We currently live in our 1950s three bedroom bungalow. We would like to raise the ridge height and then extend into the roof space and to the rear of the property to give us four first floor bedrooms and a large kitchen/living/dining room on the ground floor. The budget we initially had in mind was£150,000, however, discussions with an architect suggest the budget may be too tight and £200,000 would be more realistic.

The bungalow has no major structural problems, but does have a number of issues we would like to address such as the poor insulation of roof, and absence of wall and floor insulation. There is cracking over both of our bay windows suggesting the need for remedial work. There are damp areas in the upper corners of some of the rooms which will need sorting out. In addition, the property has obviously been reconfigured at some point in the past as there are supporting beams in various odd places. We also have woodworm in the roof and floor.

Are we better spending the money on trying to bring our current home to how we would like it or to knock down and rebuild to modern standards, beginning with a blank canvas and not being constrained by what already exists? Advice would be much appreciated.

Kind regards

  • Necibe Ince

    I too would love to canvass thoughts on this as we are facing a very similar dilemma! However, our 3 bed chalet bungalow is in an appalling condition, and some architects have informed us that it would cost 400,000 to rebuild a 4 bedroom house from scratch. Our budget is also 200,000, and to be honest, we were shocked to hear that 200,000 does not stretch very far…
    A Shepherd

  • Lindsey Davis

    In both of your cases you really need to do a full audit and look at the figures. However, are you aware that new-buld homes are zero rated for VAT (and conversions/extensions are not) so do factor in the money saved from that.

    Here is more information on the above: https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/maximise-your-vat-reclaim/


  • Peter Eade

    Without seeing the property it would not be possible to make a judgement on whether it is viable to retain your existing structure and carry out the improvements or demolish and start afresh. I would comment however on the guide figures you have received from local architects. We have recently gone out to tender with three quite diverse projects, one being a two storey side and rear extension, the lowest price came in at £134,000, the second was a two storey side and single storey rear extension with a hip to gable change to the roof with a loft conversion, this came in at £155,000, in both cases VAT will need to be added. The third was a new six bedroom house to a high specification and the best price has come in at £496,000. In each case we asked three builders to quote and all of the tenders received were within £14,000 of each other. I would suggest you ask someone locally who is up to speed with current costs to give a more realistic guide figure on either your proposed refurbishment or new build. I know there are regional differences in labour costs but materials prices are much the same everywhere.

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