Buckstone house extension

Contemporary extension to a detached home at Buckstone in Edinburgh. Family-friendly design and efficient use of space with bi-fold doors to the garden.

The ground floor included a small kitchen and separate living/ dining room, but the layout was cramped and compromised. The small kitchen was located off the hall to the rear of the house.

Access to the back garden was awkward. Since the garden was lower than the ground floor of the house, a raised timber deck had been constructed. This had become very slippery since, being north facing, it received very little sun.

It was initially tempting to extend into the existing garage, which was built into the side of the house. However the garage was lower than the ground floor level and had insufficient ceiling height. The decision was made to construct a new rear extension instead. Closer examination suggested that the best place to locate a new patio was to the rear of the garage. The external ground level could be raised locally to facilitate level access to the new extension via west facing bi-fold doors. The north/ south orientation of the house was key to making this decision.

The existing UPVC windows and doors were to be removed but the “nibs” of external wall would be retained to avoid the cost of installing a steel portal frame.

It was decided that the shower room should be situated in the middle of the house where the dining room used to be. This created a separate living room at the front of the house, with the benefit that the family now have two distinct living spaces. The new layout makes very efficient use of the available space. For example, utility storage is discreetly positioned beneath the existing stair.

The entire ground floor was completely reconfigured and upgraded and recessed LED downlights were installed to all rooms.

The new layout optimises light and space. Although the new extension is a modest size, it is carefully situated so that the impact on the garden is minimised. There are two rooflights and a large amount of glazing on the west gable, so the spacious kitchen-dining room is flooded with natural light. There is a designated space for a comfortable sofa next to the aluminium bi-fold doors to the new paved terrace.

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