In the UK property market we’re seeing house prices falling and mortgage rates rising. As a result, the debate about whether it’s better to move or improve has resurfaced. If you’ve outgrown your property, should you get it on the market and upsize or increase dimensions with home extensions?

Demand for Home Extensions

Through the first half of 2023, we’ve seen a significant level of architect enquiries for charred timber that will be used to clad property extensions and garden rooms. This suggests that many homeowners are looking to expand the dimension of their existing home, rather than move.

If you like where you live, there’s a reluctance to leave, even when the interior has become impractical for your needs. What’s more, moving away from work, schools, family and friends can result in emotional upheaval. That makes it tempting to stay put and improve on what you’ve got.

Beyond adding an extra room or two to your property, an extension provides an opportunity to rethink the layout and flow of your home. Your architect can help you visualise how adaptions to your interior space can offer solutions that better suit your needs.

Do Home Extensions Offer Better Value than Moving?

Over the last decade, you could be confident that the cost of home extensions and renovations would soon be covered as house prices rose. The market was such that any work to improve the building, upgrade features and increase space was adding value.

Significant changes to the housing market have altered that, so the first point to consider is the purpose of extending. If your home improvement plans are to enhance living conditions for you and your family, it remains a good option. However, if your motivation is an investment; a means to boost property value, it needs serious consideration.

Research the market and see what is selling. Is it larger properties or could you attract more interest with energy efficiency measures or smart storage solutions?

Permitted Development or Planning Permission

If you are keen to extend your home, one of the early steps is to seek advice on whether planning permission is required. The rules differ depending on the type of property you own, where it is located and whether previous home improvements have been carried out. All property in conservation areas need planning permission, however, you may be able to add a 4-metre rear extension within permitted development. Ask your architect which rules apply to your house.

Another consideration for terraced and semi-detached property extensions is the Party Wall Agreement. This is where you serve notice to your neighbours about your proposed extension and formally request their consent.

Why is Charred Timber Cladding Specified for Home Extensions?

Timber cladding is specified for a full range of home extensions, from inner city locations to rural retreats. This includes an extension that formed part of a home renovation in Oxford, an expansive Kebony Timber extension and the creative garden studio featured in last month’s article.

Whether the architect and client opt for traditional blackened timber or a lighter shade from our Shou Sugi Ban timber cladding range, it provides a sustainable building material. The traditional preserving technique ensures that the cladding is resilient and low maintenance. It also retains the natural thermal and sound insulation properties and desirable aesthetic of grained timber.

Distinct Yet Harmonious Home Extensions

Matching brick and other building materials is one of the challenges of home extensions, so it can be a conscious decision to use a different finish.

Charred timber cladding is distinct yet harmonious. We have seen examples of it being successfully paired with stone walls, brickwork, metal and glass. Its tactile finish adds character and complements both period properties and modern homes.

We’ve supplied our Shou Sugi Ban® timbers to projects in the countryside that nod to traditional barns and blend into their surroundings. Equally, our timbers are used for projects in the heart of UK cities, where a contemporary finish is desired.

If you’ve decided to improve rather than move and are keen to integrate timber cladding into the design of your home extension, get in touch on 01494 711800. Our Buckinghamshire team are happy to provide further information, quotes and samples.