House Extensions Designs
The most important thing with house extensions design is to employ an innovative designer from the beginning. Designers can suggest ideas that may not occur to you. They can take one of your own ideas and expand it, making it bigger, better and more effective than you could have possibly imagined.
Nowadays with modern technology – your designer or architect can create advanced images and models which will give you a very realistic idea of what you can achieve by extending. These give you a very real idea of what your home will look like once the work is completed.
House Extension Inspiration
Inspiration for the design of your home expansion can come from many places – learn from others – study a neighbours or a friends extension and decide what you like and what you don’t. There will be books in your local library that may inspire your architectural side. Of course, there is also plenty of material online which you can study.
Single Storey House Extensions
One of the most popular types of extensions is a single storey addition to your home. This increases the square footage of the ground floor of your property. It is important to remember that this type of extension is most often added to the back of the house and should not affect the outdoor frontal façade of your house; however it will eat into garden space. Maintaining as much garden space as possible is important. There is no point in having a fabulous home for the children if it is going to be at the expense of a garden they can play in. Remember that a house extension is supposed to enhance your home life not take away life’s little pleasures. Dramatically reducing garden size can also reduce the value of your property.
Double Storey House Extensions
A double storey extension involves expanding both outwards and upwards. You can do this to the back, side or front of the house – changing both the outside and inside aesthetics. This option can dramatically increase the space and value of your home and is still a cheaper option than moving. House extensions can be used to heighten the effect of the elements in your home by bringing the outside indoors. This can be accomplished by adding more sky lights, bi folding doors or even by adding a conservatory. The more light a house can incorporate, the bigger the space will seem.
When designing a loft extension, it is important to think about the room dynamics. Often you have to raise your roof to create enough vertical space which can be more costly. Victorian houses tend to be perfect for loft conversions as they generally have larger attics.
Basement conversions are great for a guest bedroom, a children’s playroom or an office. The great thing about expanding into the basement is that the outside design of your home remains exactly the same and they tend to be the cheapest of all extensions.
With all types of extension it is important to remember the little things – extra quirks which will make your house extension unique without taking away from the overall theme of your home. Items such as window seats add charisma. Windows add a sense of nature and secret passageways add a historic sense of intrigue.
House extension to suit your lifestyle
Extending your property means you can remodel your house to better reflect your lifestyle and suit your needs. House extensions are not only practical, they are inspirational – with simple changes bringing about astonishing results. You can collaborate your ideas with your architect or designers meaning you are in control of the design process from start to finish.
Adding value to your property
One of the main reasons home owners decide to extend is to add value to their property. In today’s property market – many cannot afford to move house or shy away from the stress of both selling and buying a new house simultaneously. If you are happy with your location and just need a bit of extra space – extending your house is the perfect answer. It also means that when you do come to selling your property, you will make back your investment and then some.
More living space
The most basic benefit of a house extension is that you will have more living space. This means more room for your kids to play in, more beds for house guests to sleep in or simply more room for your day-to-day living. House extensions don’t just create new space, they redesign superfluous space. Many people have lofts and basements which are just waiting to be converted. Loft and basement conversions tend to be easier to get planning permission for and can save you money on heating costs.
Modernising your home
Extensions give you the ability to change the design of your property both inside and out. Modernising your home can be achieved by house extensions – a favourite is to extend the kitchen and then knock down an internal wall to create a huge open plan living area. The possibilities are absolutely endless. Change your property for the better, make the internal space flow from room to room. A lot of homes are not that small, they just feel small – even a small extension with an internal wall removed can make a huge difference.
Reports suggest that overall family harmony is higher in households where there is more space. Extensions mean that the kids don’t fight as much, there is no argument over what show will be watched on the television and no one has to abandon their de-stressing soak in the bath to let someone in to use the toilet.
Extensions are not just aesthetically pleasing – they are useful. Even adding a downstairs toilet can change the entire dynamics of a household. Imagine more space to cook in, a guest room so that no one has to sleep on the sofa or an office so you can work from home. It means your house can become more than just a place to sleep – it can become a home which captivates your imagination every time you walk through the front door.
The Right to Light in the UK is based on the Ancient Lights law and is a common law matter. Due to the complexity of Right to Light assessment methods, local Planning Authorities do not get involved in Right to Light matters. Instead, the planning system uses BRE sunlight and daylight calculations to assess impact of proposed developments and protect levels of light available to existing properties. Confused? Let’s look at it in more detail.
Right to Light in law
The idea of protecting ‘right to light’ originates from ancient times and it was established in common law as Right to Light. The purpose of this law is to protect certain level of daylight available to windows in existing buildings. The law, as it currently stands, is very clear in terms of determining whether a window is protected under the right. However, certain ambiguities exist when it comes to establishing how much of the light is actually protected.
45 Degree Rule and Planning Permission
Most planning departments will attempt to protect the light available to properties potentially affected by a proposed development by drawing a 45 degree line from the centre of the neighbouring buildings’ windows. It is then assumed that as long as the new development is localised below the 45 degree line – any potential loss of light caused by the proposal should not be a concern. The 45 degree rule is often used to assess planning applications but it is not used in legal Right to Light cases (just to add more confusion). Court cases are based on much more robust Right to Light calculation methods which are very different from planning application assessments. Therefore, there are many building projects that managed to secure planning permission but have been later ruled illegal due to a Right to Light infringement.
Right to Light Calculation Methods
Generally accepted as the most appropriate way to measure light levels in Right to Light legal cases is the so called 50/50 rule. The rule involves calculating the percentage of a room’s area which can receive adequate light. The calculations are undertaken at a working plane of 850mm above the floor level. A point on the working plane is considered adequately lit if it can receive at least 0.2% of the total illumination received from the sky. An injury is generally deemed to be caused where the area of a room receiving light from at least 0.2% of the sky is reduced to less than 50% to 55%.
Right to Light in Architectural Practice
Right to Light matters can cause a concern and bring a degree of uncertainty to a building project. We work with clients, property owners, developers and surveyors to identify a suitable design strategy and maximise the potential of development opportunities at early stages of the design process.
Contact our team of architectural designers and we would be happy to help you.
How much does a house extension cost?
Indicative levels for house extension costs in South East of England
If you are thinking about extending your house, it is vital to work out how much will your extension cost before you start the work. Therefore this article will discuss benefits of building your house extension and then provide an indicative costs for works in South East of England.
Adding value to your property
In the current UK economic climate more people are opting to build an extension rather than move, as it can be a cost effective way of adding value to your property. Depending on the size of the extension you are planning to build, it can add around 25% to the value of the property and basement or loft conversion will typically boost the property value by 10% to 15%.
How to calculate house extension cost
Providing cost estimation for an ‘average’ house extension can be tricky – since there really is no average! Issues such as ground conditions, access to the site, location and proximity of services are a huge factor in the build budget. Our indicative costs are provided assuming that all of these issues are reasonable to deal with.
Type of Work Average Costs*
Planning £1, 000 – £3, 500
Structure (including windows, eternal doors, roof works) £600 per square metre
Fixture and fittings (from electrical and plumbing
to plastering and floor works) £400 per square metre
Decoration finishing £10 – £15 per square metre
*Indicative levels for work in South East of England
The above figures will be more variable and depend on the preferences of the homeowner. For example prices of the fitted kitchens can vary enormously depending on the manufacturer. A more detailed cost estimation for your extension may be obtained at the planning stage of your project. At this time, the outline design is complete and floor plans are ready to be submitted with a planning application to the local authority. A builder will then be able to give an indicative estimate for the work.
Of course, you can’t foresee unexpected problems but you can prepare for them. You should always set aside a contingency fund – we suggest 10% – to deal with added costs that can, and often do, arise.
Extending your home is a cost effective way to increase the value of your property and with a good design it will be a source of pride and satisfaction for years to come.