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Standing at a crossroads – renovate my house or knock it down?

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Background – I live in a 3 bedroom bungalow which was built in the 1960’s I moved in over 4 years ago and we have planning permission approved in Feb 2019 to convert this into a 4 bedroom house (this is the last bungalow on the street all others have been converted)

With my mother-in-law falling terminally ill and a large proportion of our funds going towards making her what was her final year more comfortable, construction has just been pushed aside.

As Covid has started to subside somewhat my wife and I (and newborn son) have started to pick this up and explore our options.

I am looking for advise as Im unsure on where to start and im getting/reading conflicting information.



  • ·         We have a 90m extension approved (45m2 downstairs and 45m2 created upstairs) the house is passed its sell by date – its in good condition build building old with new is concern.

  • ·         Foundations are non-existent, but we have designed the property so that we would only need to underpin 5m on one wall.

  • ·         Our funds are only half 90k of which I know this is half of what I would need. My wife has stopped working to look after our son too. – I have 2 years left on my 5 year fixed mortgage.

  • ·         Planning permission expires in Feb 2022


I have had a couple of builders come and have a look at the house and they have commented that as we are having a complete new roof – gutting the whole house – side extension and rear extension then it would be easier to knock the whole house down and start from scratch. As I would save on the VAT and also a newbuild would be worth more, if a apply for a replacement dwelling I would also have another 3 years on the planning permission.

For the funding side we will just board out the top living space for now until we have the funds to complete this and focus on the ground floor.

I could just spend the 90k on renovating the whole of the bungalow but with the location I live in and the plot of land the house sits on this would be a wasted opportunity  and Im determined to make this into something amazing for us to live in and also financial gain.

If anyone can give any advise on what I should do, I have attached some of the drawings from our architect and structural engineer.

I feel my options are as follows.

  • Continue on the same path, start groundworks and the extensions despite not having all the funds and building old with new ( this is too risky in my eyes)

  • apply for a replacement dwelling and redesign new plans (something more space efficient and cost effective to build)

  • Knock my current house down and start a newbuild with he current plans from scratch with a budget of 90k and (2k a month from income)

  • Do a considerably smaller extension (10m2) gut the whole house and regret not being able to maximise the full potential of the site?

I welcome your comments and feedback and really appreciate you taking the time to read my post.

Thank you.

01_Existing_Proposed_.pdf 03 _Proposed Driveway Plan Rev A.pdf

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It sounds like your bungalow is exactly the sort of place i am looking to buy and knock down.

90K is a low budget for a build, but you already have services on site etc. i would go for it.

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Are you comfortable living on a building site, and doing so for several years? That's what's likely to happen if you go for either the full renovation or the amazing rebuild without having the entire budget available. You could always move out, but that will stretch the budget even further...


Just over twelve months ago we started on our full renovation of a sixties bungalow, and despite having a decent budget it has been a hard slog. It gets draining after a while, having to step over piles of two by four to make a cup of tea. Oh, and the dust, and the builders drying their hands on your tea towel as they solve Brexit/middle east/string theory for the sixty-seventh time. 


Thanks to growing up in a house that was being renovated around me (we used to have to climb up scaffolding to go upstairs) I was very blasé about renovating, but I cannot wait for the last bit of plastering to be finished upstairs and we can finally have carpets again! And a kitchen, with an oven that isn't sitting on the floor on what have turned out to be floor tiles laced with asbestos! 

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Finance is going to be key.  Your current lender won't let you demolish their security I don't think, so unless you can get finance in place to complete a new build, some form of extend and renovate sounds most do-able.

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