Two Storey Rear Extension

As families grow, the house sometimes needs to grow with it. It’s not always about numbers of rooms but often about spaces, functions, purposes. This project holds a mirror up to modern family life, it is about coming together and yet about privacy, it is about open space and yet about proximity and closeness. The paradoxes of millennial life are comfortably echoed in this home. Not only that, we see the desire to remain rooted.

This home with two adults and two young children is a loved family home, like many of us, when we find a place we like, we’re reluctant to leave. We like the street, the neighbours, the access to work. Moving can be an expensive option so expansion is the right way forward. This project takes the challenging but sensible choice of the double-height extension. It’s challenging because the building project gets everywhere (yes, everywhere) but it takes full advantage of the process and cost of foundations.

This family wanted an open-plan living space, something social, family-centred. The ubiquitous kitchen-diner that so many homes currently aspire to. The addition of a hidden utility room hints at the thought behind the redevelopment; form follows function, we want an open plan space but not with the washing machine and all of the attendant mess on display.

The space is open, light and airy and has great garden access thanks to the triple-leaf bifold doors which slide easily back to reveal a whole aperture yet offering easy access via a traffic door which can be opened independently of the other two leaves.

The upstairs space is all about space again, but this time, the space to be private. As children get older their own social spaces become more important. In this regard the project successfully adds floor area to a child’s room whilst considering the fall-off of light which accompanies long spaces. The thoughtful addition of a Velux window through the lower part of the eaves provides huge amounts of light from above and also serves to break the long ceiling and provide a more interesting visual finish.

The grown-up room was the other area to benefit from this project. An extension of the main bedroom accommodates a new en-suite space, giving that precious separation from the family bathroom, adding privacy and less chance of future morning clashes on the bathroom schedule!

The couple worked closely with us at Invent Architecture & Design to ensure planning and regulations were met at all stages and that variations were allowed for. The original drawings opted for a rear elevation with less loft space and yet more pleasing to the eye, but the family made the conscious choice to go for a flat approach which, whilst not a as ‘pretty’ offered a better functionality.

All in all, we’re happy with the end result, and we can say that because the homeowners are too!

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