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Terry Holmes gives his top tips on how to avoid Home Extension Horrors

By Terry Holmes - 26 September 2012

The Government’s relaxation of the planning regulations should be seen as a great opportunity to increase the equity in your home and improve its saleability.

But it’s important to proceed with caution because although the red tape has been cut extensions are time consuming and expensive to build, so any mistakes can be costly. Here are my top tips on avoiding home extension horrors:

1)    Love thy neighbour!  Any extension which could adversely affect neighbouring properties should be avoided. Not only could it damage your relationship with your neighbour but local authorities could reserve the right to force the removal of an extension which negatively impacts on the surrounding properties so using a good local architect is always worthwhile.

2)    Choose your extension wisely. Remember, location, location, location. Every area has limitations. Extend too much and you end up with a very individual property but one where people could baulk at the price. Agents often here the phrase from buyers ‘It’s a lovely house but at that money I can buy something in . . . . ‘

3)    And so to bed. If I had to choose which extension to have an additional bedroom would get my vote every time. A sizeable  proportion of the UK's housing stock, especially those built in the 1930’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, were built as  three bedrooms so those that  have four tend to be in short supply and are the logical choice for those in smaller properties to move up to. A fourth bedroom extension over an attached garage at the side if it is a semi detached or detached property also makes the property more imposing and adds to its ‘kerb appeal as well as achieving a premium on price Those living in a terraced house could consider another bedroom in the loft space. Best of all, if you like the area you live in and the family are settled, the house can grow with you instead of moving.   

4)    Think ahead.  It’s important not to make any additional room too specialised. It may suit you but it could deter some buyers who might think that they are paying more for a space they would not use. Consider options at an early stage that make the additional space flexible not only to future owners but you too if your circumstances change.

5)    Beware of cowboys. Before hiring anyone to undertake a home improvement for you speak to friends, neighbours and work colleagues. They are guaranteed always to give an honest account and help you to hire someone reputable. Websites, such as The Federation of Master Builders and could also be helpful in finding qualified and referenced tradesman.

For advice on how to improve your property for sale or to find a property suitable for an extension visit: and find your local Beresford office.