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7 Rear Extension Ideas for Stylish Places and Open Spaces

By Jodi · 29 Jul '22  · 

4 min read


Needless to say, things got a little claustrophobic in 2020. Being locked down for over a year was rough. However, all that staring at walls gave us a chance to reevaluate our homes and look at ways to improve the spaces we inhabit. Now we expect our homes to work harder for us. We want them to make us happy and we want them to give us breathing room.

A great way to incorporate these elements is to undertake a home improvement project, and one of the most popular projects our clients choose is an extension. Big or small, side or rear, single or double, an extension allows you to increase the square footage of your home and transform how it’s used. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some rear extension ideas to help inspire your project.

Rear extension ideas for semi-detached houses

Exterior wraparound If you’re a fan of crittall-style window frames, breathe a sigh of relief. They’re not going anywhere. This stylish framing is the darling of Pinterest and remains high-up on every homeowner’s wishlist. And it just so happens our designers are more than happy to comply.

If you can’t afford official Crittall frames (approx. £2,700 per m2!), don’t panic. There are plenty of imitations out there to keep things budget-friendly. That being said, it’s still a large glazed feature, which doesn’t come cheap! Furthermore, we recommend you choose the best quality glass to avoid compromising on your insulation in the name of style. It won’t do your heating bills any favours.

Pitched roofs are back in vogue

Pitched roof single storey extension, a bird's eye view of a detached property A lot of modern extensions once favoured the ‘flat’ look, which offered an opportunity for roof terraces and al fresco dining. However, this is changing as requests increase for classic pitched roofing (and you can see why!)

A pitched roof creates heaps of headspace and adds another dimension of interest to a room. In this project, Resi’s designers highlighted the beauty of the pitched shape by including a gorgeous window beneath the eaves. It matches the rest of the home's design and results in more light, extra style, and a little wow factor.

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Two Storey

Single-storey rear extension ideas

Most homeowners opt for a rear single-storey extension due to their likelihood of planning approval and ease of installation. Whether you’re thinking about extending the kitchen, dining room, lounge, or maybe even your study, opening up these areas will transform the feel of your whole home.

Make every space count

A hallway study With house prices rising and square footage shrinking, making the most of your space is the best design and architectural advice we can offer. No space should be dead space. However, a lot of the time – and especially in older homes – a lot of valuable real estate is lost to hallways, which do nothing but funnel you from one room to another.

So, consider making your hallway more than just a walkway. Double it up as a storage area, a reading nook, or even, as with this Resi project, a home office. It works because our Resi designers made the whole floor open plan. There’s no wall separating the kitchen from the office, meaning the light from those big glazed windows, which we added to the rear extension, travels all the way through the home.

Consider a subtle wraparound extension

A wraparound extension If you want to reduce how much your rear extension gobbles up your garden space but still want to expand your home, a small wraparound is a great solution. These lovely L-shaped designs don’t need to take up huge amounts of space, nor do they have to cost the earth to build.

For example, in this extension, our designers chose to add a little bit of square footage to the rear and a little bit to the side. Afterwards, they combined them together to make a sizeable new space. They even included a laundry room nestled in the left-hand corner. (Can you spot it?)

Bring some of your outside aesthetic inside

A under garden basement extension with plant room With the rise of succulents and other house plants making our homes happy and naturalistic, why not incorporate them into your rear single-storey extension? Plants offer a delightful pop of colour and help boost the air quality in your home.

For this project, we took the plant trend a step further by incorporating a rock garden into the floor plan. This was made possible thanks to a gorgeous skylight, which floods the extension with plenty of natural light to benefit both the plants and the rest of the house.

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Bungalow rear extension ideas

Bungalows are great candidates for rear extensions. Often surrounded by greenery and large plots on either side, the possibilities are endless. However, we have a few ideas to make the most of your bungalow’s rear extension.

Include vintage accents for a classic look

Single storey rear extension in Uxbridge This rear extension design works seamlessly with the tranquil outdoor space. With a classic red brick facade, royal blue sliding doors, and a chequered pergola roof, every element complements the other. What's more, it doesn’t compromise on outdoor square footage. Rather, it enhances the aesthetic and makes it an ideal spot to host guests and watch the sun go down with a glass of vino.

Resi worked on this project to help it come to fruition. So, if you’d like to incorporate any of these design elements into your own extension plans, talk to one of our consultants for FREE and see what they can do for you.

Consider the thermal envelope of your extension

A single storey terrace extension in Lambeth Consider improving the energy efficiency of your extension by applying a ‘fabric first approach.’ This means upgrading the insulation in your extension and the rest of your home to improve how well it retains heat. This Resi rear extension design opted for a ‘rustic charm’ aesthetic by incorporating warm wood materials, double-glazed bifold doors, and a large skylight.

Due to their single-storey nature, bungalows are great candidates for improved thermal envelopes. This is because of how easy a fabric first approach is to implement in them. For example, by insulating external walls, between the floor joists, and throughout the loft, you’ll make your home incredibly cosy and heat-efficient. Adding double or triple-glazing also helps secure the envelope for a bill-reducing benefit.

It’s worth noting your home will require a survey to evaluate how and where to optimise the thermal envelope. So, don’t hesitate to speak to one of Resi’s consultants for expert advice on your extension. We’ve helped homes increase their energy efficiency by an average of 20% per project!


Whatever you decide, make sure your extension works for you. Think about what you want to get out of your space, be it a family room, an entertainment centre, or a multipurpose kitchen/dining area, and then build accordingly. The last thing you want to do is create a space without purpose. Your rear extension is an investment and therefore needs to serve you and meet your needs, both now and for the foreseeable future.

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