Mapledene RoadContemporary Kitchen, London
Alan Williams Photography
What Houzz contributors are saying:
Add a glazed extensionIf you decide to build into your side return, use as much glass as possible in your extension, so you don’t block the flow of light into that middle room. This glass box extension works wonderfully, and allows light from the side and above to enter the room beyond, so it might actually be brighter than before the extension was built.Thinking of extending outwards? Opt for a gorgeous glass box
Is there a fire escape route?One of the major questions your architect and Building Control officer will ask is, ‘Will it be safe to escape in the event of fire?’ It’s an issue nobody should take lightly, and even though dealing with it often makes open-plan spaces more difficult, it’s nevertheless important to stick to these rules.For example, a staircase providing an escape route from upstairs rooms wouldn’t generally be allowed to go through the kitchen. This is because the kitchen is considered a fire risk, and therefore no escape route should lead through it. Staircases are escape routes as well, and usually all rooms need a 30-minute separation – in other words fire doors – around them on the ground floor. The only way an escape route could lead through a kitchen is if you have a mist system installed, or sprinklers.In this open-plan space, no doors are needed between the kitchen and reception rooms. Why? Because there’s a ‘secondary escape’. Read on for more about these.
Side extensionsIf you have a small back garden, you probably won’t want to reduce its size even further by extending your property out. However, many properties have a long, thin space to the side – the side return. It usually sits in a shadow, and can be made much better use of if it becomes part of the house. Be aware that you will need to apply for permission for a side extension. Most councils will advise you about any restrictions on such extensions, or you can get a good idea about what is permitted by looking at neighbouring properties to see what has already been built.This new space has the potential to make a dramatic difference to your existing living space. Depending on the depth of the new extension, it can either provide a seating area, dining room or even transform the whole back of the property into an open-plan kitchen-dining-living room.Research the hidden costs of your renovation before starting work
Keep it clean and simpleThis dramatic infill extension has large glass panels with minimal amounts of frame, which can often be distracting. This helps keep the focus on the interior space and the materials used to create it – including the reused existing brick walls.See more great glass-box extensions
Dealing with disruptionYou should be prepared for a significant amount of disruption during the extension process. ‘There will be noise and dust, but what gets most people is the sense of intrusion,’ says Hugo Tugman. But the pain is usually worth the gain. ‘My wife likens it to childbirth – difficult to go through but well worth it. A typical single storey extension should take around 2-3 months, but some projects might be as quick as 1 month and others might take 6 months or longer.’