and your planning permission should come through much more quickly. But it can still take many months, and in the meantime the cost of your materials and labour could be increasing.

The Conversion

A loft or garage conversion won’t add as much value to your home, but neither will they cost as much as a full extension. Plus, they won’t (necessarily) need any planning permission, making them much easier to get started on. They are a handy way to add more space without taking away from your garden too. Instead, they change the use of a previous interior area and make it part of the house. The loft can often be turned into a bedroom, for example. And the garage could become a study, playroom, or even dining room.

Loft
Image credit: Rob Marquardt – https://flic.kr/p/6Hhg1d

The disadvantages of a simple conversion, however, can outweigh the good points. A conversion may not last as long as an extension since a loft space or garage was never meant for habitation. If you do want the conversion to last for many years to come, you may have to invest in additional exterior building works – and this can be pricey. And of course, once you are working on the exterior of a building, you could fall foul of local planning laws without even realising it.

Conclusion

So what’s better? The conversion or the extension? If your budget can cover it – and your garden can incorporate it – then the extension could well be the optimum solution. If the idea of losing your little patch of green dismays you, perhaps a conversion is better. Speak to an expert and you will soon know what’s best for you.


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