Grand Designs: Two-storey extensions

Grand Designs: Two-storey extensions

Ever fantasised about transforming your home by adding a stunning two-storey extension? The latest issue of Grand Designs magazine includes an article on how to do just that. In the article, “On another level”, Melanie Clear, founder and director of Clear Architects, provides her expert advice on how to get this type of scheme right.

Cutting edge design

When it comes to crafting an extension design that stands out, Melanie has plenty of advice for Grand Designs readers. She says: “The style trends are led by architects and home-related television programmes. The current obsession with glazing shows no signs of abating.”

She continues: “We are also seeing exterior cladding, designed to add interest and differentiate the extension from the main house.”

Stansted Road is one example of a gorgeous one/two-storey extension scheme by Clear Architects. The practice transformed this rundown Victorian property via the addition of two floors at the rear of the property. The internal layout was also rejuvenated to make the dwelling fit for 21st century family life.

Project management basics

Careful control of your budget is at the heart of any successful home improvement scheme. According to Melanie, it’s worth setting aside at least £1,850 per sqm for the project. She says: “A two-storey extension with fixtures and fittings could cost £150,000 to £200,000.”

It’s also vital to consider how long the build will take to reach completion, as you’ll be making a significant investment in terms of time, as well as money. Melanie says: “Always allow four to six months, depending on the level of complexity of the scheme.”

Planning guidance

Getting the planners on side is likely to play an important part in the overall success of your two-storey extension scheme, whether you can carry out your project under Permitted Development or require formal consent. It’s often worth bringing in a professional designer who can help you navigate the intricacies of local planning policy.

Melanie says: “If your extension will be visible at the front of the property, that is a side addition. Speak to your local planning department about their rules on changing the street scene.”

She continues: “Ensure you know about your boundary line and party wall laws that govern your property and that of your neighbours, particularly if you are attached.”

Clear Architects are experts in designing stunning extensions that complement the local surroundings. The practice also has an excellent track record when it comes to obtaining planning permission for eye-catching projects.

Visit our Planning page to learn more about how we can help you negotiate this part of the build process.