George Clarke; The architect and presenter of Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces and The Restoration Man shares his latest tips and ideas

 George Clarke on the best way to extend your home

Image: Thomas Stewart

 

What's the best way to extend?

There are many ways of adding value to your home, from upgrading kitchens and bathrooms to keeping interiors looking fresh and well maintained. But after many years of refurbishing and restoring homes all over Britain, I’ve come to the conclusion that the most foolproof way to add value to your home is by adding extra space. To a certain extent homes are valued according to their location, but they are also valued by the number of rooms and overall floor area, so if you are able to increase these it can often be a shrewd investment.

Ground-floor extensions, particularly on the side or rear of your home, can be the easiest to gain planning permission for, and can increase the size of kitchen, dining and living areas. A good-sized, communal kitchen-dining area is the most appealing ground-floor room in a twenty-first-century home because so much of the time we spend socialising as a family and entertaining friends revolves around food and drink. These extensions can also be relatively affordable additions – as long as you don’t buy the most expensive kitchen on the market.

You only have to look in an estate agent’s window and you’ll see a notable price difference between properties that have lots of bedrooms and those that don’t. Upper-level rear extensions can be quite difficult to get planning permission for, so the best and most affordable way to add extra sleeping quarters is by converting your existing loft; the space is already there so why not inhabit it?

Garden studios are another simple way to increase the footprint of your home, and the right design will easily gain planning permission. Unfortunately, because the rooms aren’t connected to your main house they can rarely be used as long-term bedrooms, kitchens or bathrooms. But they function well as temporary guest accommodation or home offices.

I’m a massive fan of basement conversions as they can allow you to add storage, utility space, extra bedrooms, study areas and TV rooms. The downside is that these are the most expensive projects because of the digging and structural work required. However, they can be the most incredible transformations when done properly.

Ultimately, only you know the best option for increasing the size of your home, as it depends entirely on your existing architecture and individual domestic needs.

Kevins Column

Top self build highlights at Grand Designs Live 2019 hosted by Kevin McCloud

Find top experts, specialist exhibitors and a wealth of inspiration for your self-build or renovation project all under one roof.
visit-award-winning-grand-designs-live-hosted-by-kevin-mccloud
designer-radiators-interior-tips-for-choosing-the-right-style
Home Improvements

Designer radiators: Interior tips for choosing the right style

There are plenty of options to consider when buying a designer radiator. Our buyer’s guide looks at the hottest trends for 2021.
lewis-decking-upstairs-floor-construction
Home Improvements

An innovative upper floor construction method that improves performance

A Lewis Deck system is perfect for a solid, secure upstairs floor without heavy beams and blocks, with great acoustic properties.
fenix-ntm-worktops
Home Improvements

Design the perfect kitchen with colour-matched worktops and sinks

Kitchen worktops are the finishing touch of any modern kitchen. Discover a range that meld technological advances with great looks.
frameless-roof-lights-natural-light
Home Improvements

How frameless rooflights can maximise your home’s natural light

Rooflights are the perfect way to brighten your home with natura light. We take a look at a range of stylish rooflights for design-led homes
home-energy-improvement-grants
Home Improvements

Which government energy home improvement grants are available in 2021?

Discover the eco home improvement schemes you could take advantage of in 2021.
why-heat-recovery-systems-are-better-than-gas-boilers
Home Improvements

Why heat recovery systems are ideal for your future home.

Heat recovery systems recycle, clean and warm stale air – discover why about why they’re more efficient than gas boilers