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Should I Build a Single or Double-Storey Extension?

So you want to extend your home, but you’re unsure of whether to build a single or double-storey extension. In the hopes of helping you to make a decision, we’ve put together this guide on single and double-storey extensions. 

More specifically, we’ll be highlighting important factors that may influence your decision on whether to build a single or double-storey extension for your home. By the end of this blog, you’ll know which extension method is most cost-effective, which does a better job at extending your home, planning permission, and more. 


Deciding on Double or Single-Storey Extensions

This is a difficult question to answer on behalf of someone else. And that is because every extension project is different. What someone wants to achieve with a home extension may be completely different to another person. Thus, the same extension method doesn’t suit everyone. 

Full renovation blakeney norfolk

To ultimately answer this question – whether to build a single-storey extension or a double-storey extension – you must consider what your own goals are. Think about the reason(s) why you want to extend your home and that should help you answer that all-important question. 

But, if your goals aren’t clear or you still need some guidance, start with these factors:

  • Money – How much does each extension method cost and which provides the most value for money?
  • Space – Consider how much space you want to achieve with your extension. 
  • Planning – The planning stage is so important and slightly different between these two home extension methods. 
  • Time – How long it takes to build a single-storey home extension and a double-storey extension.
  • Value – Home improvements, such as extensions, may add value to your property. Which adds the most?

Throughout this blog, we will take a closer look at each of these elements to discover which extension method may be best suited to you. 


What is a Single-Storey Extension and What is a Double-Storey Extension?

A home extension is a separate structure that is added onto an existing property as a means of extending the property to make it larger overall. 

The key difference between these two home extension building methods is that a single-storey extension only has one storey or floor. And a double-storey extension has two storeys or floors. 

Our construction company in Norfolk has built many extensions over the years. And while the number of storeys is the main difference between these extension methods, there is also a lot more that separates the two. Of which we will discuss now. 


The Cost of Single and Double-Storey Extensions

When we decide to make improvements to our home, whether that’s through renovation, extension or another way, money is a big factor. 

While how much an extension costs is important, we do not think it should be the only factor you consider. But we still understand the importance of price in home construction projects like extensions. 

So which is cheaper, and is that all there is to the argument?


Single-Storey Extension Cost 

How much should a single-storey extension cost? According to Checkatrade, a single-storey extension could cost anywhere from £40,000 to £140,000.

When estimating the cost of a home extension, it is usually calculated by the cost per square metre. This means that the larger your single-storey extension is, the more it will cost. Remember that depending on who you choose to help design and build your single-storey extension, they may have a higher or lower cost per square metre than others. 


Double-Storey Extension Cost 

So, how much are double-storey extensions? Despite what you may be thinking, a double-storey extension doesn’t mean double the cost of a single-storey. 

What you must remember is with double-storey extensions, you’re not just extending outwards, away from the original property. You’re extending out and then upwards.

A double-storey extension costs around £105,000 to £150,000. While single-storey extensions may be cheaper, it’s double-storey extensions that could present the better value for money. 


Which Home Extensions Will Achieve More Space?

Let’s go back to the beginning. Why would someone be considering a home extension? To make their home bigger of course! It’s very natural to want to extend your home. What may have been a decent-sized home once just may not cut it anymore. 

As life changes and families grow, so does the need for a larger home, which is why people turn to extending instead of moving house

But which is better for extending a home? A single or double-storey extension?


You likely won’t be surprised to hear that a double-storey extension will likely achieve more space for a property. Because a double-storey extension is essentially two single-storeys on top of one another. 

Many people use single-storey extensions when they only need to extend their home by a little bit more. This could be because they want to make an established room in their home bigger. For example, a person may want to turn their cramped kitchen into a sprawling kitchen diner room. Or it may be that they want to add an extra room, such as a bedroom or reading room. 

But with a double-storey extension, you could add not one but two new rooms. It’s almost like making a whole new wing added to your home. So, yes, it is the double-storey extension that wins this round. However, if you don’t want to simply make your property bigger and have a more particular goal in mind instead, this may not be so important to you. 


Planning Permission For Single and Double-Storey Extensions 

Planning permission is as important for the tiniest of single-storey extensions as it is for entire new build homes. There’s no way around it – the planning stage is a vital aspect of the extension-building process. 

In particular, planning permission is a factor that should be explored when deciding on a single or double-storey extension. 


Do Single-Storey Extensions Need Planning Permission?

As we mentioned, planning permission is vital to all home construction projects. However, that is only the case when planning permission is needed. Did you know it is possible to build a single-storey extension without planning permission? The answer is permitted development rights

In short, permitted development rights make it easier for homeowners to improve their homes without the need for planning permission. That being said, different home construction projects are more suited to PDR than others. One of those is single-storey extensions.

That means that if your time is precious and you don’t want to face the task of planning permission for your home extension, a single-storey extension could be the best approach. 


Does a Double-Storey Extension Need Planning Permission?

While there are such things as double-storey extension permitted development rights, they can be quite limiting compared to single-storey extensions.

Because of these limitations, it is likely that to achieve all that you want with your double-storey extension, you will need full planning permission. 

Before deciding to build a double-storey extension, you must be clear on what permissions you will require. This is why it’s a good idea to consult an expert about your extension project. To start, you could read through this technical guide

In conclusion, many would say – between a single or double-storey extension – that permitted development rights means that single-storey extensions are easier to build in regards to planning. 

With that being said, having to seek planning permission shouldn’t put you off the idea of a double-storey extension. Our construction company in Norfolk has a 100% pass rate when it comes to getting home construction projects through planning permission. Our success with planning permission is part of the reason we can guarantee the easiest build you’ll ever have whatever extension you choose to build. 


Which is Faster to Build – A Single or Double-Storey Extension 

Another important factor to consider is how long your home extension project is going to take. After all, with an extension being built onto your home, the building process can interfere with the normal day-to-day life of you and your family. 

While there is no way around the slight disruption to your home life, different home improvement projects take longer to complete than others. Building home extensions aren’t like new build projects where you can only move into your home after the work is completed. Oftentimes, people will accept the slight disruption and carry on living like normal, which isn’t as bad as it sounds. 

Of course, there is always the option of temporarily moving out of your home while your extension is being built, but that isn’t always an option. 

To help you decide between a single or double-storey extension, here’s how long each takes to build. 


How Long Does a Single-Storey Extension Take To Build?

You won’t be shocked to hear that it is usually always quicker to build a single-storey extension than it is to build a double-storey. 

Generally speaking, single-storey extensions are one of the smaller-scale home improvement projects out there, along with simple loft conversions. 

For a single-storey extension, you could expect your project to take anywhere from 2-4 months. This is an average guide as to how long it may take to build a single-storey extension from start to finish. 


How Long Does a Double-Storey Extension Take To Build? 

For a double-storey extension, the whole process from planning, designing and building will take a bit longer. With an extra two floors being added to your home, you must take into account the extra work involved and the extra materials needed. 

It’s because of reasons like these that double-storey extensions will take around 9-11 months to complete

You may be looking at each extension’s build time and be shocked at the difference. But while a double-storey extension may take longer, it’s important to weigh how important the project timeframe is to you – if it’s not so important and you’re favouring the value-for-money and extra space that comes with a double-storey extension, then don’t let it put you off the idea. 

On the other hand, if build time is really important to you, then perhaps a single-storey extension is the best approach. After all, different people have different deadlines, especially if you’re not extending to improve your home life, but extending to later turn a profit, which leads us to the added value extensions can provide. 


Which Will Add More Value To My Property – A Single or Double-Storey Extension?

What do we mean when we talk about adding value to a property? Well, it’s another reason people decide to improve their homes or other properties they may have. Because high-quality home improvements have the added effect of raising a property’s monetary value. 

Home renovation completed by Bespoke Norfolk Group

Making a home larger through extension is the same reason someone may convert a derelict barn into a habitable country home. By improving a property to make it better than when it was initially bought, property professionals can buy, improve and then sell to make a handsome profit. 

This isn’t just a neat tactic used by property experts to include in their portfolio. Normal people, with a single home which they live in, can take advantage of this plus point to home improvements for themselves. If you want a larger home to live in but also don’t think this is your forever home, the added value an extension can provide could mean selling your home for more money when you are eventually ready to sell. 

Different home improvements, such as interior remodelling and loft conversions, add a different amount of value to a property. So when it comes to extensions, which offers more value? 


Does a Single-Storey Extension Add Value? 

Yes, adding a single-storey extension can add value to your home. According to Checkatrade, a single-storey extension could add 5-8% to the overall value of your home

Keep in mind, that the actual amount of value added to your home will depend on your individual project – the size, quality, etc of your extension. By making the home larger with a single-storey extension, even if you’re only extending by a little bit, will usually make the home more appealing to potential buyers. Therefore, the home is now worth more. 


Does a Double-Storey Extension Add Value? 

Like the smaller extension project, a double-storey extension can add value to a property. As you may have guessed, this is usually more at around 10-20%

Although it isn’t always the case, the bigger a home is, the more money it is worth. With a double-storey extension, you are likely achieving more extra room for your home than a single-storey extension would. 

But it’s not just the more space you add to a home, but what you fill that space with. A common use of double-storey extensions is to add an extra bedroom and bathroom to a property, which, we don’t need to tell you, will make a home so much more desirable. 


The Different Types of Home Extensions

When trying to decide which extension you should add to your home, it’s worth knowing that the answer isn’t as simple as a single or double-storey extension. 

There are so many different extension types available. For example, if you decide to build a single-storey extension, will you have it placed at the side or rear of your home? 

When it comes to extensions, homeowners are spoilt for choice, which is equally a good thing as it gives you plenty of options and a higher chance of getting exactly what you want. But it can also be a drawback, making it even harder to make a decision. 

To provide some clarity, here are the different extension types you could add to your home:

  • Kitchen extension
  • Kitchen diner extension
  • Single storey extension
  • Two Storey extension
  • Timber frame extension (single or double-storey)
  • Bungalow extension
  • Side extension (single or double-storey)
  • Rear extension (single or double-storey)

Bespoke Norfolk Group have completed many different home extension projects in Norfolk, making us extension-building experts. 

If you know you want to extend your home but need the input of an expert construction company, then get in touch with us today. We will always provide honest, factual and expert advice and guidance with no obligation to go ahead.