Extend or Rebuild

Running out of space – Extend or Rebuild

Extend or Rebuild

They say location is everything, if you love your location but you need more room, extensions are the tried and tested option, there is though an alternative if you are fortunate to have detached home, rebuilding, a route becoming more popular.

Benefits of a Rebuild


In deciding whether to extend or rebuild, cost is major factor. Straightforward “add a box” extensions will always be cheaper. Once designs get more complex, are two stories or more and/or involve integrating with existing features, costs escalate. A quirk in taxation, also favours rebuilds, whereas VAT is chargeable on extensions, new construction (subject to various conditions) is exempt.

Too commonly unforeseen issues arise with extensions, whether it be with foundations, drainage or something else, add to the cost. Quite often with major works, existing windows etc. also need updating. With a new build, costs are easier to predict up front.

Extensions are likely to be cheaper upfront, but in the longer term, a rebuild could be the most cost-effective option.

Design and Layout

Extensions often involve compromises in the layout, this can upset the flow between rooms and ultimately value. Overextending can spoil the overall look and look out of place in the road. It can be difficult or impossible to overcome inherent designs weaknesses of the original home such as small rooms or low ceilings.


Extensions are not always a good investment, fine if you don’t plant to move but an issue if you do. Providing the site does not look overdeveloped, a newly built house with the latest features such as large living kitchens, en-suite bathrooms, utility rooms and studies is likely to be worth more.

Kerb appeal is an important value factor, by rebuilding the shortcomings of a less attractive home, holding back value is overcome.


Building standards have improved, particularly regarding insulation, leading to lower heating costs. Maintenance is likely to be less, and you have the opportunity to have all the small details as you want.

Downsides of Rebuilds


Rebuilding means moving out. Unless you have accommodating friends or relations this will incur rental costs or perhaps if you have space to park it, a caravan, which may not be fun.


Seeking architects, agreeing designs, setting budgets and negotiating with planners is bad enough with extensions, for a rebuild, you have the added stress of moving out, possibly putting items in storage and more.


Unless things go really bad with extending, rebuilding is likely to take longer, there is the extra task of demolition, site clearance and additional groundwork before the rebuilding can begin.


Although not always ideal, extensions and updates can be spread over time, with a rebuild, you need to be able to fund everything in one go. If you borrow against a home, only to demolish it, your lenders may impose conditions particularly if the land value is less than your mortgage.

Summary – Extend or Rebuild

In many areas, the plot your home sits on is worth much more than the house. If the existing home has inherent design shortcomings which are difficult to overcome, a rebuild option is worth considering. Before taking drastic steps, do your homework thoroughly, get quotes and opinions for both options from professionals.

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