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How To Design The Perfect Extension

Seamless extension
Family space and terrace
Beach vioew

Our Top Tips

  • Take advice from architects and choose the best you can find - Their advice and design work on your extension will add significant value right from the first stage, so think of the Architects fees as an investment in your home, not as a cost that you can skimp on. You need to get along with your Architect through thick and thin and be able to trust in their advice. Talk to a few and ask how they approach their work. Look at their website to see examples of their work. Ask for references​

  • Be clear about your brief - what you want to achieve. Make a list of the things that are important to you, but don't try to design it yourself - leave that to the Architect

  • Think about what you need from a lifestyle point of view. What do you you want to use the extra space for? A bigger kitchen? Extra bedrooms? A light-filled kitchen family area with doors onto the garden? More space for older children or elderly relatives?

  • Design for the long term - think about the future as your needs change. We all know that children grow up frighteningly fast and your needs will change with them

  • What’s the right amount to spend? You don’t want to spend more than the house is worth, but at the same time you want an extension that you will enjoy every day and that will hold its value when you do come to sell. Look at house values nearby - what is another house that has already been extended worth?

  • Work out a realistic budget. Balance what you can afford with what is worth spending in terms of future investment value. Make your extension as big as you can afford. Include VAT and professional fees in your budget. It might be possible to phase the work to make it more affordable over a longer period, but keep in mind your masterplan and long term vision. Be prepared to scale back your aspirations by setting your priorities if the cost of your initial brief is too high

  • What’s the right style? The architectural approach for a house in Tunbridge Wells is very different to that of a country home. Some houses have great character that needs to be respected, especially in conservation areas. Some homes would benefit from the positive changes and the facelift that an extension can provide

  • Work closely with your Architect to fully understand the design in detail before construction starts. Avoid changing your mind during construction because that results in extra costs, wasted money and delays. Instead really get to understand the design in detail before construction starts and if you don't fully understand; ask your Architect​

  • Find the best builder. Ask your Architect and talk to friends about their recommendations. Ask for competitive tenders but look carefully at the cost differences to make sure they are all quoting on the same basis. Your Architect will help you analyse the tender submissions but see our page about building work and how to survive it​​​

Glass roof

Kitchen Design Tips

  • Storage cupboards and pantry area

  • Good quality fittings with hinges and drawer runners that will stand the test of time

  • Drawers below worktop level are easier to access

  • Hard wearing worktop and splashback

  • Choose appliances on the basis of what you will really use, not current gadgets

  • Hard wearing floor finish

  • Flexible lighting: working /cleaning, entertaining, background

  • Plenty of power sockets

  • TV and music streaming options using blue tooth

  • Dedicated Kitchen WIFI point on top of a cupboard

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