Grown out of your house, but don't want to move? Extending can mean many more years in the home and location you love, but how do you make sure your extension complements your house and creates exactly the space you wanted?
By Sarah Warwick
Building an extension can be quite straightforward - and a new-brick box can certainly be a lower cost way to go than other options. But many extensions don't flatter the building they're attached to. A successful extension works with the original house - even though it might be distinctly different in design - so think about the long-term, and flatter your home with good architecture.
Once you've decided to extend, the first step should be to get inspiration. It's a great excuse to snoop on the neighbours, so be bold and ask if you can take a look at the extensions other people in your area have built recently, especially on homes of a similar style and age to yours. Think critically about what you see, and how it works with the house. It's also the perfect opportunity to learn from other people's experiences - ask about how the space works including issues like:
* Is it the right size, now it's in use?
* Is it adequately heated in winter and ventilated in summer?
* Is there anything they wish they'd done differently?
* Is there anything that makes it really successful?
Remember that although you may be able to extend without the need to apply for planning permission under the permitted development rights, additions to your home that pre-date your occupancy may leave you with less space to play with than a neighbour might have had. Check out our extension rules feature for more.
Be inspired to create your perfect home...