Victorian terrace extensions are different to adding an extension to other types of properties.
We’ve worked on hundreds of Victorian terrace extensions and we’ve seen the same 5 mistakes being committed over & over again.
And we’re going to share them with you in this article.
As well as how to avoid them.
After this article you’ll be able to build a Victorian terrace extension in a STRESS & HASSLE FREE MANNER with no expensive pitfalls happening on the job.
Most UK houses have a unique layout and as a result there is a list of problems that apply to UK houses that don’t apply anywhere else.
The good news here though that these issues are easy to fix once you know what they are.
So enough faffing about, let’s get started!
Victorian Terrace Extension Mistake 1 – Not Addressing The Dark Interior
As you go towards the middle of your home the house gets darker. This is especially true of terraced houses as they are long & narrow and as a result light finds it hard to make its way in.
When you go and add a kitchen extension to the rear of the property this in fact makes this problem even worse as you will be blocking out even more light.
Adding a rooflight to your Victorian terrace extension roof does help but is not the total solution as more light is still being blocked than being allowed back in.
A much better solution is to create a mini courtyard towards the middle of your house as this lets light into the entirety of this part of the house.
Also use reflective surfaces in your ground floor such as wooden flooring as that will bounce the light around a lot better and make it brighter. Carpets and dull finishes suck light in rather than reflect it.
Use pale colours for your colour scheme to brighten up your kitchen area and to make the space feel larger than it really is.
Darker colours make spaces feel smaller and absorb light so they make your extension feel cramped, small & dark. Not exactly ideal!
Also use glossy paints rather than matte as they reflect more light too.
Victorian Terrace Extension Mistake 2 – Not Planning Out Access For Materials & Builders
Access for builders to the rear of houses can be a real pain especially with Victorian terrace extension.
So more often than not you have dirt & dust being carried through your entire ground floor whilst the extension is being built.
If you have access either side of your house then happy days, you’re sorted!
However if you don’t then you don’t have this luxury.
Some ways around this is if there is a right of way path running along the back of everyone’s property which you can use to get deliveries in and out of your home.
Failing this you’re just going to have to bite the bullet and have everything brought in through your house however you can prepare for that by protecting your flooring, skirtings and walls with protective sheeting.
Victorian Terrace Extension Mistake 3 – Not Remodelling The Rest Of The Ground Floor Too
Simply adding an extra bit of space to your home with a kitchen extension will not dramatically improve it, it can in fact have the opposite effect!
A kitchen extension changes the flow for the rest of your entire ground floor.
So to get the most from your extension you need to address this otherwise you’re adding space with one hand but making space further into the house largely redundant so the net benefit is marginal despite it appearing to make your home a lot bigger.
So what we’re talking about here is spatial optimisation and you can do that by remodelling or reconfiguring the rest of the ground floor so it sits better with the extension.
When you this you also unlock space that was currently going to waste and you prevent making otherwise usuable space redundant once the extension work is done.
The layout of most UK houses goes back to the 1600’s so they cater for a lifestyle that doesn’t exist anymore, and as a result we can reconfigure things to far better suit modern living.
So you get the best of both worlds and in terms of usable space you will get a lot more out of your extension work than simple square footage.
Victorian Terrace Extension Mistake 4 – Not Bringing The Outside In & Watching Your Garden Space
Most Victorian terrace extensions are made without any consideration to how the extension sits with the rear garden.
In addition extensions are often built without any thought given to how much garden space is being lost.
This is a huge mistake.
Try and have a view of the rear garden from every space in your ground floor and you can do this in tandem with remodelling the place.
Open up some double doors into your front living room if needed so you can see the rear garden from the very front of the house.
This will make your home feel a lot bigger and you will be changing the view perspective through the house and if you can see further away then the house will feel bigger.
You also want to be mindful of how much garden space you will be leaving after the extension is done.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen garden spaces being rendered more or less unusable after the extension has been built.
It makes a big difference to your home especially if you’ve got kids as they can use the garden as a play area and give you some peace for a while!
Victorian Terrace Extension Mistake 5 – Not Removing The Fireplace In Your Dining Room To Free Up Space
UK houses are full of nooks & crannies you can modify to free up some space.
People don’t use fireplaces in their dining rooms anymore and they not only take up valuable floor space but they also dictate what sized furniture you can put in there as you have to fit around the fireplace.
To make the most of your extension you will be using your dining room to create a large open plan kitchen.
And you can pinch back space from here by removing the chimney breast. This also means you can remove the chimney breast in the bedroom above too which will give you more space there too.
Doing this also makes each room a lot more flexible with your furniture arrangements as you don’t need to fit around the fireplace any more
If you think it might be possible to build another storey on top of your Victoria terrace extension some time in the future make sure the foundations you build are already designed to take this extra load.
I’ll only cost you a little bit now to factor this in instead of costing you thousands to underpin them in the future.
Thanks for checking our Kitchen Extension post! If you have any questions then just pop them into the comments section below.
Want To Know How Much Your Extension Will Cost?
The most common question we get on this site and from our clients is “how do I get a ball park figure for my building work so I have an idea on how much it will cost me before I start?”
And there hasn’t really been an easy answer to that…
Well if the question above also applies to you then you need to check out our Ultimate House Extension Costing Toolkit.
Basically we’ve tried every costing tool both offline & online and we’ve put together this toolkit which shows you how to use what we consider the best 3 free online costing tools that exist for the UK market.
We break down each one and give you step-by-step instructions on how to use them and you’ll be shocked with how ridiculously easy to use they are.
We’ll also show you what info you need to fill them out and how to get this info if you don’t have it, again it’s really simple to do.
This is the best resource on the big bad interwebs for getting a pretty good ballpark figure for your extension.
And the best part is that you can do it all online, there’s no calling anyone or booking an appointment or being hounded by sales people!
- Discover the 3 free & super-simple online costing tools made for house extensions
- Get an accurate cost for your potential extension in 5 minutes or less, yes it’s really that fast!
- Make sure you don’t get over-priced and ripped off by builders on your dream extension
And this is just a sample!
So to find out more all you have to do is click the link below: