How To Plan Your Own Extension

Today I was chatting with friends about how I planned my bungalow extension. Really, I used two methods: Sweet Home 3D (as previously mentioned here) and Rightmove! Sweet Home 3D is a free interior design software package that allows you to create rooms, add furniture and take virtual tours of your new home. Rightmove is the UK’s largest online estate agent and has hundreds of thousands of photos or rooms along with their dimensions. For me, this method is a simple way to design a house extension.

So, lets take a closer look at both.


Sweet Home 3D For Kitchen Designs

As already discussed, this software (Sweet Home 3D desktop app) allows you to easily create a plan of your home, and then modify it. I was lucky to have a floor plan from the estate agent when I moved, so I could upload this and draw the walls over the top. But if you don’t have that, you can just draw it yourself – just get a tape measure! The great thing about this software is that you can move walls, make them longer, move doors and windows, and add and adjust furniture to match the size and colour of your own, so you can know exactly how much space you will have.

Here are some screen shots (click to view and zoom in on image):

Sweet Home 3D plan - kitchen diner and lounge

Sweet Home 3D plan – kitchen diner and lounge

Here’s two virtual tour screen shots:

Sweet Home 3D plan - virtual kitchen

Sweet Home 3D plan – virtual kitchen

Sweet Home 3D plan - virtual lounge

Sweet Home 3D plan – virtual lounge

Every item can be adjusted – you can change furniture and window elevations (how I got the TV on the wall), widths, depths etc. So in the examples above, the two sofa’s, dining table and cabinets are all to scale – you can see some of the measurements on the bottom left of the images). This is vital especially when working with two long rooms, as I needed to be sure there is space to walk next to the sofa that sits in the middle of the room. You may notice that the dining room chairs look a bit stretched – that’s because they are! I wanted to see how much space there was when the chairs were pulled out to sit down – so I stretched them to 60cm, as this is about how far the backs are when you pull the chair out to sit down. That’s about all here is to it really. Rather than write a long tutorial that nobody will read, I’ll instead answer any questions you may have below!

If you are only planning a kitchen extension, or a remodelled kitchen, then there are some better tools – many of the main kitchen suppliers provide free kitchen planning software. However, you cannot easily move walls, add lighting or do virtual tours.

Using Rightmove To Design Your House

Really, I should say using Rightmove and Google. Here’s a little trick I have learned from running websites – the site: command in Google.

If you put site: before a website domain, it will list all the pages that Google has indexed. So, a search in Google for site:rightmove.co.uk currently brings up around 3.38 million pages. So, from here, add details you wish to find, or example, kitchen diners that are 2.8m wide:

using Rightmove to plan a house

It takes some time searching, but you will find some useful results. This one looks a lot like I imagine my kitchen diner will look – it is almost the same size:

Similar kitchen diner to the one I am planning

Similar kitchen diner to the one I am planning

And this living room is also more or less the same size – the entrance door is in a different place, but the width and length of the room is the same:

Living room similar to the lounge I am planning

Living room similar to the lounge I am planning

So, once you play with some layouts in Sweet Home 3D, you can then double check how the rooms will more or less look by searching for real examples. Also, looking at existing homes may give you some new home extension ideas! What is really great to know, is that both the kitchen and lounge pictured are in homes that are much larger than mine – I will essentially be getting a lounge and kitchen that is only normally found in homes that cost twice as much in this area. So I am doubling my house in size and value (well, not really, but it will feel like that when in the new rooms!).

More like this in the Planning and Design section

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