While we might all have quite different ideas of what constitutes a “dream home”, most of us do aspire to live in one someday. Unfortunately, most of us are not able to just have our dream home built from scratch wherever we please, and the chances of finding the perfect home are pretty slim.
Fortunately, finding your dream home is not an all-or-nothing game. A home extension can help you turn a home you love into the home you always dreamed of. Of course, home extensions aren’t without stress and expense, but we want to focus on the positives. Here are 8 reasons you should get that dream home extension you deserve.
1. Provides More Living Space
The most obvious reason to extend your home is the additional space it grants. Whether you extend outwards into your garden, or upwards through an attic conversion, you can significantly increase the amount of liveable and useable space in your home.
At a time when more people are working from home than ever before and children are staying at their parents’ homes for longer, more space to breathe is nothing to be sneezed at. Of course, you don’t need to have a pressing need for more space to benefit from an extension—you might just want a quiet place to read or a game room. Whatever the reason, a home extension will give you the additional space you would love.
2. Makes Your Home More Your Own
Unless you have been fortunate enough to have designed your home from the ground up, it’s unlikely that the house you bought is perfect. It could be close, but there’s no getting around the fact that you bought a house that was either a cookie-cutter development or originally designed for someone else.
Of course, I’m not suggesting you need to dramatically remodel your home to truly make it your own—” home” is as much a state of mind as it is a location—but exerting your will over the fundamental structure of the property makes it feel yours in a way that no other change can.
3. Increases the Value of Your Home
Whether you have plans to move on in the future, you like to be prepared for every eventuality, or even if you’re thinking extremely long term about what you might leave behind for your children, the added monetary value of a home extension is a compelling reason to take that leap.
Having more space, additional rooms, and (most likely) more eye-catching design will all add dollars to that all-important valuation should you ever need or want to sell your property.
4. An Alternative to Moving Home
There are many reasons to move home, with a desire for more space being one of the top ones. Your family might be growing, or maybe you’d just like to have more space. You might also just want to change things up. We typically live in our homes for many decades, and it is not uncommon to want a change from the norm—it’s why we re-decorate!
Regardless of the reason you are considering moving home, a home extension could well give you what you need without the stress and financial implications of finding a new home.
5. Let the Light In!
Few things make a home feel more welcoming than an abundance of natural light. With a few exceptions, we typically prefer as much natural light in our homes as possible (first thing in the morning aside, of course!), and home extensions can help you get that very thing.
Whether you are considering an attic conversion with dormer windows or skylights or a full conservatory, a home extension is an excellent opportunity to let more light into your home, and turn what might have been somewhat gloomy spaces into bright, happy places that are a joy to spend time in.
Unlike cars, houses stand for an exceptionally long time. Even relatively inexpensive houses can stick around for decades and decades, and it is perfectly common to find houses in use today that are hundreds of years old. Unfortunately, trends in architecture and interior design move a little faster than that.
Home extensions are an excellent opportunity to update the look of a home in a way that both modernizes the interior and exterior space while respecting the original design of the property. A good architect will be able to come up with an extensive design that looks cohesive and belongs, while still improving the overall look of the property.
7. It’s Easier to Get a Loan Than a Mortgage
If you have a few hundred thousand stashed away for a rainy day, you can skip this point, but for most of us, moving house means getting a mortgage, and that introduces a whole world of complication and stress.
For one thing, you need to get approved for a mortgage, which essentially places you at the whim of the market—which has been somewhat volatile over the last decade or so—not to mention the aggravation of lining up the sale of your house to coincide with the purchase of your new home.
A house extension removes all of that. The work can be carried out at your convenience, and it is considerably easier to get a loan than it is to get approved for a mortgage.
8. Avoid Extending Your Mortgage
On a similar note to number 7, getting a home extension rather than moving house will also make your long term financial situation a little rosier. A mortgage is a long-term debt, one that many people spend most of their working life paying for. If you are several years into your current mortgage, it’s best not to start over if you can avoid it.
Rather than moving to a new house and taking out a new mortgage, extend your current house and keep paying down that mortgage. At times, we’re not great at thinking long term, but your future self will thank you for this decision.
Home extensions are far from the perfect solution for every situation, and it’s important to assess your specific circumstances before diving in feet first. But, for people with the space to extend into and the financial means to have an extension built, a home extension can solve a great deal of the problems that lead people to move to a new house, and at considerably less cost and stress.
Diarmuid Hennessy is the Operations Manager of HomeCheck. Since 2016, they have been providing property surveys to homeowners throughout Ireland.