House extensions for the home you love

As times change and families grow, extensions, conversions and renovations give your home a new lease of life – keeping you all happy for years to come.

It could be a new bedroom or a garage you could repurpose. Perhaps a home business is going well and a well-appointed home office would beat making do with the kitchen table. It’s up to you. Whatever your motives – and your inspiration - an extension could be a great investment and a home improvement loan may be a great way to do it.

Extending your home versus moving

If you’re making big plans, it’s a good idea to think your options through thoroughly. If you are looking for more space, you may consider extending your home with a loan easier than moving – especially given the costs of solicitors’ fees, surveys and stamp duty. Of course, this kind of decision depends on a number of different factors including the cost of putting plans into action, house prices in your area and how emotionally attached you are to your current home.

Where do all those costs go when extending your home?

There are plenty of cost implications to consider when extending your home. A fair chunk of your money might have to be spent on architects, structural engineers, building regulations and planning. But this could be money well spent as they can advise you not only on the best look for the new addition to your home, but also on safety matters, such as whether you’ll need things like steel girders or lintels to support any structural changes.

Ask the home extension experts

Don’t be afraid to pick their brains. You may have a big idea in your head about how you want your new extension laid out, but tell them how you plan to use the space and they might be able to offer you options you may not have even thought of – both structurally and aesthetically.

And think about the knock-on effects of extending. Will you need extra radiators? Maybe you’ll need to move or replace your boiler or perhaps you want to make sure any new walls are properly insulated to make the most of your investment.

However you decide to extend your home, we're here to help make your plans a reality. But your first port of call is to find a builder who comes recommended. If you can’t find one who comes through a personal recommendation you can trust, it’s worth visiting the British Association for a list of builders’ organisations, associations and governing bodies.

Loft and garage conversions

With a little imagination you can turn an unused space into your new favourite place.

It’s amazing how a little-used loft or garage can improve the quality, comfort and value of your home, so there’s every reason to see a home improvement loan for these kind of plans as a real investment1.

Your previously unloved garage or attic could be turned into the perfect utility room, playroom or bedroom for the young ones who aren’t so young anymore. A new loft conversion could become your brand new sanctuary – a haven of quiet cosiness, while the kids sleep peacefully downstairs.

So you want to convert your loft?

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) - it’s a good move. According to them the average cost of a loft conversion equals roughly one third of the cost of moving house to a property with an extra bedroom, whilst the addition of a room in the attic can increase the value of your home by up to 25%2.

Take your big plans into space

So you’ve got the big plans but have you got enough space? Well, as a rough guide indicate that if you can measure 230cm from the floor to the tallest part of the ceiling, you’ve probably got enough space to make a good bedroom – or even a living room if that’s what your plans entail. And nowadays, a temporary stepladder or folding ladder may not cut the mustard if you’re planning to turn your loft into a bedroom, bathroom, playroom or study – it could be a good idea to think about a permanent staircase.  You may find you have to lose a little space downstairs in order to make big gains upstairs – although, as with everything,  it’s all in the planning and you may find that a spiral staircase can provide for a space-saving, quirkier look.

The best laid plans make the best bedrooms

It’s not our place to tell you how you design your beautiful new space or indeed how you spend your money, but when it comes to converting your loft, it’s worth also budgeting for the unexpected, such as:

  • any extra electrics to be installed
  • further plumbing
  • window options that help make the most of your new space and light

On top of that, there are a quite a few safety considerations before you can make the most of your new loft conversion, which building regulations will insist on, including:

  • a good level of insulation
  • compliance with fire regulations including
  • fire doors and other materials that comply with regulations
  • mains-fitted smoke alarms in every room

You may also be adding radiators, which could put undue strain on a boiler that was perhaps not meant to do such a big job of pumping hot water throughout your home. If that’s the case, it may be worth reading our section on heating replacement

Need a professional, qualified builder? It’s worth visiting  for a comprehensive list of builders’ organisations, associations and governing bodies.