We’re coming up to the turn of a new year, a time when traditionally we take stock of the last year and look forwards to what we want to achieve in the next. What a great opportunity this could be for you to turn your focus to those home improvements you’ve been meaning to look into all year.

If those home improvements include an extension or extensive renovations then you’ll probably want to speak to professionals like an Architect or Architectural Designer as well as builders to get an idea on what can be achieved and roughly how much they will cost.

If this is the case then it’s a good idea to form an idea about what you want to do before approaching an Architect or Builder for a consultation. But with so many options and things you could do to your home you really need to assess what’s important to you. Create a list of the things you really MUST HAVE as well as a NICE TO HAVE. These lists will really inform the direction of your project and help us to better understand your requirements from the initial design consultation onwards. If you also have a budget in mind this helps us to assess what is reasonably achievable from the outset so that we don’t waste your time and more importantly, money on designs that you can’t afford to implement.


To help you consider what’s important to you we’ve compiled a list of “common” scenarios that we often remedy and suggest appropriate forms of extensions and developments for you to consider.



Love the location you’re in but think the house has untapped potential to look stunning and be the envy of your neighbours?

Popular solutions

House Remodelling

Architects in Sheffield - As Built photograph after house extension Architects in Sheffield - Existing House before house extension

Before and after photographs of Vernon Road in Sheffield

Architects Photos - As Built House Frontage after Remodel in chesterfield Architects Photos - As Built House Rear - after Remodel in Chesterfield Architects Photos - Existing House Frontage Pre Remodel in Chesterfield Architects Photos - Existing House Rear - Pre Remodel in chesterfield

Before and after photographs from the front of rear of this formerly bland and uninspiring 1960’s dormer bungalow on Chesterfield Road, Tibshelf, Derbyshire

If this is the case then you’re looking for a “remodelling” service. It’s amazing what can be done to a property to transform it into an unrecognisable property. The addition of feature gables, parapets, dormers within a plain roof or Bifolding doors out onto your garden can all contribute to an overall transformation to make you think you’ve moved home.



Have enough bedrooms but want more living space?

Popular Solution

A single storey extension.

Architects In Sheffield - Single Storey Contemporary House Extension In Dore Architects in Sheffield - Traditional Singel Storey Extension with Render

Photographs of two single storey extensions in Dore and Millhouses, Sheffield respectively


Single Storey Extension in Totley, Sheffield - Architects Photo - ExternalSingle Storey Extension in Totley, Sheffield - Architects Photo - Internal

External and Internal photgraphs of a single storey kitchen extension in Totley, Sheffield


These are ideal for creating more living space and are generally cheaper than a two storey extension.

By removing the back wall of your home and extending out you can easily create large open plan spaces for a dream kitchen with living area and or dining area.

The great news with this sort of development is that often you’ll find what you want to do falls under permitted development (so you don’t need to apply for planning permission) or the government’s scheme for larger home extensions (essentially permitted development but your neighbours are consulted before hand).

Ask your Architect / designer for more details on these and always get proposed works confirmed by the council just to be on the safe side.




Looking to grow your family and need more bedrooms?

Popular solutions

A Two Storey Extension

Two Storey Extension, Chesterfield - Pre Works Two Storey Side Extension, Chesterfield - As Built


Two Storey Side Extension - Bolsover - As Built Photo

A selection of two storey side extensions in Chesterfield, Sheffield and Bolsover


If you’ve got a reasonably wide drive down the side of your home (or a corner plot) then a two storey side extension may be an ideal and cost effective way to create either a large master bedroom with En-suite for yourself (freeing up your current bedroom for your children) or having twins and need a lot of bedrooms!?(like my neighbours growing up) Then split the space created into two evenly sized bedrooms to save future arguments about who’s got the better bedroom.

The added bonus of a two storey extension is it also gives you extra space at ground floor for all those extra bodies, either opening up the extension into the kitchen / lounge or creating a new play room, snug (ideal for retreating into at night and away from all the mess of toys once the children are fast asleep)



Have a single storey garage / extension to the side of your home?

A first floor extension over the garage /  extension


Existing Frontage - First Floor Extension over Garage in Dronfield (Bewtween Sheffield and Chesterfield)As Built Frontage - First Floor Extension over Garage in Dronfield (Bewtween Sheffield and Chesterfield) As Built Photo - First Floor Extension over Garage in Dronfield (Bewtween Sheffield and Chesterfield)Existing Rear Photo - First Floor Extension over Garage in Dronfield (Bewtween Sheffield and Chesterfield)

A selection of before and after photographs taken of a first floor side extension over an existing garage in Dronfield, Derbyshire


If you’ve got ground floor structure to the side of your home already in the form of a garage or other rooms then a first floor extension over this space can be a cost effective and ideal solution to gain that extra bedroom you’re looking for. You can even consider converting your garage into a living space (play room / snug / home office etc) at the same time (please see further on in this blog for more on converting your garage).


But what if you don’t have space down the side of your house?

A Loft Conversion could be what you need.

We can always explore the option of a loft conversion, although quite often you have to sacrifice a bedroom to create a new stairway up and this doesn’t always mean you add extra bedrooms, just gain a more use able one.

The other draw back to loft conversions is that although you create more bedrooms (*see before) you don’t create any additional living areas downstairs so you may find that you outgrow you home as your family gets older.



Already have the perfect family (add nausea at will), you just want a space for all your children’s things?

Popular solutions

A garage conversion

Architects in Sheffield - House and Garage Pre Works - Millhouses in Sheffield Architects in Sheffield - House As Built - Millhouses in Sheffield

Before and after photographs taken of a recent garage conversion in Millhouses, Sheffield

A simple single storey extension could be the way forwards here, either to the side of your home or off to the rear. These are generally low impact developments on your existing home with just a small opening required through an existing wall to create a doorway.

However, an even more simplistic solution can be achieved if you have an attached garage that you do not use. These can easily be converted to form children’s play rooms, building up the garage door to form a large window means the room will always be light an airy. An additional benefit to the structure already being in place is that quite often you’ll find the development would fall within permitted development rights and no planning application would be required.


So what is the first step now?

Don’t let this be another new year’s resolution that you give up on within the first week of January.

If any of the above sounds like something you’re looking to achieve then you’ll want to speak to an Architect to get a full understanding of your properties potential.

Generally most architectural practices offer a free initial design consultation and here at JCAD we are no different. We can visit you in your home, talk through the whole process with you and explore all the options we believe would suit your desired brief to form an overall picture of what you are really looking for from your home and help you take those first steps to creating your perfect home for 2016.



We hope that you found this article useful and from all of us here at JCAD may we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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