7 cool things to keep in mind when design and building a single story extension to your home.

The pros and cons – why build a single-storey extension and what are the cost implications?

Sometimes it’s easier to focus on the negative and start with what you don’t want to do.

Popular for a while was the classic conservatory, utilising an existing door or window opening and forming a glass box with views to the garden.

Initially this seems like a good idea, no structural alterations and it’s a quick build. However in reality it’s too cold or too hot depending on the weather. It’s just ‘added on’ to the existing layout so you are walking from one room to the next and how you use the house in terms of activity tends not to work well when you have to go room to room.

Let’s not make these same basic mistakes when we design your new layout together. We can look at how you want to live in the space – what’s right for your family. What walls can be opened up with views to the garden for instance, what rooms are currently not working for you – maybe they can be moved.

Dynamic internal alterations mixed with careful extension of your home is the way to approach this design challenge.

Your money goes further with internal alterations than with new build. A good balance is required.

Where should I build the single storey extension?

You will have a feeling in your home for what rooms or spaces are the best in terms of natural light and relationship to the garden and entrance hall.

An extension should feel natural to the home and not an additive or disruptive measure. Rooms and spaces should be considered in terms of activity and placement of furniture, storage and the relationship to the garden.

We will help you balance the project requirements, starting with your renovation wish list – we can strike a balance between determining factors such as overlook from neighbours, planning restrictions, mature trees and the path of sunlight.

What size should it be?

You don’t want to ‘overbuild’ relative to the size of your home and spend your money unwisely on a space that is not going to be used. This is a significant investment and done right will increase the enjoyment and financial value of your home.

Windows and doors, bi-folds, sliders – what’s right for me?

We can consider together the ‘look and feel’ that you are after in your renovation wish list. Are you looking at contemporary high-performance systems or are you interested in a classic country look for instance?

My advice is to start with how you want to use the space, for instance, how you open the walls of a snug will be completely different to how you want to open the walls of an open-plan family space.

We recommend slider units and we can advise on the configuration that’s right for your budget and your home.

Our ‘dolls house’ process…

The solution you need is our dolls house process, the initial design and visualisation stage that explores what’s possible and opens up new ideas.

A balance can be struck when extending and consolidating your house footprint with a rear extension. Rooflines, structural changes and finishing can be value-engineered to your budget and still get you your prioritised wishlist for renovation.


rear extension open plan family space

This project was completed with a pediment gable with a flat roof behind, the original wall of the house at ground level was opened up with a column at the island of the kitchen to reduce costs. The utility and garage was consolidated with a play room relative to the new family space.