Is An Extension Worth It? - Pride Road Architects

Is An Extension Worth It?

by Lisa Raynes

20/03/2021, in Main Blog

To extend or not to extend, that is the question. Lisa, architect and founder of Pride Road, talks through her reasoning for not extending three houses that she’s lived in, three successful extensions, and how, at Pride Road, we help you to decide.

Why I Didn’t Extend

We considered extending our small, two-up two-down, terrace house in Chorlton. As an architect, I drew out the house and considered many options. Instead of extending, however, we knocked down the outhouse at the back of the kitchen, put French doors from the kitchen into the garden, and added a skylight. The better lighting made the space feel more open, so those that came to the house mistakenly thought we’d extended.

Opening out a space and making it brighter makes it feel like it’s been extended.

 

The second house was a larger mid terrace in Chorlton. This time, we knocked down the chimney breast between the back of the kitchen and the outhouse, and put French doors into the back garden. Again, it looked like we’d extended when we hadn’t.

Wanting an open plan living kitchen diner, I did consider squaring off the corner between the back room and the kitchen, but the costs, as estimated by an estate agent, were significantly higher than the value that this would produce. This was because the house was already at the top of the market- the ceiling value of the properties in the area, so making that open plan living, kitchen, dinding area wouldn’t add value to it.

At Pride Road, after the Concept Design Workshop, we give you time to look into the costs and benefits of each option, because we want to be certain that you pursue the best option for you. Here’s an outline of our process.

 

The third is the house we are currently in: a 1930s semi-detached house in Gatley. It’s on a wide plot, and it has already had a two storey extension to the side, and a single storey extension to the rear. I bought it after the work had been done so we got really good value for money. The house has two reception rooms, a garage and a kitchen diner.

As an architect, I looked at loads of options because I’d love to have a living kitchen diner, but I think that would be at the expense of the second reception room; through lockdown it has been crucial to have that room as an office. So, I’m glad we never knocked through or extended.

In hindsight, an internal door between the kitchen diner and the lounge may have been effective. However, whenever you put a door internally between two spaces, you take up so much storage space on both sides of the door, so I’m glad I didn’t do this.

I look at client’s houses as if they are my own; during our Concept Design Workshop, I will always look for those options that are cheap and easy wins. I will draw out the possible options in front of you, discussing their pros and cons, honestly and objectively, in real time.

3 Case Studies Of Great Extensions

Maria and Craig’s 1950s rundown house in Hale was transformed by an ambitious single and two storey extension. What was once called “the witch’s house,” is now a stunning, modern family home that was put on the market for £950,000!

Pride Road New Forest and Bournemouth Architect Laura Simkins’ 1930s semi-detached house was transformed through a substantial extension and remodel scheme which created an open plan kitchen and dining space, a new utility room, downstairs toilet / shower and a feature living room. Laura’s skillful negotiations with the Planning Panel and her neighbours achieved planning permission, despite the planners recommending refusal due to the ‘modern design.’

John’s vision of an extension to the living space was expertly executed by Pride Road. John enjoyed working with Alan, (our technical associate), to materialise his vision of changes to the crown roof. By extending further out, we created a huge space to be used as a living, kitchen and dining space.

Our Process

Our process is designed to produce the best space for you by honestly and objectively evaluating your options through our free initial consultation and Concept Design Workshops. These are great, low commitment ways to see how we can help you.