Looking to build an extension to get some much-needed extra space? Before you do anything else, take a look at these stunning ideas for some inspiration.
To match or contrast…that is the question
When deciding on a new extension, many homeowners try to have it blend seamlessly with their existing house design. Why not go for a complete contrast instead? Having a traditional home with an ultra-modern extension can give a real flavour of the old and the new working together. And, depending on where in the UK you live, some town councils will grant planning permission more easily if you can demonstrate your architectural flair. For example, is your planned extension made from sustainable materials? Is it eco-friendly? A new type of house extension – the spaceKube, from home-improvement company, Ekco – ticks all the boxes in this respect. Not only is it made from sustainable materials, but it’s a contemporary design which adds contrast. And. It can take just weeks to put in place instead of months due to innovative construction techniques.
Open-plan, broken-plan or separate room
Why not create a completely open plan area by having no barrier between your existing property and your new extension? This can give your home the appearance of enjoying even more space than you really have. A lounge which opens onto a brand-new dining kitchen is a perfect example of open-plan living.
For those who prefer designated areas with defined lines, broken-plan could be the answer. Broken-plan is when you take an open-plan space and create some form of dividing line. How about a temporary glass brick wall which part-conceals the entrance to the new room? Another example is to have your new extension lower than your existing home which means adding a few steps down from one room to the another – or even have it higher than your lounge area with steps leading up to it – a sort of mini-mezzanine? You don’t have to install a door between your new extension and your existing home, but the height difference…plus the addition of steps… creates the broken-plan effect.
If you want a wholly enclosed new space, but don’t want to shut out the light, why not add bi-fold doors to separate your extension from your lounge? Or, add sliding pocket-doors which disappear into your walls to get the best of both world – open-plan when you want it…fully-enclosed when you don’t!
Make the most of the light
Make the most of the available natural light by having your new extension fitted with patio doors. There are some stunning options to choose from. Bi-fold doors will open fully to allow in the maximum amount of fresh air and light to your home. You can even have them fitted on two walls if you want. If you live in a colder part of the UK an alternative is to fit sliding patio doors. Dutemänn Glide S patio doors have thinner frames but are incredibly strong to allow for larger glass panes to be fitted giving you a much better view of your garden.
Heating your new extension
Whatever type of extension you choose, make sure it’s warm and cosy in winter. Radiators used to be a necessary evil with bland designs but you can now buy contemporary models which are almost like works of art. They also come in various colours to make your new room a bit more funky!
Multi-fuel stoves are hugely popular and come in traditional cast iron styles or sleek modern designs. Just make sure you have it installed by a qualified HETAS engineer.
If you want to free up more space get in touch with the Roman in you and go for underfloor heating. Heat rises which means that any warmth from a radiator will flow upwards leaving the floor area (and therefore your feet) cold. Underfloor heating will make sure the whole room is evenly heated from your toes to your nose. Plus, you can use any heat source from a traditional boiler to an external ground-source heat pump.
Get fit at home
Have you ever joined a gym only to stop as soon as your New year resolution to get fit disappeared along with the last slice of chocolate cake? Why not turn your new extension into a home gym to take away the ‘no time’ excuse? You don’t need stacks of equipment; a yoga mat, free-weights rack, a reasonably priced cross-trainer or treadmill and a heavy bag for hitting to relieve stress should do the trick. Having your extension with one mirrored wall and a decent speaker system to get the sounds going will have you getting fit in no time.
Spa chill-out zone
If you’re looking to unwind more often you could use your extension for a spa, chill out zone. Think big with this one and imagine your own hot tub or sauna and plunge pool. If this is a step too far, a decent lounger and some relaxing sounds would have you relaxed in no time. Don’t forget to install the drinks fridge in the corner – bubbles don’t just come in whirlpool baths you know.