Common Design Mistakes When Planning a Glazed Extension

Extensions are becoming increasingly popular for homeowners looking to add extra space to their property without all the hassle of moving.

Whether it be to add a completely new room to the home, such as an office, or just to make an existing room larger and more spacious there are a variety of factors that should be carefully considered before embarking on the extension process.

Here we outline some of the common mistakes that are often overlooked when designing and planning an extension.

1) Not choosing the right type of extension When it comes to choosing an extension, a conservatory has typically been the default choice for many homeowners. Understandably, glazed extensions tend to be popular as they create plenty of natural light, however, alternative styles such as garden rooms and orangeries are much better suited to the British climate.

In contrast to a conservatory which tends to be fully glazed, a garden room will usually have a tiled roof meaning it is less vulnerable to changes in the weather. This is similar to an orangery which tends to have a flat roof design with a roof lantern feature which still provides plenty of light to the room below.

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Home Extensions2) Not getting planning permission The area of planning permission and permitted development rights are complex to say the least, but this isn’t an excuse to overlook this area. Depending on the size and style of the extension, it may not be necessary to obtain planning permission, but nevertheless, ensure that you familiarise yourself with the requirements and speak to your designer/builder to see whether this is necessary. Additional requirements may be necessary if you live in a protected area or are planning to make alterations to an older property.

3) Thinking size doesn’t matter An extension should be an addition to an existing property, not an entirely new one in itself. An extension needs to be designed sympathetically with the existing property in mind, anything that is too big may look out of place and fail to add real value to a property. However, in contrast, an extension that is too small for the property, or one that fails to add to the existing room will ultimately add little value to the property.

4) Location The location of the extension is often overlooked, but can have a huge impact on the overall usability of the extension and needs to be considered when designing and planning the new room. North facing extensions tend to attract the least amount of sun and therefore can get cooler, meaning heating considerations need to be thought through. In contrast, southerly facing extensions can attract lots of sunshine and so ventilation and extension design becomes important.

5) Not thinking about glazing There are now a huge range of glazing options available, all of which serve different purposes. Intelligent glass solutions such as solar reflective glass, which consists of a coating applied to the glass, can be ideal for extensions that attract lots of sunlight, or should furniture fading be a concern. Similarly, should the extension feature a prominent roof lantern, self cleaning glass may prove beneficial for these hard to reach areas. These solutions can therefore help to compensate for any other factors that are harder to overcome such as the location of the extension.

6) Choosing the wrong material Whilst budget ultimately plays a large part in the type of material used, it can be worth spending that little bit extra to ensure the material will stand the test of time. uPVC is without doubt the most common material for a traditional conservatory, but alternatives such as timber offer far superior qualities. Timber is more durable and less susceptible to weathering as well as providing a greater level of insulation, which can help to save money in the long run.

7) Ventilation In order to avoid overheating, ventilation is an important consideration. There are a huge range of ventilation options, such as roof vents and even automated vents that can open or close depending on the weather conditions outside. A reputable designer should be able to advise you on the most suitable options for your extension.

8) The finishing touches Whilst finishing touches undoubtedly come down to personal taste, there are a few tips that can help to maximise your extension. One of the most common mistakes is to use a light colour scheme such as white and creams within the extension. Whilst this may seem like a natural choice, darker shades can actually make the room look more spacious and can also work well with the amount of natural sunlight in the room.

It may seem like there are lots of factors to consider, but a reputable designer should guide you through the various elements of the project as well as providing their trusted opinion to ensure that you achieve the best extension for your budget and for your needs.

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