modern extension

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glass side extension to Edwardian terraceextension to end of terrace in powder coated aluminium with bifold doorsdining area in glass extension bathed in sun

We thought it useful to photograph this modern extension eight years after we designed and installed it. You’ll find that most interior and exterior photos in magazines are taken when the schemes are brand new; but how do our designs stand the test of time?

modern extension

Modern Extension

You can read about the original glass extension project, but we wanted to see how it had weathered and worn. We also wanted to report on how the planned functionality of the design, such as the heating, lighting and other features, had worked for the family.

Porcelain Patio tiles

You may recall that we laid an anti-slip version of the interior porcelain tiles on the patio.  This made the space feel much bigger, drawing the outside in. The tiles are readily cleaned with just a brush and water – no need for any high pressure jetting. There is some very minor discolouration caused by the berries that drop from adjacent bushes. But with more determined brushing it does some off and you are hard pushed to see any difference.

Cleaning the roof glass

We didn’t use so-called self-cleaning glass, but it remains very easy to clean with an extending squeegee. There are a few moss “rings” which fade with more rigorous rubbing with a natural lemon based cleaner. The photo shows how the glass has remained clear.

dining area under glass roof

Temperature Control

The low U value glass is still extremely efficient. Snow forms on the roof and stays there. This modern extension can get hot but not oppressively so; if the temperature outside is 25oC then it might be 26oC inside. But you’d probably find a similar story in a conventional space. There is little direct sunlight after about 2 o’clock, which helps.

Powder-Coated Aluminium Frame

The powder coated aluminium frame is dead easy to clean – just a wipe with a cloth and all the grime disappears.

lean to glass extension

Conservatory Lighting

The flexible lighting design has proven to be extremely successful. In such a large space, it is important to be able to have the lights in zones – not all the lights need to be on all the time. In this lighting design, we had three task lighting zones within the conservatory, as well as pelmet lighting beneath the wall units.

glass extension with kitchen diner

Open Plan Kitchen Diner

One of the key requirements for this modern extension was to accommodate a new kitchen diner. In turn, the kitchen would provide more cooking capacity than before, with a larger fridge freezer. Above all the design was to be easier to use, clean and maintain. The flush fitting induction hob proved itself a great purchase;  very responsive and easy to clean. It also emits much less heat than a conventional hob which is extremely welcome on hot days.

The external extractor fan takes most of the noise out of the living space, which was another key feature of the design. The pyrolitic ovens are self-cleaning which is an absolute blessing;  and it really works, as the high temperature cycle turns the grease and grime to ash which you simply sweep out.

The one area which is worth considering in future designs is the colour change of the kitchen cabinets. Below is an image of when they were fitted, but the light levels have faded the american dark walnut and the natural oak has warmed a little. The colour difference is now less obvious. You don’t really notice it day to day, but when you look at the back of a cupboard door, you can see the difference.

kitchen diner in bath

Of course, the open plan space is great for family gatherings such as at Christmas, when guests and chefs can mingle in the same space.

Underfloor heating

Wet underfloor heating is a real luxury. Comparing it to cold tiled floors, the warmth it gives is extraordinary. It can warm the space to 29oC easily even in winter. That’s too hot of course, but is an indication of the efficiency of the system.  Below is an image of us laying the underfloor heating pipes 8 years ago.

wet underfloor heating installed

Multi Room Music System

Another luxury, the multi room room music system is used every day. With internet streaming and CDs ripped to a hard drive, the ceiling speakers provide sound throughout the space, controlled wirelessly.


This modern extension provided much needed additional space for this Edwardian home. It is still going strong, eight years after installation. Whilst we would look more closely at the fade of timber finishes in the kitchen over years in strong sunlight, the functionality built into the design has served the owners well. A life-changing renovation, this family would recommend a similar extension to anyone!

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