Moving house can be a very exciting prospect or it can fill you with dread, depending on your previous experiences. It gives you the option to look for your ideal home – possibly in a different area. You may finish up with other benefits as well as the extra space, for example the new garden may be larger, or the house may be in a more ideal location.
Adding an extension to your house is obviously dependent on whether or not you have the available land adjacent to your property. If it is available, an extension may be a more viable option compared to moving house, especially in areas where the difference in price of a house compared to the next size up is a daunting prospect. House extensions can create hassle: you may not be able to use your drive or garden for a few months. But you have the advantage that you don’t need to move, and therefore, you are not dependent on selling your property and finding a new one that suits your needs – both within a time limit.
The costs of getting a house extension can add up, as with moving house. You will have the initial costs of using an architect to draw up the plans and submit them to the council for planning permission and building regulations approval. And, of course, the council require a fee – in fact two fees – one for planning permission and one for building regulations approval. The fees for the building are, in general, going to be the largest outgoing, though you must remember that there may be additional costs depending on the type of extension you are planning. For example, if you are extending a room by knocking down an outside wall, you will have to pay a structural engineer to calculate the size of the RSJ (the beam that supports the wall above the new gap), and a quantity surveyor to calculate the cost of the bean. Sometimes, plans have to change after work has started and this may involve extra costs. Builders, in general, will quote you for what they can see, quotes can change if extra work below ground is required.
There may also be costs involving your garden, e.g. landscaping afterwards if part of your garden is taken up. If you are extending the kitchen then you may need to have a new one fitted. And, of course, there will be extra flooring (carpets, vinyl, wood etc), curtains and possibly new furniture.
There is no one answer to the question “Buy or Build?” – it is entirely dependent on an individual’s situation. Speak to estate agents and builders to get rough estimates of the costs involved in each option. You will need to weigh up the pros and cons of each option, and look at all the costs and decide which is the answer that suits your own situation.