Home Extensions Basics

An extension can be anything from a study to a conservatory and is often a great joy. Decide just what your extra space is to be used for — it might be adequate (and certainly cheaper) to buy a shed for the garden. If you feel that it is an extension you want, then make sure it’s going to look suitable, in keeping with the outside of of your house, and not too cold or inconvenient to use. An off-the-peg extension may need your own lining to make it usable all year round and will not be as sturdy as something custom built. However, the manufacturers usually provide plans for the local authorities and, often, an assembly service.

You may have a single-storey garage on which you could build. You will be most successful if, when finished, the extension looks like part of the original house, so match the slope of the roof, tiles and windows as closely as possible. Even if you’re buying a package extension, try to match it closely to the style of your house. If it does look odd, you can soften the effect with quick-growing plants such as virginia creeper. If your extension has a flat roof it might be usable as a balcony — a very attractive finishing touch.

It is important to heat the new extension thoroughly by extending your existing central heating system or perhaps by installing new under-floor heating. If you have a lot of glass it may be worthwhile to double-glaze. Timber walls should be insulated with glass fibre, A solid roof will obviously give better insulation, but you may find that you are obliged to have glass in it so that the room to which you are attaching the extension doesn’t become too dark. If you want to use your extension all year round you must give your floor a good concrete foundation and an insulating and damp-proofing layer. Cork, linoleum or vinyl are excellent floor coverings for this type of room.

Light, plain and simple furniture will probably look best, with plenty of plants. If you’ve lots of windows, blinds will almost certainly be cheaper than curtains. If your new extension is less of a room in itself and more of an addition to an existing room, it is probably best to make the décor and furnishings link as closely as possible with the original room.

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