Thinking Of Extending Your Home? Here's What You Should Know (Part 2)
6. You are making an investment – so try not to feel too guilty about the cost!
You are building an asset when you renovate or extend, says Ralph. “Most of the money we spend on lifestyle accoutrements depreciates quickly,” he says. “For example, a new car is a lovely thing to have, but it will quickly lose value. A holiday is a great experience, but you are really just left with memories (and maybe a credit card debt!). A well-designed home extension is one of the few expenditures you can make that will give your lifestyle AND assets a real boost. It’s not money wasted, it’s money well spent. We can safely say we’ve never had a client regret their home extension project.”
7. Why would I renovate or extend when it seems like I could build a whole brand new house for the same amount? There are reasons.
If you have ever flicked through the weekend paper you would have noticed ads for new homes that can be built for about $160-250,000 (and sometimes less). Meanwhile, quotes to do an extensive addition and renovation to a house can easily come to $250,000.
So it’s natural that people often question, ‘Why would I renovate or extend my home when I can just bulldoze it and build a whole new, four bedroom, two bathroom house for the same amount?'
There are arguments for both scenarios and it is up to you to decide which one is right for you. But the main reason project homes are relatively affordable is because they are building hundreds (sometimes thousands) of the same home, so materials and fittings can be bought in bulk. A renovation or extension is bespoke. They also tend to be more difficult to do (unlike a cleared block, builders have to work around existing restrictions, the house may be hiding problems, and so on).
8. You’ll need to decide whether or not you’ll live in the home during the work.
When I was growing up, we lived in our 1950s house through two big extensions, one a rear extension and one a second story, and it was probably a pain for our parents but we thought every little thing about it was so exciting. (Heaven was a big pile of builders’ sand dumped on the verge that we were told not to play with and so of course did). My dad told me how one day my sisters and I were playing in the front garden (probably being nuisances) and one of the builders was walking up the house with a ladder on his shoulder whistling. Dad warned him to be careful that he didn’t take out one of the children. “Why? Just make another one,” the builder said cheerfully (and rather brutally) and sauntered back into the house.
Living in a renovation – especially when there are kids in the house - can be hard for both parties, the home owners and the builders. I know many people who have lived in a renovation and survived, but I also know many people who say they would never, ever do it again!
9. You may well get addicted to the renovation process.
I have met many people who seriously get addicted to renovating. No sooner than the furniture has been put back and the pictures hung than they want to do it all over again... and again! Sandra says there are really enjoyable aspects to renovating and extending your home. “There’s decisions to be made about colors, tiles, finishes, fixtures, appliances and décor,” she says. “For those of us who love browsing through home magazines or pinning away on Pinterest, it can be an exciting time to make your own home selections!"
10. A well-designed renovation and extension will be worth the upheaval and stress – and improve your day-to-day life.
I am all for embracing what you have and trying to like the home you have - especially if your current circumstances mean you can’t change what you have (ie: you’re living in a rental, your financial situation is tricky, etc).
That said, I know how much an improved (more organized, more functional, more attractive) home can make you happier and feel more calm. Like when we finally renovated our floors. I cannot tell you HOW much nicer it is coming home to nice floors after living with ugly flooring for years. Sometimes you don’t realize how much an unsightly or poorly-designed room or home feature drags your energy down until you fix it. But then I also know what a quandary it can be to go “If we do this, that’s going to cost x. Will it be worth it?”
I think almost all of the time – yes. Our own renovating efforts (like our laundry, above) have been stressful, but the payoff has always been more than worth it. Your day-to-day life will be improved with a better-designed, more functional home and it is beneficial to remind yourself of this when you’re in the planning stage (or ankle-deep in nasty brick dust!) “The benefits of extending a home can often be overlooked when in the nitty-gritty of budget planning and getting building quotes,” says Ralph. “Doing a renovation or home extension gives enormous benefits for everyday living, making each day happier and enjoyable for everyone.
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