House renovations in London are particularly exiting. The changes don’t have to be enormous to have a big impact, both visually and practically. If you are opting for a ground floor extension, it’s important to consider how the new space will impact your total room size. An extension isn’t simply adding space. The addition of the new SQM changes the dynamic of the room, and in many cases, it affects the entire ground floor area.
Here at Home Tales, we always encourage our clients who are undertaking a ground floor extension to consider how they will use the new area. We suggest that they expand that consideration to the entire ground floor. Think about how you use you ground floor as a whole, and how you want the existing space and new extended area to connect together.
A typical London terrace will have three rooms on the ground floor which is mirrored on the first floor. On the ground floor you are likely to find a living room at the front, a dining room in the middle and a kitchen in the outrigger towards the rear. One of our most common client design dilemmas’ is finding an efficient use for the middle ‘dining’ room. If you extend to the rear, the rear room becomes generous enough to house a combined kitchen and dining area, therefore the original use of the middle room becomes redundant and open to a whole world of possibilities.
We thought we would run through the three most common design options to get help you visualise just some of your potential options. If you go ahead with our Design service, then all of our designs are created from scratch. Your architectural designer would sit down with you to work out what you want to achieve from the extension, and how you function day to day. This will enable them to create some proposed floorplans for you. You also get unlimited amendments to your drawings, so our team don’t stop until you are completely happy with your final design. Some of our clients have lots of ideas of what they want, and they share these ideas with us at the survey. Others don’t have a clue, and they want to be guided and advised all of the way.
This option utilises the middle room by dividing it between the front of the house and the back of the house. The living room is extended, and a utility or WC is added to the kitchen. It’s a great option if you want a large living area, particularly useful if you have a large family and want room for everyone to be sit comfortably. You also keep the traditional separation between the living area and kitchen area. It is worth mentioning there will likely be an additional cost as you might need a steel beam to support the wall removal.
Open plan living has become very popular in recent years. It’s most commonly used when you don’t have much space, and you want to utilise every inch of the floor area that is available to you. Having one open room with multiple functions means the room feels much larger, as walls aren’t blocking natural light penetration or giving the feeling of being enclosed. Similar to option 1, it is more expensive as you will very likely require steel to support the walls you demolish. It’s also worth point out that building regulations might insist you install a mist sprinkler system, to address fire safety. Usually, fire safety would be addressed with fire doors, to ensure that if a fire starts somewhere in the property it can be enclosed. When you go open plan, you don’t have the option for these doors to be installed. As a result, a sprinkler system is one of the solutions available to you.
Another option is to keep the original separation between the rooms and simply find an effective use for the middle room. Some homeowners use this room as a dining area, or a kids play room. If you have a piano it can make for a lovely centrepiece within the room. We’ve seen it used as a library, a study, or simply an extension of the hallway to store shoes, wellies, bikes and prams.
The middle room dilemma is a difficult and requires lots of thought and a comparison of the options available to you. The truth is there isn’t one right answer. Ultimately the most effective design will depend on your preferences, lifestyle and budget. It also depends on whether it’s your forever home, or whether you want to prioritise the re-sell value. We just published a blog on adding value with an extension which might be useful which can be read here. It’s our architectural designers’ job to help you figure out which design is best suited to you. If you want some advice, or want to discuss a design, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today and we would be delighted to book you in for a consultation. Our office number is 0207 043 2378 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also book directly via our online booking page here and get an instant confirmation.