From loft and basement conversions to modern garden box extensions made out of architectural glass, there are countless ways to build extra space in your home.
There are probably more than a few reasons why your current home isn’t big enough—be it a child on the way or the start of a new home-based business. Adding space to your property can be an expensive and time-consuming project, but with the right architect, dedication, research and planning it has the potential to dramatically enhance your interiors and make your home a more spacious and comfortable place to live in.
Raise the roof
This extension is especially useful for properties in busy residential areas where expanding horizontally—instead of vertically—is just not a realistic option. Simply raising the roof, or adding a second floor, is an effective solution if you own a relatively small lot of land. This type of home extension can cost anywhere between £40,000 and £55,000 on average according to Homebuilding & Renovating.
See also: Underground Extensions
Now featuring the same insulation and technology as most modern properties—think glazed windows, security locks, electricity mains and waterproof materials—garden rooms have gained a considerable amount of popularity over the years. If your home has a free outside space, a garden room might be the perfect extension as they rarely require building permission. In addition to this, eco-friendly building materials and modern construction techniques make this add on more affordable than ever. While this annex could easily turn into a games room or separate study, with some plumbing and electrical work it could even become a self-sufficient accommodation complete with a bedroom, bathroom and small kitchen or living area.
Put your attic to good use
Victorian or 1930s houses are especially good for this type of extension, as they tend to have higher ceilings. Turning your attic—or empty space—into a loft may require less building requirements than creating an extra bedroom would. Depending on your house structure and planning, this kind of conversion is one of the most straightforward ways of enhancing your space—and, possibly, the cheapest with prices starting at around £15,000. Some key things to think about when planning for a loft conversion are where to put the staircase, insulation measures, skylights, reinforcements to the floor, electrics, heating and fire safety measures.
Perhaps the most expensive and specialised extension, a basement conversion is suitable for properties that have sturdy foundations and some extra space underground. Companies will charge anywhere between £1,000 and £1,350 per square metre for a basement conversion (according to Homebuilding & Renovating), and the job will take a few months—during this time you will more than likely have to move out until the work is done. A great way to include a family room or a games room, these extensions can add a substantial amount of pounds to your property’s overall value on the market.
See also: Raising the Roof
Glass box extensions
Modern and full of natural light, glass box extensions can create an elegant space that is habitable all year round. These glazed conservatories will allow you to make the most out of your garden even in the colder seasons—all while adding a significant amount of space and value to your home. Made out of sturdy architectural glass, these modern annexes will be resistant, well insulated and shielded from outside weather. Structural glazing will also provide a seamless and elegant transition from the existing property into the new and modern annex.
Tips for a smooth extension
- Choose the right builder. Careful research will make the difference between a shoddy job and a long-lasting renovation.
- Talk to your neighbours. Getting them on your side is crucial, as they have the power to object any proposal you put forward.
- Set a budget. This is easier said than done, as there is always the risk of overspending—even on small-scale projects.
- Figure out the purpose. Do you need—or want—an extra bedroom, a bigger kitchen, an additional living quarter or a new alfresco dining area?
- Consider your location. Most areas have a ceiling value for houses. It’s never a good idea to invest so much as to surpass that value—especially if you are planning to sell, as you might not get your money back.
- Know your materials. Research the best prices and the best types of materials for the job as these are the building blocks that will bring the project to life.
- Choose carefully. Know what kind of extension is best for your property and needs.
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