Common considerations when extending
Rear extensions can be a priceless investment. Transform pokey kitchens, inefficient layouts and dark corners into bright, open plan spaces. Here are a few elements you’ll need to consider when planning your rear extension.
- Glazing: French Doors vs Sliders vs Bi-Folds
Maximise natural light in your extension with new glazing to the garden. There are a few style options to consider.
Bi-fold doors fold neatly back on themselves against a side wall and can include a single opening pane for every day access. When fully open they offer an unobstructed view.
Sliding doors move to the side and fit behind each other. With typically less frame lines than other options, sliding doors offer great views. They are also good space savers when it comes to furniture. Commonly available in 2, 3 or 4 panels and can open from one side to the other or from the centre to each side.
French doors are aesthetically pleasing and best suited to smaller openings. They quickly open and close, provide a good clear access point and by opening out will maximise internal space. They are often the more affordable option for patio doors.
- Glazing: Fixed or Opening Rooflights
Inevitably an extension will mean the now middle section of a home becomes darker. Adding rooflights and more glazing to the extension will brighten this area and make it feel more spacious.
Opening rooflights can give additional ventilation however tend to be out of reach and therefore not regularly used.
Fixed rooflights are more budget-friendly and a good option when security is paramount provided there is sufficient alternative ventilation in that particular room.
Ideally though, remote-controlled opening rooflights with weather sensors tick all the boxes should budget allow.
- Plan the Room Layout as you design the Kitchen
Are you using the extension for a new kitchen? Are the kitchen services staying in the same general area? Where will you locate the run of the kitchen and appliances? What about existing windows, boilers or radiators?
Often clients are incorporating an open plan for kitchen, dining and casual living space into their extension, perhaps with a separate utility space or WC. We generally recommend situating the services (kitchen, utility, WC) in the darker, central area and using the brighter new space for the dining and/or living room.
Also consider movement and thoroughfares, the main opening of the door to the garden and the position of furniture and radiators.
- Dealing with the Openings into the new room
You may be left with two openings to the new room: the original from the hall, and a second from the living room.
In this case, consider closing the living room opening and using this new wall for the kitchen run or appliances.
An added benefit is improved wall space in the existing living room for your sofa or other furniture.
- Replace all the downstairs flooring
A continuous floor finish throughout will help the new extension feel as large as possible.
Consider also laying the same flooring in the living room and hall to create a fuss-free look and expansive feel across the ground floor. This will help connect the old and new.
- Connecting the existing walls and ceilings
In older homes insulation is generally poor and plasterwork dated. A new extension will exagerate the age difference. Also accessing walls and ceilings during works for wiring and pipework can damage existing plaster and require patching.
Consider replastering walls and ceilings to connect old and new or explore improving insulation by dry-lining walls and insulating ceiling joists in the existing sections.