Houses by Ben Herzog Architect

Adding on to your house in a creative way

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Buying a house is a long and drawn out process with gut instinct playing a bit part in the decision-making process, which is why it can be so heartbreaking to slightly outgrow it. Instead of committing to looking for something larger, however, many savvy homeowners are looking at potential extension projects that could open up great swathes of extra space inside a treasured property and it's a route definitely worth more consideration.

Any experienced architect will b able to give a thorough account of all the steps and costs involved in a home extension project, but as an initial overview, before we get to some fantastic suggestions as to styles and specific room additions, the following rules of thumb will usually apply:

1. Planning permission will need to be paid and applied for, once a suitable addition has been settled upon. Different building styles will require different permissions, so it's no use assuming that a roof terrace will come under the same legislation as an office annexe.

2. Quotes will need to be submitted by professionals that wish to tender for the project work. It's always advisable to get at least three quotes, in writing, so as to be able to compare them all, word for word, before settling on the contract that best suits the project itself. It's vital to be aware of the difference between fixed-prices and daily contracting fees.

3. Second fix finishes, such as electrics, plaster and plumbing need to be planned well in advance, so that once the exterior portion of a project is complete, there is little to no delay until the inside gets finished and can be considered as habitable.

Costs-wise, for any kind of home extension, it's unlikely to come in at under $1,500 per square meter. Plus, the more complicated a design and location is, the more the cost will increase. This is why thorough written quotes are absolutely essential before any ground is broken.

Adding on to your house with a two storey extension.

 Houses by Ben Herzog Architect
Ben Herzog Architect

Brooklyn Heights Addition

Ben Herzog Architect

Adding a sizeable two storey extension to the rear of a home is a common sense way to open up a massive amount of extra room, as it is quite common to do this in a bid to embrace a larger kitchen and an extra bedroom. Ground floors are commonly made open-plan, in a bid to maximize the light flow and create a real sense of drama and presence, while an extra bedroom, up on the first floor of a home, is always a bonus.

It's a terrific idea to make sure that the extension matches the existing home, for a natural cohesion, but it's not uncommon for seriously contemporary additions to be selected as well, in a bid to create a little visual diversity.

For smaller budgets, slightly more modest ideas, such as a one storey extension, can work well, allowing for the main hub of the home, the ground floor, to be enlarged significantly, without breaking the bank. 

How to add on to your house with a penthouse.

  by Ben Herzog Architect
Ben Herzog Architect

South Slope Penthouse Addition

Ben Herzog Architect

Imagine for a moment a striking townhouse that is neatly ensconced between two other. There will be little chance to extend and building out at the rear could be near impossible, if access is going to be a problem, but there's no reason to despair, as a penthouse room could be the perfect solution.

Neat, stylish and incredibly enviable, a penthouse addition can be used for absolutely anything, though a really luxurious and private master bedroom suite seems like the best idea to us. Just imagine how much value that would add to a home as well!

Expanding a house with a sun room.

Over in the UK, sun rooms, or conservatories as they call them there, are exceptionally popular. A great way to gain a whole extra room, without ever needing to battle against the elements and frequently inclement weather, we think they should be more popular over here in the US. 

The ideal location for a family snug or den, not to mention a dining room with a view, these charming spaces allow for a slice of summer all year round, as they stay beautifully warm, thanks to the use of so much glass and while they are enclosed, there is a definite sense of being more connected to the outdoors. Using indigenous wood for the frame would give a house a wonderfully local connection too.

Adding to a home with a roof terrace.

When it comes to adding onto a house, ideas are as varied as can be, but we are never sad to see a gorgeous roof terrace. Long gone are the days when terraces were simple little patches of garden with a shabby table and a chair or two in place, as now, these outdoor havens are being given as much consideration as interior rooms, perhaps even a little bit more, given that anyone can see them and observe the levels of detail.

Comfortable seating, an integrated heat source, pretty potted plants and even more exotic touches, such as dining furniture. lighting, water features and art are being added to terraces these days, in a bid to make them so much more of a covetable addition to a home and an observably useful extra room.

Adding a room to a house, independently, with an office annexe.

Of course, not all home additions need to be physically connected to the original building, so for those that could use a decent amount of extra working space and have a generous garden to play with, a standalone office annexe is a natural and ingenious choice. It's a whole extra living space, but doesn't impact on the main body of a house at all.

In terms of more cost-effective home extensions, this could prove to be an exceptional idea, as an office annexe could be created from anything, including a used shipping container. The most expensive part of a project like this would be the second fix and insulation, but with no need for costly construction, money could actually be saved and in generous quantities too. 

Pick up a pool house.

Here's an idea that has luxury at its very core, but it's important to account for all needs and budgets, so a pool house could be a viable option for many households. It's not as if a pool house absolutely has to house an olympic-sized swimming pool, after all, so somehthng modest will work well and could even include a small home gym, if that would free up a spare bedroom in a family home that needs to account for more inhabitants.

A fantastic way to account for all things leisure and fitness, a pool house will most certainly add value to a home and remove any clutter inside a residential property. That's almost like creating TWO home extensions, for the price of one. Who can argue with that value?

Go for a granny annexe.

 Garage/shed by Blankstone
Blankstone

Garden annex

Blankstone

For any homes that are constantly playing host to extra guests, a dedicated granny annexe, despite the unfortunate moniker, can be a terrific solution to the problem of constant overcrowding. A small self-contained studio would easily fit into even a modest garden and when overnight guests stop being so frequent, older children will love the idea of having their own 'apartment'. Speaking of children, sleepovers would no longer need to be a noisy annoyance with a granny annexe, as all of the young ones can be sent out to the studio to enjoy a little independence.

And there you have it; a home extension suggestion for every house and budget!

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