blog: it’s what’s on the outside that counts too…

If you are considering undertaking a home extension or renovation project, it can be easy to focus on the more accessible interior design details and overlook the exterior. Mash Architecture will help you look at the bigger picture and guide you through exterior design decisions. Here’s a summary of what should to be considered:

Windows
Whether it’s a wall of bi-folding or glazed sliding doors or even a round feature, bulls-eye window, the style and placement of windows can make or break the character of your property. All too often, windows become evidence of an extension or other alterations – which may work well inside, but not outside.

Marrying the use of materials and organising the windows to look well-proportioned, natural and balanced, can usually achieve a seamless and complete look. On older properties however, where finding exact matches might prove tricky, it is sometimes more effective to contrast older styles with ultra-modernity (with a solid wall of glass, for example). Planning departments dealing with listed properties can sometimes look favourably on this kind of extension, as it creates a clear separation between the old property and the new addition.

A modern addition to a traditional farmhouse in Leicestershire

The Style
Poorly matched brickwork or pebble-dash render is an all too common mistake made when adding to a property. Although contrasting building materials can (and should) be used to great effect, it’s key that this contrast looks intentional. It’s worth remembering that it’s much easier to modernise the exterior than to make it look older. For example, adding Georgian details to a home without the right proportions will look out of place

The Colour
It’s undoubtedly easier to make brave colour choices on the interior of your home than the exterior. A wall can be painted over in an afternoon, but changing the colour of your window frames is somewhat trickier. When done correctly however, a pop of colour on the exterior of your home can set it part from the crowd and create a truly high end, bespoke feel. A fairly low risk but effective way to experiment with exterior colour would be to paint your front door – Fired Earth, Farrow & Ball, Little Greene and Zoffany all provide a wealth of delightful colours, but high street brands such as Dulux and Johnstone’s will also provide good quality paint at reasonable cost.

The Roofing
If you’re considering a ground floor extension, at some point you will need to make a decision on the roofing material. Although it’s easy to opt for the most practical or cost effective option here, think carefully about how it will affect the view from first floor windows, as you will be waking up to it every morning. There are an abundance of options available, and here at Mash Architecture, we would guide you through these and find the most appropriate and attractive solution.

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