Extending Vs Relocating – The Australian Homeowner’s Dilemma
If you are the head of a growing family, sooner or later, you will reach the point where you need extra living space and if it is any consolation, you are not the only family in this position. The choices are simple, either extend the existing Australian property or relocate to a larger property, and with that in mind, here are a few important things to consider.
Two storey extension
Drawing up a plan for a second-storey extension shows you how much added space you can acquire; you could create two rooms on the ground floor and two on the second storey, or single rooms, which would still offer a lot of space for a growing family. You need to sit down with an architect and discuss the limitations and cost of various designs and hopefully, this leads to a firm set of plans.
Benefits of relocating
If there are some aspects of your current neighbourhood that you don’t like, perhaps relocation and buying a larger home would be the best way forward. If your kids are about to change schools, this would have a bearing on where you move to, equally important is your workplace; it might be good to relocate to an area nearer to your place of work.
No need for renovation
Of course, if you choose a larger home, you won’t need to carry out any building work, provided you choose wisely. It makes sense to cost both projects, renovating your current home and buying a larger property, which will help you to make an informed decision. Crunching the numbers might make up your mind, if extending is much cheaper than selling up and relocating; perhaps you should call a family meeting and discuss the options.
Knockdown & rebuild
This is another option to consider; if your home is old and it sits on a large plot of land, you can design a new home with much more living space. You will need to apply for planning permission and a knockdown & rebuild builder can offer a turnkey service that includes design, demolition and the rebuild.
If you don’t want to extend the main property, you could select an area to install a stand-alone structure; simply prepare a concrete base and feed the utilities, then the structure can be assembled onsite. Some homeowners prefer a granny flat, where their elderly parents can live and this type of structure can be used in many ways; it could be a home office, a kid’s study centre or even a man cave. This is probably the cheapest way to add living space, with the exception of a loft conversion, which is cheap because the exterior structure is already in place.
One way of handling the dilemma is to draw a vertical line down the middle of a sheet of paper, citing the pros of extending on one side and the cons on the other. Cost both options and that should help you to make the right decision.