Outgrowing Pains- Expanding Your Home

Growing your family is a wonderful experience for the whole family. We have 3 small daughters and we are currently expecting baby number 4 in September. Unfortunately, the novelty and wonder of it all soon wear off when you realise you’ve simply run out of space- trust me, I am starting to panic. When yet another baby is on the way, and you’re already tripping over each other, some drastic changes might be needed around the home. Of course, this is your home- It’s the place you brought your babies home from the hospital to and the place where all of your most wonderful memories are being made. If there’s no chance of leaving, can you stretch a little more space out of it?

Loft

Most lofts in the UK have a pitched roof. Unfortunately, this means that head height is low and almost completely restricted in places. Still, there are opportunities for conversion. Take a look at the roofs of the houses nearby. If anyone else has popped a window up there, then there is a precedent for you to apply for the same. This doesn’t come cheap, and planning permission could take ages. You’ll also need to consider escape routes, and stair cases. A loft conversion though means you could gain an extra bedroom or office (and value to your home!)

Garage

Converting your garage can be a fun project to take on, and may offer you an annexe that suits an older teen. A closed friend of ours converted their garage into an annexe for an older family relative. We used to use the garage as a hide out when we were kids, but now it is a gorgeous whole extra living space. Of course, the trouble with garages is that they can become the general junk storage facility for the family! Tidying up and keeping it clear will be a bit of a challenge if you’re not providing somewhere to store the things you need to keep. But, why hold onto junk that you’re not using? It could be a good excuse to declutter and make use of all that extra space. The building itself may need to undergo a lot of changes to be fit for a living or sleeping space too. Speak to your local building regs department about what can be done.

Basement

As with the loft, you’re looking for precedent here. I would absolutely LOVE a basement. A friend has one as has turned it into a man cave (complete with miniature railway) and I admit that I am very jealous. Not all basements can successfully be converted into bedrooms, but they may make a second living space or home classroom, play den (clearing toys from my lounge sounds very appealing) or extra office space. Again, it’s expensive because access is so restricted. However, like the loft, it could be a huge space that you’re freeing up to become some sort of living or working space. Most basements already have electrics installed, and basement conversions can be achieved for less than loft conversions. The basement would be perfect for teens to move into- I would have jumped at the chance to live in a basement, when I was a sulky teenager!

Extension

Now regulations are more relaxed, you can build an extension without all the red tape of planning permission in some cases. You can even build it yourself if you’re up to the challenge. Plumbing and electrics will still need to be certificated by a qualified engineer. The entire project will also need to be signed off by Building Regs. You can install a flat roof with materials from a roofing superstore without the need for much specialist equipment. You will likely need a digger, though to prepare the plot. If you have a garage attached to the side of your property, you could consider building an extra room above it, that’s joined to the upstairs of your house (something that we actually plan on doing one day!), A conservatory can make a gorgeous extra living space- such as a dining area.

Interior Reconfiguration

Most interior walls of your home are not load bearing. That means they could come down. If your dining space simply isn’t big enough for another high chair at the table, then why not go open plan? Even if the wall is load bearing, you may be able to find a builder to install a supporting joist or pillar so you can still open the space up. You can do the same with bedrooms. Of course, upstairs, you may need to create more rooms. Changing the dimensions of each room could be possible.

How will you create your space?

Getting The Home You Really Want: The Options To Consider

We all want to be in our perfect home. However, sometimes, it can feel like a pipe dream. Whether you’re looking into buying your first home, or you’ve been on the property market for years already, you can sometimes feel like it’s never going to happen. But, just because you’re not happy in your home now, it doesn’t mean that you have to settle. It is possible to get the home you really want.

My perfect home differs from most, and we have be working tirelessly for the last year getting a massive ‘project’ into something that we are happy with. Our home represents a living museum and living a frugal lifestyle. Most of the items of furniture and items are all vintage and second hand, but our home is also a heavily worked home- a mini farm to be precise. We live as self sufficiently as possible, so we needed a house that would be practical and help us to save money for years to come… I’m sure your perfect home idea differs from ours, but that’s all the fun!

With a bit of hard work, careful planning and saving up, you can make sure that you get the house of your dreams. But, first, you’re going to need to decide whether that’s going to involve moving to a whole new house or working with what you’ve got. Once you’ve considered all of your options, you’ll then be able to put a plan in place and start making your dream home a reality.

Moving To A New House

I know just how stressful moving house as a large family can be.
I know just how stressful moving house as a large family can be.

First of all, if you’ve really tried to love your home and you can’t quite get it up to scratch, you might want to think about moving to a new home. But, before you decide, here are a few options for you to think over. Moving house is not an option to be taken lightly. It’s a costly method and you must be 100% certain that you want to relocate.

Getting Your Home Ready To Sell

First of all, you’re going to want to work out what you need to do in order to sell your home. Aside from the formalities of finding an estate agent and putting it on the market, you may need to do things like ensuring it’s healthy and free from mould, sprucing up a room or two, and decluttering so that it appeals to buyers. It might seem like a lot of work, so now’s the time to weigh up whether it’s the right step for you. How much work needs doing? Will it require more than just a lick of paint? Are the whole family happy to move, and help with the process?

Having Set Requirements

When you know that you aren’t happy in your current home, you’re going to want to do what you can to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. I know how awful it can be to hate a home so badly that your only option is to move. It’s an awful feeling, and can make you really feel really depressed. You need to have a criteria  that you can stick too. If you don’t have enough bathrooms in your current place, or the layout is all wrong, you need to be able to stick to your guns and make sure that the next house you buy ticks everything off of your list. Set requirements can help you to make that happen. Think of the future too. You may only have 1 child at the moment, but do you plan on expending? Would you like to keep pets. Maybe a large garden is a must!

Considering Funding Options

Sometimes, it’s not that easy to be able to sell your home and find somewhere new; you have funding to think about. Whether you’ve got the room on your credit card or you’ve looked into pay day loans, you’re going to want to really focus on how you’re going to fund this move. Whether you need to remortgage to get the right budget, or even sell things like a car, you need to know where the money will come from before you commit to a move.

It’s not just the house that will cost you money either. Hiring removal vans, renting storage units, taking time off work for the move, paying fees on your internet package to be moved can soon all add up.

Should You Wait Or Take The Plunge?

Some people will say that there’s never a ‘right’ time to buy a house, but the experts would suggest otherwise. Depending on the market climate in your town, you might benefit from waiting a bit longer, or get a deal by just biting the bullet and putting in an offer now. You should also look at mortgage rates and property house trends to see if now is the right time for you and your family.

Staying In Your Home

Some of us just do not have the option to move home. A with all of the points I have mentioned above, the idea of upping and moving just is not right for some people. Also, what if you love your home dearly and you don’t want to leave? You can redevelop your house to suit your needs perfectly well with some hard work and determination if you put your mind to it.

Start From Scratch

Buying a new place isn’t going to be the cheapest option, so it’s likely to be easier on your bank to stay put and create the home of your dreams where you are already. To start from scratch, you might want to rip everything out of your home and completely renovate it. That way, everything single thing will be completely fresh and new. From the bathroom floors to the shrubbery outside. Obviously this is a very extreame way to go about things, ad if you have a family sharing the hom with yourself you need t think about their needs.

Start small, and work your way up. Do one room at a time, and at a quick pace. Choose times when your kids could stay with relatives for a few days, or when the kids are on school trips for the week. Less little feet getting under your busy feet!

Get An Extension

If space is a problem in your home, then why not look into getting an extension? If you’ve considered funding options for moving, then they could work for renovating and building work too. We know that we definitely don’t want to move home again (unless absolutely necessary) and we are seriously considering adding an extension to our home when the time is right. Extra dining space, a downstairs toilet and another bedroom can all be added relatively easily when the right time arrives.

You might choose to extend in a popular place like your kitchen, or add a whole new section to the entire house like we want to do, either way; it could give you the space and layout you need. Even a simple conservatory can add extra space, light and value to your home with ease.

How about converting a garage into an extra living space, like an annex would? A garage can easily be made into a luxurious office, art studio or gym. Who needs space to hoard old crap anyways?

Hire A Designer

If you have the budget available or a little room left over from the funding options you’ve considered, you might want to hire an interior decorator. It might seem like an unnecessary expense to some, but to others, it’s just a step needed to create the home of their dreams. If you’re designing your ‘forever’ house, it could be the best way to ensure everything is perfect and alleviate some of the pressure off of yourself.

It can be easy to get carried away and lost in amazing ideas and plans when trying to design something yourself. It’s often worth the extra professional help to get it just right. When the finishing touches are added in, and your dream home is finally yours, it will seem completely worth the investment.