Types of home extension – an architect’s guide

Extending your property can unlock the potential in your home, enabling you to create a space that works for you and your family.

It also has the potential to add value to your property should you ever come to sell it.
But with housing prices remaining so high, more and more homeowners are looking at ways to extend or reconfigure their homes to get the extra space they need – don’t move, improve!

In this blog post we look at some of the most common types of home extension, and what they can add to your home.

Read on to find out more!

Rear extensions

These can be single or double storey in height, and sit to the rear of your existing property.

If you want to create a family kitchen, a single storey rear extension is a great way to create that space, and often has the benefit of increasing the flow between the inside and outside areas.

If you’re also looking for additional space upstairs, maybe for an additional bedroom or a second bathroom, adding a first floor to your rear extension could be a wise move, although it does increase the complexity of the build.

Rear extensions are popular because a great deal can be achieved within Permitted Development Rights.

Extension to 1960s detached house
Bi-fold doors installation

Side extensions

Again, these can be single or double storey in height, depending on local restrictions, and are a fantastic way to add additional living space, and open up the communal areas to create that sense of open plan living, particularly if you are looking for a larger kitchen / dining space.

This kind of extension is very popular in terraced houses, as they traditionally have a side return – a strip of land at the side of the house.

The land to the side of your property doesn’t tend to be as well used as other bits of garden, so you won’t be sacrificing ‘prime land’ in the process.

Depending on the scope of the project, you may be able to achieve your side return extension under Permitted Development Rights.

Wraparound extensions

If you have room to the side and rear of your property, a wrap-around extension is a great way to maximise this space and utilise any redundant space to the side of your property.

It essentially combines a rear and side extension to create an L shape at the back of the property. They work particularly well if you are hoping to add a bigger kitchen or additional living / dining space, but with so much additional space, you may have the potential to incorporate other functional rooms such as a utility, home office, or snug.

Wraparound extensions do not fall under permitted development, so you will need to obtain planning permission for this type of build.

Loft conversion

If you have a good size loft, and you need additional space – it’s worth looking at how your loft space can be transformed into a liveable space.

They are an affordable way to extend your home and create a surprising amount of space, whether it’s to add bedrooms for a growing family, or to create an additional space to work from home.

Your new space will be light and bright too, because you can incorporate windows into the design that allow plenty of natural light to flood in.

A great deal can be achieved within the loft through Permitted Development Rights, making it an attractive option to those in need of more space. In most cases, it is also more affordable to extend into the loft or side roof than to add an extension to the side or rear of your house.

Room extended above garage

Over structure extension

If you don’t have the option of extending from the ground level, but have an existing garage or part of the property that is single storey – an over-structure extension is a fantastic solution.

As the name suggests, this type of extension sits on top of an existing part of the property – most commonly a garage.

As the footprint of the build is already there, you won’t have to sacrifice valuable garden space, and with the right kind of build and finish, it can really transform the curb appeal of your home.

Over structure extensions add to the first floor of your home, so it’s a great way to create additional bedroom or bathroom space. Maybe even that master suite you’ve been dreaming of!

Basement conversion

If space is at a premium and there is no option to extend to the side or rear of your property, but you still require additional living space, another option could be converting the basement.

Adding an additional storey beneath your home enables you to utilise existing space, rather than extending to create additional space, and can result in a stunning multi-purpose space that can transform a family home.

Deciding which type of home extension is best?

Deciding on the right type of extension for your home can be tricky as there are so many factors to take into consideration, and that’s where bringing in our expertise can help.

But as a starting point, try working through the following questions:

What are you trying to achieve? Additional family space, extra bedrooms, an en-suite?
What space do you currently have available – how could it be reconfigured to achieve your goals?
If you can’t find the space you require in your existing home, what is the potential to extend?

As you start to design your new space, we can also help you with space planning – how the space created throughout this process will eventually be used. Where will the main pieces of furniture be placed? What is the focal point? How will you create zones for different parts of your home?

Going through this process will help you to build efficiently, and gain as much space from the existing house before investing in the build of additional space.

If you need help deciding on the best type of home extension for your property, please get in touch .