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Rear extension - how to stop it being dark

(10 Posts)
mandy214 Tue 23-Jun-15 10:17:01

We are in a 1930s semi. Lounge & hall at the front of the house, dining room and kitchen at the rear of the house.

We are extending across the width of the back of the house by just over 3m.

We are incorporating a little utility room but the rest of the back of the house will be open plan. The natural light will come in from 1 set of glass doors and 1 large window in the new back wall. We can't add light by velux / roof lights as we are going double storey - although we might be able to incorporate 1.

We will have one side window (obviously on the side where we're not joined) but there is only about 6m between us and our other neighbour so this window won't let in masses of light.

Effectively therefore, we'll have a big square box (about 7m x 7m) and I'm worried the part which is now the dining room and kitchen will be very dark.

Any tips on how to make it light?


sacbina Tue 23-Jun-15 10:58:22

seen a few extensions with long rectangle of glass replacing the top two or three courses of bricks, so it let's light in but doesn't effect privacy.

mandy214 Tue 23-Jun-15 11:30:12

That sounds like a good idea. Will investigate. Thank you.

DayLillie Tue 23-Jun-15 12:00:50

The houses where I have seen this done have opened one of the back rooms into the extension to make a large l-shaped open plan room. It requires an rsj rather than just making an archway so that the ceiling height is the same throughout.

You could open out the dining room, and make the darker old kitchen the utility.

Purplehonesty Tue 23-Jun-15 12:19:18

Instead of glass doors can you do the whole back wall as windows/bi fold doors/ big panes of glass?
We have a 4m expanse of glass in our wall and it wasn't that expensive as some of it is fixed panes.
Also the downstairs is painted off white and we went for off white kitchen units with wooden floors. Everything looks lovely and bright

mandy214 Tue 23-Jun-15 12:23:21

The utility is going to be v small - less than half of the size of current kitchen and all the walls are coming down - so front of house remains unchanged but dining room / current kitchen (apart from utility) and extension becomes one big open plan kitchen diner sitting area.

mandy214 Tue 23-Jun-15 12:24:53

Am thinking of bi - folds but crikey they're expensive. More than I expected!!

OhEmGeee Tue 23-Jun-15 14:33:41

We have bifolds across half the extension and they do let in the light. Amazing when it's a lovely day too when they're open.

pinechesterdrawers Tue 23-Jun-15 16:15:00

you cant beat pure white walls - can be stark and minimal or white washed and light: its all in the styling of your furniture and bitsnbobs.

i think it fine with the window at the side - 6 m gap between yours and neighbours sounds ok.

how bright is the room with the side window now? Does it feel gloomy?

Daylight bulbs too.

Lucky you Mandy!

mandy214 Tue 23-Jun-15 16:48:34

No, it doesn't feel too gloomy but we are already semi open plan at the back - have one window that is just over 2m wide on the back wall, and 2 separate windows at the side, each about 1m wide. They obviously have to provide enough light for rooms which are currently about 4m deep. Am just conscious that even with bi-fold doors (although appreciate that they'll be higher than a window) and another window in the rear wall, and a side window, we've only got 3 sources of natural light (and possibly 1 velux) for almost double the depth if that makes sense.

Maybe I'm fretting without cause. Pinechest we have been in this house for 5.5 years. The extension was planned when we bought it, and has had to be put off and put off. Even now we're scaling back on what we have planning permission for 'cos we still can't afford what I'd love to do and probably won't for another 5 years but there is only so long you can live with a peach bathroom suite and louvre doors wink!

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