Beautiful and stylish home improvements might be good for the soul, but are they good for the bank balance? In a worrying housing market, it’s important to make sure your current home lives up to its full potential. Space, light and style are key to buyers and, with a little savvy, homeowners can make sure their properties don’t sink when the time comes to sell. One of the best ways to do this is with either a bungalow extension or loft extension.
The research is positive: in recent years, space has overtaken location as a buyer’s No. 1 priority, and the market for modern extensions is optimistic. The Guardian suggests that a loft or bungalow extension can add up to 20% to a property’s value.
Costing from £15,000 to £40,000 or a little more, bungalow extensions and loft conversions are a high value investment. They pay off if homeowners have done their homework and stayed in control of the figures.
Is it a good idea?
In some areas, yes. In others, no. Do your research: ask neighbours about their experiences, costs and prospects for saleability. Use websites such as Zoopla to investigate the average price of houses in the area with and without extensions, and work out if there is a profit to be made. It may be worth getting your home professionally valued to avoid mistakes.
What you’ll need:
For a bungalow extension:
Architectural designs – it may be a local requirement that these comply with the building’s current appearance.
Planning permission – for two storey extensions this is likely. Check with a developer beforehand. It costs in the region of £200 to £300.
Other permissions – in the case of party walls with neighbours, you may need to apply for a license.
For a loft extension:
At least 2.3 metres of headspace in the current roof. Any less and the saleability of the home decreases if future buyers find it claustrophobic or inaccessible.
Planning permission – basic conversions often fall within permitted development rights, but balconies and changes to existing roofs are likely to require permission.
Whilst an extension may be filled with light, the adjoining room in current existence may be forced into shadow, if not properly considered in the planning stage. Changes may need to be made (and budget set aside) for adding new windows.
Particularly in towns popular with families, buyers may be unwilling to lose garden space for the sake of more reception rooms in a bungalow extension. Bear in mind the potential buyers, and aim to optimise the home’s assets with your budget instead of putting it all into a monster bungalow extension.
Be aware that buyers all have different tastes, so neutral colours are always a safe bet. Matching the extension to the current house may seem boring but over-ambitious designs may in fact decrease saleability. Similarly, the interior of the rest of the house may need to be updated to ensure the extension is compatible with the property and integrated into its overall design.
Always be 100% certain that any walls you are removing are not supporting the structure integrally. Check with a professional beforehand.
Knocking through to create open-plan spaces may seem desirable alongside a new bungalow conversion, but remember that the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and reception rooms is crucial to saleability. One extra bedroom could add 11% to a home’s value, and has been viewed as the most valuable asset to a house by the National Association of Estate Agents. More space in the present may mean a reduced profit in the future, so beware.
Conservatories are similar to bungalow extensions in their use of space, but are far less expensive. They are particularly valuable to a home if the garden is attractive or large, and can transform the character of a home with extra light. Similarly, French windows leading into the garden have the benefit of opening up a home and making it seem larger, for a fraction of the cost of an extension.
If you’re looking for trusted builders to carry out your extension, look no further than LoftExe!