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Brick extensions to the home

Most people would like some extra room at home, whether it be for an extra bedroom, a bigger lounge or kitchen or even a hobby room. However, fewer people can afford to move house these days so they look for ways to improve their existing property.

Many builders have reported a significant increase in the number of home extension projects being ordered at present. In the past, brick built extensions were constructed because the owners simply wanted to improve their home. Today though, the extension may be absolutely necessary owing to an elderly relative moving in who cannot manage the stairs any longer or, more often, because the families children are unable to leave home because they can't afford to. Whatever the reason is, the brick built home extension is still the most popular form of home extension.

Lots of home extensions these days are PVCu conservatories or other buildings that are heavily glazed, but brick, stone or flint built extensions are still very popular popular.

Conservatories versus traditional brick built extensions

One possible reason for choosing a brick built extension may be that you would just prefer the building to be constructed of brick, stone, or another material, this may even depend on your local area, or there may even be planning restrictions or restrictive covenants attached to your property. If you were building in certain rural areas, the outer walls of a new extension may well look better if they were of flint and brick, even if planning regulations didn't enforce this.

A brick built extension being built

There are two reasons why conservatories became so popular. The first was because double glazing firms found that their units became so cheap to make that they could provide conservatories at a very competitive price, and secondly there is no need to apply for building regulation control as long as they are separated from the main house by solid external quality doors. This made conservatories a lot easier to erect than extensions constructed from bricks and mortar.

Benefits of traditional brick building methods

Brick or stone constructions can offer a lot more than a glass and PVCu unit. For a start, the options are virtually endless. Particularly if you are putting up more than one storey, a traditional build really is the way to go. If you need more than one room, even on just the one level, a traditional structure makes dividing much more coherent than walls within a conservatory, particular if one of the rooms is going to be a bathroom, shower room or toilet.

A traditionally brick constructed add on will also be better insulated than even a double glazed conservatory too. The construction will have a cavity between the inner wall, usually built of breezeblock, and the outer wall, which will be the more decorative layer of brick. The cavity can be filled with an insulating layer to further enhance the heat retentive properties of the brick wall.

Utilities and services

Fitting utilities is a lot easier in a brick built extension as well. If you are going to have a kitchen, for example, it's much easier to fit cabinets against a solid brick wall, and run all the supply pipes for water and gas, and the cabling for electricity, through the brick walls than try to make ways of concealing them in a conservatory.

Mounting things such as electrical outlets and shelving is again much simpler. It's not that these things are impossible in a conservatory, just more difficult and challenging, and therefore usually more expensive.

Building project

Of course, a brick built extension is more of a building project and will take longer than erecting a conservatory. Building regulation approval will also need to be obtained, but as far as planning permission is concerned, the rules regarding whether or not it will be needed are the same regardless of construction methods.

These will differ in the different parts of the United Kingdom, but your local planning office will be able to offer leaflets and advice to help you understand this potential minefield.

Make the right choice

If you want more than one room, and particularly if you want to use the rooms all the year round without a massive heating bill, then brick built, though likely to be more expensive to construct, will deliver what you need in the long term.

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t: 01708 200 304

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