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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > May 2019 > Beginner’s guide to extensions

Beginner’s guide to extensions

Adding living space to your property could increase its value and significantly improve the way you use it. Jennifer Grimble sets out where to start and the key things to consider
A glazed extension will add curb appeal, increase light levels and better link your garden with your internal space. This contemporary scheme is by Vita Architecture

The best way to approach any home improvement project is to establish how your house could better meet your needs – and creating a list of requirements is a great starting point. “Think about your current space and what it’s missing,” says Charlie Mills from Oakwrights. “Sketching out floor plans is an exciting task that can inspire you. Look at the new addition as a blank canvas and ignore what is already there, as it may obstruct great ideas.”

In terms of what’s possible, home extensions come in all shapes and sizes – the right style for you will be defined by the property and your budget. A single-storey addition is the most appealing option for many homeowners as it often has minimal impact on the existing house, at the same time as allowing you to greatly increase your interiors. You can build out to the side, front or rear, but the most suitable location and size for your project will depend on how much external space is available.

If you have enough room and a suitable budget, then a double-height addition could be a value-for-money route to maximising space. Adding living area over two storeys invites you to redefine the internal layout; so for it to be successful, you’ll need to consider how the floor plan upstairs can be rejigged to suit the extra zones. “Think about how you can fit a new bedroom in without reducing the size of another room, and how you could accommodate a corridor space,” says Lui Rocca from Welsh Oak Frame.

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About Build It

Build It is Britain’s longest running self build magazine. Each issue is packed full of inspirational and informative readers’ homes, as well as expert advice on issues from budgets and planning to project management and design. This month: - Beginners guide to extensions - Energy efficient masonry - Renovating a Victorian house - How to maximise your self build budget - Dealing with planning conditions