Darker Days Require Warmer Living Spaces: 8 House Extension Ideas

With the nights drawing in, it comes as no surprise that we are all looking for ways to keep warm this winter. One of the best ways is to invest in an extension for your home and ensure that it is thermally efficient, if your extension is well insulated, you will be able to keep it warmer for longer without having to turn up the heating. An extension is a wise investment for your home, as it can add 20% to the value of your home. Here are five ideas that will boost your home's appearance, value and thermal efficiency.

Smart bi-fold doors

Light Filled Extension

An increase in natural light, be it through fixed windows or new patio doors, will make a rear extension connect more readily to the garden.

This extension to a detached house features bifold doors – with a solar reflective coating to prevent overheating – and a double-height glazed atrium to stunning effect. With the right double glazing and bifold doors, this extension will remain cool in summer and warm in winter.

A Bungalow Extension

On a single-storey home, you obviously can’t go up, as planning permission won’t allow it. A clever way to extend a bungalow is with a rear extension built using cross-laminated timber (CLT) paired with solar PV panels and a new insulated envelope around the existing building. This approach helps reduce your carbon footprint and keep you warmer in winter without having to turn up the heating.

Lighten Up Your Small Space

If you are looking to extend a small, gloomy space, then a good way of getting extra light in is by using a variety of window styles (including roof lights, picture windows and bifolding doors) to make the space feel light, bright and modern.

If these windows are double glazed and have thermally efficient frames, then this extension will be cosy and bright even on a cold winter’s day.

Loft Extensions

If your home is small and on a terrace, then the only way to extend is by going up into your roof. To make sure that your loft extension remains warm, think about installing energy-efficient windows. An A+-rated double glazing can bring significant bill savings, and you could go further still, with triple glazing. Good quality windows not only bring lower bills and a warmer space but also excellent noise-proofing and reduced condensation build-up.

Side Returns

A lot of terraced or semi-detached houses, often from the Victorian era, have a small passageway at the side of the house which is often a dumping ground for bikes, bins and garden stuff. This seemingly small space could be incorporated into the main house to give extra space with not too much upheaval. With minimal building chaos your home benefits from extra space and natural light.

Just a few feet can make all the difference and change the way you use the room, and if it’s part of a bigger rear extension, it can turn a dark narrow space into an airy, open-plan living space or kitchen diner. This extra sunlight, can also naturally warm your home without you having to turn on the heating.

Porch Extensions

If your front door opens directly onto the living room, or you have a small hallway, a porch is a good option, it could be used for coats, shoes, and bags and prevents dirty footprints from being walked directly into the house. It is also a useful barrier to the elements.

A porch in keeping with your home could be an asset and could add value to your home, however, make sure the porch is in proportion. It must also be over 2m from the road or boundary. You generally don’t need planning permission for a porch. Remember to think about installing thermally efficient doors and double glazed windows, to ensure your porch extension remains warm and cosy.

Convert the Garage

Garages become dumping grounds for all sorts of stuff and often the car doesn’t get even parked in it, but it could be a much-needed extra room. Garages are great for extension ideas for every budget, because of the relatively simple nature of the build. The structure is already there, so it doesn’t need to be built from scratch, just converted, so it’s a cost-effective way to gain more living space.

You could also consider building a room above a garage, but remember to include plenty of insulation to prevent it from feeling cold.

Ready Made Extensions

A popular choice as a lot of the hard work happens off-site, so you don’t have to put up with as much disruption as you do with a traditional extension. These extensions are usually designed with thermal efficiency in mind, so the materials used to construct it as well as the windows and doors will ensure that this extension is kept at a comfortable temperature throughout the year.

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