There’s so many options available to homeowners looking to extend, but if you’re living down south, where housing is typically less space-efficient, then a side return extension to your London property could be right up your alley.
What is a side return extension?
Quite simply, a side return extension utilises the space jutting out the side of most Georgian or Victorian houses. This space is usually reserved as a walkway that you see at the front of the property and is extremely inefficient. It’s far too narrow to do much with it as a garden and when left unused just looks dank, murky and rather unattractive.
The concept of a side return extension is to incorporate this space ‘into’ your home, expanding the overall space and width of a room, with the kitchen typically benefitting from this type of conversion.
So other than expanding the size of your home, what are the benefits to building a side return extension? We’ve put together a few of the top reasons that will help you reach a decision when it comes to making the most of your usable space.
Adds value and looks more ‘complete’
We’ve already mentioned how unsightly an unused side return can look. A side return extension will greatly improve the appearance of your house, giving it a more aesthetically pleasing ‘wrap-around’ construction. This isn’t only attractive to passers-by on the street, it’s also a major selling point when it comes to attracting potential buyers.
Extending your kitchen (or whichever room is adjacent to your side return) and creating extra space will also add value to your property. So if you’re planning on putting your house on the market in the near future, this kind of renovation is certainly worth thinking about.
Making light of the situation
With the kitchen typically being the closest room adjacent to the side return, this kind of extension is ideal for anybody who wants more natural light in their cooking and eating area. Natural light can dramatically change the ‘feel’ of a room - enhancing visibility, mood and generally creating the illusion of more open space.
The key lighting feature of a side return extension is a fully glazed roof. For a more low-cost option, it is often possible to install one or two well-placed Velux windows to create the same effect.
Shapes for every style
With the services of a skilled architect it soon becomes apparent that the options for a side return extension in London, or anywhere else, are more flexible than you may have originally thought. Even with such limited space to work with you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it will make.
We’ve already mentioned the typical inclusion of a glazed roof or velux windows, but it’s also important to take note of the limitations involved when constructing with glass (which is governed by Building Regulations). So it’s worth consulting an expert beforehand to help guide you through the complex rules.
More contemporary living
We’ve already talked about the benefits that extra light will give to the space you are extending. But there’s also the extra floorspace to consider. The combination of the two creates further opportunities to explore an open-plan kitchen/dining area, which is in very high demand right now. So if you really want a cooking area that also functions as a space for entertaining then you really ought to consider a side return extension for a cost-effective solution.