Glass gives our extension the Wow factor

Clever glazing was key to maximising light in Vivi and Sam Conniff Allende’s new extension

The couple added a glazed extension to give them a big, bright kitchen. ‘I love entertaining in our new kitchen because its exactly how we imagined it – light, spacious and welcoming’.

BEFORE SHOT – The old kitchen was tiny and overlooked the side return

The location is what Vivi and Sam Conniff Allende fell in love with when they bought their two-bed Victorian home, but it needed some renovations so it could work for their family.

Time for a Change

‘The whole house was in an awful condition and the small kitchen overlooked the side return,’ says Vivi. ‘there were storerooms to the rear of the property, so we thought that by knocking these down, we could extend the kitchen out to give space for a dining area with sliding glass doors leading to the garden.’

Expert help

‘We found Plus Rooms (plusrooms.com) who could tackle the whole design and build for a fixed price,’ says Vivi. ‘We worked with them to design the pitched roof kitchen extension, which has three rooflights and a large triangular window above the sliding doors.

A Smooth Project

Once planning permission was granted, the builders set up a temporary kitchen in the living room. ‘It was very exciting to watch the extension grow, seeing the glass going in was such a high point,’ says Vivi.

Welcome to my Home

Vivi Conniff Allende lives here with her husband Sam and their daughters Scarlett, five, and Frida, 11 months.

The Property – a four-bed Victorian terraced house in southeast London

The Value – Bought for ?490,000 in 2012; now worth over ?1.3 million

What it Cost – Extension ?70,000
Kitchen ?25,000
Stone floor ?4,000
TOTAL ?99,000

Full width sliding doors connect the new kitchen and dining space to the garden beyond

Skylights and a triangular gable window fill the space with light

The old galley kitchen has been replaced with this spacious kitchen-diner

Heating an extension

James Bernard, director of Plus Rooms, has the lowdown:

  1. Meet Building Regulations – Any new extension should comply with current building regulations and shouldn’t negatively affect the energy performance of a house.
  2. Consult an Expert – Extra radiators can be added to your existing heating system only if the boiler has the capacity, so consult with a certified plumber before making changes.
  3. Upgrade is Needed – Installing an energy efficient boiler can be a relatively expensive option, although the cost of replacement is often offset by savings in running costs.
  4. Go Electric – An electric heating system is fairly simple to expand, and plug-in electric panel radiators or convector heaters may be suitable for a smaller extension.
  5. Consider Laying Underfloor Heating – Look out for underfloor heating that can integrate with an existing heating system without affecting wall space – an ideal solution for an open-plan setup.
What we’ve Learned

‘We built during the winter, which most people avoid because of the weather, but it meant the builders were available and we could buy materials like our flooring in the sales’.