House extension or how to enlarge your house to gain square meters
Insufficient space is a fairly recurrent problem in an overly dense urban context. Everyone dreams of a little extra corner, but if only we could get it without necessarily resorting to buying a new property. Fortunately, modern architecture has come up with a great solution for anyone who would like to enjoy a few more square meters without breaking the bank. The house extension is there to reorganize forever and enhance your home. In the following lines, we will give it the deserved attention.
What is an extension?
As its name suggests, it is an architectural construction that is created as an extension of an already existing building. Hence, the need therefore to keep a certain aesthetic coherence between the already existing and what will be built. Note, however, that this is not necessarily a stylistic copy-paste, the extension being a very appropriate opportunity to give a note of interest to a traditional house, or to modernize an old property. On the location side, you have two main options, either you extend vertically or horizontally, but we will address this issue later in the article.
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What administrative and town planning constraints?
Of course, building an extension is not without some administrative constraints in the first place. And we would like to reassure you, that since 2012 in our country, the administrative process has been simplified for all those who would like an extension within the limits of 40 m2. If this is the case, you only need to file a declaration of work beforehand with the town hall of your municipality. But as any rule is subject to exception, the case of extensions is also because if the total area (house + extension) exceeds 170 m2, the building permit will become mandatory. And apart from these procedures, do not forget to consult the local urban plan of your municipality which could in particular stipulate certain standards to be followed and constraints of an architectural or even aesthetic nature.
What is the point of an extension?
Easier to operate than buying a new property, building an extension is one of the most effective ways to increase the living space of a home. So much the better if you have old attics or a convertible garage, but if this is not the case, the only possible solution remains expansion by construction. Several advantages result from this, including the gain in square meters in the first place, but also the added value added to your property in the event of resale, as well as the possibility of rethinking and reorganizing the layout of your house. And finally, it is also a great opportunity to make your interior brighter. Most of the extension solutions currently available on the market have glazed facades giving free rein to natural light.
What type of extension?
Lately, regarding the types of extension, you can, as we have already said, work either on the horizontal or on the vertical and we show you the main options below.
The extension by elevation
More practiced in urban areas where elevation is often the one and only way to add volume, extension by elevation often consists of adding an additional floor. And even if this idea does not fail to fascinate a lot of minds, it must be admitted that these are major works whose cost will not be significantly higher. A very important consideration if you have decided to get started yet – it is necessary to study the structure of the building to ensure that it will be able to support the weight of the new construction.
Probably the most common solution, the side extension is a much easier way to expand your house if you have the necessary surface to do so of course. For hard work, be prepared to knock down a wall so as to open the facade because it is most often a question of widening an already existing room. For example, it is not uncommon to see the extension accommodate a dining room open to a kitchen which is intended to be more convivial, therefore equipped with an additional space specially dedicated to meals. In terms of building materials, you have a fairly wide choice: steel, concrete block, glass, and wood, which, while requiring greater effort from a maintenance point of view, is one of the most recurrent solutions because of its aesthetic character, durable, lightweight and the price which is quite advantageous.
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The extension by the veranda
A kind of side extension, the veranda presents itself as an even easier but still very economical way of creating an extension on the sides of a building. It is the perfect solution if you would like to furnish a fully-fledged room. All you need is a concrete slab to install the veranda on and the veranda itself. It should also be noted that it has a lot of advantages. Firstly the ease of its installation, most verandas coming in a kit to assemble yourself, then also the large bay windows with which it is usually equipped for an unprecedented gain in brightness. In addition to these assets, there is also the great current diversity of materials (wood, PVC, aluminum, etc.) and designs as well as the possibility of converting the space in question into any type of room in the house. . However, we will most often see installing a kitchen or a dining room which will benefit the most from the opening. Do not be surprised, however, to see a living room and even why not a bedroom, but know that in this case, the character of the room will require special thought in terms of thermal insulation.
Extension by a dependency
The last solution of non-adjoining character, the outbuilding is in fact a small separate building that will most often find its place in the garden. This is then another great option for properties with enough horizontal space to exploit. The great asset here is hidden behind the isolated character of the extension which transforms it into a small studio in its own right, which could eventually serve as a guest house. Or, why not set up an artist’s studio or an office there for those who work from home but seek the concentration of a place specially dedicated to working. However, think ahead of the connections to be made to provide this new space with all the amenities present in the home, first and foremost water and electricity.