Home Extensions: Don't Look Outwards, Look Upwards

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Harry's Home Improvement Blog

Hello, my name is Harry and this is my home improvement blog. Welcome! On this blog, I will be discussing many different home improvement and construction topics. I should explain that I am not a professional contractor. However, I have just come to the end of a home renovation project which took over 2 years to complete. During that time, I worked with dozens of different contractors in order to get my house into shape. I have spent hours working alongside plumbers, electricians, surveyors and roofing specialist. I learnt so much about their different trades that I decided to start this blog.

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Home Extensions: Don't Look Outwards, Look Upwards

23 April 2021
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


If you're thinking about extending your home, you'll probably look outside and consider just where your home will be extended to. In which direction will your living space be extended? How much of your lot will be lost to the extension? Will this loss of your backyard or front yard be too much of a sacrifice? If you don't much like the answer to these questions, there's a relatively obvious way to proceed. Instead of looking outwards, you might want to consider looking upwards.

Building Upwards

While home extensions generally increase living space on a horizontal plane, your extension can also be a vertical one, adding a second storey to a single storey dwelling. For some homes, this can in fact be the only option, as the ground floor surface area might already be at the maximum allowable size for the capacity of your property lot. Even when space permits, adding the required foundations and infrastructure for the extension means that going up can be more cost-effective than going out. However, this somewhat depends on the complexity of your plans. 

Your Property Lot

Additionally, extending the ground floor space of a home will inevitably require that some of your lot will be sacrificed. This can be too great a compromise when you consider the loss of any outdoor living spaces, gardens or simply the grass where your children play. And this only applies to a lot that can accommodate an outward extension, as the layout of some lots (such as those on a slope) may not permit any horizontal expansion of your home. 

Possible Complications

Adding a second storey to a single floor home significantly increases your available floor space (often doubling the size of your home). However, there might be some constraints:

  • Planning permission might not be forthcoming. This generally isn't a major obstacle unless local conditions are particularly restrictive. After all, you're adding a second floor to a suburban property, and are not constructing a multi-storey tower.
  • There might be some pushback from your neighbours, particularly if your extension will affect their view or affect the amount of daylight their home receives. This can conceivably be a reason why permission can be denied, but beyond that—it's a personal decision if you want to push ahead with building work that might displease your neighbours.

Not all home extensions need to expand your home on the horizontal, and this can sometimes be a rather complicated task to achieve. Adding a second storey can actually be a rather practical course of action.

Contact a local remodelling contractor to learn more about home extensions.