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Improve or move? Save money by altering your house to accommodate your growing family

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When you first bought your house you pictured yourself living in it and raising your family for many years to come. You took your time in choosing a place that was large enough to accommodate your immediate and future plans. Yet, as life would have it, things didn’t go as you thought.

Maybe you planned for two kids and ended up with a set of twins your second time around. Perhaps you thought your oldest would live on campus during college but they’ve chosen to stay home. Or, your parents are getting older and can no longer live on their own. 

Whatever the case is, your family is growing and the house no longer accommodates your needs. You could sell and move, but this might cost a lot more than simply improving the home you already live in.  Another option would be to alter your home’s floor plan. By extending your home or rearranging the layout of your existing property you can once again have a house that you can all be comfortable in.   If you’re not sure how to suit your needs in your existing home then you can work with a company that sells customised new house plans to help you bring your ideas to life or discuss with builders/architects to see if their vision is suitable based on your needs.

We looked into moving house to gain a detached house with a downstairs bathroom and a large kitchen/diner.  The cost of a new build around the corner from us with everything I was looking for was £190,000 more than what we paid for our current house!  So, we had builders in to discuss an extension on the back and turning the existing kitchen into a downstairs toilet and utility.  The quote was £35,000 for labour, plus whatever we wanted to spend on the kitchen and bathroom, so potentially £50,000 maximum for the lot.  This is considerably less than moving house to get what we want in the same area!

Not exactly sure what you’d like? Below are some ideas to consider.

Open concept

A very popular option for home design now is open plan living. The idea is that instead of having so many individual closed-off rooms that the common areas like the living room, dining room, and kitchen are more open. This can provide more space and bring more light into the home. A contractor will need to determine if the home’s structure could support it, but there are many tricks to the trade like installing support beams throughout. 

Larger rooms become two

If you’ve got another baby on the way, need room for mum and dad, or are looking for a new home office, you can create two rooms out of one larger room. If the kid’s bedroom is really spacious, adding a separation wall can easily make a nursery for the new arrival. A master bedroom can be split to make space for a home office or master bathroom. A basement can become a playroom and a man cave or studio apartment for mum and dad. 

Extended kitchen

When your family is growing, one room that will require more space in is the kitchen. If your kitchen is pretty tight, consider extending it. Contractors can use a portion of the living room or dining room to extend the kitchen. 

Additional bathrooms

You can’t have enough bathrooms - especially if you have a large family. The kids may be fine using the one on the second floor but if your parents have mobility issues, getting up and down the stairs is a pain. Depending on your existing layout and the structure of your home, you might be able to have a bathroom easily installed downstairs near the kitchen for easy access. 


If your home simply doesn’t have enough space after considering the ideas above, another option would be to extend it or add on to the existing structure. This is obviously more costly, but, when done professionally can significantly increase the value of your property. Having another room upstairs and/or downstairs can be easily used for an additional bedroom, home office, parent suite, nursery, or whatever else you might need it for.   It can also be much more affordable than moving house.

When it boils down to staying in the home you invested so much in over the years and have grown to love or relocating, don’t be so quick to throw in the towel. Depending on the layout and structure of your house you can usually renovate for a lot less than you’d pay to move and create a space that works. However if you don't have the option to re-imagine your home or to extend then you'll need to look into selling your property and buying something that suits your growing needs. 

Whether there’s a newborn on the way, a college kid coming home to stay, a new home business, or mum and dad needing to relocate, with the right floor plan alterations you could, once again, choose the property you fell in love with all those years ago.  If you love your existing home then work out a way for it to suit your growing needs.