Extending Your Home: What’s The Cost And Is It Worth It?

More people than ever before are choosing to stay put and upgrade their homes rather than upping sticks to upsize. In fact, the concept has become so popular that Channel 4 has made a television show out of it.

“Love it or List It?”, featuring Kirsty Allsopp and Phil Spencer,helps families trying to decide just that – whether to start afresh somewhere new or use the money they would otherwise spend on a house sale and purchase to renovate their property.

The fact is that for many of us, converting our loft or building an extension is a cheaper option than moving house, allowing us to avoid the upheaval of a house move whilst investing and adding value to our homes at the same time. So, if you are at the ‘Love it or List It’ cross-road, what do you need to consider? Will you be able to extend your home without planning permission and if so, how much will it cost? More importantly, will it be worth it financially?

The RICS guide cost for an extension is between £1,260 and £1,680 per square meter (with plastered finish – not including flooring, kitchens etc).Adding an additional bedroom and bathroom through an extension or loft conversion can increase the value of your home by as much as 20%, so it’s home improvement that really does pay for itself in the long run.

The costs of the work depend on the result you’re after. Use these figures, based on a finished cost per square metre (£/m²), from experienced renovator Michael Holmes:

  • Basic quality £1,380 to £1,680
  • Good quality £1,680 to £1,920
  • Excellent quality £1,920 to £2,160

Budget for design fees from three to seven per cent of the construction cost, with a minimum of around £2,400 to £3,600 for the planning drawings. Construction drawings will typically cost the same and you might need a structural engineer to size roof joists and foundations. Factor in £500 to £1,000.

A measured survey of the existing house will cost from £500 to £1,500 depending on the size of the property.

If you are employing your designer to put the contract out to tender, appoint the builder and administer the contract, budget for a further three to seven per cent of the build cost. Alternatively, agree a day or hourly rate for ad hoc site attendance.