Real Homes July 2019

Cheap extension idea #11: Build an extension under permitted development rights

An extension under permitted development can be cheaper than one achieved with planning permission because of the absence of fees. This extension built under permitted development transformed the awkward ground floor layout of the home Louise and Dave Brown share with their two boys. ?Our house had a weird L-shaped half open-plan design,? says Louise. ?You?d come in the front door and there was only one way to access the rest of the ground floor through the living and dining room. It was like a corridor. The house had a conservatory at the back ? a lean-to design that was about 40 years old. In summer it was way too hot and in winter it was freezing.’

‘Once we?d made the decision to improve, we wanted to do the work as quickly as possible, which permitted development allowed. I think we did the right thing. My neighbours had done a massive extension and it took about nine months alone to get planning permission for the project.’

The project, by Plus Rooms, cost ?49,070 for design and build.

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Houzz June 2019


Careful space planning ensured this addition created a sizeable new living space as well as a generous kitchen-diner.

Exchanging a cramped kitchen for a spacious and contemporary kitchen-diner is often the reason for building on at the back of a Victorian terraced house. But the family who own this home asked designer James Bernard of Plus Rooms for a generous living space, too. It was also vital that he avoided turning the existing rear reception room into a corridor in the process.

Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here? Joanna Surgeoner, Ed Mann and their two children
Location South-west London
Property An end-of-terrace Victorian house with five bedrooms and two bathrooms
Room dimensions 41 sq m
Designer James Bernard of Plus Rooms

Photos by Liane Ryan Photography

The new room is a wraparound addition, occupying the original side return, as well as extending to the rear of the house.

Sizing up from the previous small galley kitchen was important from a functional point of view, but the atmosphere of the space was also crucial. ?It was a matter of having a place where people could feel comfortable and connect with the outside,? James says.

He designed the layout with the living space closest to the garden, and tucked the dining area just behind it, so diners can see through to the exterior. ?It?s a multi-functional space that?s essentially the heart of
the house,? James explains.

The kitchen was positioned in the section of the new room nearest to the original house. The cabinets are arranged in a U shape. ?An island might have been tight with the width of the property, but having the peninsula and connecting it with the other units makes the room feel more spacious and less cluttered,? James says.

The homeowners were eager that the extension didn?t make parts of the original house less useable. ?When access is created from the rear reception room of a Victorian terrace, that room often becomes a glorified corridor,? James says.

To avoid this, the lower part of the original opening was blocked up while the top section was glazed to allow light into the room. ?It also helps the kitchen, because there?s uninterrupted wall space to accommodate the kitchen units,? James says.

A triangular glass valley in the roof above the sink area brings light into the rear reception room as well as the kitchen.

In addition to the glass valley where the extension joins the original house, there are rooflights in the side pitch, a glass panel in the flat roof section, and a rooflight in the rear slope, all combining to create a bright, open room.

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Pendant lights make a feature of the breakfast bar area.

White and copper pendant lights are available at Cox & Cox.

As well as letting light into the former rear reception room, the internal window extends the views through the house.

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Access to the new room is through a rear door in the hall. ?We extended the hallway and created a new kitchen entrance,? James says. This allowed a utility cupboard to be added to the hall to keep the noise of the washing machine out of the kitchen.

The ovens and integrated fridge-freezer are located in a bank of units opposite the U-shaped cabinetry.

The original back room of the house ? the narrow outrigger ? reached only as far as the area to the right (ovens side) of the pendant lights, while the area under the roof lights was previously the side return.

The layout of the room creates space for storage down the left-hand side, with the functional kitchen, dining and living zones on the right.

?The smaller amount of space on that side suited storage to a tee,? says James. ?It?s against a party wall, so you couldn?t put windows into it anyway.?

The homeowners chose a combination of open shelving and closed storage that keeps the room tidy but also brings the opportunity to add personality with what?s on show.

The new kitchen-dining-living area is designed to be a sociable and interesting room in which to entertain. ?You have a space that?s part of the kitchen, bright, interesting angles, and a wonderful backdrop of
glass that connects you to the garden,? James says.

The dining room table can be extended when guests are expected.

Slim-framed sliding doors, rather than bifolds, link the kitchen-dining-living room to the garden. ?They have a simple mechanism, [three] big door panels, and slim profiles, which means for the majority of the year, when the doors are closed, there?s a more uninterrupted view,? James says.

Discover the options for opening up your kitchen extension.

The sofa overlooks the decked terrace and garden beyond, and helps make this room the number one choice for household togetherness. ?They have separate options, but the first priority for the family is going into this back space,? James says.

The new room looks warm and welcoming from the garden.