Wrap around extension ideas for every size and style of home

timber clad wrap around extension to bungalow with sliding patio doors
Warp around extension can provide the opportunity for a complete exterior remodel (Image credit: David Barbour)

Wrap around extension ideas can completely transform a layout of an existing home, while adding significant value to the property. 

Whether you're building an extension to a dated bungalow, tired terrace or just need more space in a semi-detached house, wrap around extensions provide the opportunity to go out to the side as well to the rear in order to achieve your dream home. 

Here, we reveal some of our favourite wrap around extension ideas and what you can learn from them.

Wrap around extension ideas: A way to maximise space

The wrap around house extension style (sometimes called an L-shaped extension) is popular in the UK for many reasons. By going out to the side as well as the rear, the full plot can be utilised to add extra space into the layout of the house. 

"Our cities are densely built and starting a building from scratch is a rare occasion. Wrap around extensions are a very efficient and sustainable way of transforming properties that were built to accommodate needs of the past," explains Eleni Soussoni, director at Yellow Cloud Studio.

"They offer the opportunity for architects to apply creativity and come up with smart ideas to improve every aspect of the existing, dated space. Homeowners should use the expertise of architects to transform their houses and breathe new life into them." 

1. Use a wrap around extension to fill in the gaps of a terrace

modern black extension to traditional terrace house

The new black-clad wrap around extension also links perfectly to the dark-stained decking in the garden.   (Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

Wrap around extensions can make the most of the awkward space to the side of terraced homes. 

Simple side return extensions can only provide so much additional area to a floorplan, while going out further into the garden means the pokey layouts often seen in period properties can be opened up fully. 

In this terrace extension a large room the width of the plot has been created using a wrap around extension, while ingenious house extension ideas like the window seat and sliding patio doors open up the once dark terrace to the garden. 

2. Bring in natural light with a wrap around extension

black timber clad wrap around extension to white semi detached house

Long rooflights and bifolding doors let natural light penetrate every corner of this semi-detached house extension. The wrap around extension was designed by Yellow Cloud Studio.  (Image credit: c/o Yellow Cloud Studio)

"Feeling connected to nature and enjoying spaces filled with light are such important factors in people's wellbeing," says Yellow Cloud Studio's Eleni Soussoni. "A wrap around extension should look to maximise on natural light intake by using skylights in key areas of the floorplan and floor to ceiling windows that let the garden views be the backdrop throughout the space." 

Modern extension design ideas like this can completely rejuvenate an existing dark layout — in fact we're seeing increasing numbers of homes with vertical 'wrap around' glazing, where a tall window on the wall lines up perfectly with a rooflight (as shown above) to create an incredible effect. Corner glazing is another great way to make the most of a wrap around extension. 

"The orientation of the rear garden is another important factor for the design," continues Eleni, "therefore positioning the openings should always refer to the sun's trajectory to maximise efficiency and elevate the architecture of the space."

3. Wrap around extension don't need to be large

small wrap around extension in brick to a terrace house

Create Bespoke Interiors designed this small-build, high-impact addition.  (Image credit: c/o Create Bespoke)

Creating an extension doesn't mean you have to have a sprawling new addition which ruins your garden and fills the layout with empty space. 

A tiny addition filled with glazing was all it took for this terrace home to connect to the garden and create a beautiful kitchen-diner space. 

Ways to make the most of small house extension ideas should include a rethink of the existing layout (could you remove some internal walls?) and windows to let light in from the above as well creating views of the garden. 

4. Give a bungalow a makeover with wrap around extension ideas 

timber clad wrap around extension to bungalow with sliding patio doors

The wrap around extension (designed by Chambers McMillan Architects) has provided an accessible layout for the homeowner's daughter with level thresholds, an extra bedroom and an open plan kitchen/dining/living space.  (Image credit: David Barbour)

By enveloping at least two sides of a house with an extension, a significant impact on the building's exterior can be envisioned at the same time. So, for those with a dated brick or pebbledash, or for those who just want a bit of an upgrade, a wrap around extension solves multiple problems — giving the house an external makeover being one.

This flat roof extension to a dated bungalow was designed to provide extra space for a young family and extends the entire side of the house to create a new porch and entryway at the front. The cladding has enabled the homeowners to also thermally upgrade the dated bungalow, with external wall insulation added.

5. Use permitted development to your advantage

remodelled house with side and rear extensions

(Image credit: Jonathan Gooch)

Usually, wrap around extension design doesn't fall under Permitted Development (PD) rights, and a full planning application has to be made. 

In a clever way to circumvent this, Remagination created individual side and rear extension design ideas to provide the space of a wrap around extension, but with the ease of PD. 

6. Go up two storeys with a wrap around addition

white rendered cottage with large two storage wrap around extension

This project added two bedrooms and bathrooms downstairs.  (Image credit: Charlier O'Beirne)

Make the most of your money as well as your plot by building a double storey extension. This can provide an extra bedroom and bathroom as well as increasing downstairs floor area. 

Also, if you're concerned about how much does an extension cost at the moment, going up two storeys rather than one might be a better investment — a double storey wrap around won't cost much more than a single storey per m2. Plus, it may provide your family and lifestyle with much needed space that allows you to remain in your home for longer. 

This home underwent an extensive renovation and wrap around extension scheme. The two storey side section has been clad in Welsh slate while the single storey rear extension (with new green roof) has been rendered to match the existing cottage. 

How long does it take to build a wrap around extension? 

"Clients always underestimate the time needed for an extension project. From our experience, it usually takes eight to 12 months (depending on the size and complexity of the project) to measure the property, design the concept, take it through planning and tender it," suggests Yellow Cloud Studio's Eleni Soussoni. 

"Once this process is completed it takes another couple of months to get quotes in from contractors and the actual construction is usually six to eight months. We therefore always advise homeowners to allow for a minimum of 16 months from the start of the design process to construction completion."

Amy Reeves

Assistant Editor Amy began working for Homebuilding & Renovating in 2018. She has an interest in sustainable building methods and always has her eye on the latest design ideas. Amy has interviewed countless self builders, renovators and extenders about their experiences for Homebuilding & Renovating magazine. She is currently renovating a mid-century home, together with her partner, on a DIY basis, and has recently fitted her own kitchen.