12 / September

Blog: Thinking about home renovations: Extending your home with confidence. 

Extending your home can significantly improve it and can add substantial value to your property. Plus, if you love where you live, extending can breathe new life into the home you love.

There comes a time when your home becomes a bit of a squeeze. Maybe growing children are filling the house with their friends, toys and noise and making the rooms seem smaller than they used to be. Or perhaps a growing business means a home office would be a preferable to the kitchen table, if only to keep butter off the paperwork.

Whether it makes more sense to move or to extend your home depends on a number of different factors – the costs involved, your future plans, how emotionally attached you are to your house, the area you live in and the type of house you have.

In this climate of economic uncertainty, perhaps we want to stay where we already call home and extend and transform our existing space into a contemporary, energy efficient and spatially generous family home?

What to consider when planning an extension

There are many factors to consider when planning on extending your home. We all probably know someone who has had an extension built at their existing home or has built an entirely new property from the ground up. More often than not, we all reach for the best quality and want the project to always come out under budget. Very rarely, it does!

It’s all about sensible project planning new extensions and setting our expectations early in the game so that we aren’t left disappointed or indeed exceed the budget for materials, designers and double glazing, for example.

A good double-glazing provider and installer should provide you with an array of product advice and options, and definitely a visit to their showroom to see, touch and feel what you intend to buy. Choosing the right windows, doors and other glazing for your extension at this stage is important and it can affect costs significantly.

Sometimes there are design ideas and product options that if discussed at this planning stage could potentially save you thousands of pounds, or if not save, then at least you’ve got the budget information you need to make informed decisions about costs before getting too deep into the project.

With projects of this type, everyone wants to have a ‘wow’ factor, and a major part of this will be in your choice of glazing options.  Your designer can come up with solutions to suit every pocket and still look fantastic if the planning and design is done right!

The type of extension

Generally, single storey extensions are less disruptive to the built environment than two storey extensions due to their smaller scale. Likewise, extensions to the rear are usually considered better than extensions to the side as they do not interfere with the gap(s) to the side of the existing house. Roof extensions which significantly raise the eaves or ridge of a property are normally more difficult to get permission for, however, smaller additions such as dormer windows can be appropriate. Furthermore, extensions which significantly change the character and appearance of a dwelling are not generally supported.

When choosing the location of your extension, it is important to consider how visible it will be from public viewpoints. This includes footpaths, streets and bridges as this can again have a significant impact on the success of any application.

Orangery extensions

These extensions are particularly popular in houses that have a lack of natural light or a space where the owners can appreciate the garden more. They can also make the most of limited space in the home, extending a space for entertaining from the existing dining or kitchen areas.

By adding a roof lantern creates extra natural light and a sense of openness – a really special open space that can be enjoyed throughout the year. When extending any space in the home, adding the ‘sense of drama’ and creating that ‘wow factor’ is what we all aim for. Once again, I emphasise the importance of choosing the right glazing products to suit the type of extension you are building.

For example, including full width bifold doors can get very expensive, but a combination of bifolds and fixed panels can achieve the same look but be significantly more cost effective.

Alternatively, super-efficient and just as glamorous sliding doors can create the same aesthetic look and feel and be just as wow-factor fabulous by giving much bigger panes of glass to see your beautiful garden through!.

Explore these options with your designer.

Orangery with Solarlux Bi Folds Fleet HampshireRear kitchen or conservatory extensions

Not dissimilar to an orangery, these extensions can create more of an extended space for entertaining or for day to day family life happenings.

In case of single storey extensions without planning permission, it must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than metres in you have an attached house, or by 4 metres if your house is detached. However, you can extend to 6 – 8 metres with an amendment to Permitted Development.

Extending your kitchen from the back of the house is popular when there is no or little side return space. There are many options to consider as entrances when opening the space up to extend into the garden. Bi Fold Doors, patio doors and French doors are some of a few to consider.

Halo uPVC French Doors Ascot BerkshireWrap-Around Extensions

Bigger and bolder kitchen extension ideas may require more work, but they can return an even bigger benefit when it comes to space.

A wrap-around extension is a side return extension and a rear extension in one, which can provide a much larger kitchen/living area.

Choosing the right designer

Choose a designer wisely. Of course, there are a number of options available to you when choosing a designer or architect. Here at Thames Valley Window Company, we offer a range of 3D visualisations and architectural services and our designers are on hand with excellent knowledge and advice in everything double glazing. We specialise in providing architecture in glass!

So if you’re thinking ‘what would my extension look like in 3D visualisation?’ then why not come and visit our showroom and discuss your options with one of our designers.

A good designer will be able to provide you with solutions that meet your brief when extending your home. Our solution is unique and we pride ourselves on building a relationship with our clients, ensuring the process is seamless from the project design, installation, and at the aftercare milestones.

Lastly, think about how long the extension is likely to take and the impact it may have on your day to day life. If you are having an extension to the kitchen, where are you going to prepare and eat food. Who’s doing the washing up after the meal, and more importantly, where? No doubt, you will be washing the pots and pans in the bath for the duration; or perhaps opting for a take out will ease the upheaval!

How you manage the disruption through those months will be somewhat challenging. Just remember how wonderfully fulfilling it will be when you finally get to appreciate all the hard efforts – and nothing more special than being able to share your new space with family and friends.

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