Extend Or Buy? Tips For When You Outgrow Your Space

Life means growing. We are never in the same place as when we started. Things change – our jobs change, our friends change, our priorities change, our disposable income changes and so does our needs. This extends to the place we inhabit as well – our homes. As the years pass by, our families get bigger, we accumulate more materialistic things etc. This all means the current space that you are living in, starts to fall short and you find yourself scrambling to fit all your belongings into your place or have your family live in it comfortably.

How do you know you’ve outgrown your space? Here are 6 tell-tell signs to help you figure it out.

Now that you have realised; yes, you have outgrown the space, the next question is whether to extend or buy. Truth be told both are good options, but what is beneficial to you will be determined by the set of conditions at your household. No single formula fits all.

The decision to extend or buy will depend on a variety of factors such as financial condition; repair/buying costs, future plans, attachment to the home etc. Now if you live in an apartment, you barely have any space to extend. However, if you live in a house, it has plenty of headroom to add an extension or two and make use of the available space.

Another factor that counts is the location of the house. If your house is located in a high-value neighbourhood, the extension can improve the resale value of your house. The extension is only sensible if it helps the resale value. If not, it might be better to move.

First things first, if you decide to move to a new house you will have to remortgage. You can either carry-forward your current mortgage or end it and look for a new mortgage with a new lender. Over the years, your income will potentially have substantially changed, which means you will be eligible for a better mortgage rate and it can be the ideal situation for you. But, if moving out is not an option there is plenty you can do to maximise the space in your current house.

Here are factors to consider when you’ve outgrown your home.

Look Outside

It is more economical and easier to utilise space that you already have – all you need to do is think outside the box. If you have a yard with some space to spare, utilise it to create a seating or an entertaining area outside. Most items that you see indoors also come in a variant that is suitable for the outdoors, this applies to rugs, lights, seating, and even beds. Adding a waterproof canopy, a sunroof or a louvered roof can be your answer to protecting the area from the rain.

If you want something sturdier, a small cabin with basic amenities can be a good investment as well. Stainless steel balustrade posts also work well in this scenario to cordon off and create an easy relaxing space outdoors.

Look Inside

We utilise the floor space to the T, what we neglect is the vertical space. Think of those space-efficient dorm rooms that often appear on youtube and home makeover shows. All you need to do is think wisely and get double the benefits from the space you currently have.

Add shelves to the walls to store books and other items, this can end up saving a lot of floor space and is really simple to do with just a few hardware items and a very little time and effort

Another way to go is to buy furniture which comes with storage space. Ottomans with storage chests inside, bed and tables with storage cabinets are all great ways to free up some clutter in the house.

Break Boundaries

Most house owners have a lot of rooms that are low traffic and are barely used. When you live in an apartment, a sofa bed is an acceptable alternative for a guest room, but when the same owners move into the house, they suddenly need a separate room for everything. You need to look at the existing structure of your house and see which rooms can be utilised for two purposes. For instance, the dining area that you barely ever use can be turned into a working space, by fixing a few electrical appliances such as portable printers and sleek laptops, detachable lamps etc.

Add a sofa bed in your oversized living room for guests to be accommodated and turn the extra room into a game room or an entertainment centre. Make a list of your priorities: if a game room trumps a guest room, that’s what to allocate the space for. It all comes down to what you need and how you make the most of the space you already have.


This is the best way to add permanent extra space to your structure, adding an extra room or a floor can be the answer to all your spacing woes. The first step would be to check with the zoning or municipal authorities if additions are permitted for your structure and what the rules are for an extension. Once you have the green flag from the authorities, the next steps are to find a trusted contractor to undertake the project, do your research, look at the work of the contractor, ask for reviews from previous clients and then make a decision.

Whether you are extending over your existing structure or under it, always get an inspection done beforehand to make sure your foundation is sturdy to take the brunt of an extension. Fix problems in your strength structures such as beams, wall studs, floor joists so on and so forth. Check the state of your existing staircase and staircase joinery. It is worth a while to employe staircase manufacturers to get more wiggle space on customisation and the quality.  

Use Available Assets

Use the available attic, garage, and the basement space to extend. All you need to do is fix it up a little by fixing leaking roofs, taking care of retrofit double glazing to make it weatherproof, add some soundproofing elements and set up basic furniture to make the structure habitable and you are all set!

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