So, you're thinking that what your home really needs is a little more space. Well, there are two main options for you to consider: a loft conversion or an extension. Each option comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, but what you really need to take into account are your own needs and wants.
Answer these five questions to help identify where you should go outwards or upwards.
1. What Can You Spend?
Most people will need to consider no more than cost when it comes to deciding between an extension and a loft conversion. It will vary between houses, but it is almost certainly going to be cheaper to go with a loft conversion. That said, a larger extension is likely to add a little more value to your home in the long run.
2. What Kind of Space Do You Need?
Though both options give you more room to play with, loft conversions and extensions are each really better suited to different purposes. A loft is less versatile since you'll only have a certain amount of space to utilize, but a conversion usually makes for a great added bedroom – a good option when you have a growing family. Extensions can really take on any purpose, but they are usually best for people who want a little more living space rather than room for another family member.
3. Are You Worried About Planning Permission?
Planning applications can be a real pain, and it's possible that you'll be turned down altogether. However, this is much less likely to occur if you go for a loft conversion. If you know anyone in the local area who has had an extension put on, try asking them how hard the process was and how long everything took to go through.
4. How Much Garden Space Do You Have?
One of the best things about converting your loft is that you're not going to be taking any place in order to add more to your home. With an extension, you'll need to take away some of your outdoor space. Of course, that won't always be a big issue. Some people won't be too into gardening – others will have acres to play with.
5. How Much Hall Space is There?
Lofts don't take away any outside space, but most people forget that they will need to eat up a little bit of your inside space. Lofts are usually accessed via a retractable ladder, but loft conversions will need to be reached via a real staircase. It can be quite small, especially if you go for a spiral option, but will still take up space. Think about where one would go; if there's nowhere convenient, an extension might be better.
Both options can work great, as long as they work for you. Asking these basic questions should give you a pretty good idea of what to go for, but you can always consult a professional builder for further advice.