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Expanding Your Family? Expand Your Home!

If your family is expecting the pitter-patter of tiny feet in the near future, it might be time to review your living arrangements. Whether it’s a happy surprise or a planned addition to the family, your new baby will need their own space.

At first, babies don’t take up much room – granted. But your pint-sized new addition won’t be in nappies forever. Sooner or later, your family’s going to need to change its living arrangements to incorporate your growing child.

Moving house is one option, but the unpredictable housing market has made it impossible for many Surrey homeowners to relocate. For many families, refurbishing, extending and improving their property is the best way to accommodate a new baby.

Finding Space For a New Arrival

The most obvious way to create space is to extend your home, and it’s the straightforward best answer when you need an extra room or two. However, it’s not always easy to do.

Apart from the obvious cost of an extension, there are other barriers. For example:

  • Your deeds may prevent you from extending into certain outdoor areas; this is common in listed buildings and in areas where houses are tightly packed together.
  • A neighbour may try to block your extension because it could affect their view. (They may not win the case, since you do have the right to extend in many cases, but fighting the claim could be costly).
  • The layout of your home might make access to an extension impractical.

Think creatively. There are other solutions that HC Refurbishments can help with.

Refurbishing to Create Space

Examine your home as it is now. Can you make any changes that would make your home roomier?

For example:

  • Could we help you move walls to open up the space?
  • Would it help to widen doorways? This could help ease ‘congestion’ in hallways.
  • Do you have sufficient head height in the cellar? If so, consider a conversion of your basement space.
  • Is your attic ripe for renovation? Consider where you’ll put the staircase; if there’s room, it could be an ideal bedroom for an older child.
  • Would an extra bathroom help everyone get to school a bit sooner?

Renovating and Extending: Points to Remember

When starting a renovation project, remember that you’ll need building regulations approval. You should seek advice from your contractor before proceeding; some will handle the building control side of things for you.

Also, consider the value of your home. You should be looking to add space and value. Don’t create strange, complex layouts that could be off-putting to future buyers. For example, you might be OK with turning a bedroom into a thoroughfare, but the next occupants might not be so keen.

Finally, bear in mind that you cannot keep dividing rooms and expect them to be considered full-sized rooms. Local authorities always have their own set of rules as to what constitutes a double bedroom, for example; if you go below that size during refurbishment, you’ll have problems when you come to sell your home.

HC Refurbishments can help you understand the minimum sizes for different rooms so you don’t accidentally ‘lose’ or downgrade a room. Get in touch: we’d be happy to help with your refurbishment project. And of course - congratulations!

25 November 2013