Garden extensions

More space, more light, more time to enjoy the garden - it’s the summer trinity that so many home-owners dream of when adding a garden extension
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To realise those dreams, increasing numbers of people are turning to architects for bespoke solutions. For anyone thinking of adding an extension, there is good news on the horizon, too: the Government is reviewing planning legislation for home extensions in an effort to cut red tape and make the building process simpler.

Garden extension checklist

  • Ensure that any new extension is in proportion with the main house and doesn’t eat too far into the garden.
  • The most successful designs feature flooring that flows seamlessly from inside to out, doors that are easy to slide open or fold back, and generous panels of glass to maximise views onto the garden and light into the house.
  • Small extensions may not require planning permission, but check with your local authority.
  • To find an architect, contact Royal Institute of British Architects Client Services, 020 7307 3700, or visit

Brick, timber and glass box

On the site of a mock-Victorian garden extension, this sleek 21st century kitchen and dining pavilion makes a seamless connection between living space and the garden. Added to an Edwardian house in south London, the new structure includes a loo and utility area complete with washing machine, fridge and freezer in an iroko-wood-clad box. The rest of the extension reaches outwards with a modern kitchen and dining area. Two pairs of floor-to-ceiling, 2.5m-high glass doors slide open to the garden. Cost: £100,000. Neil Choudhury Architects, 020 7633 9933.

Kitchen and dining space

Having refurbished their north London home from the top downwards, the owners of this house saved the garden extension till last. This scheme covers over the side passageway and has created a single-storey, flat-top extension. A new kitchen sits at the centre of the space, while a dining table looks out over the garden. To avoid direct views of the block of flats at the bottom of the garden, the end wall features a solid panel between the pair of 3m-high, iroko-framed glass doors, which cleverly open up views at an oblique angle out across neighbouring gardens. Cost: £90,000. Martyn Clarke Architects, 020 7263 7121,

Lower-ground pavilion

As part of a whole-house makeover, the final flourish at the lower-ground level of this Georgian house in north London is a simple glass pavilion. The garden was also excavated outwards to create a new stone terrace, so that when the glass doors slide open, there is a seamless link between inside and out. The glass theme continues on the extension’s roof, which is made from translucent frosted glass. Cost: £60,000. Nadi Jahangiri of M3 Architects, 020 7253 7255.

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