Kitchen extension 1Contemporary Patio, London
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Architect Your HomeFind out how to turn your glass extension into a comfortable, useable space.
Practice patienceIs the fact that your tap is 8mm larger than you’d pictured, or the paint colour you chose is half a degree darker than the tin suggested bothering you? Then say to yourself daily: No one else will notice. Also remember that, much like life itself, nothing in interiors is fixed, and there’s no law against deciding in a couple of years’ time that you were right, and you genuinely do hate that paint colour/bizarre tap. By then, you’ll hopefully have banked more cash and energy. In the meantime, you might just learn to live with it, or even love it.
3. They can open out a corner It’s true that bifolds aren’t the only way to pull off this trick, but, as this extension shows, they’re an effective way to fully open two whole sides of a room. The track for the doors is flush to the floor here, too, meaning inside and out are one when the bifolds are open. It’s worth bearing in mind that if bifolds are in an exposed position, a completely flat threshold may not be weatherproof, but the upstand you’d then require need only be small to do its job.
Make it more than just a kitchenWhile we talk about ‘kitchen extensions’ it is rare that such extensions are boxes bolted on to the back of a house simply to fill with kitchen. The majority of such works are undertaken to open up and extend existing rooms and create larger, more open combined spaces that contain kitchen, dining, living and even home-working areas.The key to success for such projects often rests on how effectively the existing part of the house – as much the extended part – can be opened up internally, as well as to the outside space.
Bifolding corner doorsIn this wonderful example, two sets of bifolding glazed doors meet at the corner of the kitchen space. With both sets folded back, the room is completely opened up to the outside terrace. To achieve this roof without a post in the corner took some very special engineering, but the effect is wonderfully worth it.Now you’ve improved the view to your outside space, get ideas for revamping your garden, too!
Design a functional layoutAlong with an appealing look, equally important for a kitchen is a functional layout. A designer can advise on the best choice for making effective use of the space and creating a smooth workflow. Potential buyers will probably note the feasibility of the layout, particularly as they imagine themselves cooking and working in the kitchen. Creating sufficient storage space is also crucial. Clutter-free surfaces create instant visual appeal, and again will also help potential buyers to picture themselves using the kitchen.When planning your layout, you should also consider whether there’s room for extending. In smaller spaces, perhaps you could take a wall down to open up the space, or maybe a basement, side or rear extension (as pictured) is a possibility? Remember that an extension would not only improve your kitchen by opening it up, it would also increase your home’s square footage, which in turn should increase its value.Looking for expert help? Read reviews of kitchen designers and fitters in your area.
Have confidenceFirst of all, let’s get the old chestnut that flat roofs are prone to leaks out of the way. It’s true that in the 1960s and 1970s, flat roofs with three-layer felt and no ventilation gaps caused no end of problems, but that’s history. Most commercial buildings in the land have flat roofs and businesses would not invest in a patently unreliable choice. With modern, single ply EPDM (synthetic rubber) membranes and GRP fibreglass systems, there’s no reason – other than poor workmanship, which applies to any roof – that a flat roof will leak. Also, these days we understand condensation, the cause of damp and rot in so many old flat roofs. Today’s ‘warm deck’ construction avoids such problems.Get inspiration about materials other than brick from which you can build an extension
Corner doorsWhen conventional doors won’t do, consider a 90-degree corner system, which will flood a dark corner with natural light, offer uninterrupted views and create a seamless transition from the inside of your home to the garden. ‘A supporting column is not always needed for this style of door,’ says Dardalis. ‘The integrity and supports will all be in the roof. Your builder or structural engineer can advise you further.’ Get expert advice on adding a rear extension
Don’t forget other required permissionsIn many instances, what is possible through Permitted Development would be refused if applied for under a planning application, so it can be about much more than just making the process simpler and quicker.However, while PD can simplify the process, it’s important not to confuse the planning consent it can avoid with other necessary requirements, such as Building Regulations, party wall legislation and Listed Building Consent, to name a few, which permitted development will not replace. Always seek the advice of an expert before proceeding.Be inspired by this dramatic London renovation that maxes garden views