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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Smith


We’re seeing a huge increase of homeowners across North London opting to extend their current homes rather than move. We understand that it can be a little overwhelming, especially when choosing the type of extension that’s right for your property and will provide all the space you’ll ever need. We’ve put together this essential guide to the various types of house extensions.

Rear extensions

Rear extensions are arguably the most popular type of extension and the most simple. A rear extension extends to the rear of the house, often from a kitchen and into your back garden. This type of extension may be your only option if you don’t have space on either side, for instance, if you live in a terraced property.

A rear extension may not be extensive in size but can still provide an impressive amount of extra living space, such as a dining area or open-plan kitchen, which you may not have had previously. Incorporate natural light using skylight windows or full-width doors to make even the smallest extension feel much bigger.

As this type of extension is relatively simple compared to its counterparts, costs are usually much lower.

Wrap-around extension

A wrap-around extension involves extending both the back and the side of the property to maximise your home's ground floor potential. This L-shaped extension adds a considerable amount of space to your ground floor and dramatically changes the look and feel of your home.

If you have ample garden space, a wrap-around extension allows you to extend as far into your outdoor space as you please. Depending on the layout of your existing house, a wrap-around extension can create a large open-plan kitchen or even incorporate a conservatory. This type of extension provides endless opportunities for additional space.

This type of extension is, of course, more complex and, therefore, will cost a little extra; however, the benefits far outweigh the cost of space and budget allow.

Side return extension

A side return extension is a popular choice for homeowners with a property hosting an alleyway that is unused. It is similar to a rear extension in complexity and the space it offers. This type of extension is perfect for those who wish to have the benefit of additional space without too much disruption to the rest of their property.

A side extension makes clever use of the side return – a part of the property which normally has little use. This area provides the perfect opportunity to widen the kitchen without intruding on your garden space which is ideal if you have a small garden or don’t want to lose any garden or landscaping.

Over structure extensions

If your house has an attached garage or a previous single-storey extension, you could build a new extension on top of it. In other words, you are 'building over' the existing structure, as the name suggests.

Some older garages may have single-skin brickwork unable to carry the load of another building on top. If this is the case, more structural work would be required to strengthen the original walls before a new extension can be built on top of the garage.

This type of extension is perfect if you’d like to add an extra bedroom, bathroom, office, study or a playroom for children.

Double-storey extension

If you’d like to add more than one room to your home, a double-storey extension is a cost-effective option as you will only be using one roof and the same foundations for both levels.

With this type of extension, you could create a large kitchen with a dining area and easy access to the garden on the lower storey. Have an extra bedroom, large family bathroom, office or anything else you can think of on the second floor.

Double-storey home extensions can be built onto the back or the side of the house. A rear double-storey extension can include either a flat or a pitched roof, while an extension added onto one side of the house will typically need to have a pitched roof.

Other ways to extend your North London home

If an extension isn’t what you’re looking for or is simply not practical in the space you have on offer, there are other ways you can extend your existing property to give you more living space.

Basement renovation

If you already have a basement, renovation is relatively simple and cost-effective. The structure should already be absolutely sound, so any basement renovation would be concentrated on insulation, opening, lighting and making brickwork good, ready for decoration.

If your property sits on a slope, you could build a semi-basement with a part of the area sitting below the ground. Bringing light and air into half basements is usually straightforward, as you can add windows and sometimes even sliding glass doors.

Additionally, if you are adding a side or rear house extension to your house, you might be able to integrate a basement extension into the design so that you will have a two-storey extension which will only expand one storey above the ground level.

This is a good option for properties where building a regular double-storey extension is not an option due to design limitations or planning restrictions.

Loft conversions

If you have an attic with sufficient floor-to-ceiling height, you could create an extra room by simply converting your loft. The addition of a couple of skylight windows to your roof will allow natural light to enter the space.

If your attic is not high enough, you can still add a room by building a dormer loft conversion or a mansard extension, which will allow you to create the maximum headspace. There aren’t many lofts which can’t be converted in some way.

If you think a loft conversion is going to be the best option for you, take a look at our guide to loft conversions.

As with any renovation project, it’s always best to check with your local planning department to see what, if any, planning permissions you’re required to have in place. You can find more details here.

Home renovations North London

At Pario Construction, we genuinely care about our clients and the projects we deliver. We take thorough steps in our pricing and always deliver a specification to ensure our clients understand what they are purchasing.

All our work comes with a ten-year structural warranty. If you’re in North London or the surrounding area and are considering a loft conversion, contact us today to receive a free transparent quote. Either get in touch online, give us a call at +44 (0)203 488 0172 or drop us an email at

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