A new home or an improved home?

Doug Hughes, founder and managing director of architectural and planning design practice Hughes Architects, talks about the opportunities for building, extending or renovating your dream home.

Our homes are one of the most important possessions and places in our lives. In most cases they are also the most expensive single item we will ever buy. So they should be somewhere where we and our families are most happy. Yes?

There are wide and varied types of homes for all pockets and suited to all lifestyles, whether you're in Cardiff, Powys, Ceredigion or Shropshire.

And yet despite such choice many people often end up living in a property that might not be perfect for them for whatever reason, with a homeowner often yearning for something more or different.

So that raises the question of is it easier to move home or to change the one we’re in?

In most cases it’ll be down to finances and future needs. But it isn’t always as clear cut. Is there really a need to move home when an extension or a refurbishment could dramatically change or improve an existing dwelling?

New build, move into an existing home or extend your current house?

Could building your own home or moving into an another property be worth considering with maybe some changes to make it into that dream home.

When I talk to homeowners there’s often a fear that building, extending or refurbishing a property is too complex or costly to consider.

Yes, there is a cost. But it’s not necessarily as bad as it sounds. Quite often when I or a member of the Hughes Architects team starts discussing options with a homeowner they are quite surprised at how easy and cost effective it can be.

Let’s look at the options. You want more living space, whether for a growing family or just because your current property is too small.

The first option is to consider moving. Now, that’s an obvious route. But have you stepped back, looked at your current property and thought about extending or refurbishing it? You might be very happy with the location and property itself other than the space or layout. So why move?

There’s pretty much always a way to find space for a new bedroom, open up the groundfloor to create additional living space, extend the property for a new kitchen, or even radically convert it to the house of your dreams with extensions and modifications.

With the right design and advice the process can be very easy and cost effective, right the way through to us project managing the work with local builders.

An alternative is to build your own from scratch. And with expert advice from planning and design consultants like Hughes Architects, it can be a rewarding experience.

We work with many residential clients by identifying land or a plot, gaining planning permission, designing a property based on what the client wants and then managing it through to the day they move in.

It could be a small but energy efficient property to something much more dramatic, akin to properties you might see on Grand Designs. The choice is yours based on your budget and specification.

Alternatively, architects like us can simply design the property and you or your builder can get on with the work.

Although with over 95 per cent of our planning applications gaining approval we think we can help make the project much more efficient. And talking with council planning officials and others can ensure everything is spot on.

Then there’s moving. It could be an empty Grade II listed property in need of renovation, a more modern detached or semi-detached home in need of extending or refurbishing, or something almost perfect that just needs that additional touch, like a garden room or loft conversion.

Whatever the need for a home, I’m pleased that we’ve been able to help many homeowners in Mid Wales and Cardiff to create their dream, fulfilling an objective to create a home like no other.

Whatever your dream, it might be worth having a chat with one of our team. We have offices at Newtown and Welshpool in Powys, Cardiff and Aberystwyth in Ceredigion. We're on hand to sit down and chat, or we can come and meet you.

Call us or or visit www.hughesarchitects.co.uk or www.hughesarchitectscardiff.co.uk to find out more about what we do and even read about some of the people we’ve already helped.