‘A side extension has transformed the house’
Liz and Paul Humphries extend the ground floor of their Victorian terrace to create a multipurpose space.
When Liz and Paul Humphries bought their Victorian terraced home in south London in 2004 they had no children, but when twins Tom and Olivia, now four, were born, the couple decided they needed to enlarge their long narrow kitchen, which was dark and cold.
‘The ground floor was too cramped for a family,’ says Liz. ‘There was just enough space for a table and chairs in the kitchen, but we wanted a larger room where we wouldn’t be tripping over one another.’
In 2013, the couple interviewed three building companies and decided to employ design and build company Plus Rooms (0800 917 7127; plusrooms.com), which quoted a fixed price for the entire job.
CREATING SPACE: Plus Rooms came up with a design which involved building out 1.5 m into the side return, as far as the original rear wall, and extending the back of the house outwards by 2m to create a TV area with bifold doors opening onto the garden. This design would create a more interesting layout with a clearly defined kitchen, dining and living zones.
After planning permission was secured, the building work began and took four months to complete. ‘We put some of our belongings into storage and carried on living here, so Plus Rooms set up a temporary kitchen and we had just six plates and glasses between us’ says Liz.
The builders demolished the existing single-storey rear section, inserted structural steelwork and dug foundations by hand for the new brick and block walls. Demolishing the rear and side walls meant there were enough reclaimed bricks to use in the extensions to match the existing house, and aluminium bifolds were installed. A panel of glass at full height overlooks the garden and this, together with the bifolds and frameless roof lights, ensures the space is filled with natural light.
STYLE DETAILS: Liz and Paul chose modern white gloss units with a bold lime-green splash back for the new kitchen and used the same ceramic floor tiles on the patio and in the kitchen and living areas for a seamless look.
The couple bought the property for £410,000 and have spent £95,000 extending and renovating it – it’s now valued at around £1.2 million. Liz and Paul are delighted with their home’s transformation. ‘The extension has completely changed the way we use our home,’ says Liz. ‘We haven’t added a huge amount of space, but now the house feels so much larger.’