Having spent more time than ever at home over the past year or so, the need for extra space has skyrocketed. And although moving house is fantastic for a fresh start, it’s not always feasible, not to mention the high expenses and extra hassle. For this reason, the number of homeowners opting to transform their existing property as an alternative to selling up has significantly increased.
By far, the most effective way to maximise living space is through an extension but with so many design possibilities, where do you start? With many years of experience as builders in Brentwood and the surrounding Essex boroughs, we have been lucky enough to work with hundreds of clients to upgrade their property. To get started on your project, we have put together just a handful of our favourite home extension ideas!
Transform Your Property With These Home Extension Ideas
Whether you want to adopt the open plan approach with a modern kitchen diner or need extra space for your growing family, the design opportunities when extending your home are endless. During the initial stages, research will be the key to creating a space that is not only functional but also incorporates a touch of character. So, to inspire your upcoming home extension project, why not take a look at the following?
- Single Storey Extension Ideas
- Double Storey Extension Ideas
- Bungalow Extension Ideas
- Small Terraced House Extension Ideas
- Front House Extension Ideas
- Home Extension Design Ideas
- House Extension FAQs
The most popular extension type will always be a single storey, as in most cases, you are able to almost double the size of your ground floor without having to undergo extensive construction work. Depending on your available land, a front, rear, side, and wrap extension are all available options, with a rear extension opening out into the garden being the most commonly chosen.
When researching single storey extension ideas, you most definitely won’t be short for options. Most of our clients use this extension type to extend the kitchen to create a more sociable space. Through an extension, you can accommodate a larger kitchen with not only an island but also a dining area, perfect if you regularly entertain guests. A stunning example of this is the house extension in Brentwood we designed, built and furnished for a client late last year. The brickwork was seamlessly matched to their existing property, allowing the extension to look just as if it was an original feature. Find full details on this project over on our case studies page.
As single storey extensions have fewer restrictions when it comes to your permitted development rights, you have more freedom when including additional features. Roof lights and wall-to-wall bi-folding doors are a hugely popular option amongst our clients, flooding the extension with natural light and creating a bright and airy atmosphere. More ways to create a more spacious feel include decorating in a neutral colour scheme, opting for tiled flooring and installing spotlights.
For those willing to undergo more complex construction work to unlock the full potential of their home, a double storey extension would be the best-suited option. This allows you to not only increase space but also update the exterior of your property and rethink the layout. As the project will involve several months of work on your home, you can consider knocking down and repositioning walls, completely renovating your home so that it works perfectly for your family and lifestyle.
During the initial planning stages, one of the trickiest decisions would be whether you want the extension to be noticeable. For a contrasting appearance, some of our clients complete their extension with rendering in grey or white, for example, for a contemporary twist. However, if you want your home to look identical to its pre-extension appearance, our team can replicate the original style on the extension.
Once you have decided on the appearance of your extension, you can then move onto the layout. Here are some double storey extension ideas on how you can use your new space:
- Downstairs – Open plan kitchen diner, games room, dining room, home office or playroom.
- Upstairs – Master bedroom with an ensuite, dressing room, guest bedroom or wet room.
Bungalows continue to be in high demand, yet each year, the number of new single storey properties being built becomes fewer. In fact, according to research, only 1,833 new bungalows were built in 2020 in the UK, and those lucky enough to settle down in a bungalow are far less likely to put them up for sale.
With this in mind, if you own a bungalow yet are finding that space is becoming an issue, you will be pleased to know that extending your property couldn’t be more straightforward. There are tones of excellent bungalow extension ideas to bring a new lease of life to your home, including the following:
- Build An L-Shaped Extension: If you have enough land surrounding your home, designing an L-shaped extension by combining a rear or front extension with a side return is a fantastic choice. It is ideal if you want to incorporate an open plan living area yet still have privacy with bedrooms and your bathroom.
- Combine With A Loft Conversion: A popular choice amongst our clients with a bungalow is combining an extension with a loft conversion, transforming your bungalow into a two storey home without altering its appearance. Take a look at the project we completed for our client in Corringham for more inspiration.
- Maximise On Glazing: Bungalows can sometimes feel a little enclosed, and it isn’t uncommon for certain rooms to lack natural light. For this reason, we recommend including as many glazed areas as possible into your extension as the sun will stream through to the rest of your property.
If you live in a terraced house, it is often assumed that there is little leeway in terms of renovations, but this most definitely isn’t the case. Although the nature of a terraced home means the extension is likely to be slightly smaller than those on other property types, there are still many excellent ways to create a usable space that encapsulates your vision. When looking into small terraced house extension ideas, we recommend considering the following options:
- Rear Extension: As mentioned above, a rear extension is the most popular amongst all property types, but even more so terraced townhouses. To ensure that you do not lose valuable garden space, an excellent option is to install flush threshold sliding or bi-folding doors, as this allows the home and garden to flow seamlessly as one, rather than having a harsh divide. In the summer, the doors can open up to provide one large spacious area.
- Side Return Extension: Some terraced houses have a small open area in their garden to the side of the property called a side return. If you find that this is unused, then why not use this to your advantage by extending across this area? This is great for making your kitchen larger or creating space for a small dining room, utility room or home office.
- Bay Window Extension: If your terraced property has a driveway at the front, a bay window extension will make for a beautiful addition to your home. Although this only slightly enlarges a room, it does open up the space and creates a brighter feel. It is also far easier than building a larger extension as it is unlikely to require foundations.
For those looking to reconfigure the layout at the front of their home, whether this may be for a larger living area or to create a utility room, downstairs bathroom or porch, a front extension is perfect. There will be many factors to consider, such as the appearance of the extension and the windows and doors you would like to incorporate; however, the most important will be how far you can extend without disrupting paths or roads. As there are stringent regulations regarding this, it will be vital to contact your local council before going ahead to ensure that your designs fall within their guidelines.
Once you have an understanding of the type of extension you can build at the front of your home, it’s time to start adding character to your new space. Some of the most popular front house extension ideas include incorporating a new front door with matching windows to modernise your entire property, along with a fully glazed section for a contemporary twist. As mentioned above, a bay window is also a cosy addition to the front of your property, and even better, it is a sought-after feature if you ever opt for selling up.
Once you have chosen the type, size and location of your extension, it’s time to begin piecing together your design. As specialists in house extensions in Billericay and the surrounding Essex areas, we have been lucky enough to work with a wealth of clients to bring their vision to life. For some home extension design ideas, here are just some examples of the many projects we have completed:
Exterior Design Ideas:
Interior Design Ideas:
To complete our guide to house extensions, we have put together details on some of the most common queries our clients ask our team:
How much does a house extension cost?
The price of your house extension will depend on many factors such as the size, materials and additional features such as windows and doors. Costs will also differ based on whether you opt for a standard, mid-range or luxury extension, along with if you include a kitchen or bathroom, as, in this instance, more trades will need to be on site. This makes it tricky to give a rough estimate as every project truly is unique. However, our team would always be more than happy to provide you with a free, no-obligation quote, so feel free to contact us to begin discussing your extension.
When do you need planning permission for a house extension?
Every property comes alongside permitted development rights which relates to the work you can carry out on your home without having to apply for planning permission. In most cases, our clients design their extension around this to prevent any delay in beginning the project down to waiting for approval. However, if your designs fall under any of these circumstances, you will need to apply for planning permission:
- The extension covers more than half of the land surrounding your property
- The chosen materials are not similar to the original property
- The highest point of the extension is higher than the roof
- The ridge height is higher than the existing property
- The eaves height is more than 3 metres or is higher than the original property
- The extension is forward of the side or front of the section of the property that faces a highway
- The design includes a balcony, veranda or raised platform
There are also additional regulations depending on which extension type you opt for. Full details can be found on Everest.
How long does an extension take to build?
Much like the cost of a house extension, the length of your project will depend on the size and complexity of your design. Typically, a single storey extension takes around three months for all works to be closed off, whereas a double storey build can continue for as long as six months. For a timeline of what to expect from the process beginning at the initial planning stages, take a look at Resi.
Get Started On Your Home Extension!
While a home extension does take significant planning and preparation, it is most definitely a worthwhile investment. Able to enhance space, increase property value and improve functionality, a home extension offers a wealth of benefits along with the main advantage of enhancing living space. If you are ready to get started on your extension or want to discuss options before making your decision, our team are always more than happy to help. Contact us today to request a free quote and book a home visit!