But consider what best suits your budget, home style, home prices in your area, and most importantly, your lifestyle and what you want to achieve.
There are four main types of addition – single rear, backside, double deck and coiled. But when going to the back of your home there are also loft extensions, glazed balconies, lobbies, oriel windows or contemporary windows – anything is possible. The great thing about extension ideas is the opportunity to create a whole new feel for your home.
David Conlon, founder of the design studio, En Diamonds, says: “Some additions will add much more value to the property than the cost of construction, so this is definitely the ideal place to target in your design phase and budget.”
David says there are several ways to tell if what you’re doing is right. “If you are concerned about the project paying itself, it may be wise to consult a real estate agent to estimate how much the property value will increase with the extension applied,” he says. ‘Or review similar properties on a property sale site. Another important component of your investment and project and arguably the only thing that can sometimes be overlooked is design. A good architect will be at the center of all factors including budget, building advice, potential project management, contacts, and last but not least, they will ensure that your new space is compatible with your home. The lamps, sockets and materials have already been thought of by the architect and client to save time and money on potential mistakes and having to redo things.
Back extensions – the best way to increase the value of your home
1. One-storey back extensions
With what extension do you need to think about the basic elements – what room to use? Do you want solid walls with skylights so you have usable wall space, for kitchen units for example, or a glass box extension for a great living or dining space?
Also think about the materials you want to use. Does the exterior need to blend in with the existing building or be completely different?
“One great way to add space to your home is to extend one or two large exterior walls with nearly frameless bi-fold doors,” says Ryan Schofield of Thames Valley Window Company. “This will significantly increase the amount of light in your home due to the use of floor-to-ceiling glass panels, which will add brightness and create the illusion of space and openness.”
Brick tends to be the default choice when creating an extension but you can also use metal, wood cladding, and tile, and there is a huge trend for glass additions, as glass is quite versatile and brings in more natural light.
2. Open Corner Plugins
Sliding glass pocket doors are a popular choice for extensions like this one with an open corner configuration with a flush sill so that the interior space blends seamlessly with the outdoors.
Glazing has improved dramatically in recent years as homeowners’ expectations have risen. Ultra-thin framed windows and doors are the most common and you can choose from sliding doors, bi-folds, pivot doors, and steel framed windows and doors. Frameless structural glazing increases because it is ideal for creating glass box extensions where there are no beams that reduce the view and bring in more daylight. It is also now possible to combine large heights of minimally designed glass with triple curved panes of glass for something truly extraordinary.
3. Glass ceilings and ceiling lights
Adding a glass ceiling or ceiling lights to a solid structure can create the illusion of a glass extension and bring in a lot of much-needed light but don’t affect the wall space. This type of small addition can be installed on almost any type of property. “Incorporating jumpers, connections, or glass ceilings gives that space a strong connection with nature,” says Shannon Normoyle of IQ Glass. “Not only is natural light able to freely flow into the indoor living space, but minimal or framed glass provides clear panoramic views to the outdoors.”
Ceiling lights, skylights or lanterns can be made to fit any size or shape of the ceiling and many have an automated ventilation system that can be opened or closed with a remote control. Choosing self-cleaning glass means that the ceiling light will take care of itself to a great extent. It would be easier to hide a solid ceiling with openings rather than a pure glass ceiling to hide tracks or blinds to create shade if needed.
4. Roof and loft additions
Not technically back extensions, but they tend to focus on taking over the patio at the back of the house, but a loft can still increase the space at the back of the house, so we’re including it here.
Additionally, expanding a loft is often one of the most cost-effective ways to add space and light. You already have a roof in your house, whereas if you were building, you would have to build everything from the ground up. It’s also a better option if you don’t want to lose a part of the garden.
The style of loft extension you choose depends largely on whether there is enough headroom height without having to build on it, and what space it will be used for. “A well-designed loft conversion will add value to your home, especially if it includes an additional bedroom or bathroom,” says Mark Smyth of Studio Bua. If the room is going to be used for a kid’s room, a relaxing space, or a home office, it may be enough to add ceiling lights to add light. Ideally, your loft should be 8 feet or higher from the ground to the point of the ridge.
However, if the plan is to use it as an additional bedroom or bathroom, a loft or loft conversion is a better option, but it will be more expensive, and requires an architect and/or structural engineer. Think about stair space too, they need a decent amount of height – 6 feet minimum in the center, but 7 feet will feel more comfortable.
You will also need to place fire rated doors throughout the house to comply with building regulations. Placing a ceiling lamp above the stairs can improve the height, and make the stairs appear bright and spacious.
Does the extension pay for itself?
In most cases, Yes and the Extension will pay for itself when you take into account the additional floor space provided and the costs associated with transportation. “In addition to paying for itself financially, there is also a social cost being met,” explains Eamonn Agha of Huntsmore. The renovation and expansion of an existing property will improve the fabric of the building, thus contributing in a small but significant way to upgrading the existing housing stock and addressing carbon emissions. The expansion also allows the owner to survive in the community in which he contributes to the local economy, where their children can go to school, they may know their neighbours, and local elders.