2017 London house extension inspiration

The trend for ‘improve not move’ looks set to carry on into 2017. With the cost of moving and house prices continuing to rise, it makes sense for London families to expand their current properties rather than move to a new one. If you’re thinking of getting an extension on your house take a look at our videos for some extension inspiration.

Highbury, North London – Rear Kitchen Extension

This Victorian home in Highbury, North London, underwent an extensive renovation; it included a rear kitchen extension and a loft conversion, with the latter constructed by our sister company, Simply Loft. The owners of this extension have created a beautiful kitchen diner with exposed brick and bi-folding doors, which bring the outside in. The design also features a strategic light well over the sink and the kitchen uses sleek lines and a contrasting colour palette to maximise space.

Balham, South West London, Side Return Extension

Bright and airy, this side return extension, in the South West London enclave of Balham, is a great example of what can be done in a normal period terrace. Light was important to this family, and the combination of bi-folding doors, floor to ceiling windows and skylights above the dining table ensures plenty of natural light flows into this family orientated room. The traditional kitchen and large warm-coloured wooden table give this modern extension a homely feel.

Queens Park – Rear Extension and Refurbishment

This pretty rear extension on a ground floor garden flat in Queens Park near Kilburn in North West London, just goes to prove that you don’t need to own a house to extend your home. This project saw a complete renovation of the flat that included a reconfiguration of the bedrooms, bathroom and living room. A light well and wall-to-wall bi-folding doors let in plenty of light into what was once a dark space. The reconfiguration has enhanced the property’s period features and gives the family a workable space to live, work and play.

East Sheen London – Rear Kitchen Extension

A modern extension can transform a home no matter when it was built. This early 20th-century family home opted for a rear pitched roof kitchen extension, which gives the room a lofty feel. Skylights are fitted into the slope of the roof and let in plenty of natural light, as does the triangular window above the door. This family have also opted for bi-folding doors which connects with the garden, offering indoor-outdoor living all year round. The stylish kitchen is sociable and has been designed with entertaining in mind.

If you want to improve your London home in 2017, then contact us today for a free site survey.

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A guide to timber cladding your extension

With the popularity of programs such as Grand Designs and George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, timber cladding is now firmly back in fashion.

timber cladding extension

Why timber clad your extension?

Timber cladding can be a design statement, an insulation protector and a sustainable building material – especially if locally sourced wood is used. If you are building a timber framed extension, timber cladding can be a cheap and lightweight build compared to masonry. Hugo Tugman, founder of Architect Your Home and Interior Your Home told Real Homes magazine that “Timber cladding can introduce a completely new character, sometimes used in blocks, breaking up a bland masonry façade and creating more depth, modelling and composition to an elevation. Such cladding is often used to great effect in upgrading old council houses.”

For historical houses timber cladding can be used to play up the differences between materials and the eras in which the house and the extensions were built.

How much will timber cladding cost?

Like with most things, the cost of timber cladding varies on what kind of wood you use and how much you need. For example, the Western cedar, which is grown in the UK can start at around £3 per metre and go up to over £7 a metre while European larch starts at around £2 per metre. Labour costs will also be needed to be factored in.

“Cedar wood is usually used to achieve a nice effect,” said Helen Wood from Simply Extend “This can prove costly though to clad an entire extension so some of our clients choose to clad only a section of the exterior.”

Is it hard to get planning permission for timber cladding?

Depending on where you live and the type of house you have you will need to apply for planning permission. In 2008, a change in permitted development rules saw the introduction of the requirement that the materials of an extension would have to be “similar” to the materials of the existing house. However, this does not mean there is no point in applying for planning permission. There is now a line of thinking that an extension should be different from the original building for legible and honesty reasons.

What kind of timber is there?

There are many types of timber cladding but the most popular are Western cedar, European larch, Siberian larch, European oak, Sweet Chestnut and Douglas fir.

  • Western Red Cedar is currently one of the most popular forms of cladding and can be grown in the UK. If left untreated the wood fades to a silver/grey colour. One thing to take note of is natural oils in the timber have a corrosive effect on ferrous (iron) material, so avoid the use of galvanised or stainless-steel if you wish to use western red cedar cladding.
  • European Larch is a softwood and is mainly home-grown, making it a good suitability option. Left untreated it will weather to silver. If you live in exposed coastal areas its expected service life can be shortened.
  • Imported from Russia, Siberian Larch is higher in quality than European larch. This is because it is slow growing and thus has fewer knots. This is one of the most expensive forms of cladding.
  • European Oak is a durable hardwood. Rustic in appearance, oak can be one of the most expensive cladding materials but it is sustainable and is grown in the UK as well as on the continent. If left untreated the oak will change to silvery grey.
  • Sweet chestnut is similar to European oak in the way it weathers. It can be expensive and is generally only available in small quantities.
  • Douglas Fur goes by many names such as Oregon pine, British Columbian pine or Columbian pine. This pacific coastal pine is a softwood and fades to silver grey.

No matter which wood you opt for make sure your materials are either FSC or PEFC certified. This means that the wood has been taken from a sustainably managed forest.

If you are interested in having an extension built in your London home the call Simply Extend 0800 917 7571 on email for a no obligation quote.


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Why are side return extensions so popular in London?

Simply Extend side return extension london home kitchen

Side return extensions are big news in London right now with a soaring growth in popularity. These relatively small extensions stretch your home into the alleyway area at the side of the house and, as such are not so much about adding a new room to your home as they are about expanding the space available. So why are they so popular in London?

Perfect for social kitchens

Well, they’re fantastic for creating large, open plan kitchen diners, creating spacious social areas within the home, expanding the space for a family to live in without the hassle of moving. It’s a brilliant opportunity to redesign your kitchen to form a luxurious space that will add value to your home.

Simply Extend side return extension kitchen home London garden

They use dead space

With garden space at a premium in London, many homes either do not have the space to extend to the rear or do not want to reduce the size of their garden. Instead, a side return extension uses the dead space to the side of the home, allowing London families to have the best of both worlds. A side return extension can also open up corridors and other ‘dead’ areas of the house to create one large open space.

Light and airy

Because a side return extension runs along the length of your existing room you can use skylights to flood the space with natural sunlight. Rather than ending up with a beautifully lit extension and a darker room beyond, you’ll instead have a space that’s wonderfully lit all the way through.

Simply Extend side return extension home kitchen London

It’s a relatively small job

Because a side return extension isn’t very big in terms of size, it’s also quite small in terms of the scale of the job. Although the size of each individual project will vary, a side return extension can be a great option if you don’t want the building to run on and on.

It’s cost effective

Because of the smaller size of a side return extension, this also means that it’s a relatively cheaper and more cost effective job to carry out than a rear or wrap around extension. So you’re gaining space and really maximising the value you’re adding to your home.

If you think a side return extension may be the right improvement for your home, contact the London home extension experts, Simply Extend, on 0800 917 7571.



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Flat vs. Pitched Roof for Your Extension

When you’re planning your home extension, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the ‘fun’ elements such as picking out your furniture and décor, or perhaps designing your new kitchen. It’s less easy to get excited about the more structural elements, such as the type of roof you’re going to have, but the roof will really define the overall look of your extension.

Here we look at your two main choices when deciding on a roof type are flat and pitched, but what are the pros and cons of each?

Flat roof

Simply Extend London home extension flat roof

The obvious benefit of a flat roof is cost as it is generally cheaper than a pitched roof. This is because there is less structural engineering involved and they are for the most part constructed from cheaper materials. They can also have a great modern look for more contemporary buildings – although some more contemporary materials such as zinc can bring the costs up.

However, your ceiling inside will be lower, making the space appear smaller and a flat roof can require a lot of maintenance over time, depending on the materials used. It’s also not a great design for lots of insulation, making it less energy efficient.

Pitched roof

Simply Extend London home extension pitched roof

The design of a pitched roof will usually blend in better with the style of more traditional houses, making it a favourite with planning departments. It also has a definite benefit of space. You can create a higher ceiling beneath it, or even use it for loft space in some instances. It will also have a longer lifespan than a flat roof thanks to more weather resistant, durable materials and a design that allows water to run off more efficiently. A pitched roof will also allow for more insulation than a flat roof – keeping your energy bills down.

However, a pitched roof is more expensive due to more structural engineering and more building hours.

The design of your roof may be dictated to you by a variety of factors such as your local authority’s planning department, or what you want to use your extension for, but when you do have a choice, it’s wise to consider carefully what you can afford but also what will be the best long-term decision.

Our experts at Simply Extend can help you decide on the best option for you when planning your London home extension. Call us today on 0800 917 7571 or complete our online enquiry form.



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Glass home extensions

As people want to extend and maximise the light in their home, glass extensions are becoming more and more popular with Londoners. They are a striking, beautiful and contemporary way to create more space, while seamlessly linking the outdoors to the indoors.

The addition of bi folding doors can really open up your home to the garden and create a wonderful space for entertaining – just imagine summer BBQs where your guests can easily move between the garden and kitchen, or winter dinners where you can enjoy views of the garden as you dine.


However, there are some key things you need to think about before pushing ahead with a completely glazed home extension. If you’re overlooked, for instance, your neighbours will be able to see your every move, and if your home is particularly sunny it could get very hot without suitable ventilation.

At Simply Extend, we can help you work out if a glass extension is the right choice for you, or if you would be better off with a part-glazed solution. We can talk you through our range of glazing options and help you realise your ideas. Call us on 0800 917 7571 or fill in our online enquiry form.

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Types of home extension – which one’s best for you?

Extending your London home is a great way to create extra space. Whether you want a bigger kitchen or bathroom, an extra bedroom with en suite, more living space, or a combination of all of them an extension can transform your home and improve your quality of life, all without having to call a removal van.

The type of London home extension you have can dictate how it can be used, so it’s worth considering exactly what you want in terms of space and then looking at how you can achieve it. To help, we’ve put together a list of the most popular types of home extension we design to help you work out what’s best for you.

1. Side return extension

Simply Extend side return London home extension

A side return extension brings your home out into an alley way or drive way at the side of your house to create additional interior space. It’s not the biggest kind of home extension available but it can make a great deal of difference and is ideal if you want to create, for instance, an open plan kitchen-diner.

2. Rear extension

Simply Extend rear London home extension

A rear extension extends from the back of your property, usually making your kitchen bigger and giving you additional space for a living or dining area. The use of bi-folding doors can really open up the extension to your garden or patio as well, giving you a bright, airy space.

3. Wrap-around extension

Simply Extend wrap around London home extension

A wrap-around extension combines a rear and side return extension to give you the biggest possible space. It can be used to create a large kitchen-diner, perhaps with living area, making a fantastic space for entertaining guests.

4. Double storey extension

Simply Extend double storey London home extension

A double storey extension really maximises your home’s space. It costs more than other London home extensions as it uses twice the space, but it means that as well as extended rooms downstairs, you could also have an additional bedroom – maybe even with en suite.

At Simply Extend, we’ll consult with you on your home extension in London and talk you through what’s possible with your property. To get some inspiration, be sure to take a look at our case studies to get an idea of what you could have in your home.

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Increase the value of your home by appealing to the budding chef

Home owners looking to expand their kitchen will be pleased to know that a third of estate agents in the UK believe that the extension will increase the value of their property. Good news for those budding Jamie Oliver’s and Heston Blumenthal’s in the making.

A great way to expand the home and create a larger living area, kitchen extensions are now seen as a financially beneficial solution to increasing space in the home alongside extra bedrooms.

According to a new report by the National Association of Estate Agents, it was revealed that just under half (49 per cent) of estate agents surveyed agreed that an extra bedroom would increase the value of a property, whereas a third felt a kitchen extension would increase the value.

Simply Extend Kitchen Extension

Kitchen extensions were ahead of the poll, that took into account conservatories and garages. With conservatories only taking 4 per cent of the vote, 3 per cent thought the addition of a garage would increase the value of a home. Converting an existing garage into a living space also only garnered 3 per cent of the estate agents votes.

Jan Hytch, President of the NAEA added: ‘Our research shows that bedrooms and kitchens are seen as the most sensible areas for expansion and this rings true when a property comes on to the market.’

With house prices in London steadily increasing, home owners and growing families are finding that extending and expanding their home is a cost effective way to obtain more room.

The team at Simply Extend create beautiful extensions including side return, wrap around and even double storey extension for home owners in the London area and tailor every job to your specific requirements. Need a bigger area to work with when cooking? No problem. Our team can turn a kitchen into a bespoke living space based on what you need. Bedroom with a bathroom, an office or a kitchen, we can handle anything.

We take care of everything, from obtaining planning permission on your behalf to design to paintwork, all at a fixed price, so there are no hidden costs, meaning at the end of the project, all you have to do is enjoy it.

Visit www.simplyextend.co.uk to view our vast portfolio of past projects and see what a kitchen or any other type of extension can do for your home.

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Side Return Extensions – An Easy Way To Transform Your Home

Looking for a way to transform your home?  Period homes with space at the side of their kitchens lend themselves perfectly for side return extensions.  Simply Extend have completed many side return extension projects including home extension in Twickenham, London, see below.

For a small extension to the side, a kitchen can be dramatically transformed into a large space, perfect for relaxing with family or entertaining friends. Velux skylight windows can be added into the side return extension to bring in extra light as well as adding large bi-folding doors to the rest of the extension to open up and out into the garden. In just a matter of weeks you too could be relaxing in a bright open space!

Twickenham Side Return Extension

For more inspiration on Kitchen extensions London, visit the past project page of the Simply Extend website or give our friendly team a call on 0800 917 7571.

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