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extend or move? or forever procrastinate?

(14 Posts)
elliott Thu 07-Apr-05 12:01:11

Ok I am goign round and round in circles deciding whether/if/how to move house. Those of you who've lived through recent moves or building works, help me decide!

We love where we are - ideal location, nice neighbours, good schools etc. BUT it is not the house of my dreams - when we moved I imagined it would be for 5 years max, here we still are 10 years and 2 children later! I yearn for a lovely big garden, space for a playroom and somewhere other than the sofabed in the living room for guests!

We could extend - but it would not be straightforward. Max space it woudl give us is two smallish downstairs rooms - so enough for a small playroom and a study/spare room - plus a big kitchen/diner. We coudl do the loft with a ladder to make playspace but not a real extra bedroom. Maybe cost about £100k. Would we outgrow the new space in a few years?

We could move - but I just haven't seen anything I can picture us living in. It would be a wrench to move from this locality, even a few miles. But maybe I'm just being soft about that. There are however very very few properties in this city with nice gardens - and certainly nothing in the immediate locality. Even if we up our budget as far as we can go there's STILL nothing I'm wildly excited about - and frankly i'm loathe to spend half a million quid on something that just feels ordinary.

SO tell me - is building work always horrendous? Is moving to new area as hard as I imagine it to be? Do I just need to get over the fact that ordinary houses cost a small fortune these days?

throckenholt Thu 07-Apr-05 12:10:26

how about looking for somewhere that has the garden space and could be extended to give you the living space you want. That may be cheaper than buying something that is already big enough.

And that way you get the joy of both moving and building work

elliott Thu 07-Apr-05 12:17:07

exactly....I can't bear the idea of both. that's one of the reasons I'm anxious about extending our current house - I think we'll just end up moving anyway, with all the added hassle of moving schools.
There just aren't the gardens, full stop, whatever the kind of house. Well ok I have seen one so far. But I am finding it very difficult when it comes down to it, to imagine being in a different place.

elliott Thu 07-Apr-05 15:13:30

Well I can see this is as tedious to everyone else as its becomign to me

I'm off for the weekend now and we are supposed to be making a DECISION. yikes!

Mum2Ela Thu 07-Apr-05 15:15:59

elliott we are in the same boat. Our current house is plently big enough for us, however. DH jst wants to extend and extend. When you get back from your weekend away refresh the thread and we can chat if you like!

Assuming you havent' made a decsiion my then . .

zubb Thu 07-Apr-05 15:19:29

We've been through this, and are now waiting for planning permission to get the extension under way.
We looked at all the property papers / estate agents windows etc and anything that we could afford wasn't quite right - wrong place, not enough extra space etc etc, and the few that we thought would be OK were that bit too expensive. I didn't want to move for the sake of it and then want to move again in a years time.
We love the house we have, great road, walking distance to everything we need so we decided the cheaper option for us was to extend to give us the extra space we need - vital as we know have another baby on the way.

elliott Thu 07-Apr-05 15:36:50

zubb, yes similar position. How long do you think it will take to get it all done? Will it give you as much space as you need?
I don't know why I'm finding the decision so hard - I think perhaps I just don't like change...also I never thought this would be our house for life, always thought we would have somewhere 'better' so guess its a bit to do with life aspirations too. Grew up in a house with a fab garden and a playroom and just want the same for ds's...

zubb Thu 07-Apr-05 15:48:29

I don't think this is our house for life, but this will enable us to stay here for another few years, and then hopefully we can get the house we want.
We are hoping to have it finished this year - we are moving the kitchen to create a kitchen / dining room (with the dining room in the new bit), using the existing small kitchen as a utility and a downstairs loo, and building a study. I work from home so this frees up the third bedroom for the new baby, and the study will be big enough for a sofa bed.
Planning permission should be through in a couple of weeks, and we hope to have builders start July time and finished October so that then we can get all the floors / new kitchen fitted etc
We think it gives us the extra space we need, although aside from needing the bedroom back our main problem was a really small kitchen. It will also add to the value of the house, although our main driving force is making it fit more with hpw we want it.

zubb Thu 07-Apr-05 15:52:42

If you are not sure have a look at this - architect in the house - here - you can get an architect round for half an hour or so and they will advice you on what is possible, and you donate money (£25 advised) to Shelter. The guy we had last year was the partner in a firm who wouldn't normally come out for small extensions - he drew some sketches for us and gave us loads of ideas that we hadn't even thought about.

jampots Thu 07-Apr-05 15:59:21

we were in the same position as many of you as well. Ours is a 3 bed semi in an area that is nice but the road is not brilliant IMO. We had plans drawn up for a first floor extension which would extend the childrens rooms in length by 6 foot and 10 foot (the 10 foot extension being on the smallest room) over the existing ground floor extension. We decided to go ahead and do the building works which in all cost us about £20k but we also decided at the time to extend the landing by 2 foot (doesnt sound a lot but has made a world of difference) and the bathroom by the same amount. We bought a new bathroom suite with jacuzzi bath and also cabinets and I definitely think we would have our money back should we move.

DH thinks we've just made a bigger place for the kids to make a mess

I do want to move now as I want a wider house with large kitchen and would dearly love an ensuite bathroom

JoolsToo Thu 07-Apr-05 16:00:27

jampots! think of all the extra cleaning!

Merlin Thu 07-Apr-05 16:19:11

Definitely agree with Zubbs suggestion about geting an architect round - they can often see ways to do things that perhaps you hadn't considered.

When we were househunting nearly 2 years ago we wanted somewhere that had a big enough garden to extend and still have a large garden left. We eventually found the right house in the right location etc and immediately applied for planning permission. Work took about 8 months and we did need to move out for about 4 months, because we basically knocked out the whole back wall of the house!!. Yes, it was incredibly stressful and at times it seemed like it would never be finished, but we now have a fantastic house with all the rooms we need for DS and baby due any day to grow up in. Yes, we spent a lot of money, but we have got exactly what we want rather than paying a premium for someone elses taste!

OldieMum Thu 07-Apr-05 16:29:30

Zubb - thanks for the tip on architect in the house. Elliott - at least you are trying to make a decision. We have a 3-stage problem. We have a horrible, pokey little kitchen and a badly-designed 70's conservatory. We would love to turn them into one big room for cooking and hanging out in, but also have to make a bigger decision about whether to extend or move, as need another sitting room and bedroom. If we extend, we'll add another wing to the house, but it seems silly to do the kitchen and then mess it all up again with the extension building. Result - inaction!

slotnicki Tue 12-Apr-05 22:05:21

I'm thinking about doing a major refurbishment on a house that's been in our family for a long time. Having spoken to one builder, I realise that I will need to get a very detailed specification for the work, before seeking tenders. For those of you who have done this, did you get an architect to draw up the specification and did this add a lot to the costs?


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