Building an extension to your home is a very big decision, and one that you’ll need to be fully convinced is justified before you go ahead with it. Not only does it involve spending a lot of money and subjecting your family to several weeks of disruption while the work is underway, it also means you’ll lose a significant amount of space from your garden. It’s important, therefore, to have a very clear idea about what the purpose of your finished extension will be, and how it will improve your enjoyment of your home and add value to the property.
There’s a lot to consider: for a start, what form will the extension take? Will it be a conservatory or will it simply expand your interior space in a relatively seamless manner? If you decide on a conservatory, the goal may be to create something that comes closer to being an indoor extension of your garden space, rather than feeling like an extension of the house itself.
There’s also the question of purpose: if your house is really short of space, your extension will probably need to be designed with complete practicality in mind. It will most likely be an additional room, to be used as often and in the same way as the other rooms in your house. But if your house already has all the space it needs and your extension will be something of a luxury, perhaps you will want it to be a more special space that is only used when you really want to impress guests.
The route you take is, of course, entirely up to you, but looking at examples of how other people have approached building an extension can certainly help you get your thoughts in order. Below is a perfectly executed example of an extension to provide some inspiration, courtesy of DHV Architects in Bristol, England.
This extension gets a lot of things right, and of all of those the most crucial one is probably that it doesn’t overcomplicate matters. Its purpose is very clear – it’s a kitchen, living and dining extension that will free up space elsewhere in the house – and it fulfils that purpose without any fuss. It was clearly important for this area to be light, as several very effective techniques have been employed to ensure that it seems very bright: huge folding doors that take up an entire wall; an oversized rectangular skylight, and the use of white paint and light-coloured wood in the interior.
Again, the kitchen is a very straightforward space, with no features or decoration that are surplus to basic requirements. The most intriguing visual stimulus comes in the form of that fantastic worktop/bookcase, the contents of which add more than enough colour and character to the room.
The full-wall doors fold all the way back to completely eradicate the barrier between outdoors and in. On a warm day in spring or summer, it would be possible to read book on the sofa while feeling you were still in the garden. This is also a really useful feature for those who like to host parties or barbecues, as it opens up more space for guests to circulate in. Notice how the exterior decking matches the interior floorboards, further blurring the lines between house and garden.