Flat extensions | London

Architect designed garden flat extension Kilburn Brent NW2 External elevation Flat extensions in London | Home ideas


The lack of residential space in London has seen more and more Victorian and Edwardian single family dwellings converted into single or multi-storey flats. Sometimes these conversions have been successful, but more often that not they have failed to provide accommodation of sufficient standards.

The possible extension options to a flat extension largely depend on the relationship between the flat and the ground level:

Ground level | Garden flats can have a linear relationship with the garden, (the rear wall is of a straight line) or typically there is an L-shaped layout that opens up the flat both to the rear and side parts of the garden. Rear and side extensions look to add floor space, create better sightlines to the garden, and improve access to natural light. They often require a complete redesign of the existing layout of the flat and such extensions look to create opportunities for larger kitchen areas and additional bedrooms.

Middle level | Extensions to such flats are near impossible unless there is a lower level roof area to build on. Rights to build over such roof areas need to be obtained by the owner of the flat and there are also Freeholder approval issues to consider on top of any other Local Authority permissions required.

Upper level | Roof extensions, including mansard roof extensions when the property is in the right area, add substantial value and floor area to flats. It is worth remembering that flats do not have Permitted Development Rights under planning, which means that only small dormer extensions are typically allowed by the Council. What might be possible in design terms will mostly depend on the existing head heights in the loft space and how the staircase can be designed so it maximises the available habitable space while at the same time minimising any disruption to the level below.

Design aspirations 

The architectural elements and design ideas are not what primarily create the essence of ‘home’. Yet the created spaces accommodate our everyday routines, activities, and little moments that make up our lives. Extending a flat is not just a box ticking exercise about floor plans, the number of bedrooms, cost per square foot, and Freeholder’s approvals. Ultimately it is the genuine quality of the spaces around us that are essential for a happy life.

You might find yourself walking in a rather small and modest flat that instantly makes you feel at home, the spaces seem to flow, there is a clear sense of orientation even if you have never set foot in this property before, and if you happen to look carefully you will probably find lots of storage space hidden away from view in the most surprising places. This is what we aim to achieve and we will need your help to understand what is important to you since this is what will drive our decision making.

During the design development stage we will get to explore lots of ideas, but you can start the process now by considering answers to questions as such:

“How long do we plan to live in the property and how is our lifestyle likely to change over this time? What are the chances for a growing family, working from home, or picking up gardening as a hobby one day? Is this flat a place for us to grow into, or is it a stepping stone to our dream property?”

“What are the top three things we like about the flat, and what are the top three things we want to change as part of extending and re-designing it?”

“Do we have a specific budget ceiling, and where do we want the money spending to be focussed on? What are the special elements of the design we do not want to compromise and where can we be more flexible within the context of our budget?”

“What are the provisions of my Lease, or Share of Freehold Agreement, and how do we need to go about securing Freeholder Approval for the building works?”

Inspiration and ideas

Below we have selected some projects to lend architectural inspiration and design ideas for your roof extension or loft conversion. Enjoy!

purplebox Flat extensions in London | Home ideasVisit our portfolio for a selection of case studies or alternatively visit our London Residential page for your local authority and information about planning.

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We see ourselves as creative problem solvers who will deal with any construction, planning, and design issues relevant to your project.

Contact Details

Hoxton Mix | 86-90 Paul Street | EC2A 4NE | Hackney
Elvaston Place | SW7 5NP | Kensington and Chelsea

t: 020 3872 2474

e: george@goastudio.co.uk

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Website | Blackledge & Sandall

Creative Director | Umi Ishimoto