Choosing the right house extension for you

Written by

Luke Hilton

Luke Hilton is a Warrington-based email content writer and designer in the financial services industry. He enjoys mixing analytics and creativity and can usually be found with his head buried in stats, piecing together the patterns that make good content. In his spare time, the drive to figure things out continues with what can only be described as a love-hate relationship with DIY. With a keen love of the outdoors, Luke is usually up a mountain somewhere or in his garden growing his own oasis.

Monday 6th March 2023

With the ongoing trend to renovate rather than relocate, homeowners are choosing to extend their homes now more than ever.

But planning an extension isn’t simple and, before you get started, you’ll need to have a clear idea of the type of extension you want to go for.

In this article, we’ll share the most popular types of house extension to help you make a decision.

1. Let the light in with a conservatory

A conservatory is a great way to bring a touch of the outdoors in. With beautiful big windows, a conservatory overlooks your outdoor space while still acting as an extension to your home (and sheltering you when the weather doesn’t go your way!)

A veranda or porch are other more affordable options to help you make the most of your outside space, providing a covered area to sit out and enjoy the weather.

2. Add an extra downstairs living space

A rear extension is most commonly used to create a conservatory, but you could choose to create an extended living space instead. Perhaps you want to transform your kitchen into an open plan kitchen diner, or simply extend your living room so your family has more room to relax. A rear extension is a great way to find more room from the back of your property, which is perhaps the best option if you have a large garden or patio that you rarely make use of.

If you want to create even more downstairs space, a wrap around extension could be worth considering. Wrap around extensions allow you to move the outer walls of a downstairs space in two directions – essentially combining a side return and rear extension. This L-shaped extension is a fantastic option if you’re planning a dreamy open plan kitchen diner or you want to add space for a utility room.

3. Create a fabulous kitchen

You won’t need a huge extension to bring life to your kitchen, giving you the room you need to add an island or an extra kitchen unit complete with a double oven and storage space. A smaller extension such as a side return extension could allow you to move the outside walls a little to add the room you need, which is a great idea if you have an unused path or outside area to the side of your home you rarely use.

4. Enjoy extra family time with a new dining area or playroom

Most of us dream of having a bit more room without the hassle of selling up. A single-storey extension allows you to add room to the rear or side of your property, usually adding one or two more rooms depending on the size of your project.

As a single-storey extension is built on the ground floor level, you could transform your extra room into a family dining area or a separate playroom for your kids and their pals.

5. Double up on room with a bedroom and study

A double-storey extension allows you to dream even bigger. It’s essentially a way to add an extra layer to your single-storey extension, giving you two whole floors to play with. This is perfect if you want to take your house extension plans to a whole new level, giving you a room upstairs and downstairs to transform. Maybe a home office downstairs overlooking your outdoor space, and an extra bedroom on the first floor?

Top tip: Planning for a double-storey extension allows you to add double the room without your costs doubling too as there’s typically less work and materials involved in adding an extra floor.

6. Give your loft space a lift

Dormer extensions allow you to remove the pitch of a roof to create a flat roof, giving you an additional area that’s separate from the rest of the house. A dormer extension is a fantastic option if you want to create a floor that’s separated from the rest of the home, perhaps a master bedroom and ensuite or a kids’ playroom.

7. Make your space work harder with a new home office

Many properties have a single-storey garage attached to the main building. The space above the garage provides ample opportunity to create a whole new room. An over-structure extension, as the name suggests, is built over the top of the existing structure. It’s ideal for those looking to create a more private, serene space slightly separated from the hustle and bustle of the main home. Could a brand-new office or study be on the horizon?

8. Create a new structure altogether with an annexe

It’s not always possible to extend your existing house. But if you have a bit of extra room in your garden you could always consider constructing a separate, smaller building instead. An annexe will give you the space you’ve dreamed of without needing to worry about how the new structure will impact your main building.

Your personal preference and budget will decide how big your garden room or outbuilding can be. A smaller structure could make for an ideal home office. You could even create a completely self-sufficient space complete with a kitchen, bathroom and living area – perfect if you welcome guests regularly but like a bit of breathing room.

9. Add style and substance with a cantilever extension

Reducing your home’s footprint is a big consideration for anyone building an extension, but there is a unique solution to that problem. A cantilever extension is a great option if you want to keep the space below clear, perhaps to use as a parking spot, or you simply don’t have the ground floor space to add an extension.

A cantilever extension is added to the side of your home and is only supported on that one side. It certainly adds a dramatic feature to any home while giving you an extra room to use as you wish. As cantilever extensions are typically slightly smaller in size than other extensions, you could perhaps use it to add a walk-in wardrobe to an existing bedroom, or a play area for the kids.

Ready to get started planning your extension? Check out our home renovation guide for some top tips.

Start your home extension project sooner

A house extension loan from Novuna Personal Finance could help you find the funds you need to supercharge your project timescales.

With single-storey extensions costing in the region of £25,000 - £100,000, you may well need a helping hand to fund your project along the way.

You could borrow between £1,000 and £35,000 with competitive rates from as low as 7.4% APR Representative (£7,500-£25,000). Simply pay the loan back over fixed-rate monthly instalments to help make a big purchase a bit more manageable. Apply for a quote today.