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The best glass kitchen extension designs

Glass kitchen extensions are growing in popularity, both for their innovative modern design as well as a range of practical benefits. For instance, not only do they welcome more natural light into the home but they can help you create a wonderful entertaining space. They prove to be particularly popular in the summer months, offering a seamless transition from indoor to outdoors – perfect for hosting barbecues and dinner parties.

A glass kitchen extension is an exciting project for any homeowner, and with so many design options to choose from, the options are limitless. You can stretch beyond simple patio doors to create a unique feel to suit your style. From country-inspired to a minimal Nordic vibe, there is a design for everyone’s taste. 

Get ideas for your new glass kitchen extension

At Plus Rooms, we offer innovative, bespoke kitchen extensions to homes across London. As London’s leading design and build company, we have the years of experience to manage your entire project from start to finish. Everything from obtaining planning permission to arranging a temporary kitchen while work is carried out – we’ve thought of all the details. Designed with you in mind, we make sure that your every need—as well as your proposed deadline—is met. All whilst adhering to the highest standards of construction. 

Interested in investing in a glass kitchen extension? Take a look below at some of our standout designs. We’re sure they’ll inspire you as you begin to envision your dream home.

Simplistic meets traditional

We completed this bespoke wraparound kitchen extension for a family in Ealing. This multi-functional space combines the kitchen and dining area with a compelling mix of warm textures and modern simplicity. We added a glass pitched roof, while a seamless continuation of the ceiling and walls floods the space with light, maximising space whilst making the patio feel like part of the room. 

Striking modern design

At Plus Rooms, we welcome any opportunity to push boundaries. Just take a look at this wraparound extension in Fulham. The owners wanted to juxtapose their traditional handmade kitchen with a thoroughly modern design. Therefore, we blended textured wooden flooring with bold lines to accentuate the extension’s clean architectural style. ‘Outside in’ design at its finest. 

A spacious haven 

We pride ourselves on utilising the available space in the most efficient way for each client. We maximised this family’s space by replacing an existing side and rear extension with an elegant wraparound extension. Continuous flooring and sliding doors made room for a stylish kitchen, diner and living area. This family can enjoy the best of both indoors and outdoors with this fantastic new living and entertaining space.


Bring new light into your home

A glass kitchen extension is a versatile way to bring style, elegance and a spacious feel to any home. With so many design concepts to choose from, you can explore a world of options, imagining new ways that you and your family could benefit from this new space. Homeowners looking for more inspiration can contact the Plus Rooms team for more examples of expertly crafted kitchen extensions.

Modern kitchen design inspiration

A contemporary kitchen extension is defined by the use of neutral colours, clean lines, and an abundance of natural light. It’s a space that exudes tranquility whilst providing the functionality required of a busy home. Despite the semblance of simplicity, however, it comprises many different elements. If you’re thinking of renovating your house with an extension, here’s a rundown of our favourite features (all from previous Plus Rooms projects) to serve as inspiration for your contemporary kitchen design. 

Clean lines 

Contemporary design is synonymous with sleek, uncluttered lines. This can be achieved in a number of different ways; the contouring of the space, crown mouldings, skirting boards, furniture, materials, and patterns all play a role in creating smooth, modern lines. Another particularly important factor is your choice of kitchen units. If you’re looking to achieve a minimal feel to your extension, we’d recommend using handless units. As you’ll see from our previous project on Friern Road, these units consist of a flat slab with an integrated handle. This gives them a clean linear look without compromising on functionality. 

Kitchen doors 

Apart from providing access to outside space, kitchen doors determine how much natural light comes into your extension. In contemporary design, kitchen doors are made to maximise the amount of natural light inside, helping to create an uplifting atmosphere. The feeling of the space is also influenced by the frame type and material; sliding and bi-folding doors, for instance, help to create the impression of a seamless flow between inside and outside. Crittall doors, on the other hand, can be used to complement the style of an extension’s roof, as can be seen with the below example from Griffiths Road.

Lighting 

Lighting is fundamental for a room’s function and ambience. As a rule, there are three types of lighting: general, task, and accent. General lighting is the first layer of lighting in a space, illuminating the main areas of a room. 

In contemporary kitchen design, recessed ceiling lights and tracking lights are commonly used for this purpose. Task lighting, on the other hand, refers to a more specific type of lighting; one that’s required to perform certain tasks, such as reading or cooking. There are many options for task lighting in the modern kitchen style; think about using feature pendant lights or discreet under-counter lights. 

The last type of lighting is accent lighting which is used to bring attention to focal points in a room such as painting, sculptures, or structural features. Again, there are multiple lighting options for this purpose; niche lighting, wall sconces, inner cabinet lights can all be used to emphasise a modern feel. A great example of this can be seen below with our work on Bradley Road. Here, accent lighting is used to subtly emphasise the clean, sleek lines – a hallmark feature of modern kitchen extensions.

Neutral colours 

Modern kitchen designs often rely on neutral tones in order to provide a clean backdrop to occasional bursts of colour. There are many ways to introduce more vibrancy into a contemporary style. For instance, consider a measured use of artwork that reflects the atmosphere of the space, or experiment with different colours of lampshades and statement furniture. On one previous project, our client injected colour into their minimalist kitchen extension through a well-placed bookshop and a choice selection of plants. 

Contemporary kitchen extensions 

We hope the examples above have given you some inspiration for your own contemporary kitchen designs. If you’re looking for more ideas, we have plenty of other previous projects for you to browse through. And if you’d like to talk about any particular project, feel free to get in contact

How much does a kitchen extension cost?

As a general rule, prices for high-quality kitchen extensions start at around £65,000. For more ambitious projects, they can cost £120,000 or more. This might seem like a wildly-varying range, but there are many variables to take into account. In this post, we explain what some of these are, as well as the many benefits of installing a kitchen extension. 

Why build a kitchen extension?

The kitchen is the hub of the home. It’s where we prepare ourselves for the day ahead and where we gather in the evenings to unwind. As the most multifunctional room in the house, it serves many different purposes; from being the place where we cook and eat to providing an informal area for hosting family and friends. 

A kitchen extension is sure to maximise living space, giving growing families extra room to use whilst rejuvenating the overall feeling of a property. It can also increase the value of a home by as much as 20%, not to mention its saleability.

How much is a kitchen extension?

A kitchen extension can cost anything from £65,000 to over £120,000. How much yours will cost is determined by three factors: design, size, and type.

Design

A kitchen extension is more than an expansion of your existing kitchen space. It’s a re-imagining of it. With a kitchen extension, you can entirely re-design the ground floor of your property; you may want to create an industrial feel through the use of reclaimed materials, a modern space with clean lines, or an intimate enclave through warm colours and textures. A kitchen extension allows you to re-frame the focus of your property whilst improving its functionality.

Size

Kitchen extensions come in all shapes and sizes. Some help you to take advantage of an unused walkway by the side of your property, whilst others expand into areas on multiple sides of your house. Regardless of its size, a kitchen extension provides more space for your needs and the opportunity to refresh your property’s style. 

Type

There are several different types of kitchen extension. Which one you choose depends on the shape and suitability of your property, not to mention your design ambitions. Here are the most common kitchen extension types offered by Plus Rooms along with some examples of our previous projects.

Rear kitchen extension

A rear kitchen extension expands into available space behind a property. Suitable for most house types, it widens the design potential for kitchen/diner areas whilst allowing more natural light to spill into other rooms on the ground floor.

Whilst the costs of a rear kitchen extension vary according to roof type, they generally start at around £70,000. 

Examples

Side return kitchen extension

A side return extension expands the kitchen space into unused areas adjacent to the property, such as a garden walkway.

A viable option in areas with tight planning permission, side return extensions are often used to enhance Victorian terraced properties and take advantage of the unused space at the side of the kitchen. The average cost of a side return kitchen extension is £65k.

Examples

Dassett RD (SE27) – This modest side return extension has a significant impact on the property, creating a unique space that blends traditional and contemporary aspects such as a parquet floor with copper pipe shelving.

Derwent Grove (SE22) –The exposed brickwork of this project provides warmth to a modern kitchen space filled with natural light.

Side and rear kitchen extension

This type of extension expands into areas both to the side and rear of your property. Whilst similar to a wraparound extension (more on this below), it allows owners to create more separated spaces within their home. Prices for side and rear extensions start at around £80,000.

Examples

Garfield Rd (SW19) – This side and rear extension in Wimbledon overcomes local planning permission issues and provides a modern kitchen/diner space with neat lines, an abundance of natural light, and occasional splashes of colour. Its broken plan layout helps to create interesting and specific zones to the space.

Wraparound kitchen extension

Wraparound kitchen extensions also expand into the side and rear of a property.

Unlike a side and rear extension, however, wraparound extensions are conjoined; they move into areas on two or three sides of a house, often creating a significantly larger indoor space. Prices for wraparound kitchen extensions start at around £85,000 

Examples

Nigel Rd (SE15) – Making use of space to the rear and side of a Victorian terraced property, this extension creates a bright contemporary kitchen/dining area through clean lines and frameless skylights.

Fellbrigg Road (SE22) – ‘Crittall’ style doors have been paired with exposed brick walls and a navy shaker kitchen to create an open, light Art Deco/Industrial space. 

An investment in your home 

A kitchen is much more than a purely functional space. Although it has numerous uses, it can also be considered an expression of your way of living. As such there are many options when it comes to kitchen extensions, and each has an impact on its final cost. Regardless of property type and stylistic leanings, however, one thing is certain; a kitchen extension will enhance your home immeasurably.


Plus Rooms is a family-run business that focuses on improving people’s homes through beautifully designed extensions. We manage all aspects of extension projects, from initial design work through to planning permission, party wall notices, and construction. To learn more about our work, check out extension case studies or send us a message, we’re here to answer all of your questions.

How much does a loft conversion cost?

The cost of a loft conversion can be anywhere between £55k and £70k. More ambitious projects with unique structural challenges and bespoke design briefs can cost more. To give you a better idea of the costs involved with converting your loft, we’ve put together this short guide. It provides a rundown of the factors influencing the final price of a conversion and why you should consider transforming your loft in the first place.

Why build a loft conversion?

Lofts are often underutilized spaces, meaning that they don’t always offer homeowners the most value. The space they occupy, however, is incredibly useful. Lofts can be transformed from redundant, dusty areas into new rooms for your property. Imagine a roof-top bathroom fitted with wall-to-wall feature windows, offering expansive vistas of your local area whilst remaining hidden. Or perhaps a well-designed study room, cocooned from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the house. Whatever your wants and needs, loft conversions offer a space to fulfil them.

Loft conversion cost factors

Size

Size is a significant factor in the cost of your loft conversion. This is determined both by your property type and your designs. Whilst most loft conversions fully utilise all available space, others are more modest, and only take up a portion of the loft space. Whether you opt for a bijou bedroom conversion or a full-scale studio fit-out, however, a loft conversion will give more living space. 

Loft type

There are several different types of loft extension, with each one more or less suitable for a particular shape and style of property. What works for a modern semi-detached house might not be suitable for a Victorian terraced property. Here are the main types of loft extension we offer at Plus Rooms and what kind of properties they can be used with.  

Dormer Loft Conversion

A dormer is a structure that’s added to a roof in order to increase the amount of usable floor space in a loft space, whilst allowing for extra headroom. It’s a common option for loft extension; it can be used with any properties that have a pitched roof. 

Examples
  • White Hard Ln (SW13) – This conversion created a large master bedroom and ensuite over the mainframe and rear of the property, substantially increasing the floorspace of the property.
  • Fawnsbrake Ave (SE24) – An L-shaped loft conversion with dormer structures over the mainframe and rear of the property. Highlights of this bold project include feature windows and an open-plan bedroom/en-suite.

Hip-to-gable loft conversion

Many properties (especially end-of-terrace houses) have a ‘hipped’ roof. This type of roof has three sides which slope to a central point, limiting the amount of usable floor space within a loft area.

A hip-to-gable loft conversion works by replacing one of the sloping sides of a hipped roof with a vertical wall. This creates a four-sided roof and provides more space within the loft area. When combined with a dormer, it can significantly increase the amount of size available for a conversion.    

Examples 
  • Mostyn Rd (SW19) – This project uses a hip-to-gable dormer to create a large, bright master bedroom and ensuite that looks out over the local area. 
  • Lime Grove (TW1) – This conversion transformed a bungalow into a spacious family home, creating two bedrooms and a shared bathroom.

Mansard loft conversion

Mansard loft conversions require the restructuring of the roof. They work by flattening the top of the roof to create a more angular slope which usually sits at the rear of the property. Similarly to dormers, this increases the amount of headspace in the loft area and ensures that it receives the most amount of natural light as possible.

In terms of viable properties, mansard loft conversions can work with all types, from bungalows to detached, semi-detached, and terraced houses.

Examples
  • Rush Hill Rd (SW11) – A front and rear mansard has been used to convert this roof into a new floor containing a guest bedroom, en-suite, and cinema room.
  • Devereux Road (SW11) – A full rear mansard has been extended across the full width of this Victorian terrace property to accommodate two spacious double bedrooms.

Let us talk you through the options

Given that there are so many factors in the cost of a loft conversion, we’d always advise speaking to a qualified contractor to get an accurate quote. At Plus Rooms, we take pride in offering clients a gold-standard loft extension service, from quoting through to design concepts and construction. If you’d like to know more about our work, take a look at our past projects or feel free to get in contact – we’re here to help.

Our guide to planning permission for kitchen extensions

A beautifully-designed kitchen extension has the potential to transform your home. It offers the chance to try an exciting new style whilst increasing the amount of functional space available. You might wish to create a bright and modern area with ample room to entertain family and friends, for instance. Or perhaps you’d prefer a reconfiguration of your current kitchen, using the extra space to fit new appliances. Whatever your requirements, you’ll need to know your requirements regarding planning permission before work starts. In this post, we’ll outline the most important information to ensure your kitchen extension project can go ahead as planned.

Do I need planning permission for a kitchen extension?

You won’t need planning permission for a kitchen extension as long as it can be classed as a ‘Permitted Development’. To be classified as a ‘Permitted Development’ it has to conform to various conditions, including: 

  • The planned extension cannot take up more than half of the land around the ‘original house’ – this is a house as it was first built, or as it stood on 1 July 1948.
  • The width of a side extension must not be more than half of the width of the original house.
  • The height of a side extension must be no more than four metres.
  • If the extension is to be within two metres of a boundary, then the maximum eaves height is three metres.
  • A rear extension must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by eight metres (for a detached house) or six metres (for any other type of property) unless they are on ‘designated land’, in which case the limits are reduced to four and three metres respectively.
  • The materials of the extension must be similar in appearance to the existing house.

How long does it take to receive planning permission in London?

If your kitchen extension cannot be classified as a ‘Permitted Development’, you’ll need to apply for planning permission. Although it can vary between projects, it generally takes around 8 weeks for planning permission to be granted from local authorities in and around London. 

Kitchen extension building regulations

Building regulations approval is separate from planning permission, and is required regardless of whether your extension is classed as a ‘Permitted Development’. This type of approval can be considered a vote of confidence that your intended extension is structurally viable, complies with fire safety rules, and has adequate sound insulation. Inspections are made before, during, and after construction by a building control service to make sure that every aspect is in line with regulations.

An end-to-end service

If you’re not sure where to start with your extension project, get in touch with Plus Rooms. We offer a complete service, from initial design concepts through to planning and construction. The final result is a stunning home extension that gives you the space you need and allows you greater flexibility to define your style. Take a look at some of our past kitchen extension projects to see the quality of our craftsmanship.

Our guide to planning permission for loft conversions

Lofts represent both potential and opportunity. They’re often overlooked and underused, but with a little design inspiration, they can be turned into unique, eye-catching and functional spaces. Whether you need an additional bathroom or bedroom, or perhaps a quiet place to work, there are endless ways in which a loft conversion can transform your home. 

Before we get carried away with design plans, it’s worth looking into the rules and regulations. In this post we’ll explain whether you need planning permission for a loft conversion, and how to go about obtaining it if you do.

Do I need planning permission for a loft conversion?

In most cases, planning permission isn’t required for loft conversions. This is because they tend to be considered a ‘Permitted Development’. This is a type of property extension which conforms to various criteria. These include:

  • The total additional space of an extension cannot exceed 40 cubic metres for a terraced property, or 50 cubic metres for a semi-detached or detached property (*note – previous additions to your property, even those made before your ownership, contribute to this limit).
  • The extension cannot extend the height or forward-most point of your current property.
  • Side-facing windows need to be obscured and stand at least 1.7m above the floor.
  • Except for hip to gable loft conversions, the conversion will need to be set back as far as practicable with a minimum of at least 20cm from the original eaves.
  • There are no raised platforms, verandas, or balconies.
  • The roof extension can’t overhang the outer face of the wall of the original property.
  • The property can’t be on designated land such as a national park, conservation area or a world heritage site.

Do I need planning permission for a dormer loft conversion?

As one of the most popular types of loft conversion, a dormer loft involves building an upright structure from a sloping roof. This results in more usable floorspace within a loft and gives occupants more headroom. When it comes to planning permission, dormer conversions are treated the same as other types of loft conversion; as long as it can be classed as a ‘Permitted Development’, you won’t need planning permission. 

How long does it take for planning permission for a loft conversion?

If you need to apply for planning permission for your loft conversion, the process can take up to 8 weeks to complete. Bear in mind, though, that it can be longer for more complex projects that require significant structural changes. 

Do I need buildings regulations approval for a loft conversion?

Yes. Building regulations approval is separate from planning permission, and is required regardless of whether your extension is a ‘Permitted Development’. This type of approval ensures that your intended extension is structurally viable, is compliant with fire safety rules, and has adequate sound insulation. Inspections are made before, during, and after construction by a building control service to make sure that every aspect is in line with regulations. 

interior photography

Loft conversions with Plus Rooms

We hope this short guide to planning permission for loft conversions proves helpful in your project. If there is anything you are still unsure about, feel free to get in touch. With extensive experience creating beautiful loft conversions in and around London, we’d be happy to help. And if you’d like some inspiration, take a look at some of our past loft conversion projects

Real Homes Oct 2020

HEART OF  THE HOME

Rachel Barlow’s newly-extended kitchen-diner provides ample space to relax, entertain and play in the home she shares with her husband and two children.

‘We knew we wanted to make our mark on the house when we moved in. However. we were expecting our first child so we prioritised doing what we could quite quickly and saved the big work until after the baby was born. Two babies later, it was obvious the kitchen was the pinch point. It was so narrow you couldn’t fit a proper table in. We went backwards and forwards between the kitchen and sitting room checking on the kids and watching pots on the boil, and we rarely had people over – it felt too chaotic.

BEFORE 

‘We wanted a big kitchen-diner so we could cook and keep an eye on the kids at the same time. we’re west-facing so we wanted big patio doors to enjoy the sunny afternoons. I was keen on having an island with the hob looking out onto the garden so I could prep tea while watching the kids play. We based the layout around that and designed it ourselves.

‘As well as a side-return extension, we reconfigured the downstairs layout, shortening the living room and adding a utility and downstairs toilet. We didn’t want to extend out to the back, partly because it would impede on next door’s view and light, so we decided to take a little space from the rest of the house to make the kitchen bigger.

The work was more straightforward than we thought. The build team boarded up the kitchen and accessed the site via the side of the house, so while it was cold, it was safe for the kids. The project has changed the way we live in the house completely there’s so much it more space and it feels much less claustrophobic trying to cook and entertain. We got what we wanted: an indoor-outdoor space where we can all be together while doing our own thing. We have no complaints – we’re so glad we did it.’

COSTS & CONTACTS
Project cost ?60,700
Design: Plus Rooms  0800 917 7127
plusrooms.co.uk

LET IN LIGHT

One of the benefits of a side return extension is the natural light it can being to the dark middle rooms of a house. especially if you’re knocking through to make one open. plan space. Make the most of the opportunity by installing rooflights. They’ll provide ample light placed along a solid ceiling, but if you can stretch your budget a little further, a fully glazed roof – or a series of rooflights with minimal sightlines – will maximise light and views.

LOOK AT LAYOUT

An extension opens up a wealth of layout opportunities for your new kitchen-diner, but be sure to plan the two at the same tine. A side-retum addition can be used to zone a space – try positioning the dining table in the extended space. and place the kitchen on the opposite wall in a run of units or an L-shape. If your new room is wide enough. consider using an island to separate cooking and dining zones.  Small space?  One galley-style bank of units will leave enough room for a walkway between the two areas.

FINE FLOORING 

Flooring makes a huge difference to the flow of the space, so making sure yours is the same in both the new and old parts of the build is a given.  Consider also whether you want to continue the flooring out to the hall, particularly if you have a doorless opening into the newly extended space – doing so will create a view from the house of the house out to the back, and help to unify your home’ scheme.  Want to link to a patio?  Laying similar materials underfoot will increase the indoor-outdoor feel to the new extension.

ASK THE NEIGHBOURS

Keeping next door on side will save you time and potentially stress, particularly if you’re working on an existing party wall or building a new one on the boundary line.  In this case, you’ll require a party wall agreement before you can start work.  You’ll need to serve neighbours with a party wall notice or pay a party wall surveyor to do this for you.  If you’re particularly friendly with them, you could keep them informed of your plans early on and see if they’ll sign an agreement waiver – it could save you ?1,000 of more.

www.realhomes.com

Good Homes Oct 2020

HOUSE OF FUN

An open-plan wrap-around addition has given Amy and Nick Robert-Nicoud a loft-style space to spend quality family time in.

Feature DEBBIE JEFFERY Photographer LIANE RYAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Project PLUS ROOMS

Q? What was your inspiration for the new extension?
The most important thing was that it should be a relaxing, fun space for the whole family, and we liked the idea of a quirky open-plan look, similar to a New York loft apartment The traditional layout of separate rooms just didn’t work for us, and we wanted to bring more natural light into the ground floor. The design and build company we chose, Plus Rooms, has a great reputation locally and was able to secure planning permission and build the entire shell of the new brick and block extension while we stayed living in the house.

Q? How did you achieve the loft look?
We salvaged bricks from demolished walls, which were used for the interior wall in the dining area, and instead of boxing in the structural steelwork, we left it exposed and painted it black to contrast with the white walls and ceiling. The whole family enjoys playing pool, so making space for the pool table and adding accessories like the Fender bar stools has given us the relaxed, fun living space we’d hoped for.

Q? ?Why did you choose a two-tone kitchen?
Although the house was quite dated when we bought it in 2018, the previous owner had recently installed a new kitchen, which we just couldn’t justify ripping out We saved the cabinets, but although we found the same design, we weren’t able to source the colour, so we took a risk and mixed grey and white units together. Its something everyone comments on, and we’ve continued the colour scheme throughout the space, including our built-in storage seat under the bi-fold window. We are always keen to mend or re-use: we also kept the range cooker and the sink from the old kitchen, which helped keep costs down further. In fact, we came in under the original budget, and the extension only took eleven weeks to build and fit out, which was such a pleasant surprise.

THE PROJECT DETAILS

BEFORE?

MEET THE RENOVATORS
Amy Robert-Nicoud, a teacher, and her husband Nick, who works in marketing, live with their children, Sam, 16 and Tea, 15, in this three-storey, five-bedroom Edwardian semi in Richmond?

BUILD BRIEF
To incorporate an existing lean-to utility room into a wrap-around rear and side extension, creating an open-plan kitchen/dining/ living space overlooking the garden through bi-fold doors and lit from above by rooflights

PROJECT COSTS
Building work ?87,500 Doors, windows & skylights ?18,000 Grey kitchen cabinets & worktop ?4,800 Laminate flooring ?1,400 Wall tiles ?300 Fridge-freezer ?1,100 Lighting ?200 Furniture & decoration ?14,700

TOTAL SPEND ?128,000

GO FLAT OUT
The timber-framed fibreglass roof over the new extension is perfect for housing the generous rooflights, and avoids blocking views from the upper windows, while a small overhanging canopy of 30cm runs flush with the internal ceiling.

MAKE SPACE FOR GAMES
A pool table doesn’t need to be consigned to a garage or playroom – incorporating it into the main living space brings the whole family together and is a fun way to spend time with visiting friends.

‘Adding accessories like the Fender bar stools has given us the relaxed, fun living space we’d hoped for’

MIX AND MATCH

The original kitchen cabinetry has been reused and new unit doors added in a contrasting colourway for a contemporary two-tone effect

‘We couldn’t justify ripping out the kitchen so saved the cabinets and kept the range cooker, which helped keep costs down’.

CREATE FLOW

The couple decided against a central island, choosing instead to utilise a peninsular unit as a breakfast far, creating a more spacious, relaxed scheme

DOUBLE UP

From everyday use to entertaining, the open-plan arrangement of the extension is adaptable, with the couple able to bring a second identical table into this space for larger dinner parties

BUILD IN STORAGE

A comfy window seat doubles as clutter-clearing, space-saving, solution as well as inviting feature

NEED-TO-KNOW: OPEN-PLAN LIVING

FOLLOW RULES?
Building regulation approval will normally be required for any major internal alternations, such as removing a load-bearing wall, beam, or chimney breast, and when two or more rooms are combined.? A load-bearing wall supports other elements of the building, such as the roof, so ensure you seek expert advice from a structural engineer or other qualified professional.

PLAN AHEAD
Every wall you remove means fewer places to position furniture and radiators, so sketch potential layouts before you start, and design in plenty of storage to reduce clutter.? The window and door positions in an open-plan space need to be considered, floor levels might not meet from one room to the next, while radiators and electrical switches and sockets may need relocating.

BE PRACTICAL
Open-plan kitchens with dining and seating areas are extremely sociable, but having another quiet room to escape to offers an ideal solution for busy families, and a separate utility room will reduce noise from washing machines, for example.? Choose soft furnishings and large rugs to stifle sound in a large room and install efficient ventilation to extract strong cooking smells.

KEY CONTACTS
Glass bi-fold doors, windows and rooflights, ?18,000, Integral Home. Grey kitchen cabinets and worktops, ?4,800, Howdens. Tegola whitewashed laminate flooring, ?1,400, Carpetright. Jerry dining chairs, ?85 each, Habitat. Rangemaster Kitchener range cooker, ?1,569, Appliance City. Fender bar stools, ?99 each, Andertons. Samsung American-style fridge-freezer, ?1,100, Currys. Wall tiles, Topps Tiles, ?300. Diamond pool table, ?400, Radley Pool Tables. Vintage wooden circus sign, ?50, Vintage French. For a similar dining table, try the Watford extendable vintage design, ?599, La Redoute

www.goodhomesmagazine.com

Grand Designs May 2020

SEEKING APPROVAL?

Converting a loft should not require planning permission unless the property is listed, within a conservation area or the roofline is to be altered. And rear dormers that do not sit forward of the principle roof plane and are no higher than the existing roofline can often be installed under permitted development rights (PD). Party wall agreements are required from adjoining properties. You can find more on this and planning regulations at the government’s website planningportal.co.uk.

Adding a dormer provided headroom of 2m in this en-suite bathroom. The large window also helps open up the space and offers panoramic views. ?66,677, Plus Rooms (plusrooms.co.uk)

Lofts must follow strict regulation regarding fire doors, escape routes and windows. And having a permanent staircase and head-height of at least two metres is required for the conversion to be classed as a habitable space. So, plan access early on in the design process to ensure it is easy and safe, and take into account any floor and ceiling build-up resulting from insulation requirements and finishes.

granddesigns.magazine.co.uk

Real Homes Mar 2020

REAR EXTENSION?

Looking to boost living space? Create a better link between house and garden? A rear extension could be the way to go. It’s the option many people choose when they’re looking to create a big. open-plan kitchen-diner with views out to the garden. As well as building out, you might also be knocking through or partitioning inside the house to make the most of the space and create an open style of layout that works for you.

BEFORE?

Like side-return extensions (see page 13), rear extensions can often be done under permitted development (PD) as long as they don’t exceed a certain size and your home isn’t subject to extra protections and regulations (see realhomes.com/planning-permission for more details). If it is, you’ll have to get planning permission, so check with your local planning authority.

Along with the build itself, you’ll need to consider a number of other things. if creating an indoor-outdoor link is important to you, do you want bi-fold doors, which open fully to make the garden an extension of the house, or sliding doors, which usually have one unmoving pane of glass but slimmer sightlines when closed? Will you need to budget for a new kitchen? Practicalities like durable flooring and splash-proof zones are also essential considerations. as well as whether you need to extend the heating in your home to the new room.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
Most rear extensions take a minimum of three to four months, but applying for planning permission adds time ?and a small cost ? to the process.

WHAT SHOULD I BUDGET?
Rear extensions can be done from around ?30,000 for a basic design, but it varies depending on size, materials and where you live. High-end projects with expensive glazing and finishes can cost upwards of ?100,000 to ?150,000 and more. Shop around and don’t forget to factor in the fees for architects, structural engineers and surveyors if you need them.

HOW WE DID IT

Daniel and Rachel Morris’ flat-roof extension solved the problem of their dark, cramped kitchen

‘Previously there was barely enough room for two of us to be in the kitchen at the same time. Cooking was not an enjoyable experience! We extended under permitted development because we didn’t want to extend any further than three metres to the rear anyway ? it would have meant losing too much garden. Permitted development restrictions meant the ceiling of the extension would have to be around 25cm lower than the ceiling in the rest of the property, so the designers installed a rooflight that runs nearly the full width of the extension and creates a feeling of height. Redesigning the kitchen also gave us more work and storage space and enabled us to use the part of the extension that has more natural light as our living area. Its completely changed the way we use the house. and the new living space is the focal point for most of our activities. Were able to cook and enjoy family time all together in one place.’

Project cost ?59,500
Design and build Plus Rooms? 0800 917 7127
plusrooms.co.uk