Which house extension should I choose?

House Extension Design Plan

Perhaps you have outgrown your once-perfect family home. Maybe you’re just looking for some extra space for rest and relaxation. Either way, the thought of moving house and all of the stress that it entails may be the last route that you want to go down. With house moves being cited as one of the most stressful experiences that we are likely to go through ((https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29792592)), you may well have settled on an alternative course of action: an extension to your current home.

With an extension offering you the chance to add some extra living space, somewhere for storage, or even an additional room with the perfect view, how do you choose which type of extension is right for you? At Bishops of Brighton, we have a range of options for you to choose from.


One of the most common, and perhaps more simple, forms of an extension is a porch. Although usually seen at the front of a house, they can also be an addition to the back or side.

A porch can be used as perhaps additional storage space for coats and shoes, but importantly it provides a barrier between the outside and your property. In terms of security, this means that you have the additional protection of another door before your home is reached.

Due to porches usually being small in size, it is uncommon for you to need to apply for planning permission to have one erected (https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/46/porches). It may also be possible to avoid the need for building certification providing that the porch is not heated and is also separated from the main house by an internal door (https://www.gov.uk/building-regulations-approval). If you want electrics installed in the porch, you must ensure that you use a Part P registered electrician (https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/find-an-electrician/part-p/) otherwise you will be subjected to an inspection.


If you are looking for some additional living space and the chance to experience the outdoors while inside, a conservatory could be the choice for you. Being made from UPVc, timber, or aluminium and usually overlooking a rear garden, conservatories are usually a relatively simple structure that can be added to your home with ease.

You may need to seek planning permission depending upon the size of your conservatory (https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/10/conservatories), but given that it is likely that you will want this additional space heated and with access to electrics, you will need building certification, and all electrics must be installed by a Part P registered electrician.


These are very similar in nature to a conservatory but with a solid roof extension and walls. With the need for sunlight to be let in, there will also be adequate glazing. Where Planning Permission is concerned, the rules are similar to those relating conservatories and the size of the room and the impact it has upon neighbouring properties will be important considerations.

Although similar in many ways to conservatories, sunrooms are are far more complex and, as such, far more expensive. Being sturdy and warm while attracting plenty of light, they may well be worth the additional expense.

Single storey house extensions

If you are looking for a completely new addition to your house, a single-story extension may well be the choice for you. Not only can these extensions provide you with an additional room they can also add significant value to your home.

Whether you are seeking a new bedroom, a dining room, playroom, or anything else, these extensions are built onto any side of a house where there will only be the ground floor, and potentially a basement, built to it.

This type of extension will always be subject to building control (https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200128/building_control), but planning permission is not always required.

Multi-storey extensions

As the name would suggest, this type of extension covers more than 1 storey. Being built onto any part of the existing house, these are a great way to add an additional bathroom, bedroom, or a ground floor room with a breathtaking ceiling height.

Given the impact upon neighbouring properties, this type of extension is only suitable for detached and semi-detached properties and will more than likely require planning permission (https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/17/extensions/3). The increased complexity when compared to a single-storey extension, means that this option will also be higher in cost.

An L-shaped extension formed by the combination of a side and rear extension coming together to wrap around your current structure.

The sheer size of these extension types, and the flexibility that they provide, means that they can add enormous value to your property. The opportunity to remodel a whole floor, vastly add to your kitchen space, an additional reception room, or maybe a guest room are all possibilities given by a wrap-around extension.

Over-structure extension

As you would expect, the type of extension is built over the top of a structure that already exists. This could be over the top of a garage, a living room, or maybe a kitchen.

Commonly seen over the top of existing garages, this type of extension is a great way to add a large master bedroom along with an en-suite. It can also be used to add a utility room to an existing kitchen all while blending in with the house and existing garage.

When considering building over a garage, it is possible that older ones will only have single-skin brickwork. When this is the case, it may be that you will need to have work carried out to strengthen the original structure before you can carry on with the extension.

Knowing what’s right for you

With such a range of extensions available, it may not be easy to know which one is right for you. The key consideration needs to be what the additional space is actually going to be used for. Once you have settled on this, it is then important to consider whether or not planning permission will be required and, just as importantly, if this is something that is likely to be granted.

From additional storage space, added security and peace of mind, to a completely transformed home, extensions can be a fantastic alternative to the upheaval of the whole house moving process.