Period House Extension Ideas to Uplift Your Old Home.

Period homes have a lot of character and history

A successful period house extension can maximize the living space, enhance the beauty, and increase the market value of your old home. However, a bad one can be just as damaging to the heritage and value of the house. Let’s take a look at what you can do to get this process right and a few period house extension ideas.

Do You Need a Period House Extension?

There is often no need for an extension in a home with poor indoor space. You can often efficiently utilize space by dividing a bedroom into two parts or by integrating old cupboards. You can transform the existing space in your house through basement conversion, loft conversion, or better use of garage space. These approaches will help you save money and time while maintaining your garden area. An extension should be your last resort if cheaper and easier methods are not feasible.

If you are opting for a period house extension, then here are some tips and ideas:

Create Your Master Plan

The first step in your period house extension project is to figure out what changes you want to make. This process is undertaken to create an extension project brief for you and your architect. Avoid mapping out very specific ideas and focus on broadly defining your changes. Rather than saying you want to extend your ground floor on the west side next to your bedroom, you should just state that you want a new bedroom or a bigger kitchen.

The architect will be able to give you better advice this way and may show you a layout that you had not thought of. A house extension project brief will include:

  • A master budget: this includes an allocated budget and a maximum budget for contingencies
  • Problems that need solutions

Examples include:

    • The kitchen is too small.
    • We need one more bedroom.
    • We want an annex
  • Family details such as
    • Grandpa lives with the family.
    • Young children in the house
    • Lots of guests
  • Other considerations: talk about any preferences you may have, such as wanting natural light or a dislike for beams, etc.

Set Your Extension Timelines

Rushing into a period house extension project is one of the biggest mistakes a homeowner can make. You need to set realistic timelines to ensure that you have space and time to work properly on your extensions. An effective timeline will have an allotted time for each task.

Working on period homes is more difficult than standard housing extensions. You need to go through the planning process to ensure that you protect your old home’s structural integrity.

The greater level of intricacy required in a period house extension can lead to overlooked areas or work not being done to the desired quality. A timeline and plan will help you set standards and checklists for each stage of work before moving forward to the next.

Ascertain Your House’s Time Period

There are many different types of period homes. Period House refers to buildings or property that was constructed before the First World War. They are characterized by a distinct style of architecture. More specifically, period properties refer to properties built under the rule of a specific monarch.

For example, Victorian houses (built during the reign of Queen Victoria) tend to be extremely sturdy and rarely show any structural issues. This helps give you a better idea of how much remodeling you can do to the existing structure. Victorian houses require breathable lime render rather than normal cement for exterior work. Considering this, the main details of all the above questions will change for you.

Establishing your home’s time period will allow you to figure out the right materials and design for your extension.

Hire Your Team

Creating a beautiful period house extension that seamlessly fits the look of your old house is not an easy job. You need to be on the lookout for contractors that have a standout portfolio and the right certifications in the extension business.

The company you choose must be able to get the planning permission you need from local authorities and take all the steps possible to safeguard your house’s structural integrity.

Do not just choose the first company you contact. Conduct meetings with various firms to get an idea of the rates and services they offer. Ideally, the company should be responsible for everything, from planning and hiring architects to complete the work. You don’t want to hire multiple companies for separate jobs.

Period House Extension Ideas

Now that you know how you need to prepare for the extension process, let’s take a look at some ideas you can take inspiration from for your period house extension.

Distinct Design

Most architects recommend that an onlooker from the street should be able to tell the original housing and the extension apart, so you should try not to use the same materials and design.

Still, you need to use the old house as the starting point. You can choose to use related construction methods or a similar palette of materials. Keep in mind how your extension will impact the heritage of the surrounding period houses. Surrounding period houses can’t lose their character because of your extension.

Keep a nuanced approach as a radically modern design could create a disturbing contrast that isn’t pretty to look at.

Glazed Link

One popular idea involves having an extension as a separate building in your style of choice. The two are then joined using a fully glazed walkway for a seamless and beautiful connection.

Structural glazing has a smaller visual impact than normal walkways. Another benefit of this extension is that you do not have to alter or touch the structural integrity and character of your period home.

Sunroom or Conservatory

Old homes traditionally have small windows as they used to be a major source of heat loss in those times. You can balance your dark spaces and brighten your rooms by adding a conservatory or sunroom.

Compared to many other extension projects, a conservatory is relatively more affordable and smaller. Sunroofs may not require planning permission. However, a conservatory is often cut off from the house via an external door to prevent energy dissipation, thus making it difficult to keep it cool in summers and warm in winters.

A sunroom is an extension of the house with glazed glass and an insulated roof. The wall that faces the outside area is also insulated. A sunroom is a part of the house rather than a separate extension.

Glass Box

Another period house extension idea is to increase your living space and smoothly connect it with the outdoors. Create a dining area/open kitchen in your glass box by building it by the backdoor.

Use minimalist glazed windows as a modern touch and allow sunlight to seep into your living space. Add a glass door to create a perfect connection with your back garden.

Side Return Extension

Side returns are usually neglected parts of the house that most people use to dump their garden litter or as a pathway.

We think that you can make the most of your side return with a period house extension. Make it a part of your indoor kitchen by turning it into a small dining space for guests and family.

Use roof lights to keep your house bright by using sunlight and install bifold/sliding doors to the garden for a seamless connection. Keep a continuous floor finish that extends outside the extension to help enhance the extension’s size.

Side extensions rarely require planning permission and are not time-consuming.

Vaulted Ceilings

A tall ceiling is often the trademark of a sophisticated house. It makes your room feel more spacious and refreshing. You can add vaulted ceilings in your extensions to add an extra bit of character to your home.

A high roof can be achieved by either building a double story structure or digging down one level. A vaulted ceiling is created under a pitched roof. Insulation is fitted into the pitched roof to allow for this design.


A well-executed period house extension works to enhance the existing house’s structure and features. It could be easy to just add any old extension to your home for the extra space. But period houses have great heritage and history that should be maintained, and you can’t afford to just take a backseat in the process.

Extensive research, careful planning, and a smart period house extension design are necessary for the project. Take your time, get the right help, and think everything through before you start your project.

Good Luck!

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