Thinking about extending?
Updated: Feb 11, 2019
Hello! And so it begins...thanks for reading the another architecture + interiors blog.
We're going to ease you in with a first post about types of extension to help you formulate your ideas if you're thinking about a building project for your home.
So you have a living space that doesn't quite 'flow' when you move through it, and perhaps a kitchen that's separated from the living space. You want to connect these spaces together and like the idea of pushing out into the garden a little bit too. There's so much said about indoor/ outdoor living and for good reason - adding a single storey extension to the rear of your property, perhaps with large format glazed doors looking on to the garden, really augments the sense of space and brings in light beautifully. Add a couple of rooflights in the new extension and even on a dull day, the light coming in will really lift the space. Just imagine sitting beneath those rooflights on a clear night, looking up at the stars...from the comfort of the sofa.
Creating an open plan space within the ground floor of the property is often high on the 'most-wanted' list. The visual and physical connections between the spaces, such as in the image shown above, means you're so close to actually being in two places at once, or at least feeling that you are! Adding a feature like a double-sided fireplace adds character and detail and helps to create a 'snug' feel to an open space. The use of rustic materials, such as a handmade exposed brick, adds warmth and texture. We've got so much more to say about everything in the above paragraph that we'll save it for you for another time! Check out our Carlton Road single storey extension for inspiration.
This can easily be added on to the single storey extension and then wrapped around the property, creating an L-shape on a semi-detached or detached property for example. The USP of the side return is that it can quite neatly house a 'side door' on to a boot room and downstairs WC - perfect for muddy boots after a long walk or if you're coming in from the garden. We like to think of these spaces as 'decontamination zones', which sounds a bit drastic - BUT - imagine being able to keep your front door and hallway mess-free and tidy by diverting the aforementioned chaos to the side of the house instead?! No one will ever know your secret, until you tell them, which you will because you'll be so excited about it.
In certain configurations, a garage could also be added to the front of the side return. There's a place for everything.
Like the single storey extension but with so much more! This brings potential for a master suite bedroom with walk in wardrobe and ensuite on the upper level, and even a double height space over the floor below (this is what we did in the project below, where the double height space sat over the living area, linked by a lovely staircase). It's a way to add some real 'wow-factor'. A two storey extension is also an easy way to add much-needed extra bedrooms. Have a look at how we did it at our Stiles Avenue project.
Not strictly an extension...but a way to gain some incredibly valuable extra space that you might not have considered. If you have a reasonable head height in your basement already, this is a great start. Even if you don't, it's still possible to dig down a little, but bear in mind this is likely to involve underpinning to existing walls - a structural engineer will be able to advise on this. If there's a lot of damp, specialist contractors will be able to install a tanking system/ pump to deal with this - giving you a usable space. This could become a playroom, a gym, a study...It's also possible to link the basement to the garden if the adjacent space is excavated, creating a terrace at basement level - bringing in lots of unexpected light!
Another one in the 'conversion' category - if there's a reasonable head height in your existing loft, below the ridge beam, then this has potential! Adding a dormer gives more space to walk around and of course, light and views. Add rooflights and an en-suite and you have an instant 'guest quarters', a lovely master suite or a domain for your teenager. Depending on the configuration of your existing stairs, access might be possible off an existing hallway, or via a box room in a typical terraced house or semi-detached property.
Everything described above may be subject to planning permission and building regulations approval and is likely to require the input of a structural engineer. Of course we can advise you on this! We look forward to speaking with you.
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