• NWD Architects

New Year, new project: building an extension

It’s a New Year once again and a fresh start is always a good time to bring new projects to fruition. Whether it’s enlarging your house with a one or two-storey extension, or expanding your retail unit to provide more floorspace, an extension is a great way to make the most of the space and land that you already own. Here are our thoughts on your options, before you embark on your exciting project.

Growing your business

Our team at NWD has worked on all kinds of extensions and building expansion projects, so we have a wealth of experience and advice to offer. Our range of work includes everything from the smallest home extension and alterations of existing houses, to designs for new houses and large commercial schemes. When it comes to extensions, we often look beyond the expected, tried and tested solutions and can implement something new and innovative. For example, if you are looking to enlarge a retail premises, it may be that you want to create a mixed-use annex, to create a combination of retail and residential.

More usual retail projects are simply an expansion of the existing site, to offer more storage, or shop floor space. You’ll likely need permission to undertake extension work and if the existing building involves a change of use, you’ll have to run that past your local planning authority too. In some cases, it’s beneficial to be able to show that the development is ‘in keeping’ with what already exists. However, it may be that the unique qualities of both the building and the setting demand a very different approach. We can help you design something that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing, whatever the situation.

Extended ambitions

Adding an extension to a residential property can be due to a multitude of reasons – the need for more space, more storage, a new arrival or a relative who needs care. The introduction of ‘working from home’ over the last two years has made many people look beyond how they see their homes. If they want to continue to work from home, they have seen the potential to change their home layout and find themselves asking how they can make their homes more serviceable for home working – room conversions/divisions and external extensions have often been the answer.

This follows on from trends from the past. For example, in the 1980s, so-called ‘granny flat’ extensions were popular, with an extension allowing an elderly family member to live at the property. These days an extension is often a conservatory or sunroom at the rear of a property, to provide both greater enjoyment of the garden and allow more living space, in the form of a sitting room or playroom. Kitchen extensions are also a popular option and two-storey expansions can add bedrooms or office space to upper levels. As with retail, you may have to apply for planning permission and gain approval from your local council, and you’ll have to think about the visual impact it will have on the environment and your neighbours, who will have a say on what’s acceptable too. There are, however, some situations where planning permission is not required, and we can guide you through the process of extending your home through the means of Lawful Development.

Plans into reality

From retail to residential, we can help to realise your vision and turn your ideas into real plans. At NWD, we have a team that includes architects, interior designers and architectural technologists. We can provide a comprehensive design service that covers all stages of your extension project – from inception to completion, from planning application to approval. If you think you’d like to talk about the extension potential of your property, then contact us today.

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