Different Types Of House Extensions

What Type Of House Extension Should You Choose?

Posted by Craig | Updated May, 2024 | 8 Min Read Time

At a glance 

  • It comes down to your specific needs, the architecture of your existing home, and, of course, your budget


In this article, you’ll find the following:

    • An explanation of the different types of house extensions and their benefits 

Hello there! Its Craig Smith, your local builder from St Albans, with over 15 years in the construction industry under my belt. At CJ Smiths, we pride ourselves on delivering top quality service, making your house truly feel like home.

Over the years, I’ve noticed a growing trend: many homeowners love their current residence and don’t fancy the stress of moving, but they need more space. What’s the solution? House extensions!

Wrap around ground floor extension in St Albans

It really boils down to your specific needs, the architecture of your existing home, and, of course, your budget.

As always, it's vital to get expert advice.

Which type of extension is best suited for your lifestyle?  

Why Choose a House Extension?

Extensions offer an ideal solution to increasing living space without the need for moving. This isn’t just about adding an extra room; it’s about enhancing the functionality, aesthetic, and value of your home.

Imagine not having to house hunt, avoid the hassle of packing up, and save a great deal on costs. Moreover, an extension gives you full control to mould the space precisely to your family’s needs.

Now, let's dive into the different types of house extensions and explore which might be the best fit for you:

1. Single Story Extensions

These are typically added to the rear or side of your property. Single-storey extensions are perfect for enlarging your kitchen, adding a dining space, or even creating a ground-floor guest bedroom. You have numerous stylistic options, such as bi-folding doors, connecting your house seamlessly to the garden.

2. Over-Structured Extensions

Want to preserve that lovely garden of yours? Consider an over-structure extension, where you build over an existing structure, like your garage. It’s a fantastic way to increase space on the first floor, adding a bathroom, study, or lounge. However, remember to account for structural considerations, ensuring the base can handle the extra weight.

3. Double Story Extensions

If you’re keen on maximizing space, this is your pick. These extensions allow you to grow both upwards and outwards, giving you double the space of a single storey. Surprisingly, they can be more cost-effective per square metre than their single-storey counterparts. Additionally, thanks to recent permitted development changes, the planning process might be smoother than you think.

4. Rear Extensions

Positioned at the back of your property, these extensions are wonderful for blending indoor and outdoor spaces, especially if you’re looking to have an open-plan living area.

Rear extension in the heart of London Colney, St Albans

5. Side Return Extensions

Got an unused alley by the side of your home? Transform this often-overlooked space into a vibrant living area with a side return extension. It’s an ingenious way to brighten up your home and utilise every nook and cranny of your property.

6. Wrap Around Extensions

As the name suggests, these extensions wrap around your property, combining both rear and side extensions. They’re particularly suitable for terraced homes, offering a grand expansion of your living area.

7. Dormer Extensions

If you’ve got unused attic space, then a dormer extension might be ideal. This creates a flat roof in line with the top of the existing pitch, perfect for an extra bedroom or play space.

A side by side double dormer loft conversion at a recent project in St Albans

8. Basement and Seller Conversions

Especially popular in densely populated areas, converting a basement or cellar can drastically boost your living space. However, it’s crucial to weigh the costs and ensure it adds value to your home.

9. Orangeries

A fusion between conservatories and traditional extensions, orangeries offer a more open-plan feel, with a mix of brick pillars and glass roofs.

10. Conservatories

A popular choice for those wanting to extend on a budget. Made primarily of glass, they are versatile, letting you create a space perfect for relaxation or entertainment.

11. Garden Room Extensions

Separate from the main house, these extensions provide an opportunity for a dedicated space, be it a music room, studio, or office.

12. Porch Extensions

Simple yet transformative, adding a porch can not only enhance the front of your property but also improve security and provide a small additional space.

Lastly, for those contemplating the roof of their extension, you generally have two choices:

Pitched Roofs: Traditional in design, they’re perfect for longevity and easy maintenance.

Flat Roofs: Offering a contemporary touch, they’re great for roof lights and potentially even a roof garden.

We recommend reaching out to your local building authorities to obtain the precise requirements and regulations for your house extension, regardless of the style you envision, ensuring you have all necessary planning in place.


So, which type of extension is right for you? It really boils down to your specific needs, the architecture of your existing home, and, of course, your budget. As always, it’s vital to get expert advice.

You don’t have to navigate this journey alone; with professional guidance, the process can be a lot smoother and more enjoyable. Learning how to make your kitchen extension the ideal entertainment space can significantly enhance your home’s appeal and functionality and is something to be considered. 

If you’ve settled on the kind of extension you desire but aren’t sure about the next steps, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. At CJ Smiths, we’re here to guide you every step of the way, ensuring you end up with a space that you’re proud to call your own.

If you are still interested in finding out more about house extensions consider reading our blog on >> House extension or conservatory 


Craig Smith

The founder of CJ Smiths Construction Company for over 14+ years and a proud citizen of St Albans City.

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