A Guide on how to design a handy but beautiful extension

Use what you already have.

The key to a new extension that works is one that uses features the room already has. As well as adding new space, it’s always a bonus when the room makes the best use of natural light, has stunning views, and maybe access to the garden, or even improves your parking situation.

There are many things to consider when redesigning a room. Walls and doorways can always be removed and added to give you the space you need or to accommodate a new extension, but to make sure you get the most out of a room it’s important to consider positionings of new features. Where are you going to place your entrances to give you the most efficient access to main rooms, or hallways, kitchens and bathrooms? For a balanced room, it’s important to think of practicality as well as beauty.

Onwards and Upwards.

One way to get the maximum value for your money when it comes to your extension is by building up. The average cost per square meter (m²) is drastically reduced by stretching more pricey building materials, for roofs and foundations, over a larger surface area. If you’re looking for an extra room, consider building it on an existing single-storey building like a garage.

Style Strengths.

If you’re choosing to extend your house, then it’s important to consider the overall ‘look’ of the new extension. You’re going to want it to look like it belongs in your home, and so it’s worth considering what options you have. Realistically, you have two ways to go about this. You could either make the new building a complete contrast, a complementary style that highlights the fact that it isn’t part of the original build, or you could try to blend it in seamlessly by using the same design. Roof pitch, materials, colours etc…

The Conservatory.

Small sunrooms are one of the most popular home extension projects and are often fairly cheap. One of the benefits of adding a conservatory to your home is that they don’t require planning permission because they’re excluded from the Building Regulations.

One of the drawbacks to having a conservatory is keeping it not only insulated in the winter, but cool in the summer. A handy alternative is to build the conservatory with an insulated roof, with one insulated wall, (it helps if the insulated wall faces the outside edge). And if you have large areas of glazing then you’ll still get the sunroom effect and you’ll be able to maintain a fairly constant temperature.



Finding the right design for extending a period home can feel like an impossible task. One way to get around it is to add an entirely new space, separate from the original build and to link it with a glass walkway. The new building can then be whatever you want it to be, contemporary or traditional, as long as it complements the original ₋ the glazed walkway will do the rest.

The great benefit of using structural glazing is that it reduces the visual impact and doesn’t overshadow your original building’s character. This method is greatly favoured by conservationist and has also been used to link existing period buildings.

Building Outside.

Outdoor rooms are a great way to provide your home with an outdoor living area ₋ somewhere to sit in the summer months, or a place to relax in the colder months that’s protected from the elements. This outdoor space could be a veranda or a loggia, or it could even be a more contemporary area, something set under a projecting flat roof, supported by steel poles, perhaps even with slatted sun louvres. When it comes to the outdoors the possibilities are endless!

The Annex.


If your garden is big enough, an annex could be a better option than adding an extension to your house. A garden build has the potential to become an additional games room, but it equally has potential to become a self-catered living space if you’re thinking of adding a kitchen, bedrooms and a bathroom.

Transformative Spaces.

Think bigger! Instead of just adding an extension to your existing home, the project could become a way to redesign your whole house. This is a good way of injecting character to bland, utilitarian and maybe unfashionable spaces. It could even increase the value of your home! And one of the great benefits of this house redesign is that a lot of it can be done without planning permissions because it falls under the Permitted Development Rights.


For a quality extension with layers of light and shade, increase the lighting by bringing it in from more than one direction. This can be achieved not only through windows and glazed doors, but though roof-lights or roof lanterns. If you want something grand you could even incorporate a clerestory! If you’re concerned for your privacy by all these windows, then you could always have a row of them set below ceiling level, but just above eye level ₋ that way your extension gets its natural light, and you maintain your privacy.


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