Contemporary Home Extensions
House prices in London are going crazy these days and what with stamp duty, solicitors costs etc. and not to mentions the stress of buying and selling houses, finding an alternative to moving seems like a really good idea.
The space we spend most of our time is on the ground floor so this is where we could generally do with adding a bit more room and where you get a good return for your money.
Conservatories can seem like a cheap and easy option but can be a bit frustrating as they don’t have that open plan feel that we all tend to enjoy these days and all that glass can be a bit of a problem. Firstly you can feel a bit like you’re living in a goldfish bowl unless you have no neighbours and just beautiful fields all around, not so many of those here in London though. Then there are the heat losses. As conservatories don’t require building regs. they are not insulated in the same way as a proper extension so your heating bills will be far greater and also the glass really heats up the room in summer and cools it in winter. Finally all that money that you saved on building work you will then have to spend on very complicated blinds in order to help with all the problems mentioned above.
So better to do the job properly . You can build a 3 metre rear extension without the need for planning permission and your council generally accepts 3.5 metres without a great deal of negotiation but you will need to apply for full planning permission. This is plenty if you want to add on a large dining area to an existing kitchen at the back of the house but will not give you enough space to fit a kitchen and breakfast room. If you have a big enough garden then for the real wow factor kitchen / breakfast room it is worth going through the full l planning process and aiming for a 4 or 5 metre extension. Something to be careful about is how much natural light is taken away from the existing room at the back of the house. If you have a pitched rear elevation then add one or two velux windows and go as big as you can or for a flat roof put in large roof lights say one metre square, it makes a real difference to the feel of the internal room. A full glass roof is a really stunning option and you can also have glass beams so there is no steelwork visible. This option comes with a high price tag though and there are still heat loss issues. The most effective way to cope with this is on a flat roof or a simple pitched roof is an external electrically operated blind as you then stop the heat before it gets in. These are also very discreet so won’t interfere with the look of your beautiful glass roof. Add as much glass as you can to the back elevation of the house so you can really appreciate the garden all year round. Finally make the back doors as tall and wide as you can, they seem much grander and are much easier to use than skinny little French doors and enjoy!