single storey extensions

We could all use some additional living space, maybe lockdown has made you re-evaluate how you live in your home & think about Single storey extension ideas.


A single storey extension is the biggest home improvements project that any homeowner can undertake, however, it is the ultimate way of adding extra space as well as value to a home. Adding a single storey extension could quite literally transform your life, adding extra space changes the dynamics of the home and in turn, the way that the family interacts together in the home will change drastically for the better.

As families grow and space becomes limited, we have two options – Move house to a bigger property, or extend the home. There are many things to take into consideration when moving home, like the children’s friends, schooling and exams, moving house can be a real upheaval for everybody. With modern building methods, you could have an extension built within days that could change your quality of life, no mess, no fuss.

Everybody has different reasons for wanting to extend their home, whatever the reason you have for wanting a single storey extension on your home, you must do your homework, research and explore all of the different options available to you before embarking on the largest of all home improvement projects. When building a single storey extension do not cut corners, or building on the cheap. To ensure that your extension is thermally efficient, adds value to your home and withstands the test of time, you must choose the best materials and a reputable company to carry out the work.

There are many options available for single storey extensions that allow homeowners to have full control over the style, amount of light and the specification, in fact, the options are unlimited. Write a list of what is important to you with regards to a single storey extension, how much space is needed, the style of build required, type of finish, style of roof, look at case studies and take inspiration from other peoples builds, ultimately decide what would work best for you, and your family.

single storey extensions

We have put together a 5 point guide to help you start planning your extra living space:

Pitched or flat roof?

One of the first things that you will need to consider is the roof type, there are several factors that may dictate which type of roof you have, existing home style being one of them. Permitted development rules may also determine the style of your single storey extension roof. If in doubt about permitted development rules or planning, always check with your local authority before deciding on anything.

Single Storey Extension Roof glazing

As well as adding additional space to their home, many homeowners add a single storey extension to add light and brightness to the home. Almost all of the natural light in a sinle storey extension enters via the roof which is why it is so important to consider the roof glazing very carefully. Both pitched and flat roof extensions have glazing options that will flood the space with beautiful natural light.

With a flat roof extension you can choose from lanterns or flat skylights, both will allow copious amounts of light into the room. A pitched roof extension could feature some full length glazing panels or Velux windows. Prefabricated roof systems from Ultraframe such as the Ultraroof & Livinroof solid roof systems allow multiple glazing options.

Open plan or seperate room?

Whether or not you choose to have your single storey extension as an open plan space or not much depends on why you want the extra room. Creating an open plan living area is on-trend right now with many homeowners that choose to extend as they are a fantastic way for families to spend time together in one area where they can entertain, prepare and cook a meal, eat and relax together.

Some homeowners choose not to make their single storey extension open plan because they want to use the extra space for peace and quiet, a tranquil room to enjoy away from busier parts of the house. Give some careful consideration to whether or not an open plan extension is right for you and your family or not. Since lockdown, we have met many families that want the extra space to create some distance within the home.

LivinROOF internal view extension dining area

Choosing windows and doors for your extension.

Windows and doors not only keep the elements out, they also have a massive impact on the overall aesthetics of your single storey extension. Bi-fold doors have been hugely popular for a long time, this is because bi-folds can open up a room to flow into the garden area, perfect for entertaining on summer evenings. The latest trend is large sliding doors because they have less sightlines which means they feature larger expanses of glass than bi-folds. The downside to sliding doors is that they do not accomodate the same amount of opening space as bi-folds. There are of course the traditional options for single storey extensions such as French doors, patio doors and finally single doors.

There are many different types of windows to choose from for your new extension. The windows you choose will depend on the style of extension you are building. Windows can be fabricated in any shape or style you desire, from non-opening full-length ‘fixed pane’ windows to traditional vertical sliders. When choosing windows give careful consideration to ventilation, light and also access. Other considerations are colour, style and material such as uPVC, aluminium or timber. The company you choose to build your single storey extension will be able to advise and create a visual drawing for you to get a feel for the right windows and doors.

External finish.

There are so many options to choose from when designing your single storey extensions external appearance. Your choice of windows and doors will influence the look of your extension, but there are still many ways to express your style with a choice of external finishes such as brick, wood cladding, render,rough cast, tiles, composite cladding and so much more.

You may wish for your single storey extension to contrast with your home or compliment it and blend seamlessly – the choice is yours. Choosing the external finish is a big decision so be sure to explore all the available options, request samples and visit completed extensions if possible (socially distanced of course), to see how different finishes look.

Another external finish to consider on your new single storey extension is outside lighting. Install the lighting at the start, if this becomes an afterthought then a lot more work and cost is involved, plan your lighting because it can totally transform a single storey extension after dusk, as well as illuminating your outdoor space. Popular lighting choices include up and downlights because they cut a dramatic beam of light in a vertical line up the wall of your single storey extension creating a wow factor.

durabase extensions

Durabase thermally efficient single storey extensions

There are a lot of options available to you when building a single storey extension. Durabase is a thermally efficient, modern alternative to using traditional wet building methods. Whilst both methods of building have pros and cons, compared to traditional building methods, a Durabase installation is much faster, cleaner, and more thermally efficient than traditional building methods. There is no need to move services, pipework drains etc, there is no heavy excavation required for footings, so there is hardly any waste to dispose of and install times are decreased.

A durabase can be installed to roof height with real brick faced walls in just two days and is then ready to install the roof of your choice. This type of single storey extension is perfect for those looking to extend their home fast, its also the ideal solution for houses with restricted access.

Planning Permission, and Building Regulations for extensions

Before building a single storey extension you will need to be very aware about Planning Permission, or whether your home improvement project comes under Permitted Development rules and also understand Building Regulations. Most reputable companies will handle planning permission for you if required, however, if you wish to handle this yourself then you will need to know if what applies to your extension. We have put together a quick guide for you:

Planning Permission for extensions.

Some single storey extensions will require planning permission which is the approval needed from the Planning department of your local council. Permitted development rules allow homeowners to extend a home without needing planning permission if specific conditions are met, if these conditions are not met then planning will be required.

If the extension adds over 100 square metres of floor space, a charge under the Community Infrastructure Levy may also be liable.

Permitted Development for extensions.

The permitted development government scheme allows homeowners to extend or renovate homes without the need of a full planning application. This can include extensions up to a stipulated size and with proximity conditions to your nearest neighbour.

Extensions to the rear of the home

  • Must sit to the rear of the house
  • Must not project beyond the rear wall of the house by 3m or 4m if a detached house
  • Must use building materials that match the existing house
  • Must use less than 50% of the size of the land around the original house
  • Must be less than 4m in height unless within 2m of a property boundary in which case the restriction is 3M
  • Eaves and ridge cant be taller than the existing house

Extensions to the side of the home

  • Must sit on the side of the house but must not face a highway
  • Must use similar building materials as the existing house
  • Must take up less than 50% of the size of the land around the original house
  • Must be less than 50% of the width of the existing house
  • Is less than 4m in height
  • Eaves and ridge no taller than the existing house

Building Regulations for extensions.

Planning Permission and Permitted Development pertain to the style, shape and the design of a home improvement project such as a sinle storey extension, building regulations are related to the structural integrity of the build, accessibility of the project, the energy efficiency and much more. Building regulations are statutory regulations that are put in place to ensure that the relevant legislation is carried out and adhered too.

When considering a single storey extension, planning is everything. Take the time to explore all of the options available to you and will build an amazing new living space that you and your family will all enjoy, as well as adding value to your home you will be adding value to your homelife. If you would like any advice on building your dream single storey extension, please feel free to contact us.

Do you need planning permission for a single storey extension?

If you are planning a single storey extension built on the side of your property that does not exceed four metres in height, and does not exceed 50% of the width of the house, then you may not need planning permission as it will be classed as a permitted build. It is avised to check with your local council before proceeding with any single storey extension.

How big can you build an extension without planning?

The permitted development rules state that homeowners can build an extension without planning permission of up to six metres for a terraced house or eight metres for a detached house.

How long does it take to build a single storey extension?

A simple extension should only take around four to six weeks. There are many variables that affect the build time adding a kitchen for example to a single storey extension will increase the time it takes to complete. On the other hand, using Durabase to build a single storey extension will dramatically speed the build time up, a base and walls can be installed in as little as two days.

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