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Wraparound Extensions: A Comprehensive Guide

25/04/2024

Architectural Design

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House Extensions

Wraparound Extensions: A Comprehensive Guide

What is a Wraparound Extension?

A wraparound extension wraps around one or more sides of an existing building and is usually added to the side and rear of a property. Wraparound extensions typically follow the same architecture and aesthetic of the original property to ensure a consistent look and feel, however, some homeowners may choose to use a contrasting design for a look that is more modern or unique.

Importance and Benefits of Wraparound Extensions

Wraparound extensions are a popular choice for many homeowners due to the numerous benefits that they can provide, such as the addition of space of value, amongst others:

Create more space

Whether you are looking to extend the kitchen, add a home office, or create a more spacious living area, wraparound extensions are typically bigger than one-sided extensions and can offer a solution to that much-needed space.

Let the light in

Clever placement of skylights and doorways within the new extension can allow more natural lighting to enter the property. Increasing the flow of natural light into a property can serve as a mood lifter, with studies showing that natural light is one of the key ingredients to happiness. 

Flexibility In Design

A wraparound extension allows you to be creative and flexible with the design. It can be customised to meet specific needs and preferences, offering unique possibilities for personalisation that may not be possible with other types of extensions.

base office

How Much Does a Wraparound Extension Cost?

Evaluating the cost of a wraparound extension is a complex process, involving many aspects such as materials, labour, design complexity, and more. Furthermore, it’s crucial to understand the potential return on investment and added value that such an extension can bring to your property.

Estimating the Cost of a Wraparound Extension

Estimation involves a mixture of fixed and variable costs, which relate to different aspects of the project.

Factors That Influence The Cost of Wraparound Extension

  • Materials: The cost of materials depends on your chosen quality and type. Higher-grade materials will naturally cost more and include everything from bricks and cement to interior fixtures and fittings.
  • Labour: These costs cover the workforce needed for your project and can vary based on the extension size and complexity. A larger, more intricate build will require more labour and time, thus increasing cost.
  • Professional Fees: This includes fees for architects, surveyors, and potentially a project manager.
  • Extra Costs: This might involve unexpected costs like additional materials or groundwork, so it’s essential to have a contingency budget.
  • Existing structure: This might include costs for structural and bespoke steelwork to reinforce the existing property.

Assessing the Potential Return on Investment and Added Value

A well-executed wraparound extension can significantly increase your property’s value, providing a substantial return on investment when selling or renting out the property.

  • Added Space: The addition of more substantial, useful living space is attractive to potential buyers and can significantly increase property value. It’s especially true in urban areas where living space is at a premium.
  • Improved Layout: A wraparound extension can enhance your home’s layout, creating a more open and versatile living space, which is a sought-after feature in modern homes.
  • Modern Features: The incorporation of modern architectural and design features, such as open-plan living spaces or eco-friendly features such as triple-glazed windows, can also contribute significantly to the property value.

While it’s difficult to put a precise figure on potential value-added, many sources suggest that a well-planned and executed extension can add approximately 20% to the value of your property.

What are the Factors to Consider Before Planning a Wraparound Extension?

Whilst a wraparound extension can substantially enhance your living space and boost your property value, there are several crucial factors that homeowners must take into account before undertaking a wraparound extension project:

Understanding the Original Property and Its Limitations

Before planning a wraparound extension, it is essential to have a detailed understanding of the original property and any potential limitations that could impact the extension.

  • Gaining knowledge of the property’s structural soundness and configuration is crucial; any weaknesses may require work before the extension process can commence.
  • An understanding of the property’s architectural style, form, mass and materiality is critical to establish opportunity within a potential design.
  • It’s also important to consider the location of the existing plumbing and wiring, as this may affect the design and cost of the overall extension.

Assessing the Need for Additional Space

It is necessary to define the reasons for the additional space required and the purposes it will serve:

  • Will the space be used for an enlarged kitchen, additional bedrooms, a home office, or a playroom for children?
  • The intended use of the extended space can drastically influence the design, cost, and ongoing maintenance of the extension.

What are the Planning and Legal Considerations of a Wraparound Extension?

Planning a wraparound extension involves several legal and regulatory factors. Understanding these, as listed below, can simplify the process and ensure your project meets all necessary guidelines and regulations:

Overview of Local Planning Regulations and Building Regulations

Wraparound extensions are subject to local planning regulations and building control, which cover aspects such as the size, height, and placement of the extension, as well as it’s safety and energy efficiency considerations. It’s crucial to consult the local council’s planning department to understand in full the guidelines and constraints that are in place.

The Role of Architects and Structural Engineers in the Design Process

Architects and structural engineers play vital roles in translating your vision into a practical, compliant design. The architect designs and optimises the space, considering aesthetics, functionality, and regulatory constraints, whilst the structural engineer ensures the design’s safety and stability alongside complying with building regulations.

Obtaining Planning Permission and Permits for Wraparound Extensions

Not all wraparound extensions require planning permission; some may fall under ‘permitted development rights’, however, it’s important to verify this with your local council. If necessary, your architect can assist you in getting planning permission, ensuring your plans meet all regulatory standards.

Understanding Party Wall Agreements and Considerations for Neighbouring Properties

If your extension affects a party wall (a wall shared with a neighbouring property), you must follow the procedures outlined in the ‘Party Wall’ etc. Act 1996. This often involves notifying your neighbours of your plans and possibly obtaining a party wall agreement. Furthermore, considerations about overlooking, overshadowing, or blocking access to your neighbours’ property can affect your extension’s design and position.

Designing a Wraparound Extension

Designing a wraparound extension involves balancing architectural features with strategic planning to create an aesthetically pleasing, functional, and well-lit space. Here are some key factors to consider during the design phase:

Incorporate Roof Lights

Roof lights or skylights are excellent options for bringing additional light into a room from above. This can be particularly beneficial in spaces where wall space is at a premium, such as in a wraparound extension where one or two sides of the extension adjoin the existing property.

Create an Open Plan Layout

An open-plan layout can significantly enhance the usability and versatility of the space in a wraparound extension. Important points to consider include:

  • An open-plan design can create a sense of spaciousness and fluidity, connecting the extension area seamlessly with the existing property.
  • While designing an open layout, consider how different areas will be defined and used.

Consider the Shape and Size of the Extension

The shape and size of your wraparound extension will naturally impact its design and functionality. It is important to consider how much of the exterior space you are willing to convert, finding a balance between the extension and remaining garden space will help maintain a natural look and feel to the rear of the property. 

Wraparound Extensions in Specific Situations

Understanding the unique challenges and considerations of building a wraparound extension in specific scenarios, such as those within conservation areas or dealing with existing structural elements, is crucial for a successful project.

Wraparound Extensions in Conservation Areas and Their Impact on Heritage

In conservation areas, additional regulations may apply due to the historical or architectural importance of these sites. Necessary considerations include:

  • Obtaining Conservation Area Consent, in addition to normal planning permission.
  • Selecting materials and designs sympathetic to the area’s traditional appearance and heritage.
  • Additional costs and time for planning and construction due to these considerations.

Dealing with Existing Properties and the Need for Structural Modifications

When building a wraparound extension on an existing property, anticipate potential structural modifications. Things to consider include:

  • The feasibility of the existing property to support the extension, which may in turn require a structural survey.
  • The potential need for the underpinning or reinforcement of foundations, particularly if the existing property is older or is showing signs of subsidence. 
  • The locations of existing electrical wiring and plumbing, which may need re-routing.

Conclusion

Building a wraparound extension requires comprehensive foresight, planning, and design to ensure a successful project. If executed correctly, the extension can provide generously improved living spaces and ultimately increase the property’s overall value.

Recap of the Key Points

  • It is crucial to understand the existing property and its limitations, assess the need for additional space, and evaluate the cost implications before planning a wraparound extension.
  • Local planning regulations, planning permission, professional advice, and the potential impact on neighbouring properties are key legal and planning considerations.
  • Maximising light, opting for an open-plan layout, and smartly choosing the shape and size of the extension are essential for effective design.
  • Special situations, such as building in a conservation area, or extensions that require modifications to the existing structure, require extra attention to constraints and potential costs.

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