House extensions explained

Your guide to the different types of home extensions available to you ..

Are you considering extending your home for more space, but don’t know where to go for inspiration or guidance? With so many designs available, the thought of creating additional rooms, can often feel overwhelming. However, with specialist help, the process can become seamless and incredibly exciting as you look to add space and value to your home. Simply Construction Group, one of London’s leading house extension construction specialists, is known for its creative solutions and expert advice. They’ve helped thousands of customers transform their homes, through extensions and conversions that are best suited to the style, structure, and space of a property.

Whilst some types of house extensions, including Dormer loft conversions do not require planning permission (unless they exceed a specific size), most do, so it’s worth considering the requirements on permission from your local authority before you move ahead with any initial planning.

An overview of the UK’s most popular home extensions has been created below (with a handy visual guide to show the style of each extensions) and highlights exactly what can be achieved with the correct planning permission (if needed), vision and direction.

Home Extension Types

REAR EXTENSION: A rear extension is the most common type of extension and most likely the type you have in mind when you think of kitchen extensions. It is an extension to the rear of the property, simply extending your property into your back garden.

SIDE-RETURN EXTENSION: A side-return extension is great for semi-detached properties, as it uses the dead space down the side of the property to add width to your home. This is popular for homes with minimal garden space.

WRAP-AROUND EXTENSION: This type of extension is a combination of a rear extension and a side-return. It wraps around the existing structure of the house, using the dead space down the side of the property and extending further back into your garden space. 

Basement Conversion Types

FULL BASEMENT: A new basement can be created under the entirety of your home, including any extensions.

HALF BASEMENT: A half basement would sit underneath the ‘original’ house, the main portion of the house excluding any extensions, and create a lighting well to create a new level to your home.

GARDEN BASEMENT: Alternatively, a new basement can be built underneath your garden space, which can be used for storage or for living in.

Loft Conversion Types

DORMER: This is one of the most popular types of loft conversion as it provides a good amount of head height and could add up to 50 cubic metres of extra space to your property. The dormer is usually built out of the slope of the roof, meaning that most of the work can be carried out from scaffolding outside of your home. This type of conversion generally does not require planning permission.

HIP-TO-GABLE: A hip-to-gable loft conversion can be carried out on properties that have a hipped roof i.e. a sloping side. Therefore, they are most popular on detached or semi-detached properties. The hipped end of the roof is therefore extended into a gable roof i.e. a vertical wall, extending the internal loft space.

HIP-TO-GABLE AND REAR DORMER: As the title suggests, this is a combination of the two different types of conversions, resulting in a large and airy space. Planning permission may be required.

L SHAPED DORMER: This type of loft conversion is built by connecting two dormers together: one on the main roof and the other on the rear roof. The result is a much larger space, which can be used for either two bedrooms and a bathroom or one large bedroom and bathroom, or a host of other combinations. The choice is yours. This type of conversion is particularly popular on period properties.

VELUX: A skylight or VELUX window conversion is one of the simplest and most cost-effective loft conversions to build as the roof of the property is not altered in any way and only windows are added. This generally means that planning permission is not required. Space however is more restrictive than other types of conversions.

MANSARD: A mansard loft conversion alters the structure of a sloping roof to a nearly straight slope at an angle of 72 degrees. Windows are built into the roof as small dormers or even Juliet balconies are feasible. The mansard conversion is usually erected to the rear of a property and is often considered one of the most aesthetically pleasing types of loft conversion. Planning permission is usually required.

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