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Do you need a house extension?

Do you need a house extension?

Is a house extension the solution to all your problems? Are you having second thoughts about your home? You hadn’t imagined it would be like this when you bought it. Suddenly you don’t have any more space to store things, the layout just doesn’t work for you and your family anymore… It seems that the only option you have is to add an extension or to move out.

Many times my clients come to me with a very clear idea of what they want. They have been thinking about the problems their house has for soooo long that, after endless discussions at night they’ve come up with a solution to their problems in the form of an extension. Sometimes they are not sure about how would it work and what is allowed or not in their neighbourhood and plot. However, they are pretty sure an extension is possible because half of their neighbours have already done it!

I am just so honoured to be able to have a chat with them and discover how they live and how they want their lifestyle to be. After having lived in many different rentals throughout my life, I can see how the layout of the flat or house has a big impact on my life and my relationship with the people around me. You can have a better insight about this topic by having a look at my post from last week: The Impact of your home on your relationships and life. 

Questions to ask yourself before having a house extension

Although it seems pointless, I need to discover more about how my clients live and what they want their lives to look like. The reason for this is because sometimes I can bring to the table an option that they haven’t considered and yes, sometimes the answer is not a house extension. For you to be open to the process, ask yourself the following questions:

Main Issues

  • What is my biggest struggle with my current home?
  • Do the squared meters of my house seem reasonable for the number of people we live in?
  • Do we need extra storage? What do we need storage for specifically? surfboards, luggage, kid’s toys?
  • Is just about the living area or are there other areas of concern? Even if they are not connected! 

Future Plans

  • Do we need a Plan B strategy in case we want to sell the house?
  • What are our family plans for the next 5 and 10 years? Increasing the family? Potentially grandma/grandad moving in? Are kids moving out?
  • Do we care about the value of the property in the market?
  • Is our property also an investment for us?

Lifestyle

  •  Is it my dream to have all the family together in one space, but actually we would all be disturbing each other?
  • What is annoying us from everyday life? Going out through the door quickly, having a place for visitor’s coats, not being able to find things around the house, kids not having space to do their homework, noise disruptions, not enough light, cold and damp rooms etc?
  • Do we all watch tv together? 
  • Are we all able to match schedules to eat together?
  • Do we love to entertain, but we do it 1-2 times per year?
  • Do we have guests coming to stay with us often?

Design Options

  • Do we have somewhere else space that it’s not being used properly?
  • Are there rooms that we don’t use that often?
  • Could we rethink the space to assign multiple uses to it? Ex. could we make a utility bathroom?
  • Do we space somewhere else? Loft, side and front garden, unused garage, shed etc

Going through this list, you might find that what you need is not actually what you thought you need. Perhaps reutilising some of the blind spots around your house might give you that extra space that you needed. 

A fun exercise!

Looking at the walls around you makes total sense, but we also need to have some fun to be creative! We are talking about your own home and I’m sure you would like to consider all the possibilities before you commit to any project.
Just for fun, I suggest you try this:

  1. Draw down the layout of your house or find the old Estate Agent drawing.
  2. Delete all internal walls.
  3. Have fun! 
original layout without extension
Original layout
empty layout
Empty layout
new layout
Design Option

Disclaimer! This exercise might be a total waste of time because you may not be able to move all the walls so easily in real life and because other times it might not be cost-efficient. Nevertheless, it’s a great exercise to be aware of the potential of your home and to open your mind to different options that you might not be considering. Trust me when I say that many times my clients can find solutions to their long list of issues without making an extension.

Now it’s your turn. 

Do you need an extension?


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