Small Extension: Big Difference

Project Report: Extension, Essex

Exterior view of the new extension from the garden

Introduction
This post presents a recently completed extension project at a terraced house in the village of Alresford, Essex. Our clients for this project had a limited budget and wanted to make the best use of their financial resources to improve their family home. This project demonstrates how even a small house extension can make a significant improvement to everyday life.

Getting the most from your budget
When your budget is limited, a carefully thought out design is essential to ensure that you are getting the maximum benefit for the money that you are spending. Keeping things simple is very important to keep costs down. For this project our clients knew that they wanted to change the layout of their ground floor to create a separate dining room and to replace the kitchen. The key to the project was finding the best way of doing this within the budgetary constraints.

An investigation of the existing site revealed important information such as the location of existing drainage runs, boiler flues and plumbing for existing kitchen appliances. This investigation helped to inform the initial design process and establish a design strategy. The strategy involved keeping the kitchen in its existing location and constructing a small rear extension to the opposite side of the house which, together with a new internal wall, would accommodate the dining room. This proposal avoided the necessity of moving or altering drains, allowing all the kitchen appliances and boiler to remain in existing locations and keep the construction of the extension relatively straightforward.

Above: Ground floor layout of the property prior to the extension project
Above: Proposed new layout & extension at concept design stage

Space to suit your needs
In many cases when it comes to creating practical spaces in the home, simply having more space does not necessarily mean a better lifestyle. The division of space within the home and the relationship between the spaces makes more of a difference to how you live than simply the size of the rooms. In this case the new rear extension allowed the division of living and dining areas into two separate rooms, linked by the central hub of the kitchen. For our clients this division has allowed them more flexibility in the way they occupy their house, from everyday living to welcoming guests. The introduction of glazed double doors to the new extension has also given them a better connection to the garden, both visually and physically, allowing them to spread out into the garden for dining and relaxing in fair weather.

Above: Interior view of the new dining room with double doors leading to the garden
Exterior view
Above: Exterior view of new extension

Keeping it simple
The design and construction of the new extension were kept simple to keep costs down. A straightforward lean-to roof over centralised double doors make a pleasing composition. The bricks for the new extension were carefully selected to match the existing house, as were the roof tiles. The result is a practical addition to the main house which has the appearance of always having been part of the property.

Conclusion
The project presented here is a good example of how even with a tight budget it is possible to make a big difference to the space in your home. Through keeping the build simple, all aspects of the client brief could be met and the result is a home which functions better for a growing family, providing the flexibility to adapt the spaces over time as needs change.


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