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Single storey extension ideas for your home

14th August 2020

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In terms of home improvement projects, adding a single storey extension is one of the largest projects that many homeowners will undertake. It’s not exaggerating to say that adding a single storey extension could transform your life because the way your family lives and interacts together in your home will hopefully change dramatically for the better. It may be that you need additional living space for a growing family, or lockdown may have seen you re-evaluate how you live in your home and begin to dream of a better way of living.

Whatever the reason for wanting to add a single storey extension to your home, it’s important to understand and explore the many options available to you before making any decisions. It’s also important to ensure that your new living space is built using the best possible systems and materials. This will ensure that your single storey extension is warm, energy efficient, beautiful to look at and spend time in, and also that it adds value to your home.

There are many ideas to consider for single storey extensions relating to style, light and specification. Have a look at plenty of images of single storey extensions and think carefully about what would work best for you, your home and your family.

Single storey extensions

To help you begin planning your new living space, here are the top 5 single storey extension ideas to consider:

Flat or pitched roof?

This is probably the first decision you need to make and may be dictated by the style of your existing home. Other things such as permitted development may also dictate the roof style of your single storey extension. Finding out which of these roof types will be suit your home and which is permitted on your home is a great starting point.

Roof glazing style.

As well as adding additional space to their home, many homeowners add a single storey extension to add light and brightness. The majority of the natural light in an extension comes in through the roof and so it’s important to consider your glazing carefully. If you have decided on a flat roof extension, you can choose from flat skylights or lanterns to flood the room below with huge amounts of natural light. A pitched single storey extension can be glazed with full length panels if you choose the Ultraroof or Livinroof systems from Ultraframe. These and other types of pitched roof extension can also be glazed with Velux windows.

Open plan or not?

Creating a larger open plan living space is high on the priority list for many homeowners who extend. Open plan living spaces have become very popular over recent years. They are a great way to encourage families to spend more time together in one area where they can cook, eat and relax. Of course, an open plan room will also add a real feeling of space to your home. There are also reasons why people choose not to make their single storey extension open plan to the rest of their home. The new living space may be a place for quiet and solace away from other busier areas of the home. Think about your family and how you want to live when considering whether to make your single storey extension open plan or not. Following lockdown many families are now wanting to do the opposite and extend with singular spaces again as families desire ‘time out’ away from each other.

Single Storey Extension

Windows and doors.

The windows and doors that feature in the walls of your single storey extension will also have a large impact on how the space looks and feels. Large expanses of bi-fold doors have been popular for some time now. Bi-folds allow you to open up a large span of the wall, creating a seamless link to the garden beyond. Large sliding doors are now the latest trend for single storey extension doors. These feature fewer sightlines and larger expanses of glass than bi-folds but do not allow for the same amount of opening space. Other more traditional options for single extension doors are French doors, smaller patio doors and single residential doors.

Of course, you may also wish to add windows into your new extension. These can be in any shape or style you wish, from non-opening full-length windows to more traditional vertical sliders. Think about ventilation, light and access to your outdoor space when choosing the windows and doors for your single storey extension.

External appearance.

There are many options to choose from when thinking about how your single storey extension might look from outside. The appearance will be partly determined by the windows and doors you choose and what colour they are. There are still ways to stamp your individualism on your new single storey extension though with a choice of external finishes. These include brick, render (available in a huge range of colours), wood cladding, tiles and more. Speak to your builder about the best exterior cladding choices for your extension.

You may wish for your single storey extension to complement the rest of your home or contract with it – the choice is yours. This is a big decision so take the time to explore the options, look at samples and visit real life extensions if possible, to see how the different finishes look. Another important thing to consider about the external appearance of your new single storey extension is lighting. Don’t make the mistake of letting this be an afterthought. The right lighting can totally transform a single storey extension from ordinary to outstanding after dusk, as well as lighting up your outdoor living space. Popular choices include up and downlights which shine a dramatic beam of light in a vertical line up the wall of your single storey extension to add the wow factor.

Single Storey Extension Ideas

Planning Permission, Permitted Development and Building Regulations for extensions

If you’re planning to add an extension to your home, it is likely that you will have heard the terms Planning Permission, Permitted Development and Building Regulations. However, you may not fully understand what they all mean and whether they will apply to your new home extension. Here’s a handy guide:

Planning Permission for extensions.

Planning Permission is the approval that is needed for certain types of building projects from the Planning department of your local council. You may need Planning to add an extension because of the size, the style, the finish or due to the area you live in.

Permitted Development for extensions.

Permitted Development is a set of rules which allow certain building projects to be carried out without the need to apply for Planning Permission. This might include extensions up to a certain size and with stipulations on proximity to your nearest neighbour.

Building Regulations for extensions.

While Planning Permission and Permitted Development relate to the style. Shape and design of a building project such as an extension, Building Regulations are a set of rules that must be complied to in order to ensure the health & safety of those who will use it. Building Regulations includes rules about structural integrity, accessibility, energy efficiency, gas & electricity safety and fire protection, amongst others.

These are just a few ideas about planning a single storey extension. Make sure you explore all of the options and create a beautiful new living space that is a joy to spend time in, as well as enhancing the value of your home. Your builder will be able to advise you on many of these options and share their single storey extension experience.

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