Thursday 24 August 2017

Extend or Convert?


If you’re eager to add more space to your home building an extension or converting a garage/attic could be the solution. But which is the better option – to extend or convert? The truth is that they both have their pros and cons. Here are some factors to consider that could help you decide the route for you.

Getting planning permission

For most remodelling projects, planning permission is required. You’re likely to get away with a conversion more than you may do with an extension. Extensions may infringe on other people’s privacy or result in a tree having to be taken down. The only time you may have an issue with a conversion is a loft conversion that requires the roof to be raised, potentially breaking height restrictions. As well as asking your council, you should also check that your neighbours are ok with the decision as it could affect their lives too by blocking out sun to their garden or simply being a noise disturbance.

Weighing up the costs

Conversions are generally cheaper than extensions. The foundations, ceiling and general masonry is already there to work with when converting a loft or garage, so you only have to worry about costs such as fitting flooring and wiring. A conversion may become expensive if you have to raise the roof or build stairs leading up to it.


Meeting liveable requirements

A bedroom in a property must meet certain specs in order for someone to legally live in it. This may include a minimum ceiling height, an easy fire escape and some form of insulation. In an extension, you may be able to work around these requirements more flexibly. Conversions could prove difficult in some houses in which a staircase up to a loft may be too expensive to build or a roof may be restricted from being raised.

Customising your renovation

With an extension, you may have more freedom over the size and shape of your new living space. You may find that different materials can help to lower your budget or provide more insulation or have other advantages. Metal building homes for example don’t have the problem of load bearing walls like your standard homes built of brick and mortar. With a conversion you have to work within a set space in which the walls and ceiling material has already been chosen for you.

Clearing the space

Both a conversion and extension will require you to do some clearing. Clearing land for extension may require thorough weeding, whilst clearing a space for a conversion may require a lot of decluttering. The latter could be a problem if you have objects stored there that you don’t want to get rid of and can’t relocate. Renting self-storage could an option for keeping onto these belongings but not a long-term solution. An extension therefore may be better suited for those with lots of stuff in their homes.


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