Planning your dream extension: what you need to know

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Adding an extension to your home is no small undertaking – but when it’s done right, it can completely transform a space and add tonnes of value. Increasingly, with property costs and moving expenses rising all the time, people are choosing to work on upgrading their home rather than leaving it behind. Home extensions need to be planned out carefully, to maximise the available space, make sure they are functioning as intended, and that they feature those little design touches that make a home special. Here are some things to consider to make sure your extension works well:

Respect your original home design

One of the worst offences you see when it comes to home extensions is building work that is done unsympathetically to the original building. It’s critical to create a sense of harmony between the existing building and the new addition. That usually means building in the same style, although there are some stunning examples of ultra-modern glass extensions being added to period properties. Whatever approach you take, there must be design elements of the original that are echoed within your extension. So say your house was a mid-century build when flat roofs featured in design heavily – you need the new extension to blend in with that. Live in a barn conversion? Then vaulted arches will be your friend. A good builder will take account of the design and work to enhance it. Approach your neighbours as they are likely to have used suppliers that understand the architectural style of the area.

Add a wow feature

The easiest way to introduce beautiful design into an area is to consider what stand-out feature you can add to make the most of your property. Consider who the space is for and how it will be used to guide your decision. A wall of bi-fold doors to showcase a gorgeous garden or a Juliette balcony on a second-floor extension can elevate the newly created space and make it a real talking point. If you’re creating a guest space, think about features that will appeal, like an extra bathroom, or if the new extension is for a family kitchen, include additional seating and an island design so that you can stay connected to the family while you cook.

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Look at the outside appearance

Adding an extension gives you the chance to alter the exterior aspect of your house, so you might want to consider also doing some upgrading to the current building at the same time. Changing doors and windows, repainting and resurfacing and doing some landscaping to your house can help the new extension to harmonise and give the whole property a lift. There are hidden costs to beware of though, such as scaffolding and parking bay suspensions, so make sure you do your homework first on what will be required.

Once you have the budgets and suppliers in place, make sure you gather plenty of inspiration from interiors blogs and magazine, and you can start dreaming up all the finishing touches.

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