If you live in a Victorian terraced house, one of the most common domestic building projects in residential application is the extension into the alley alongside the back of the property, into the unused courtyard space. With side return extension you can create extra space, especially for your kitchen.
The downside of this improvement is that the window (or the glazed door) of the room in the centre of the house is lost, leaving it gloomy and enclosed.
So how to bring natural light and fresh air into the existing back rooms on the ground floor, with a good spatial quality and flow?
Well, there are different approaches and different smart ways to get this solution right and designed properly.
• A first option to get around the problem is to introduce a roof light on the extension’s roof close to the back wall of the original house and remove some walls. For example, the existing masonry back wall and the wall between the reception room and the dining room, in order to create a direct and beautiful link between the front and the rear of the house with the benefit of two sources of light.
• Alternatively, if you don’t like an open-plan layout, you can install in the original exterior wall a glass partition or an internal window or even an open shelving with a part that can be opened. The intervention can then be enriched by a series of sky lights on the roof extension. In this case your interiors keep privacy and specific use but at the same time you preserve the light and retain a sense of connectivity and flow between the adjacent rooms.
• Finally, we suggest as a third option to create a little courtyard between the side return extension and the middle room. This solution allows to keep the window (or perhaps the French door) and preserve the natural light and fresh air. In conjunction with a well-planned landscaping, the new area becomes a private oasis where to grow beautiful plants and have an amazing outside view.
Quite often, our customers look for advice on the type of glass to be installed in the extension roof. It’s important to choose options that offer protection from overheating or glare and reduce “the greenhouse effect”, such as efficient, thermally coated double-glazing, low emissivity glass or solar reflective window films. Moreover, a quality roof blinds which can be manually or electrically operated is almost mandatory. A bit expensive but money well spent.
If you need help with Victorian Renovation, contact us to discuss your ideas together.