Mid terraced houses pose a challenge for would-be house extenders. With detached and semi-detached properties, spatially planning a house extension is fairly straightforward. Many properties can be extended to the side, rear or even the front. Plus, many properties have the option of loft conversions/extensions to further expand the available living space. Terraced properties are a different proposition.
Firstly, for mid terraces a sideways and upwards expansion are ruled out. In most cases an extension at the front of the property will not be possible either. Depending on the style of your property, it may be practical to extend to the back of your home, but if so you will need to give serious consideration to access. It is sometimes impossible to access the rear of a mid-terrace at all with construction plant, and where it is possible you will often need the active cooperation of your neighbours.
Mid-Terrace House Extensions: Should You Try At All?
Yes you should. This article isn’t intended to put you off considering a house extension if you own a mid-terrace home, but it is important to go into the project with open eyes. There are a few common mistakes that homeowners frequently make when planning a mid-terrace house extension, which we would like to help you avoid. Have a chat with us before you set any plans in motion and let’s discuss all the possibilities for your property. We’re pretty sure that with the right planning you will still be able to achieve a fantastic two-storey extension for your mid-terrace home.
Mistake 1) Not Considering Access
Some mid terraced properties will have rear access for equipment and materials through a driveway on one of the end terraces. Other terraces have an alleyway or right-of-way running along the rear of the properties. These should be utilised wherever possible, but any limitations need to be fully mapped out before plans are made. You may have no other choice than for your contractors to ferry materials all the way through the house while the extension is being built. In this case, make sure you stock up on sufficient rolls of plastic sheeting and dust covers to protect your home and possessions. If possible, move unnecessary furnishings away from access routes into other rooms to avoid the risk of damage.
Mistake 2) Gloomy Interiors
Mid terraced homes are long and narrow. When they are extended to the back, the middle rooms of the house are cut off from natural sources of light, making them dark and gloomy. This is an especially common problem with two-storey extensions, as you are unable to employ the common solution of installing sky lights on the extended area to let in more light. To avoid this issue, make sure you have as much light on the rear wall as possible. Bi-fold or French doors are a minimum. You may also want to look into designs that incorporate a full glass and steel front. This is extremely stylish and also lets a large amount of light in on both levels of the extension.
Mistake 3) Not Remodelling
Many terraced homes, especially older Victorian and Edwardian houses, were designed when people had different aesthetic tastes for their homes. People preferred small, cosy rooms, rather than the open plan living spaces favoured today. The result are terraced houses full of nooks, corners, fireplaces, built-in cupboards and (to our taste) an unnecessary number of doors. A mistake we have seen time and again with extended mid-terrace houses is a failure to remodel the interior. This leaves homeowners with a large, open plan kitchen at the back of their house, with the rest of the home subdivided into dark, pokey and rarely used rooms.
Consider remodelling your home at the same time as you extend. This will help you make full use of the space available in your home. Consider the features you want to keep and those you can live without, and how best you can use your space. Then chat with an architectural designer and let them sketch out what the ideas will look like in real life.
Interested In A House Extension But Unsure Where To Start?
There are dozens of different things to consider when planning a house extension. These include planning permission, budget, finding the right contractors, and sourcing a design with the right balance of practicality and beauty. All these topics and more are covered in our e-book; The Essential Guide To Extending Your Living Space. This free resource was written by our architectural design team for anyone weighing up the costs and benefits of a house extension. Claim your copy today by clicking here.