Side house extensions
London architect guide
Inspiration and ideas
Side return extensions to houses and garden flats are a great way to add space on the ground floor where the kitchen and utility areas were traditionally placed. At this early stage we encourage you to follow a three step process of thinking about the type of extension you want, considering some design aspects, and then looking for inspiration to cement your own ideas.
As part of this Side extensions London architect guide we have selected some projects to lend architectural inspiration and design ideas for your side return extension.
Side house extensions London architect guide – Design aspirations and key considerations
One of the most common challenges in a full side return extension is that it will often result in blocking the light coming in from the door/window that exists at the rear part of the elevation.
The most common way of solving this is by allowing for rooflights to the new side roof. The further back the rooflights are the better it is since natural light can reach deeper into the floor plan and help to define a new dining or kitchen area at the rear part of the house or flat.
Another good solution is to avoid building up to the rear door/window. This creates the opportunity for what we describe as an ‘external room’, a landscaped courtyard between the existing house and the new extension.
Remember it is always possible to open up the wall between the front and rear reception rooms and bring light from the front room into the middle room while at the same time creating long views across the ground floor.
Side house extensions London architect guide – Start here and design your side return extension
During the design development stage we will get to explore lots of ideas but you can start the process now by considering answers to questions as such:
- “Should we build to the boundary, or is it possible to retain access to the garden from the front of the property by building an extension that is less wide?
- “Is there a manhole cover in the side area, and what will happen to the existing drainage and soil vent pipes in this area?
- “How can we maximise the light from the side return extension, and should we go for a flat roof or a pitched roof?
- “How can we rearrange the kitchen, and will there be enough space for an island unit?
- “How will the second storey of the side extension relate to the rest of the first floor layout?”
- “Is there a bedroom on the ground floor that we wish to retain a window for, and should we go for a full side or a partial side extension?”
Side house extensions London architect guide – Types and options for your home project
Side Return House Extensions | Side return extensions can be either single storey (for reasons really unknown, they are often called “side returns”) at the side/rear part of the property, or double storey across the whole of the side part of the property.
Subject to planning approval, two storey side extensions often include the conversion of a garage on the ground floor and building on top of it to add more bedrooms and bathrooms to the existing first floor.
Lean-to Extensions | Lean-to extensions are small side extensions, often with a pitched roof that offers supplementary space to what used to be the utilitarian part of the house and where most kitchens are now located. For single storey side extensions a key decision is about the roof profile.
Tiled or slated pitched roofs with standard rooflights tend to appear more in-keeping with the existing property, and they reduce the effect of the extension to the neighbouring property; such extensions can be fully glazed creating a contemporary feel to the new space added.
Flat roofs add a more modern feel and they tend to provide greater internal headheight and a more generous sense of space. They can be fully glazed or partially glazed depending on cost, aesthetic preferences, and the position of any high level kitchen units in the area immediately underneath the roof.
BOROUGH SPECIFIC ARCHITECT AND PLANNING GUIDES FOR YOUR HOME PROJECT
Your local Council will have in place design and planning requirements for your home project and you will need to obtain planning approval for a wide range of extensions and alterations to your property.
When you get in touch we will offer you detailed advice about what is likely that your Council will approve and in the meantime we have prepared the following architectural and planning guides that include extracts of the relevant planning policy and examples of our projects in our Borough.
Barnet residential architect and planning guide, Camden residential architect and planning guide, Enfield residential architect and planning guide, Hackney residential architect and planning guide, Hammersmith Fulham residential architect and planning guide, Haringey residential architect and planning guide, Hounslow residential architect and planning guide, Islington residential architect and planning guide, Kensington and Chelsea Conservation architects, residential and planning guide, Lambeth residential architect and planning guide, Lewisham residential architect and planning guide, Newham residential architect and planning guide, Redbridge residential architect and planning guide, Richmond residential architect and planning guide, Tower Hamlets residential architect and planning guide, Waltham Forest residential architect and planning guide, Wandsworth residential architect and planning guide, Westminster residential architect and planning guide
See our guides for ideas, inspiration and architectural advice for your home project.
Side extensions London residential guide, Rear extensions London residential guide, Kitchen extensions London residential guide, Roof extensions London residential guide, Residential renovations London guide, Mansard roof extensions London residential guide, Contemporary extensions London residential guide, Flat extensions London residential guide, Garden flat extensions London residential guide, House extensions London residential guide
We have prepared a guide on the type of Architectural plans you will need for your home project, and another guide for Terraced house extension plans that includes advice on detached and semi-detached properties as well.
See what we can do for you.
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“George Omalianakis Architecture Studio – GOAStudio London residential architecture” was set up in 2009 to provide architectural services and assist home owners with their residential projects across London.
George Omalianakis is a multi-award winning chartered architect with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB), and has extensive experience in working on a variety of residential, commercial and educational sectors.
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