Need an extension or home addition to expand your living space but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Long considered the domain of only big budget properties with oodles of land space around them, extensions are more common, more flexible and more affordable than ever – and there are lots of creative ways that you can extend your home. Read on for our favourites!

A living area with large glass windows

Link extensions

A link extension is the joining of two buildings to combine their living space. Mainly popular with those owning period properties, such an extension unifies areas of the home and allows for a layout to be constructed that lends itself to modern living in a way that the initial house design didn’t permit.

Post and oak frame extensions

If there’s plenty of room to the back of the property and no desire for the exterior of the new building to match the existing home, a post and beam-style oak frame extension provides a stunning aesthetic. These rooms are flooded with natural light and provide great views of the outdoor space so work well as living rooms or dining rooms.

Orangeries and sun rooms

An orangery, sun room or ‘garden room’ extension offer all the benefits of a conservatory but with a more robust feel thanks to its solid roof. This keeps the extension warm and cosy in the winter and prevents overheating in the summer without the need of specialist products to do so as in a conservatory. Tiles and framework can be constructed in almost any shade to either compare or contrast to the home as desired.

A view over a conservatory roof

Conservatories

If planning permission for a solid extension is proving difficult or not forthcoming, a conservatory can often make an acceptable compromise for local planning authorities (LPAs). The simple, lightweight structures can often even be built under homeowners’ permitted development rights (PDRs) and so may be a viable method to bypass external administration altogether. If you’re not a fan of thick frames, consider frameless glass with minimalist sliding doors for a bright and open feel.

A large kitchen created in a side return extension

Side return extensions

For semi-detached or terraced homes with a small side return (space to the side of the property that does not join with a neighbouring building), a side return extension can utilise this often otherwise unused space. Side returns are most popular for kitchen extensions but can also give the ability for the entire ground floor of a home to be converted into an open-plan layout. Many small extensions of this type can be built under homeowners’ permitted development rights (PDRs) and so do not require any permissions from local authorities – but check with a renovations or extensions specialist before you start work.

Glass corridors

Glass corridors can transform older properties to look more modern and provide a brilliant bridge between two buildings or two areas of a building. Bright, spacious and contemporary, such extensions are often favoured by planning bodies because they’re considered non-invasive looking and tend not to affect the character of the surrounding area.

Glass box courtyard creation

A real ‘wow factor’ extension, glass box extensions are ultra-modern with unbroken views. Creating a courtyard where there otherwise wouldn’t be one while providing shelter from the elements, this extension type works with almost any type of property providing it has enough space. Specialist high quality glass with performance coating is used to protect the extension year-round and through inclement weather. Glass box extensions can be costly, but money can be saved by using panes as small as possible and ultra-thin low-profile steel frames.

Multi-storey extensions

When we think of home extensions, most of us conjure up the image of an extended single storey kitchen – but there’s much more that can be done if you build upwards! Any extension at a height of over 4m will require planning permission but can entirely transform the living space within. It also doesn’t need to match the exterior of the rest of the house unless desired – such extensions can even be built entirely in glass for a modern volume. Double and even triple storey extensions are also hugely practical as warm air rises so the upper floors may be great places for bedrooms. You will need good insulation and ventilation though, so seek the advice of a specialist for how to best install so.

Glass corner extensions

An extension doesn’t need to be 100% bricks and mortar or 100% glass – why not mix it up a little? A traditional brick extension with a corner in glass can help bring natural light in and give a roomier feel without cooling the room unnecessarily or having to use any additional floor space. If built on the back of the house, no more than 4m tall or within 2m in to the property boundary, no planning permission will be required.

Large bifold doors leading to outdoor living

Blur boundaries with large doors

If your extension is heading into your garden to either a hardscaped or landscaped area, large doors or sliding doors that operate floor-to-ceiling can help blur the boundaries between inside and out. This is ideal for family homes that host a lot of people and have high foot traffic in and out of the outdoor space for BBQs, sports, a pool or even sun lounging.

Exterior stairs

If your extension is double storey, the upper can be used as a terrace or lounge-type room and a staircase erected on the outside to lead up to it. This creates a real luxury feel and permits entry from another angle. Planning permission will usually be required but providing such access is to the back of the property, will usually be granted fuss-free providing the extension’s feel is sympathetic to the design of the rest of the house.

With property prices seemingly forever on the rise, it’s no surprise that homeowners would rather grow than go. There’s no one-size-fits-all with extensions so get creative and make something memorable that works for you and your home for many years to come.

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