ARTICLE Philip Saich
Mention the word ‘extension’ and many homeowners will immediately gloss over, their minds spinning with the potential hassles of managing building work and the seemingly inevitable overspends and scheduling issues. It doesn’t have to be this way, however, as Simon Kelliher of Cambridge builders Refresh Renovations explains.
‘At Refresh we talk to lots of clients who have a dream for their property but are concerned that the process of bringing that dream to reality will involve at least one form of nightmare,’ comments Simon. ‘Whether it’s project over-runs due to planning delays, contractors going AWOL, budget overspends due to poor specifications or the upheaval and disruption to their daily routine, it’s rare to come across a client who is genuinely excited about the journey itself. Everyone is up for the end result, but the idea of getting there invariably fills them with trepidation. The great news is that we provide an end-to-end service right from concept and planning through to the final, finished extension, and we’re also experts at delivering on time and within budget.
‘Choosing the best home extension for your property can certainly be daunting and can often prevent any progress being made, as you end up running round and round in circles,’ continues Simon. ‘At Refresh we take the time to meet with our clients, learn about their dreams and aspirations, and develop a solution that will exceed their expectations without breaking the bank. There are lots of options, and we find that it just needs an objective eye to tease out the best home extension in each scenario.’
They don’t often receive the credit and coverage that they deserve, but lean-to extensions can be an attractive, time-efficient and cost-effective way to add space without compromising the garden. A lean-to is usually a single-storey structure constructed to enable the roof to lean against an outer wall of the existing property. The structure can be partially bricked to give a greater sense of permanence, and lean-to extensions are typically used as sun rooms, as part of an open-plan dining or living area, or as a tranquil haven for reading or crafting.
With clever design, they can incorporate large glazed areas to flood the new room with light and can seamlessly marry the inside of your house with the outside. A lean-to solution works especially well if you have low ceiling height which in turn might result in the first-floor window being partially obscured by a pitched roof, or if you have a bungalow with restricted room under the eaves. In general, a lean-to will have a roof which slopes down and away from the exterior wall, although it is also possible to opt for an Edwardian or Victorian style vaulted roof.
The abundance of glass affords a feeling of elegance, but one common mistake is to overlook the need for temperature control. It goes without saying that the extension is likely to be cold in winter and (very) warm in summer. It is therefore important to consider an affordable heating and cooling system, and this is where underfloor heating and innovative ventilation can come into their own.
Thermostatically controlled roof vents with heat and rain sensors, for example, can be a smart way to moderate the temperature and allow warm air to escape on warm summer days. Although they won’t necessarily keep the room cool, it is also worth considering – and including in the budget – blinds to help reduce reflective light. This is especially important for watching television or using a computer within the extension. Finally, the temperature control solution you select may have an impact on the power sockets required, so it is sensible to plan this alongside the requirements for lighting and entertainment.
Refresh Renovations UK are Cambridge builders offering design and build services. To discuss how we can help bring your home extension to reality, please get in touch today using the enquiry form listed alongside, or if you would like to submit a more comprehensive enquiry, you can do so on the Get In Touch page.
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Want to know more? Get in touch with the renovation experts at Refresh now to find out what they can do for you and your home. Refresh Renovations Specialists offer a free initial one-hour consultation that will help you make the decision whether their team is the one for you. This consultation is no obligation and is a chance to understand what they can do for you.