Transformative house extension ideas to get your brain whirring
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A house extension isn’t just a ‘nice to have.’ Rather, it can completely transform the way you use your property, and therefore the way you live your life! With that in mind, it’s important to get it right.
Here, we’ve gathered a selection of awesome house extension ideas to give you all the inspiration you need.
Common house extension ideas
Before you get started, it’s worth researching what kind of extensions you could add to your home. In the UK, some common extensions are:
- Kitchen diner extensions
- Utility rooms
- Conservatories or sunrooms
- Double-storey extensions
- Upper bedroom extensions
- Garage conversions
- Loft conversions
When you’re umming and ahhing about which would best suit your property and lifestyle, you’ll need to factor in the size and layout of your property. However, most importantly, you’ll need to consider your own unique needs as the homeowner.
Clarifying what you want the extra space for is going to be crucial when it comes to planning your house extension. That said, it’s also worth bearing in mind what’s most likely to add value to your home.
While an extension can add value to your house, the estimated amount will vary hugely depending on what you use it for. For instance, building an annexe could add a whopping 20-30% to the value of your property, but a new conservatory could add a more modest 7%.
Our house extension cost guide will help you to budget for your new addition.
House extension ideas perfect for homes in the UK
If you’re chomping at the bit to get inspired for your extension project, here’s the part you’ve been waiting for. Take a look at these house extension ideas and then find a good builder to help make your dreams a reality!
Front house extension ideas
Extending to the front of your house might not be the first thing you think of when you picture a house extension. But it can be a great way to reconfigure your downstairs space – or simply add room for taking off shoes and coats!
Here are some front house extension ideas to get you thinking:
1. Add a new entrance
This gorgeous front extension fits seamlessly with the rest of the house, acting as a second entrance to this stunning property.
We love the dark brown tiles and gable roof design, which allows the main house to still get plenty of natural light above the additional building.
2. Build a porch extension
A front porch extension like this one may be small but it can hugely impact the way you live your life. Just imagine having a dedicated space to take off and store wet coats and muddy boots. Plus, if you keep the original front door in place as well as your new one, you won’t have to suffer cold draughts blowing through the house each time you answer the door in winter!
As long as they meet certain requirements, you often won’t need planning permission to build a porch as they fall under your permitted development rights. We love how this homeowner has blended their porch in by building it out of the same bricks that are already part of the existing house – and by growing foliage up it too.
3. Extend over your garage
Extending over a garage is a great way to make the most of your existing garage real estate!
Reconfiguring your existing space when extending your bungalow (or any house) helps to make the most of the new space, and also means you can work out the best access points, light, privacy and views. This top floor extension is an extra bedroom and is built with these elements in mind. If you have even bigger plans, you could also convert your garage into a room with a garage conversion.
House extension ideas single storey
A single-storey extension will be less pricey than a double-storey one. Plus, depending on where you live, you might find it easier to gain planning permission (in fact, if it’s below a certain size, you may not actually need planning permission for your extension at all!). We’ve picked out some single-storey house extension ideas to start you off.
1. Build a conservatory
This gabled-roofed conservatory extension is a lovely addition to this detached house. It has a fully tiled pitched roof and ornate roof ridges that match the rest of the property.
We love the contrast between the red ridges and black slate roof, which gives this home a traditional aesthetic that complements the stone cladding and brown window and door frames. Also, those little flower boxes are a lovely touch!
2. Add an orangery
Another great shout if you’re looking for connection to the outdoors is an orangery. If you’re wondering what the difference is between a conservatory and an orangery, an orangery typically has a flat roof with a single glass lantern, as well as more brickwork on the walls.
Here, the homeowner has used an orangery extension to add a dining area to their kitchen. This can be a cost-effective way to get an open plan kitchen living room – especially if you use the extra space for dining, as it means you won’t have to reroute any plumbing. An orangery extension will also help you to increase natural light, making your newly expanded space feel even bigger!
3. Create a single-storey annex
This gorgeous red-bricked granny annexe extension is a beautiful example of how to create charm and character. The casement French doors match the casement windows, while the white front door ties the entrances together.
We love the neat gravel driveway outside the front of the house, with the minimalist potted plants and wooden bench setting off the look nicely. The red bricks and clay roof tiles help to give the annexe a traditional look that blends in perfectly with the rest of this elegant Victorian property.
1930s semi-detached house extension ideas
If you live in a 1930s semi-detached house, the chances are you’re rolling in plenty of character – from bay windows to stained glass and intricate tiling. But what kind of house extension would suit your property? Here are some ideas.
1. Extend an existing extension
If your 1930s house has already been extended, the chances are it’s a long, narrow rear extension that was used to add a downstairs toilet or utility room to the property. Instead of knocking it down and starting again, why not extend the existing extension to make it more fit for your purpose?
This homeowner has gutted their existing extension and made it longer, to increase the space available and make it more symmetrical. They’ve also added french doors and an extra window to let in plenty of natural light. While it could make a long and narrow galley kitchen, we think it would work better as a dining room – after all, it would be the perfect spot to sit and eat while looking out at the garden!
2. Bring the front door forwards
Many 1930s properties feature a front door set back beneath an arched canopy. An easy way to increase your usable space is to fill in the arch with a new front door to create a small foyer in the same way as you would if you were building a porch. You can use your new foyer for storing wet coats and boots or simply to expand your existing entryway and make it grander.
We love how this homeowner has preserved the original facade of their house by filling in the arch with glazing as opposed to brick – and finishing it with a fully-glazed front door. In this way, you can still see the original facade through the glass. Plus, it’s a great trick for letting in plenty of natural light!
3. Choose a glassy rear extension
On the topic of glass, many homeowners dream of a rear extension that brings the outside in and offers stunning garden views. This 1930s property is a fantastic example of what can be achieved.
The homeowner has added a small brick extension to incorporate a back entrance and help with the flow into a much larger, glassy rear extension. Boasting red brick, black metal and plenty of glazing, it’s a modern addition that utilises inkeeping materials – levelling up this 1930s home without detracting from its character.
Other house extension ideas for semi-detached houses
You don’t need the charm of a 1930s property to transform your life with a dreamy extension. If you’re after more house extension ideas for semi-detached houses, keep reading for inspiration.
1. Go into the loft
If you’re craving more space upstairs rather than downstairs, there’s a simple solution: you could invest in a loft conversion.
There are several different types of loft conversions, but this property is having a full-width dormer loft conversion built, which will provide a lot of extra space. This could be useful to make room for extra kids’ bedrooms or a new master bedroom and en suite. By the look of the French doors just waiting for a Juliet balcony to be fitted, we expect in this case it’s the latter!
2. Add a side return extension
A major benefit of living in a semi-detached house is that you’ll likely have a narrow walkway along one side of your home. This is great for a side return extension.
A side return extension might not seem like it will offer you much more space, but it can make a world of difference – especially in narrower homes and kitchens where you’re desperate to squeeze in an island! This homeowner has gone for a double-storey side return extension, choosing to incorporate a double-height ceiling to make the space feel bigger, brighter and airier.
3. Create a floating extension
If you want to extend but are worried about taking a chunk out of your garden, why not create a floating extension? They’re a little more unusual but full of architectural interest and super practical to boot.
This property features a first-floor extension that’s supported from below by metal pillars. The new addition is slick and modern, boasting elegant wood cladding and floor-to-ceiling windows. Better still, it allows the homeowner to enjoy a whole extra room upstairs without sacrificing any of the property’s courtyard garden.
Small terraced house extension ideas
You might be wondering whether a small terraced house extension is worth it. However, despite its size, adding a few square metres onto your property could well be worth the investment.
The extra space could not only add value to your property, but it could also give you a whole extra room to help declutter the rest of the house. Popular options include utilities, kitchenettes or downstairs bathrooms.
1. Incorporate a privacy wall
This small terraced house boasts a rear extension that’s part double-storey and part single-storey. In this way, the homeowner has been able to add a small kitchen diner as well as move the bathroom upstairs. But what we’re really impressed by is the privacy wall that they’ve incorporated as part of the design.
By building a wall that’s higher than the extension itself, both this property and the neighbouring one are able to benefit from greater privacy, so they can enjoy their gardens away from prying eyes. We also love how the homeowner has been able to build all the way up to the property boundary – just bear in mind that you’ll likely need a party wall agreement to do the same.
2. Add a bay window
Use it as a nook for your sofa, build in a window seat or even use it to house your desk for when you’re working from home – either way, it’s a whole extra alcove for you to make the most of, in prime position at the front of your house! Plus, as you can see from this row of terraced houses, it can also add a ton of curb appeal to your property’s exterior.
3. Incorporate your loft
As with semi-detached properties, one of the main ways you can gain extra space if you live in a small terraced house is by converting the loft. By extending up rather than out, you’ll be able to avoid taking up valuable space in what is likely to already be a small garden. So, it’s a perfect solution if you’re looking to gain a spare bedroom or space for a home office.
This terraced house boasts a large dormer with two windows. In this way, the homeowner has massively expanded the usable space in the loft, and gained sought-after views over the back garden. Just bear in mind that you’ll need to add a staircase to get to your new loft conversion, which can take space away from your existing bedrooms.
Victorian terraced house rear extension ideas
If you have a Victorian terraced house, you can still make use of many of the ideas we’ve listed above (as long as your home isn’t a listed building or in a conservation area, in which case you may need to tick a few more boxes). However, you’ll also have the period character of your property to bear in mind.
These rear extension ideas for Victorian terraced houses will give you some much-needed inspiration.
1. Add a vintage-looking sunroom
Sunrooms are a popular trend due to the amount of sunlight that floods in through the large framed windows. This gable sunroom is no exception.
With neutral tiled floors, tall trees and white framed windows, the furniture is elegant and vintage-chic. A wood panelled ceiling creates warmth, while the circular window invites more light into this tranquil and inviting room.
2. Use in-keeping materials in new ways
When planning your extension, you’ll need to decide whether you want it to blend in with the rest of your property, or whether you want to juxtapose period features with modern design. We think that this terraced cottage achieves the best of both worlds.
The large extension is modern in style but uses some of the same materials that you can find on the older parts of the property, helping to marry the two styles together.
For instance, it boasts the same red clay roof tiles, timber window frames and even red bricks of a similar shade to those found around the windows and doors of the original building. It’s certainly striking and in all the right ways.
3. Keep original features
As much as possible, it’s great to keep original features to maintain the priceless charm of your Victorian terraced house. This timber-framed extension is a fantastic example.
Despite the building works, the homeowner has managed to salvage some of the property’s original doors, alcove cupboards and exposed stonework. They’ve then complemented those by adding a vaulted ceiling with timber beams – alongside a new gas fireplace and hardwood flooring. It’s hard to tell where the original features end and the new ones begin!
Other mid-terrace house extension ideas
We get it, when it comes to large detached properties, the sky’s the limit with extensions. But when you live in a mid-terrace house, things can feel a little trickier. For that reason, we’ll end with just a few more mid-terrace house extension ideas to give you that extra bit of support.
1. Wrap around your garden
If you want to embrace open plan living, you might be wishing you could invest in a massive rear extension with a cooking area, living area and dining area all in one. But that can be tricky if you don’t have a big garden.
Instead, why not take a leaf out of this homeowner’s book and create an L-shaped extension that wraps around your garden? The homeowner has extended right up to the property’s rear boundary on one side but has stopped short on the other so that there’s still room for a courtyard garden. It may well be the perfect balance.
2. Go for a conservatory
This Edwardian-style refurbished conservatory is stylish and spacious. With its flat front and rectangular shape, it works well in almost any home. Smaller versions like this often don’t require planning permission, which means they’re an easy and low-maintenance option for anyone looking for a striking yet simple house extension.
When it comes to decorating the interior, opt for features like bright furniture, bold lighting, tall ferns and trees, and large sweeping rugs to keep your feet warm on colder evenings.
2. Go open plan
If your garden will allow it, extending outwards into your rear garden can be a fantastic way to obtain that open plan kitchen you’re lusting after. This homeowner has removed an internal wall as well as building a full-width rear extension, providing plenty of space for a breakfast bar, kitchen island and dining table.
Bifold doors and a large skylight serve to let in plenty of natural light, complemented by a slick lighting design which includes both downlights and pendant lights. The result is a characterful space that combines traditional and modern elements.
House extension key takeaways
- Before planning an extension, consider what you need the extra space for. This will help to give you focus and direction
- An architect will be able to help you reconfigure your space in a way that works best for you and your family
- Extending your property may help you to add value to your home
Ready to turn your vision into a reality? Find a trusted builder to kick your house extension off on the right foot.