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How to add value to a single-storey home

Extending a bungalow can significantly transform your living space, adding both value and charm. Mitch Temple, our Founding Director shares expert insights on how to effectively extend a bungalow, creating more room and enhancing the overall appeal of your single-storey home.

The Popularity and Potential of Bungalows

Bungalows came into fashion in the late 19th century and peaked in popularity towards the end of the 1960s. Modern developments typically prioritise maximising the number of properties per hectare, making bungalows with their larger plots increasingly rare. This scarcity has made bungalows a sought-after house type for self-builders and developers due to their generous plots and comfortable ground-floor living.

Advantages of Bungalows

Bungalows usually come with spacious plots and are surrounded by low-rise properties, giving a feeling of openness. This makes them ideal for extensions or redevelopment, allowing homeowners to create a substantially sized house or a modest extension with ample garden space.

Types of Extensions

Extensions can be designed to add space either above the existing floor plan or at ground level. Many plots offer opportunities for both kinds of extensions. Below, we explore how to implement changes, address common bungalow extension challenges, and share solutions that have worked for our clients.

Designing a Bungalow Extension

One common approach is to remove the top of the bungalow and extend upwards to create bedrooms within a new raised roof structure. However, the feasibility of this depends on the surrounding area.

Consider Your Surroundings

If your bungalow is surrounded by single-storey buildings, local planning authorities may not permit drastic changes to the street scene. In such cases, consider a conventional ground-level extension. If you have a generous garden and prefer all your accommodation on one floor, design separate quiet and social zones. Bedrooms can be located in one area of the home, away from the noisier living quarters, with social zones connecting to garden spaces and possibly incorporating open-plan designs.

Potential for Raising the Roof

If the street scene includes a mix of single and two-storey dwellings, or if your property is at the edge of a row of bungalows, you may be able to justify increasing the height of your building. Ideally, the new ridge line should be no taller than neighbouring homes.

Raising the roof doesn’t necessarily mean adding a full storey. If the height allows, you can create rooms within the roof space on the first floor, minimising the size of your development and reducing overall construction costs. Dormer windows can further increase usable floor space.

Checking Your Bungalow’s Foundations

Extending upwards increases the load on the footings, so it’s crucial to ensure they can support the additional weight. This will also influence the cost of your project. Whilst this is worth noting, in most cases no additional works to the foundations will be required but it is important to ensure a structural engineer confirms this and a test hole may be required to be dug on site to check the existing depth and width.

Converting the Bungalow’s Roof

Whether extending to the rear and side or just upwards, you can add volume to the existing roof without needing full planning permission. However, some basic checks are necessary.

Viability of Loft Conversion

To provide decent accommodation, you need to stand up straight in the highest part of the loft. Conversions typically involve raising the floor level to strengthen ceiling joists, lowering the underside of the rafters for insulation, and ensuring at least 2m over both the existing and proposed stair cases. The addition of dormer windows can provide flexibility in usable space and help with compliance with Building Regulations for stair heights too, as well as conversion of hipped roofs to gabled roofs. For most homes many of these roof extensions can be achieved via permitted development but it is important you check with your architect or local planning authority first if you are unsure.

Improving Kerb Appeal

Older bungalows can often look tired, so consider ways to enhance their appearance. A distinct change in materials or new cladding can blend new and old construction seamlessly. External insulation to existing walls can help upgrade the property, improve airtightness, and reduce heating demand which all further help to increase the value of your home.

Bringing Daylight into a Bungalow Extension

Natural light is essential in any home extension. Incorporate rooflights, lanterns, or lightwells to brighten central parts of the house, and consider views through the entire property. Glass doors at the entrance and large bifold or sliding doors at the rear can balance light and reduce reliance on artificial lighting during the day.

Contact New Space Architecture for your bungalow remodel.

Extending or remodelling a bungalow offers numerous possibilities for adding space, value, and charm to your home. By carefully considering the design, construction methods, and natural light, you can transform your bungalow into a modern, comfortable living space that meets your needs for years to come.

If you’re ready to start your bungalow extension journey, get in touch today.