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Should you renovate or buy another house?

Should you renovate or buy another house?

As your family grows, there may come a time when space might be tight. When this happens, you might have to decide whether to buy a bigger house or extend the one you’re living in.

Moving could mean that your children have to change schools and you might experience an increase in travel time to work due to traffic.
If you live in a lovely neighbourhood you might not want to move if everything is close at hand.

The cost to add on or extend varies widely depending on what kind of addition you decide to build, and how large the construction is. At the beginning of 2017, the average cost to build worked out at between R8 000 to R12 000 per square metre, depending on location and type of finishes.

The only way to accurately determine the cost is to have quotations submitted for the work to be done and to research costs relating to architects or structural engineers (if required).

Having said that, it’s always wise to err on the side of caution and allow extra funds for any building project, since what is quoted and what you eventually have to pay can differ immensely.

When adding on, it is essential that your design and build be of a high standard of workmanship. Poor quality could end up adding little or no value to your property.

Even a small extension could free up valuable floor space.

By adding on you’re saving on the cost of the land, which you already own, transfer duty and agent commission to sell, costs related to buying a new property, expenses associated with packing up and moving, and the personal upheaval of having to move.

Tips to consider when adding on or extending a home

1. Expect a disruption of your day-to-day living when construction begins. Make no mistake, there's going to be a mess but if you plan for this in advance, you can minimise the commotion.

2. Call in a reputable construction company to get the job done properly. You want the finished job to add value to your property so always ask for references, and take the time to check them.

It's always a good idea to ask around if anyone can recommend an architect or builder.

3. Work with an architect or designer to ensure your add-on matches the architectural style and feel of the existing house. Architects are experts at designing homes and might come up with ideas that you hadn't even thought about.

4. Consider what improvements would work best. An additional bathroom or kitchen extension are generally good investments. Also, factor in the possibility of a double-storey extension if a substantial addition is necessary, so that suitable foundations can be laid from the onset.

5. Look at the options for adding on and decide whether it would be cost effective to build out or build up. Loft conversions are an alternative way of enlarging a property, and a loft conversion requires less planning and work than mortar and brick construction.

6. When deciding to add on, research property prices in your area. You don't want to overvalue the property and not be able to recoup any investment later on when you decide to sell up.

Article from property24