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House extension boom with older children moving back home

A new trend is becoming apparent in the home improvement industry recently, that of homeowners extending their houses in order to accommodate their older and grown up children who are moving back home.

The movement seems to be a response to the way that society is changing in Britain at the current time, with the high costs of the housing market and the difficulties young people, especially graduates in debt with their student loans and smaller disposable incomes, have in getting onto the first step of the property ladder. Many young people are either finding that it’s a struggle to leave home in the first place because of rising costs or that once they’ve finished university, they cannot afford to live away from home any longer. The Office for National Statistics has released figures showing that in 2013, the number of 20 to 34 year olds living at home with their parents was 3.3 million, a figure that’s higher than any other year since records began in 1996.

Adding to the house extension boom is the number of elderly or older parents moving back in with their children due to the increase in life expectancies and the inability to look after a home themselves in their old age. According to the statistics, more than 900,000 people aged between 35 and 64 have one or more of their parents living in their home.

Due to the high costs of moving house, including the legal fees, charges from the estate agents and stamp duty, on top of the price of buying a larger property to accommodate the whole family, many people are preferring to stay put and add extra room onto the existing property. Karelia Scott-Daniels from Manse & Garret Property Search has stated: “We have seen a big increase in this sort of thing. We find couples in their late 40s and 50s are already anticipating needing to house one or more parents and professional children.”

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Houses are being extended in various ways and directions, upwards, outwards and in surprising ways. Old dining rooms are being shunned in favour of more bedroom space, and in a Harry Potter-esque manner, even the space under the stairs is being used to squeeze in extra room.

Michael Holmes from the Homebuilding and Renovating Show recommended opening up your home using and removing partition walls: “Remodelling can make your home seem much larger, especially if you open up the space and create open plan, multi-function rooms that make the most of natural light.”

Images courtesy of Mark Menzies and Chris Cooper.

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