Many homeowners believe that if they live in a semi-detached home they’re unable to extend their property and build outwards, but that’s simply not the case. Semi-detached houses can be transformed with creative single storey extensions while still remaining mindful of the neighbours; and Refresh Renovations can help you carefully navigate the precious balance between form and function, and ensure disruption is minimal. But what options are there for extensions on semi-detached homes? There’s perhaps more you can do then you might expect…

A kitchen that extends to the garden

Build backwards into the garden

Extensions to the back of your home don’t just have to just be sun rooms, orangeries or conservatories. Rear extensions offer more privacy than those on the side and can incorporate bi-folds or French doors throughout. There will be some disruption to your neighbours as a matter of course but garden extensions can usually be finished fairly quickly and so this will be over as short amount a time as possible.

Consider a Viewing Room

Homes with larger gardens that are looking for extensions to expand living space rather than with a specific room may find a viewing room a good addition. A viewing room is simply a room that is primarily glass and usually links on to the main reception or living room. The extension provides extra space with ample natural light and views of the garden. Viewing rooms don’t necessarily need to ‘blend in’ to the rest of the home’s natural aesthetics in the same way that extensions are often expected to, and local planning authorities (LPAs) are increasingly accepting of contrasting visuals.

Incorporate clever access

Building out to the side of a semi-detached house will often lose a side door, and installing bi-folds into the garden or back of the house isn’t always practical for daily usage. An extension specialist will be able to discuss accessibility options with you based on the detail of your planned structure and often clever sliding door designs can be created. In some cases, a large stretch of glass can run across and around the corner of the extension and be opened as little or as far as required. 

A room with a light well

Add in a light well

A light well is an open area or vertical shaft roofed with glass. You’ll typically find these in the centre of buildings such as riads in order to flood the lower floors of a building with natural light. Light can be incorporated into an extension through the usage of large glass windows and doors, but adding in a light well can boost this profile. Ideally the light well should be situated as close to the main property as usual, in order to draw light in not just to the extension but also part of the primary living space.

Install a living roof

If you’re extending to the rear of your semi-detached home and have a garden that joins with the new structure, why not extend your garden upwards? A living roof can make for a sympathetic and consistent exterior extension view and gives your neighbours something more enjoyable to look at from their homes than typical roof tiles, too. Local authorities are often very much in favour of living roofs and walls as they’re considered to boost the green credentials of an area and are considered a sustainable choice.

A basement extension

Dig in for a Basement Extension 

Single storey extensions are considerably more common than double, particularly when it comes to semi-detached homes. Yet you needn’t miss out on a floor because you don’t want to build up… you can build down! Basement conversions and extensions are possible but do take a little longer than standard single storey builds, so you’ll need time on your hands. Basement extensions can be completed under Permitted Development Rights for some homeowners, but if planning permission is required, working with a specialist renovation firm such as Refresh Renovations is recommended in order to have the best possible chance of it being granted.

Pop on a porch

Adding a porch on to the side of your semi-detached home allows for your front door to be moved; which provides more freedom within. If your front door currently opens straight in to a living room, this also gives a better space for the dumping of coats, hats and shoes. A porch can either be added on as an extra to a sidewards extension or just as a small standalone extension. 

Stretch out into a side return

Victorian and Edwardian semi-detached homes often have a side return along the detached side of the building; and while this makes for a natural area to extend in to, it can make lighting the new structure difficult. Adding in windows to a side return extension will often just give a view of the brick wall of another home and so instead using wall space creatively and installing skylights or roof windows can help brighten the new room.

Home extensions to semi-detached houses are very beneficial and can greatly increase the property’s value – they’re just rarely actually completed because so many homeowners don’t understand the plethora of options available to them. 

In most cases, a semi-detached house can be extended from 4 metres to the rear into garden space without any planning permission under homeowner’s Permitted Development Rights. However, for larger, double storey or extensions in conservation areas, formal permission will need to be acquired. Local authorities are more accepting of developments than ever in most regions, making the process considerably easier to apply for, appeal and gain planning permission than it has been previously.

Get in touch!

If you have a semi-detached home and are looking for an extension, get in touch with your local Refresh Renovations office. The extensions specialists on the Refresh team will be able to advise you of the possibilities and opportunities for your home upon a visit with no obligation to proceed – just give us a call, get us round and let’s get planning!

All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.

Costs are accurate at the time of publication. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

Get in touch

Get in touch if you are interested
in a quote or consultation

Planning Around Supply Shortages
Renovate Handbook Download