House extensions have become almost the only way for many people these days to increase their living space as selling up and moving to another house is increasingly difficult in the current economic situation and housing market. Fortunately the options for house extensions are almost endless – from small conservatories, loft extensions and kitchen extensions to single storey and double storey extensions which are serious projects. The article below explores some of the possibilities.

What most people want from a house extension is more space in the most used areas – with the kitchen and living room areas being the most important. The other popular extensions involve a need for larger or extra bedrooms. This is normally to accommodate a growing family and with more children, more space elsewhere in the house normally comes as well. Most extensions which involve building out sideways rather than upwards will require the outside space to extend into and obviously any building that takes up space outside will mean that there is less yard or garden space left.

Kitchen extensions will involve breaking down an existing external wall and building extra walls further out. The idea is to add some more space to the old kitchen or to create an entire new room. Sometimes the extension is complemented by internal modifications like having an open plan dining and living room area which involves the removal of part or the whole of an internal wall.

Usually smaller extensions are built of the same type of materials as the original building as the appearance will complement what is there already. Extensions that are made of quite different materials or colour or style often jar so much that they do not add any appreciable amount to the potential resale value of the house. In a “normal” house market situation, the addition of a house extension is expected to increase the value of the property by at least the cost of completing the extension itself, but we are not in a “normal” situation!

Kitchen extensions should only be built when other factors have been considered: assuming that there is space which is not that important in the adjoining area then the amount of light or shade is important as well as the proximity of the neighbours.

The easiest extension to build which needs neither planning permission, too any concerns with building regulations and is just about the cheapest option is a conservatory. Conservatories are less useful for kitchen or sleeping use and are not so easy to keep either warm or cool depending on the season, but are great for storage and can be used when the weather is kinder as extra living space.

If you had been thinking seriously of moving into a larger property then maybe a single storey or double storey extension would suit you if the possibility of selling up and buying another house is not practical. Building a double storey extension, although certainly not a cheap option would really solve any space problems you have now. A substantial double storey extension would add on an extra kitchen space as well as an extra bedroom or two upstairs.

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