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Moving House vs. Renovating: Which is Right for You?

Are you finding yourself at a crossroads, torn between the excitement of moving to a new home and the potential of transforming your current space? This decision is one that many homeowners in London and across the UK grapple with every year. Both moving house and renovating offer unique opportunities and challenges, and the right choice depends on a variety of factors personal to you and your situation.

The Appeal of Moving House

There's an undeniable thrill in the prospect of moving to a new home. It's a fresh start, a blank canvas waiting for you to make your mark. But what exactly makes moving house so appealing?

Advantages of Moving House

  1. New Beginnings: Moving offers the opportunity to start afresh in a new environment. It can be invigorating and inspiring, especially if you're looking for a change in your life.

  2. Instant Upgrade: If you're looking for more space or different features, moving can provide an immediate solution without the hassle of living through renovations.

  3. Potential for Better Location: Moving allows you to choose a new location that might better suit your current needs, whether that's being closer to work, in a better school district, or in a more vibrant neighbourhood.

  4. Avoid Renovation Stress: While moving has its own stresses, you avoid the potential disruptions and unexpected issues that can come with major renovations.

  5. Energy Efficiency: Newer homes are often more energy-efficient, which could lead to lower utility bills.

Disadvantages of Moving House

  1. Costs: Moving can be expensive when you factor in stamp duty, estate agent fees, solicitor fees, and removal costs.

  2. Emotional Toll: Leaving a home filled with memories can be emotionally challenging for some.

  3. Time-Consuming: Finding the right property, going through the buying process, and actually moving can take several months.

  4. Uncertainty: There's always a risk that the new property might not live up to expectations or have hidden issues.

  5. Adjusting to a New Area: If you're moving to a new neighbourhood, it takes time to adjust and build new connections.

The Case for Renovating

Renovating your current home can be an exciting alternative to moving. It allows you to create a space tailored to your needs without leaving the home and area you know and love.

Advantages of Renovating

  1. Customisation: Renovating allows you to create a space that's perfectly tailored to your needs and tastes.

  2. Potential to Add Value: Well-planned renovations can significantly increase your property's value.

  3. Stay in Your Current Location: If you love your neighbourhood but not your house, renovating allows you to improve your living space without moving.

  4. Potentially Lower Costs: Depending on the scale, renovating can be less expensive than buying a new property, especially when you factor in moving costs.

  5. Gradual Process: Unlike moving, which happens all at once, renovations can be done in stages, spreading out the cost and disruption.

Disadvantages of Renovating

  1. Living with Disruption: Depending on the scale of the renovation, you might have to live in a construction zone for weeks or months.

  2. Unexpected Costs: Renovations often uncover unforeseen issues, leading to budget overruns.

  3. Time-Consuming: Planning, obtaining permits, and carrying out renovations can take a significant amount of time.

  4. Limitations: There may be constraints on what you can do, especially if you live in a listed building or conservation area.

  5. Potential for Overcapitalisation: If not planned carefully, you might spend more on renovations than you can recoup if you sell.

Cost Comparison: Moving vs. Renovating

One of the most significant factors in deciding between moving and renovating is often the cost. Let's break down the typical costs associated with each option:

Costs of Moving House


Estimated Cost (£)

Stamp Duty

2-12% of property price

Estate Agent Fees

1-3% of sale price + VAT

Solicitor Fees


Surveyor Fees


Removal Costs


Mortgage Fees



Varies significantly based on property price

(At Denix Moving, we offer competitive rates for removals in London, helping you keep these costs down. Get a quote today to see how we can assist with your move.)

Costs of Renovating

Renovation Type

Estimated Cost (£)

Kitchen Remodel


Bathroom Renovation


Loft Conversion


Extension (per m²)


New Central Heating System




These costs can vary widely depending on the scale of the project, materials used, and location. It's wise to get detailed quotes from reputable contractors before making a decision.

Remember, if you do decide to renovate and need to store your homely possessions, Denix Moving offer very competitive rates on short term and long term storage.

Time Considerations

Another crucial factor in your decision-making process should be the time involved in each option.

Timeline for Moving House

  1. Property Search: 2-3 months (can be longer in competitive markets)

  2. Offer and Negotiation: 1-4 weeks

  3. Conveyancing Process: 8-12 weeks

  4. Mortgage Application: 4-6 weeks

  5. Packing and Moving: 2-4 weeks

Total estimated time: 4-6 months

Timeline for Renovating

  1. Planning and Design: 1-3 months

  2. Obtaining Permits: 6-8 weeks (can be longer for listed buildings)

  3. Contractor Selection: 2-4 weeks

  4. Renovation Work: Varies widely based on the project scope

  • Kitchen Remodel: 4-6 weeks

  • Bathroom Renovation: 2-3 weeks

  • Loft Conversion: 6-8 weeks

  • Extension: 3-4 months

Total estimated time: Varies significantly based on project scope

Factors to Consider in Your Decision

Choosing between moving and renovating isn't just about costs and timelines. Here are some crucial factors to weigh in your decision:

  1. Emotional Attachment: How connected do you feel to your current home and neighbourhood?

  2. Future Needs: Will your current home, even with renovations, meet your future needs (e.g., growing family, working from home)?

  3. Property Market: What's the current state of the property market? Is it a good time to buy or sell?

  4. Disruption Tolerance: How well can you cope with the disruptions that come with renovating?

  5. Investment Potential: Which option is likely to offer better returns in the long run?

  6. Planning Restrictions: Are there limitations on renovations in your current property?

  7. Energy Efficiency: Could moving to a newer property or renovating significantly improve your home's energy efficiency?

  8. Lifestyle Changes: Are you looking for a lifestyle change that only moving could provide?

Making the Most of Moving

If you decide that moving is the right choice for you, here are some tips to make the process smoother:

  1. Start Early: Begin decluttering and packing non-essential items as soon as you decide to move.

  2. Research Your New Area: Spend time in your potential new neighbourhood at different times of day to get a real feel for it.

  3. Use a Reliable Removal Company: Choose a reputable removal company like Denix Moving to ensure your belongings are transported safely and efficiently. Our team of experts can handle everything from packing to unpacking, making your move as stress-free as possible.

  4. Create a Moving Checklist: Stay organised with a comprehensive checklist of tasks leading up to moving day.

  5. Notify Important Parties: Don't forget to inform your bank, employer, schools, and other important contacts about your change of address.

  6. Pack a First Night Box: Prepare a box with essentials you'll need immediately in your new home.

  7. Consider Storage Solutions: If you're downsizing or have a gap between moving out and moving in, consider using storage facilities. Denix Moving offers secure storage solutions to keep your belongings safe during your transition.

Maximising Your Renovation

If renovating seems like the better option, here are some tips to get the most out of your project:

  1. Plan Thoroughly: Invest time in detailed planning to avoid costly changes mid-project.

  2. Set a Realistic Budget: Include a contingency fund of at least 10-20% for unexpected costs.

  3. Prioritise: If budget is tight, focus on renovations that add the most value or improve your quality of life the most.

  4. Choose the Right Professionals: Research and select reputable architects, designers, and contractors.

  5. Consider Your Home's Style: Ensure renovations complement your home's existing architecture and character.

  6. Focus on Energy Efficiency: Incorporate energy-efficient upgrades to reduce future utility costs.

  7. Prepare for Disruption: If you're living in the home during renovations, prepare for the impact on your daily life.

  8. Temporary Storage: Consider using temporary storage for furniture and belongings during the renovation. Denix Moving offers flexible storage solutions that can be invaluable during home improvements.

Environmental Considerations

In today's climate-conscious world, it's worth considering the environmental impact of your decision:

Moving House

  • Pros: Opportunity to move to a more energy-efficient home

  • Cons: The moving process itself can have a significant carbon footprint


  • Pros: Chance to improve your home's energy efficiency

  • Cons: Renovation waste and new materials have environmental impacts

Whichever option you choose, consider ways to minimise environmental impact. If moving, Denix Moving uses eco-friendly packing materials and efficient route planning to reduce our carbon footprint. If renovating, look for contractors who prioritise sustainable practices and materials.

The Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic changed many people's priorities when it came to their homes:

  • Increased Demand for Space: With more people working from home nowadays, there's been a surge in demand for properties with home offices or potential to create them.

  • Renovation Boom: Many homeowners have chosen to improve their current homes rather than move.

  • Changes in Desired Locations: There's been a shift in preference towards properties with outdoor space and in less densely populated areas.

These trends may influence your decision, depending on your personal circumstances and priorities.

Making Your Decision

After considering all these factors, how do you make your final decision? Here's a step-by-step approach:

  1. Assess Your Needs: Make a list of what you need in a home that you don't currently have.

  2. Evaluate Your Current Home: Can these needs be met through renovation? If not, moving might be necessary.

  3. Calculate Costs: Get detailed estimates for both moving and potential renovations.

  4. Consider Timeline: Think about how soon you need the changes and which option fits best with your schedule.

  5. Reflect on Emotional Factors: Consider your attachment to your current home and neighbourhood.

  6. Think Long-Term: Which option best aligns with your future plans and potential needs?

  7. Seek Advice: Consult with real estate professionals, contractors, and financial advisors to get expert opinions.

  8. Trust Your Instincts: After weighing all the factors, trust your gut feeling about which option feels right for you.

So....Move or Renovate?

The decision to move or renovate is a significant one, with no one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on your unique circumstances, needs, and priorities. Both options offer exciting opportunities to improve your living situation, whether that's through a fresh start in a new home or by transforming your current space into your dream home.

Remember, whichever path you choose, professional help can make the process smoother. If you decide to move, Denix Moving is here to help with all your removal and storage needs in London. Our experienced team can handle everything from packing and transportation to providing secure storage solutions, ensuring your move is as stress-free as possible.

On the other hand, if you opt for renovation, we can still assist by providing temporary storage for your belongings during the renovation process, keeping them safe and out of the way until your newly improved home is ready.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a living space that meets your needs and makes you happy. Whether that's achieved through a move or a renovation, the journey to your ideal home is an exciting one. Good luck with your decision!

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