11 inspiring extensions to period homes

We round up the best extensions to older properties that add space and value, while being sympathetic to their heritage

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When adding an extension to a period home, it’s important to create a design that is sensitive to the original architecture. The new addition must be subservient to the main house and shouldn’t be larger than necessary. Minimising its size will also help control costs.

Extensions work best when they are either perfectly seamless and look like they have always belonged there, or more contemporary designs that show how the house has evolved through time. Use materials that match or complement the existing. Your local authority can provide guidance on the types of design that will be acceptable.

Get inspiration for your project with this stunning selection of extended period homes.

1. Oak frame sunroom

Traditional cosy cottages often have small windows, so adding a sunroom or conservatory is a great solution, allowing you to balance darker rooms with a brighter space. This beautiful oak frame sunroom extension to a brick and flint thatched home provides a relaxing dining area for the previously constricted kitchen.

Oak frame sunroom to thatched cottage by Greenrooms by Oakwrights

This oak frame garden room addition is by GreenRooms by Oakwrights and cost £54,000

2. Indoor-outdoor connection

A contemporary extension was built onto this listed stone country cottage to create an open plan kitchen-diner. The glazed design has allowed the kitchen in the original section to be naturally lit throughout the day as well as adding a modern touch to the old cottage. Minimalist sliding doors allow for seamless access to the garden, and create an indoor-outdoor feel by merging the dining area with the patio.

IQ Glass contemporary glazed extension to listed stone cottage

Eastabrook Architects designed this modern addition, working with IQ Glass to create the glazing and sliding doors

3. Harmonious materials

With its lower roofline and colour-matched handmade bricks, this oak frame extension is in keeping with the original property – parts of which date back to the 18th century – while remaining subservient. As the main house needed reroofing, new handmade tiles have been used to perfectly tie together the old and new sections. The extension is finished with larchwood waney-edged cladding and softwood windows and doors.

Border Oak designed and built the sensitive extension to this period home

4. Modern contrast for Victorian semi

When extending a Victorian property, there is often more design versatility. This six-bedroom Victorian semi was in need of modernising when its owners bought it, and lacked the family kitchen-diner they were looking for. The new rear addition is clad in painted steel sheet – a stark contrast to the classic front façade – and brings a fresh modern look to the property. Sliding doors create a garden link.

Victorian semi with steel-clad kitchen-diner extension

The striking steel-clad extension to this Victorian semi was designed by Allister Godfrey, with sliding doors from Express

5. Seamless stone extension

This charming 19th-century home has been restored and doubled in size with a large extension. When its owners took it on, the formerly dilapidated boxy cottage had cement render covering the stonework. This was removed and the house fully renovated alongside the extension work. Clad in stone to match the existing structure, the new addition is the heart of the home, containing kitchen, dining and seating areas downstairs and bedrooms upstairs.

Seamless in-keeping extension that doubled the size of stone house

An in-keeping stone extension has almost doubled the size of this 19th-century home. The work was done on a tight budget using many reclaimed materials

6. Glazed gable end

Abandoned in the 1930s, this 17th-century thatched flint cottage had slowly deteriorated before its new owners renovated and extended it. The two-storey oak frame addition houses a kitchen and master suite. A glazed gable end ensures the new spaces are filled with light, while the front of the cottage appears as it would have done when first built.

Oak frame glazed extension to 17th century listed thatched cottage

The two-storey glazed oak frame extension to the rear of this cottage is in total contrast to the original front façade

7. Traditional Sussex house extension

Typical of the area’s style, this 1930s Sussex house had tile-hung gables above a weatherboarded ground floor, but was cramped inside. An in-keeping extension was added at the rear, housing a living room and sunroom on the ground floor, and two bedrooms upstairs. Lots of glazing maximises views across an unspoilt valley.

1930s Sussex house extended with traditional tile hanging and weatherboarding

Lanham Architects designed the extension to this 1930s Sussex house

8. Art Deco addition

A single-storey side extension housing a spacious kitchen-diner has breathed new life into this Art Deco home. Upstairs, the new master suite is contained in a curved drum section. The existing house has been fully renovated, and the 1970s windows replaced.

Hetreed Ross modern extension to Art Deco house

Hetreed Ross created this contemporary extension, complete with a curved drum containing the master bedroom

9. Copper roofed kitchen-diner

This late-Victorian five-bedroom house had only a tiny galley kitchen when its owners moved in, so they soon set about planning an extension that would give them the spacious family kitchen they craved. The addition also contains a sitting area, while a wall has been removed to make the dining room open plan to the space. A copper roof tops off the design, while minimalist sliding doors provide the perfect garden link.

Modern copper roofed extension to late Victorian house

This stunning copper-topped extension was designed by Alexander Owen Architecture

10. Low-profile design for listed house

A clever low-impact sloping design, joined to the house via a glazed section, was the solution for this Grade II-listed late-18th-century house, which enjoys an isolated position in the middle of a common. The extension creates a new kitchen/dining/living area with views through sliding doors. Inside, the original exterior wall remains intact to minimise impact on the structure, while the house has been renovated.

Sloping extension to listed house with glazed link

Architect Jam Koramshai designed the low-profile extension to his own home, and connected the two by a glazed link

11. Cottage evolution

Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this cosy cottage has been extended with a design that is modern yet respects the original building by using natural cladding materials. The front elevation maintains the look of the original cottage, as all the work is to the rear. A glazed hallway element provides the link between old and new.

CaSA Architects modern cottage extension in Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

CaSA Architects designed the extension to this cottage, creating a modern feel but using in-keeping natural materials

Photographs: Jeremy Phillips, Brent Darby, Darren Chung, Bruce Hemming, Simon Maxwell, Simon Dennison, Adam Carter