Space in our homes has become a hot topic of late, particularly in London where space is at a premium. Led by the proliferation of so-called rabbit hutch homes, how much space we have in our houses has become a political hot potato. According to the Royal Institute of British Architects; “a lack of space has been shown to have an impact on the basic lifestyle needs that many people take for granted, such as having enough space to store possessions or even to entertain friends. In more extreme cases, lack of adequate space for a household has also been shown to have significant impacts on health, educational attainment and family relationships.”

Of course, the amount of space you need will depend on your situation at the time. People need varying amounts of space at different stages of life and sometimes life can surprise you. If you find that your house is no longer quite right for you, but you don’t want to move, there are ways to expand the square footage of your home to make it work for you. Repurposing your home can help to add value as well as create the living space you and your family need.  

Side return extensions

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to gain more space is to add a side return extension. This involves building into the alleyway at the side of your home. This can be the perfect solution for homeowners on a budget or if you don’t want to lose your garden space. Add in skylights to fill a room with natural light.  London is home to large stocks of period houses, where side alleyways are typically found, therefore increasing the chance of being able to create a side return extension.

Rear extension

Building a rear extension is most likely the best way to add square footage on your property. You will, of course, have to give up a part of your garden to achieve this, but the amount of space gained will most likely be worth it. Many use a rear extension to create an open plan kitchen diner and family room, which can make your house feel much larger than it is.  

Removing unused chimney breasts

Many older homes have chimneys that are no longer in use. If this is the case for you, and you don’t  have any plans to restore them for future use, it is possible to take chimney breasts out and gain back a few square feet of living space. On average you can gain up to 6.5 square feet when you remove one chimney breast, and you will achieve a more standard shaped room.

Make the most of unused space

Making the most of unused space might seem like an obvious option, , but many houses have areas that are wasted due to poor design and because the space is longer used as it was. In older houses this might be a pantry or areas once used to store coal and firewood, in more modern homes, space can be lost due to bad design. You can open up these spaces to create a bigger room, use them to create clever storage units or a small utility area.

If you have a flat or an old extension you might be able to use the roof space to create a roof terrace giving you some outdoor space to enjoy with your family and friends.

Go up and dig down

If you’re happy to take on a bigger project, it might be possible for you to expand into your loft and dig down into your cellar or create a basement. At Simply Extend, we can help you with a triple conversion, where we add an extension, basement and a loft conversion, as well as help maximise your existing space. Contact us today for a free site survey.

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