How to add space to your home

Extension and conversion ideas for different properties

If you’ve outgrown your current home but don’t want to leave it, or don’t have the option to move, there are various ways you can increase the amount of space available.

Here are some of the most popular options for extending your home, converting areas, or making better use of your existing space.

1. Convert the loft

Loft conversions can add significant value to your home, particularly if you’re able to fit in an additional bedroom. An extra bedroom can add as much as 20% to the sales price of a property. The space you have available won’t necessarily allow for that, but even a mezzanine level for a current bedroom can be a stylish and functional addition.

2. Convert the basement

Basements tend to have low ceilings and poor ventilation and lighting. These problems can usually be fixed if you have the budget for it, or you can use this space for a function that works well within those limitations, such as a home cinema.

3. Convert the garage

A third conversion option is your garage if you’re willing to sacrifice the storage and parking space. How you use the conversion will depend on your needs and the existing layout of your property, for example, it could be a playroom, a home office, or a bedroom. Since it’s on the ground floor it could be very practical for an elderly relative or someone with limited mobility.

4. Add a side return extension

Many period properties, particularly Victorian terraces, feature a ‘side return,’ or alley running alongside the building that leads to the garden. This is a great opportunity for extending without sacrificing too much valuable garden space. While it probably won’t add an extra room to your property, it will give you more usable space and potentially more layout options.

5. Add a rear extension

Though this option will use more of your current outdoor space, you might be willing to make that sacrifice (especially if you have a large garden). This will give you more flexibility and options for the layout of your ground floor.

6. Add a second storey extension

If your home already has a side return extension or rear extension, you still have the opportunity to add an extra level. Depending on the space available, this might allow you to expand the master bedroom, add an en suite bathroom or walk-in wardrobe, or perhaps a nursery.

7. Add a conservatory

Another popular extension option is a conservatory. While you will have to give up some of your garden space to make room for this, it can act as a transitional area between indoors and outdoors and will help to keep light flowing through your ground floor living space.

8. Add a summer house

If you have a large garden, there’s also the option to add an independent building outside, such as a summer house or garden room. This could become your home office or a relaxation space away from the main house.

9. Switch to an open plan layout

While it won’t add square footage to your property, another idea is to remove some of the internal walls to increase the amount of usable space. For example, it’s popular these days to open up the ground floor of a home into one large living space, sacrificing rooms that get little use such as utility rooms, hallways, or hall closets.

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