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Extention wont add value: bit depressed

(62 Posts)
ShortLass Thu 16-Mar-17 14:53:30

As the possibility of starting my long-dreamed-of project gets startlingly nearer, I invited a local estate agent round to value the house and ask her whether it was worth doing, financially.

She said that the extension won't add value and I got the impression that she thought it might reduce the value shock. Bizarrely, she seemed to think that some of the things which I don't like about the house and want to fix are actually assets and would attract a potential buyer.

She said, "oh, this is a big kitchen" (you can't get a table in it) and "it's good that it's at the front, people like that" (I hate that it's at the north-facing front looking out onto block paving and parked cars). She said, "the dining area's really nice, people will like that" (people tend not to use it and it ends up being a bit of a wasted space). "The archway separating it from the lounge is really good" (hate the arch, it looks so old-fashioned and cuts down light from the back).

I wanted to chop off the front of the kitchen to turn it into a utility room, have the kitchen more in the dining area. Then the dining table will go in the nice bit at the back and extend the lounge into the unusable bit of the garden at the side. Lots of people like this idea, but the estate agent thought the lounge is already big and this wouldn't add anything. Bringing the dining area out to the back would effectively get rid of the dining room. Adding a utility room would, she thought, make it look like the property had two kitchens.

The reason I asked her round was because the budget was getting out of control and I needed a reality check. She did that for me -- and then some. She got me to see it from the perspective of a buyer not of someone who is living there. Now, my plan is to live there. But I really need to be careful, if borrowing a lot of money to do this project, that I don't significantly increase my debt on something that is worth no more than when I started.

Bit depressed now. I was in the house today (it's empty after tenants were there, so it's looking very tired) and didn't feel I wanted to move back in anymore.
(pix are existing downstairs layout and proposed)

Wiifitmama Thu 16-Mar-17 15:04:49

We are in the middle of a major renovation project and extension on our ground floor garden flat (london). I do not think it will add value to our flat. I think it will make it more saleable, but not add actual value. We are spending around £100K when you factor everything in. We are doing it because it makes the place so much more livable for us. It is not our forever home. One day we will move. And I have already worked out how to turn the bedroom we are splitting into two (teenagers) back into one when we sell. But I was never doing it for resale value. For me, the space I live in is so important. I would not want to devalue my property of course, but I would question whether your estate agent was right. Get more than one opinion.

tigerrun Thu 16-Mar-17 15:07:25

I would love it more the way you are planning. Sounds like the estate agent was having a bad day - could you get a second opinion?

heffalumpshavewrinkles Thu 16-Mar-17 15:10:41

Does it matter to you if you are not adding value going to be living there? Would it make more sense to sell up and move?

I can see why you're doing it to live there, but I would expect the estate agent is right that you will be spending a lot of money and won't be adding value. All you're really doing is adding a utility room and making the lounge very slightly bigger. Would it not be much cheaper to knock the wall down between the current kitchen and dining room, have a utility cupboard and still add in bifold doors?

Chasingsquirrels Thu 16-Mar-17 15:14:18

I personally wouldn't like the open plan kitchen / living / dining when it is the only space downstairs. Also don't like that the utility isn't accessible from the kitchen.

The current open space in the kitchen is probably wasted because it is between the two doors?

If anything I'd think about closing up the archway and opening the dining room to the kitchen.

BUT as long as you are doing the work to live there yourself it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, it matters what value YOU place on it.

CountryCaterpillar Thu 16-Mar-17 15:16:36

I wouldn't like the second ad it's essentially one big room. We have a kitchen -dining room and living room and would hate just ome space. What if one wants to watch TV, everyone has to hear it. Or if one kid wants to do homework. Or you want to cook in peace.

Similarly the utility being completely separate to the kitchen is odd and I can see what she means about 2 kitchens. Id love a utility but it would need to be off the kitchen or dining area.

However, all that aside, if you're going to live in it you should adapt it to what you want.

We um and ah about extending but really we want to move so not much point as in our case it won't add value (ex council area)

TheCrowFromBelow Thu 16-Mar-17 15:16:40

I wouldn't go 100% open plan.
There is a lot to said for having separate spaces.
However if it suits you and it's what you want then do it. A home is for living in, not making money out of.

3boys3dogshelp Thu 16-Mar-17 15:18:35

If you want to live there I wouldn't worry too much, but personally I wouldn't view a house with only one open plan room downstairs. I also think the layout of the utility room looks awkward - it's a long way from the kitchen.
Maybe get a different estate agent to have a look as she sounds a bit grumpy but I actually prefer the current layout too. Sorry.

namechangedtoday15 Thu 16-Mar-17 15:24:01

Shortlass - what kind of property is it? (Number of bedrooms etc)? I would be surprised if it did not add value because you are increasing the footprint, but I think you need to be careful about the budget and what you are planning.

I'm assuming the upstairs is the same footprint as the current ground floor. If thats the case, the utility room is out of proportion with the rest of the house - that looks like the kind of utility room you'd have in say a big 4 bedroomed detached house with a large family and washing maching on the go constantly.

I agree that a better use of the space would be to have the front room as a kind of snug / separate reception room and then think about re-locating the utility? I'd be tempted to move the door into the kitchen to say where you have the fridge freezer, and have a stud wall across the hall where your cloakroom is and create a utility room in that space (if you see what I mean).

PunjanaTea Thu 16-Mar-17 15:24:11

I would keep a separate room at the front as a study/ TV/ playroom and put the utility in the new side bit.

Apachepony Thu 16-Mar-17 15:26:40

I don't think creating a separate utility and then one open plan living space would work. Could you not turn the current kitchen into a tv den/separate living space, then the rest of the space being an open place kitchen-diner with a small utility (if you like) in the middle of the house (along the back wall of where the current dining room is) and accessible from the kitchen. Would that make it more costly?

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 16-Mar-17 15:31:24

I would block the dining bit from the living room and use it to make the kitchen bigger. I don't think you have room for a separate utility.

LittlePigLittlePigLetMeIn Thu 16-Mar-17 15:32:18

If you are living there with no plans to sell then it does not matter what the estate agent thinks. However, if you think you will sell in the near future then I would get a second opinion from another agent.

Personally, I think the utility room needs to be accessible from the kitchen, otherwise it does look like two separate kitchens. If I were to buy the house from you after you have done the work, however, I would take the units and plumbing out of the utility room and turn it into a play room or study. If I had your property as it is now I would keep the kitchen where it is now (I personally love a kitchen that overlooks the front so I can see what is happening on the street) and extend the kitchen down into the current dining room and lounge - to make a very long kitchen / dining room down one side of the property. It might be big enough to also have a sofa to make it a complete family hub. I would then put a wall between that area and the lounge would be to the side and the additional space gained with the extension.

namechangedtoday15 Thu 16-Mar-17 15:33:10

Something like this? Door into kitchen moved along the wall slightly, you leave the loo where it is but incorporate a small utility (possibly with a pocket door from the kitchen space?) so you can have the washing machine / dryer in there?? Then have the front room as the snug?

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 16-Mar-17 15:34:11

Or I suppose you could have sliver of utility between the kitchen and the lounge, accessed via an open doorway. Put the eating end of the kitchen at the top, by the big window.

Bubbinsmakesthree Thu 16-Mar-17 15:35:34

We're planning an extension to the ground floor to create an open-plan kitchen/diner/living space, adding about 1/3rd to the ground floor footprint and replacing the existing very tired galley kitchen and under-used dining room. It'll add value but we won't recoup what we spend.

I kind of see what the estate agent means - you're doing a lot of work which is mostly reconfiguring layout rather than adding space. A big utility room at the front of the house is a little bit strange and perhaps not how most people would prioritise the use of space.

Open plan kitchen/dining is generally a plus point but some people won't like the fact that the only living space is connected to the kitchen.

Personally I would lose the utility and create a small living room/snug at the front.

Pallisers Thu 16-Mar-17 15:36:04

I would prefer to buy it as is rather than with the utility where you are putting it - especially without a door from the kitchen.

If it were my house - and I had the money - I would rip out the kitchen completely and then put in a kitchen where the living room is - probably with room for table and maybe a sofa. Then I would have the kitchen/dining room as a separate living area.

YorkshireTea86 Thu 16-Mar-17 15:36:30

I'm sorry but I agree with a few others I wouldn't like completely open plan. I'd rather open the kitchen diner and keep the lounge separate.

Bubbinsmakesthree Thu 16-Mar-17 15:38:00

I type really slowly and see others have already made the same suggestions!

mando12345 Thu 16-Mar-17 15:39:27

I'm not loving the new layout.
A cheaper better option I think that would make it more saleable is as others have said, block off the living room and make the dining room part of a kitchen diner. It will be much cheaper and better in my opinion.

NaiceBiscuits Thu 16-Mar-17 15:42:13

I prefer a utility to be accessible from the kitchen, and like a separate kitchen from the lounge. Quite like a kitchen diner though.

Would it cost much more to make it two storey? Adding a bedroom would add value, otherwise you're spending a lot but won't see that back because it's just a slightly larger version of what you already have.

syntheticharmony Thu 16-Mar-17 15:43:39

I live in a house similar to the shape you want to have (without the utility room) and honestly - I wouldn't live in an open plan kitchen/diner/living space again. It's a large space overall but with lack of walls/corners it's hard to work out where to put furniture!

Could you not 'swap' the kitchen and living room?

CotswoldStrife Thu 16-Mar-17 15:47:09

I am also not a fan of open space living, but if you are then it's a good layout for you.

I currently have a kitchen at the front of the house and I don't like it at all - I disagree with the EA there - but also noticed immediately on your plans that there is no way in to the utility from the kitchen (and that the kitchen appears to be in the middle of the house, would it have any windows?) and where would the hob vent to if it is against an internal wall?

Has it gone a bit over budget? Where were you hoping to rein the costs in a bit?

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Thu 16-Mar-17 15:54:45

I would definitely keep the kitchen/diner separate from the living room. We had an extension done a few years ago to make a big kirchen/diner/family room but we also have a big living room ' I wouldn't create only one living area downstairs. I would maybe knock the kitchen and dining room into one but have the living room separate.

It's interesting that lots of people say they wouldn't have a utility room that you couldn't access from the kitchen. Our house has a utility room that isn't next to the kitchen and it's never bothered me in the slightest. When we had our kitchen extension it didn't occur to me to try to relocate the utility room as well (wouldn't have had the budget to do so anyway). Lots of my friends don't have their utility room next to the kitchen. What's the issue with a separate one?

Glitteryunicorn Thu 16-Mar-17 15:59:53

I don't like the utility room can't be accessed from the kitchen

You keep the room at the front as a seperate living room and then move the kitchen into the back as you planned to give you a large open plan kitchen diner you could still have a living area with good planning and zoning of the space?

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