Transforming dreams of an extension into a reality can take time and meticulous planning. Adding an extension to your home can add value, both monetary and when increasing the quality of your living space.

As structural engineers in Devon, we know the value of settling on an unshakable design before you start any conversion work. What kinds of things should you be thinking about when considering building an extension?

Adapting Existing Space

The least successful extensions usually feel like a room slapped onto a house. Reconfiguring your existing space to integrate a new extension can often give the best results.

A new reconfiguration will allow you to make the most of both existing and new spaces. You might consider removing or adding internal walls and entryways to adapt the space to accommodate new functional areas.

Managing Acoustics

Modern kitchen interior

This is something that often goes overlooked when designing an extension. Modern interiors that opt for sleek visuals and incorporate glass panels, glossy concrete floors of stone can cause problems with acoustics and echo problems.

Soft, sound-absorbing fabrics can be used to decrease these effects, but thick carpets and heavy curtains may not be appropriate for kitchen extensions.

For this reason, it may be worth fitting acoustic panels that fit in with your desired aesthetic. This way, you won’t have to compromise on noise control or design.

Cantilevered Conversions

A basic extension may not be right for your house so it could be worth thinking about a cantilevered extension. A design that makes use of cantilevers can be great for creating balconies or storeys that seeming float without visible supports.

Choose Appropriate Materials

Extension construction in progress

When considering the design of your extension, the materials you use should be a significant part of your consideration.

Choosing complementary materials that mimic key design elements of your existing structure can help blend the extension and make it look like it’s always been part of your building.

Contrasting materials will give you more room to express the character of your extension, but you must be mindful of how well new materials will integrate into the existing design.

Which materials you choose will depend on how you want your extension to be perceived on the outside.

Planning Permission For Extensions

As with many projects, it can depend on the extent of your proposed work as to whether you will need planning permission or not.

Generally, if your project adheres to certain criteria, extensions will be considered permitted development, and you will not need to go through the planning permission process.

You should check with your Local Planning Authority that your design does not breach any of the terms for permitted development if you are unsure. There will be exceptions to the general rule when it comes to conservation areas and listed buildings.

For more detailed guidance about planning permissions and the extension-building process, take a look at our step by step guide below!

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Are you planning an extension for your house? Consulting professional structural engineers can make any building project run more smoothly. To see how Martin Perry Associates could help you, why not give us a call today?