Ground Floor Extension Designs

When it comes to home extensions and home renovations in London, the design options that you have available to you will depend on multiple factors: budget, access, planning guidelines, timings, expectations… the list is pretty long. One of the main influencing factors is your existing properties layout. This is because it’s non-negotiable. Afterall, you have what you have. 

One of these first things we do here at Home Tales is to identify your existing properties layout.  That’s why we offer home visits free of charge. It’s imperative we understand your existing layout before we offer options on what you can do. If we cannot visit the property for any reason, we can generally locate an accurate floorplan online. This can generally be done either via the archives of Zoopla or Rightmove. Once we can see what you have, we can talk you through the options that are available to you. 

We thought we would talk you through some of our most popular ground floor extension designs. Most London properties are fairly similar in their layout, so at least one of these options should be available to you, if not more. 

Side return extension

Typically referred to as a side return extension, this extension extends into the side return of the property. It can also be known as a side infill extension or a side extension. The reason we have side returns is because back when these houses were built (1900s), in the days before electric lighting and central heating existed, a side return was an effective way to bring light and natural ventilation into the middle of the home. In modern day life, the side return is no longer needed. Families are looking for more indoor living space, be that for a larger kitchen, dining area, or living area. As a result, side return extensions have become very popular. Homeowners are utilising this otherwise redundant outdoor space and encompassing it within the home. Extending into the side return typically doubles the width of your room. This gives you a wonderfully large room to house your kitchen. In almost all of our projects, the room is generally so large it can house another function too, such as your dining area or a second living area. 

Rear extension 

If you haven’t got an existing outrigger (which creates a side return), then you can consider a rear extension. If your property is completely flat at the rear, you can consider simply extended the rear wall to create a larger room. Alternatively, you can extend part of the rear, creating a room that has a corner within it, like an l-shape. If you have a side return and want to extend the outrigger, that is also an option. 

Wraparound extension

If you want to maximise your indoor living space, then a wraparound extension might be the best fit for you. This extends both into the side return, and also to the rear. This design is one of the most popular extensions we undertake, as homeowners generally want to maximise their indoor space and go as big as their local council will allow. In some cases, your local council might not allow this, particularly if you garden is on the smaller side. A good indication is to have a peer over the fence to see what your neighbouring properties have done. If you can’t see down the row of houses, have a look on the online planning explorer which can be accessed via your local councils’ website. All planning applications are public, so you can see what people are applying for and what is getting approved in your area.  

Side and rear extension 

If your local council is against wraparound extensions, but you want to utilise as much indoor space as possible, a side and rear extension might be for you. Some people opt for this type because they like the design. It avoids the flush rear wall and splits up the wall, creating an l-shape. If you go for this design, consider bi-fold doors which make an l-shape and meet at the corner of the extension. These is incredibly popular and leaves a fantastic effect.  

All of these extensions have different costs associated with them. As a general rule, the larger the extension the more expensive the build will be. That being said, as you increase the size, economies of scale kick in and the SQM rate becomes more efficient. It’s important to remember that adding loads of room doesn’t necessary contribute to a more efficient living space. The shape of the room is also important, and you need to create a design that utilises all of the space in an efficient way. 

If you aren’t sure what extension is for you, contact our team today and we would be happy to discuss your project in more detail. The first stage of our process is to book a free site visit. This enables us to come and see your property and talk to you about what you want to achieve from your extension. We will offer advice on the design options available to you and local planning restrictions. We can also answer any questions that you have on the process and explain more about how we work as a company. Following the visit, we will issue you with a no obligation quote for the work. Call us on 0207 043 2378 or email us You can also book a visit directly online via our online booking function here. 

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