It is not just the inside that counts when extending
A buildings look is often quite important. The ugly stand out for all the wrong reasons and the over the top designs often look over designed. Now what got me thinking this way is I am designing an extension to go onto my recently purchased property. As one of many London builders, I simply get plans and designs from my customers and just crack on with the job. But this time it is my turn and I am going to give it careful thought.
Too many times I have built extensions for people who have simply made their beautiful home practical with all the right rooms, yet had no regard to the actual impact of how the structure itself will look from the outside. Bits sticking out here, bits sticking out their. So often it comes from people rushing in and having a small extension built under permitted development and then later realizing you can not swing a cat so they glue on something bigger. Before you know it you end up with this concoction of lego pieces put together by a three year old.
Now I am not daft, money is tight and so often rules what we can and can not do, circumstances change and that is where being too hasty can often occur. But these two categories are where my extension falls into. Basicly I have to convert a ground floor single room into a double (its a bungalow). This needs to be done as we are expecting a baby and are a little short on space.
I have been taking my time and walking through all sorts of ideas and finishes but the key is that it is not just about the good stuff thats happening on the inside but also what's changing on the outside. One massive compromise we have had to undertake is that as we extend, our front door moves closer to our boundary, quite considerably. Now I would happily say so what more room the merrier however in our little street that is going to look stupid and feel wrong so we have cut our projection back a little.
Talking to some fellow london builders we have discussed how to finish the brick work because it all gets a little mish mash on a bungalow, and we have decided to build out of block and render the whole front street section of the house. This pays for itself as we have less labour on laying the blocks, but also gets rid of an obvious join and this will really soften the appearance of the extension.
As with all bungalows the roof is very much in your eyeline from the street and so we are also taking great thought on how the roof will shape up, this is because to many houses round here have horrible valley mish mash hipped roofs and once again we want ours to look as if it started out this way.
None of this is easy, and when eager to get on with it that makes the thinking process a little harder. But thinking is free and there is no harm in approaching local london builders for opinions. so why not take a little time to take the foot off the gas and view your house from a five years down the line angle, just to make sure that you will be happy with the way it all looks.