New year new home: how to create more space without moving

Before you call the estate agent, an extension or loft conversion can give you the space you need without the need to move.

If you’re running out of space it can be tempting to dive straight into the real estate pages and begin the search for your new dream home. But in many cases it’s more cost and time effective to add space to your current house, whether that be an extension or loft conversion.

creating space with an extension

An extension is a great solution to create additional space in your current home and improve the quality of life for your family. This can become a light-filled kitchen, a lounge to relax in or an extra bedroom.

It’s easy to imagine gazing out at the garden through large glass doors and windows, or planning a family party in a swanky new kitchen, but the important thing is be thoughtful about the design first.

Kitchen extension

What rooms work best in an extension?

When creating a ground floor extension using part of the garden, we typically favour using it for living space. This is because the extension can open to the outside thanks to the use of vertical glass surfaces.

Thus the kitchen, dining room and living room are the rooms that most benefit from being positioned in an extension. If you need more bedroom space, you can transform the living area already present in the house into a new bedroom and make the most of the extension space.

If instead you’re happy with your current kitchen and living areas, you could use the extension as a multifunctional area, such as a study, a fitness area, a hobby room or a guest room.

Dining room extension with loads of light

How to bring light into an extension

The best extension projects are filled with natural light, so be sure to consider this in the design stage. The main determining factor for the quality of light in a space is the distance from a window. Extending a house usually increases this distance, which can create dark areas.

This is where roof windows are invaluable if you want to keep the space usable and full of light: they provide up to two times more light than a vertical window of the same size.

Unlike vertical windows, roof windows are not affected by orientation and allow the sun's rays to reach every corner of the room throughout the day. There’s no precise rules about where to position roof windows, but think about where you need the light the most in your extension. A roof window over the kitchen will make sure you’re never chopping veggies in the dark!

Kitchen extension with roof windows to add loads of light

Alternatively, add space in the attic

If you don’t want to lose any garden space and have an attic space at your disposal, consider a loft conversion. You can add significant space to your home and the process can be a quicker and more straightforward building project than an extension.

The space under the roof is often under-utilised as they can be dark and poky. But installing roof windows into a loft conversion allows you to transform an uncomfortable room into a bright environment.

This loft conversion is used for an office

A loft conversion space is perfect for a new bedroom, bathroom or something completely different like a games room, home office or guest apartment. Check out 5 creative uses for a loft conversion for more ideas.

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