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What makes the per­fect ex­ten­sion?

Is it the fact it flows out to the gar­den, ef­fort­lessly link­ing in­doors and out? Per­haps it’s how it trans­forms a dated and im­prac­ti­cal lay­out into a mul­ti­func­tional fam­ily room, or the way in which the new con­tem­po­rary glaz­ing can turn pre­vi­ously dark ar­eas into light-filled spa­ces? If you’re lucky, chances are it can be all of the above.

But how do you get from that first glint of an idea of tak­ing on an ex­ten­sion pro­ject to ac­tu­ally achiev­ing your dream space? There’s so much to do be­fore the foun­da­tions can be laid that start­ing a pro­ject can of­ten seem like a mam­moth task that will never be achieved. I know how that feels, hav­ing been toy­ing with the idea of ex­tend­ing for nearly a year. The thought of liv­ing in a build­ing site for sev­eral months with two chil­dren, how­ever, has so far been enough to put my plans on the back­burner…

That be­ing said, I’m a firm be­liever in ‘no pain, no gain’, so I know that if we’re ever go­ing to stand a chance of hav­ing a kitchen-diner that’s big enough for ev­ery­day ac­tiv­i­ties for our fam­ily of four (cook­ing, eat­ing, home­work, en­ter­tain­ing and danc­ing around like lu­natics on a Fri­day night for our reg­u­lar kitchen disco), then I know we’ll have to take the plunge and go for it – all while try­ing not to think about the in­creased monthly mort­gage pay­ments, of course.

If you’re in the same mind­set, then our new monthly ex­ten­sions plan­ner (page 128) should give you the con­fi­dence boost you need to get your pro­ject off the ground, and save you money in the process (page 80). From work­ing out the rea­sons why you want to ex­tend in the first place to the key mo­ments you want to cre­ate in your new space (ev­ery­thing from leisurely fam­ily break­fasts at the week­end to cock­tail nights with the girls for me), it’s all part of fi­nal­is­ing your pri­or­i­ties be­fore you even think of part­ing with your hard-earned cash.

It’s some­thing the home­own­ers fea­tured in this is­sue have nailed to per­fec­tion, whether they’ve ex­tended, ren­o­vated or fin­ished a room makeover. Yes, it might have been hard work to get the job done, but by re­ally nail­ing what it was they wanted from the new space first, they’re reap­ing the ben­e­fits of their ef­forts now. So as we’re all rac­ing head­first into the new year, I hope you feel in­spired to make 2019 the year you start your next house trans­for­ma­tion.

Joseph re­ceive a Joseph mix­ing bowls set sub­scribe – worth £30 when you

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