- Architect Your Home
- 27 September 2016
From wonky flat-roof extensions with 70s cladding to twee 80s brick arches, over the decades homeowners have employed various styles and techniques to add space to their home- with varying degrees of success. If it’s been a while since your extension was built, and you’re finding it no longer suits your needs, or has become something of an eyesore, our FAQs should help define your options.
How can I improve the feeling of space and openness in my extension?
In the era of open plan living, creating a sense of space, light and openness is often a top priority when building extensions. This means we regularly design spaces that integrate with, and extend into existing rooms, such as an open-plan kitchen/living/dining areas with garden access.
One of the most common issues we come across in older extensions is that they were often built with low ceilings and small windows, which stand in great contrast with the open spaces we aspire to live in today.
Replacing the old roof can add more height, while adding roof windows or large, sliding/folding, glazed doors will fill the room with natural light – bringing the outdoors in and instantly modernising the space. Proceed with caution though- although it may seem logical to ‘blanket glaze’ the whole extension, it’s much more effective to place your glazing strategically for maximum impact and benefit.
How can an architect help update my old extension?
Out of date stylistic features are usually fairly straight forward to fix, but if an extension has been designed with bad space planning, too low ceilings or poorly placed windows it can often feel dated quickly and require some real thought and expertise to improve. An architect will design every detail of the space to ensure it will be functional when updated- even something as small as a plug socket in the wrong place can make a space less liveable.
Likewise, though you may think your extension needs a full overhaul, it might be that a poor quality build fitted with cheap, uPVC or low-grade framed doors is making it look shabby and old before its time. Your architect should be able to advise where to save money and where to splurge so that, if you want to sell up in 10 years, the extension will be an asset, not an eyesore.
How do I ensure the updates I make won’t date quickly?
Generally speaking, when there’s no functional basis for a stylistic decision, we find that they usually date more quickly so the key is spotting the trends that are not only stylish, but add real functional value to your home. For example, while folding and sliding doors have become undeniably popular over the past few years, and may yet fall out of favour, they are a functional and practical option to bring more light into a space- which are qualities that rarely date.
If you’re looking to give your old extension a makeover, give some thought to how you plan on using the space, invest in quality, and keep it simple – speak to one of our architects today about how we could help.