DON'T EXTEND - RENOVATE!!
You don’t always need to extend to find extra space in your home!!
The most obvious way of adding extra space to your home is to extend - but why not think outside the box and attempt to remodel your existing layout to see if you can unlock some space already hidden inside your home?
There are many advantages to remodelling with the most obvious being saving cost!
These are also the projects that I personally enjoy the most! It presents a real challenge, considering the existing layout along with your clients desires and finding more space for them which often comes through refining and streamlining, connecting the spaces with better flow and considering how a modern family uses their home. It’s all about making the property “feel” bigger and when I pull up outside a property, I am positive this is something I can do.
In order to streamline there are a few guidelines which I always try to follow (remember, this will not work for all properties and neither does it work for all clients and their individual requirements) but this always works as a great starting point!
Let’s start with the ground floor:
Firstly, it’s always nice to have a front door and a porch however, getting the most efficient use of space out of a property depends on it’s orientation. In simple terms - if your house is wider than it is deep then you get a central front door, if it is deeper than it is wide then it is often better to put your main access to the side. This might not be everybody’s ideal position but the knock on effects internally, massively outweigh any detrimental effect this may have. One trick you can use in this situation is to build a porch and position the door on the front facing wall, so that you still enter the door going forwards rather than sideways.
Now let’s move inside and think about the ground floor and what it is we need down here. Well based on most of my consultations the following is what most modern family’s want: an open plan kitchen / dining and living space, a formal lounge, a utility room and a downstairs wc or shower room. So briefly let’s think about how the layout will work best. The formal lounge needs to go at the front as this will be a quieter and darker room. The open plan area needs to go to the rear, considering that the dining zone wants to be adjacent to the garden and any access you create to the outside. Then the kitchen needs to go next to dining area, whether that is deeper in to the property or along side it across the rear and the sitting area wants to go deeper in to the property - ideally away from any big glass sliding doors because if anybody uses this space to watch tv or work on their laptop, they will be forever pulling a curtain over the doors to shade the light and you defeat the object of having them fitted. Any downstairs utility and wc need to go back to back in order to efficiently use the services and ideally come off the back of the kitchen, probably nearer the centre of the property opposite the stairs. If you have a second door or rear entrance, it is often good to position this coming in to the utility area, giving you a place to remove muddy boots and coats etc.
The first floor is always individual to the property and your needs but there are still some guidelines I try to follow. I always consider existing room sizes and the possibility of continuing walls, giving the property a theme of well proportioned rooms and clean lines. Try and get the master suite to the rear were possible as this is often where the best views are (even if it’s only your garden) you can also add some glass to the master, whether this is a set of Juliet doors or a glass gable in a loft room. This glass will go above any large amounts of glass you have added to the ground floor and will again - continue the theme of the property. And finally, bathrooms should go above bathrooms wherever possible!
So it’s as simple as that really - I use these rules as a starting point and adapt and refine where necessary until we get it right for you!
(And if this still doesn’t give you enough space - you can always do an extension, which we can also help you with!):