Single storey extensions are one of the most effective ways of creating that seamless open indoor-to-outdoor living that we enjoy so much. Whether you want to upgrade an outdated extension or are planning on knocking your cramped ground floor into an open and airy dream kitchen and living space, don’t forget to consider the type of roof your extension will have. While we spend a lot of time focusing on the square footage of your floor, remember that your roof will have a significant impact on the space. From the internal and external aesthetics to the cost of your build, the roof you choose is an important decision. With this in mind, let’s look at the different single-storey extension roof options available.

Pitched Roof 

The pitched roof is a classic design for many reasons. It allows rainwater to flow easily off the structure, preventing leaks and dampness, and it usually blends in well with the structure of the existing building too. This can be enhanced by using the same or similar materials as the original structure and keeping the pitch of the roof similar too. It adds a lot of indoor height, creating an architectural feature for your extension that can be enhanced with glazing, wooden beams, and rafters, or even left to create a sense of exceptional spaciousness.

These pitched roof extensions can be easily enhanced with skylights to help angle more light into your extension and can even be set against a flat roof to create interesting angled interiors. Because they tend to fit in so well with existing structures, pitched roof extensions are usually easier to get building permissions for, if required. These roof options do have their downside, however, as they tend to take longer to build, they require more labour and expertise, and are more expensive as a result.

An extension with a pitched roof in London

One great example of a classic pitched roof extension is seen on this Strawberry Hill home. It’s elegantly sympathetic to the original home’s design and architecture while still adding a contemporary contrast that modernises the space. The vaulted ceiling and skylights create a sense of volume and openness to the sky that makes the space feel clean, modern, and classic at the same time.

Gabled Roof

The gabled roof extension option is a popular type of pitched roof design with a triangular frontage, offering all the same benefits with a slightly different architectural feel. Gabled roofing is a great choice for homes that have classic or contemporary architecture, where gables are already in the original design, or for larger homes where you want an impressive frontage.

Like other pitched roofs, gabled roof extensions allow rain or snow to drain freely, are easier in terms of planning permission, and carry a higher cost because of the labour and expertise involved in the project. You can fully glaze the gabled end to let in even more light and create a striking architectural element, leave it open and vaulted for interior drama and spaciousness, or fill it with beams and rafters for rustic appeal.

A kitchen extension in London with a gable roof

This Battersea home shows off a beautiful gabled extension that maximises living and family space while adding a high-impact architectural feeling to the original building. By showing empathy to the original Victorian architecture through exposed bricks but ensuring wide open entertainment spaces and seamless indoor-to-outdoor living, it brings together the best of both worlds.

Flat Roof

Flat roof extensions have become very popular around London because they are more economical and faster to build, add a contemporary twist to a property, and allow you to bring a lot of natural light into the space. These roofs must be well-designed and properly built, however, as a flat roof can be prone to leaking if it is not waterproofed, designed, and installed correctly, especially if you are considering skylights. 

They look elegant and striking against modern and classic architectural styles, blending old and new to add function and open living space to every type of home. They are especially popular on terrace homes, as they are low profile and don’t intrude on the view. You can get creative with a flat roof extension, such as using large-scale glazing for a view of the stars, and more.

Kitchen extension in London with a flat roof

This Wandsworth home truly brings indoor and outdoor living together by creating a fully glazed space open to the garden. The structural glass and steel composition mean that it’s always filled with natural light, and you feel as though you’re living under the stars at night.

Hip Roof

A hip roof is a pitched roof that connects with a flat roof extension, and it’s the most popular way to expand your home through the side return. That’s because the angle allows rain and snow to run off easily, and the skylights capture more sunlight at the same time, so your larger space is made lighter and airier. When done right with a considered approach to the new space, a hipped roof extension isn’t low or cramped – instead, it adds a metre or two of much-needed space while making the room lighter, brighter and more functional.

Kitchen extension in London with a hip roof

In this Southwark home, you can see the new flat roof and hipped roof extension and how they work together. Not only does it create that open, modern garden lifestyle we all love, but it also creates visual interest and architectural features that give the space character and depth. If you have a terrace and want to expand to the side or the side and rear, the hip roof is usually your best option both budget-wise and in terms of getting an elegant final result.

Crown Roof 

Crown roof extensions combine elements of both flat and pitched or gabled roofs to overcome certain design challenges. For example, if you want some of the volume of a pitched roof but cannot extend above a certain height, your roof can combine pitched sides with a flat centre roof to create a crown roof to achieve this. Another good reason to use a crown roof is to get that internal height but prevent your pitched roof from blocking second storey windows or views. Aesthetically, these roofs are very elegant when designed professionally, giving your home a clean and modern look as well as a functional interior space.

Kitchen extension in London with a crown roof

This Claygate home uses the crown roof extension option with style to create an entirely new kitchen, dining and living space. Here, a flat roof may have looked too harsh against the traditional Esher home, but a pitched roof would block the view from the windows above. The crown roof is a perfect compromise, creating a generous and airy living space that sits comfortably against the original architecture.

See more house extension ideas here.

Want to find out more about single-storey extension roof options? Chat to the Plus Rooms team. We’re a bespoke design and construction firm in London specialising in high-quality home extensions that transfer houses into dream homes.