When designing your rear extension, you will want to think about how this is going to interact with your existing property and how you want the old and new spaces to feel. It is worth thinking about any elements you want to retain, such as architectural details or parts of the layout, and how you want to transition from the original property into the extension – will it be stark and clearly a new addition or will it blend seamlessly.

Throughout the Design Phase you will be met with a number of decision about how you want to incorporate the new extension with the old house and theses will come to define the overall appearance of your new home when complete.


Retaining Internal Windows

When extending into your side return the window into the rear reception room is usually one of the first design decision you will come across. The options to consider are removing it to create a doorway between the two spaces or, if you wish to keep the two rooms separate, retaining some element of window to allow light to pass through but keep noise and distraction contained.

As seen here, our clients in Fulham choose to retain their original timber sash window between the kitchen and study, this has not only allowed natural light to pass through but maintained the character and history of the space. If you are not lucky enough to still have the original window a new window or frameless glass partition can be used to give it a sleek modern look while still dividing the spaces.


Making use of the Chimney Brest

One of the most common features our clients retain in their extensions are the chimney breasts. Although taking them out significantly opens up the space they can be costly to remove, due to the steelwork and structural support required, therefore cleverly incorporating them into your layout can create a design feature while also saving you money. One of the best space saving options is to incorporate the hob and oven, by increasing the size of the chimney opening, like our clients here in North London have done. The look can be given a traditional feel by using shaker cabinets and adding an over mantel shelf.


Using an All Glass Roof

An all glass roof looks really contemporary and is certainly a statement in itself, a further advantage is that this architectural feature will also help to define the new element of the build and make it clear that the area it covers is a new addition to the property. This can be an interesting way to add space to your home while being sympathetic to the original layout and history. The uninterrupted run of glass also improves the spread of sunlight around your home as the full width glazing catches sun for most of the day while also providing views upwards towards the sky.


Retain but Modernise Features

Retaining an existing feature is a good way to add character to a room and help the new space blend with the original property, it is worth remembering thought that the original feature doesn’t need to be left exactly the same and can be modernised give the space a fresher, up-to-date look.

The clients at this project in Alexandra Palace could have knocked out the original bay window to the rear of their home and replaced it with full width doors but they wanted to retain elements of the space. By turning the central window into a set of French doors and installing new slimmer windows they have given it a contemporary twist which ties the old and new together.


Replicate Original Details

Sometimes retaining an original feature is not possible, or there were none in the first place, but if you still want to show the connection the between the original and later additions of you home you can do so by using a similar architectural language or style. The designer of this ground floor extension in South East London has mirrored the bay window and window on the first floor on the new extension to tie the old and new together. By lining up the placement and using the same style the new extension blend seamlessly into the original property and create a uniform look overall.


If you are considering a ground floor extension this is something our Design Team would be happy to advise on and if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing hello@buildteam.com or using the contact us link at the top of the page. We would be happy to arrange a FREE Design Consultation with one of our Designers allowing you to find out more about options, cost and the feasibility of extending your home.