If you're looking to make a design statement with your extension while adding space and value to your existing home, expert Michael Holmes recommends designing an extension that focuses on scale and form, contrast and harmony, high quality materials and an element of surprise.
While a statement extension can be a striking addition to a house, It's important to ensure that your design remains sympathetic to the existing building as well as being appropriate to its setting. Our selection of statement extensions are here to inspire.
1. Transform a tired bungalow into a contemporary family home
Architects Pride Road were asked to turn a 1920s bungalow in Chorlton, Manchester, into a wheelchair-friendly family home with contemporary design and sustainable credentials.
A rear two-storey extension with a feature gable and grey engineered brickwork, contrasted with white render, creates an open-plan kitchen, dining and living room on the ground floor, which opens out to the garden through bi-fold and French doors, with level access to the slate garden paving. On the first floor, a covered balcony leading from the main bedroom creates a stunning focal point.
The cost: The entire project, including internal refurbishment and a front as well as rear extension, cost £264,000.
2. Maximise glazing for a minimal look
The owners of this East London family home wanted a minimal but not minimalist look, with plenty of personality. IQ Glass and architects HUT created an extension maximising the glazed areas to flood the space with natural light, teamed with aluminium wall pressings for a streamlined appearance.
A dramatic double-height box on one side lets more light into the staircase, and an aluminium casement below creates easy access to the outdoor space.
If you like the idea of maximising light in your extension, have a read of our top tips for building a light filled extension.
The cost: The project cost £36,000 for the design and installation.
3. Consider an oak frame extension for a period property
The new owners of a run-down farm inherited buildings that had deteriorated in their exposed Dartmoor location. Architects Van Ellen + Sheryn proposed retaining half of the stone-built former milk parlour, with a glazed extension replacing the remainder – have a read of our guide to adding a glazed extension to a period property for more tips.
The new, double-height, green oak-framed section has a covered external terrace and a scissor truss with stainless-steel tie rods. Zinc is used for a modern take on a traditional agricultural tin roof.
The cost: The project cost £250,000 for construction and materials.
4. Add a striking extension to a Victorian terrace
Architecture for London was tasked by the owners of this south London Victorian house to turn a small, dark kitchen into a sociable space for a growing family. The new room makes use of the side return, with a polished concrete floor that extends into the garden.
As the property is in a Conservation Area, the architects successfully argued that the stained cedar chevrons, creating a sculptural cladding design, distinguish the new from the old.
The cost: The project cost £120,000 for construction and materials.
5. Consider your garden while designing an extension
Sliding doors open out downstairs to form a suspended corner and two frameless roof windows create stunning views. Upstairs, there’s an internal balcony, with sliding doors from the bedrooms to a Juliet balcony overlooking the sedum roof and roof windows of the ground-floor extension.
The cost: The project cost £360,000 for construction and materials.
6. Consider incorporating a terrace of balcony into your design
Keeping the balcony meant restricting the roofline of an extension to the lower ground floor, so rather than the former wrought-iron opening, a glass terrace now forms the clear roof of the extension below, with views over the garden and into the kitchen and living space.
Inside, glass and polished concrete create a contemporary look, and low energy colour-changing strip lights lead the eye into and along the space.
The cost: A similar project would cost in the region of £3,000 per square metre.
7. Create links between different levels
The extension consists of a series of spaces on different levels, visually linked together with the materials of the existing building, as well as glazing, to respond to the different functions contained within the extension.
The cost: The extension together with refurbishments cost £180,000.
8. Consider the space you're looking onto
This Middlesex house lacked a dining space, so the owners asked Architect Your Home to create an area that opened up the impressive outdoor views.
Designed to fall within permitted development rights, a reverse mono-pitch roof finished in semi-weathered zinc was combined with sliding glazed doors, with an aligned grid of large-format floor tiles inside and out. Flush-glazed roof windows boost daylight throughout.
The cost: The project cost £110,000 including construction, fixtures and fittings.
9. Maximise light with a glass box or glazed extension
A love of everything glass prompted the owners of this Winchester property to ask Andy Ramus, Mike Ford and Stephen Osbourne of AR Design Studio to design a contemporary extension with a sculptural glass staircase.
Situated at the back of the house, the extension is constructed using frameless glass for a clean, delicate appearance to this open, light-filled communal area, while contrasting well with the property‘s traditional exterior.
Have a look at our guide to achieving a glass box extension for more inspiration.
The cost: The extension cost £120,000 for materials and construction.
10. Consider the angles of your extension
After an earlier design failed to gain planning permission, the owners of this 1920s semi-detached house in south-west London called in Paul Wiggins Architects to create a light, contemporary glass bowsprit-shaped extension.
Granted consent because the structure diminishes in height and width as it extends into the garden, a cantilevered steel frame allows the doors to open out without any column support.
The cost: The extension cost around £192,000 for materials, construction and fit-out.
11. Design a light filled extension
The owner of this brick-built cottage in Denbigh, North Wales, wanted a sizeable, quiet area away from the rest of the house, and asked Arboreta to create a light-filled extension.
With glazing running the length of the building, the new space has panoramic garden views, with French doors fitted on both sides and an aesthetically pleasing faceted end. With planning permission for a basement underneath the extension, Arboreta worked on the two spaces together to complement each other.
The cost: The oak frame, glazing and joinery cost around £25,000.
12. Use sliding doors to create a transition between house and garden
Contemporary style with a seamless interface between indoors and out was the brief for PAD Architects from the owner of this Kew home.
An extension with a glazed sliding door system and roof lights now spans the entire rear elevation, creating a transition between the Victorian house and garden. A pre-application meeting ensured a smooth planning process.
The cost: A similar extension would cost from around £150,000 for construction and materials.
13. Ensure your extension looks balanced
This house in the West Midlands was top-heavy following a loft conversion, so the owners wanted an extension allowing the old kitchen and a small living room to be incorporated into a more family-friendly, contemporary space.
Good natural light was a priority, so triple-glazed bi-fold doors from Origin were chosen to open out the new room to the garden, with a practical door in the middle as well as roof lights to maximise daylight.
The cost: The windows and doors cost £13,000.
14. Make a design statement with a sharp edged roof overhang
An existing extension made way for a design by Granit Chartered Architects that stretches across the rear elevation of this south London house, with the Australian owners requesting a good physical and visual connection with the garden.
A sharp-edged roof overhang, which looks like a solid roof floating over the glazed clerestory windows, makes a strong yet complementary design statement, and large sliding doors maximise daylight.
The cost: The project cost £210,000 for materials and construction.
15. Consider the shape of your structure
It had to distinguish itself from a typical glass box extension while still maximising light. The dramatic roof relates to the existing brick-built structure without exceeding its height, and shaped frameless overlights above slim-framed aluminium sliding doors fit into the shaped roof.
The cost: The glazing design, manufacture and installation cost around £96,000.
16. Use a garage or outbuildings as a basis for your extension
Located in Belfast, this Victorian house had a garage and outbuildings at the back rather than a direct connection to its south-facing garden. The owner asked Des Ewing Residential Architects to remedy this, as well as to open up the rear to capture the sun.
A single-storey extension was created at garden level, with a dramatic asymmetric butterfly roof in zinc positioned to face the sun, and extensive glazing. A smaller section of the extension was finished in white render. A patio living area has also been constructed, sheltered by a new garden wall with a continuous stone seat, creating a sun trap.
The cost: The project cost £210,000 for construction and materials.