The new addition must be of a correct proportion in comparison to the existing house to avoid making the property feel unbalanced, both internally and externally. The planning department within the New Forest National Park and indeed, other local authorities, will be keen to see that your new extension is subservient to the original house.

Respect for the age of the property and its history:

Identify any key features which need to be kept and that attracted you to the building in the first place. Establish how you might express them within the design for example, is it best to detach the extension from the house by using a simple, modern glazed link? This will often allow the existing building to breathe and highlight its original features further.

Design considerations:

It is not always the best approach to try and match in with the original building. If your period property is lucky enough to have many of its original features, then trying to replicate them in a pastiche could compromise the overall authenticity. When considering the design of an extension to an historic home, choose your new materials carefully and consider a contrasting approach. By taking influences from the existing building’s features and its proportion and scale, the use of different materials and a more contemporary approach, can look far more comfortable next to the original house, than that of one that tries to match in.

Natural Light:

Older properties weren’t designed for modern living and the accommodation they offer is often made up of a number of smaller rooms. When considering how to extend, to create your open-plan modern family living space, always consider how much natural light you might be blocking out. Extending rooms can make them significantly deeper and, ensuring your design incorporates as much natural light as possible, will only enhance the quality of the space you are left with.

Rules and Regulations:

Remember that as well as planning permission and building regulation approval, if you plan to affect the existing character of a property that is either listed or lies within a conservation area, then an additional application to the local authority may be needed for listed building consent.

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