Changing Your House’s Personality with Exterior Additions and Extensions

One of the main reasons homeowners decide to extend or add on to their homes is to raise property value. While paying attention and thought to interior design matters when it comes to improving your home, it’s important to remember that a lot of evaluations and assessments given to a house are given from the first impressions. As a result, a judgment on the luxuriousness of your estate will inevitably be passed upon first laying eyes on the property. To make those impressions work for you in the best way possible, one might consider expanding the original house or build additional structures around the façade or the property grounds. However, before you start making changes to your house’s personality, it is vital to do your research and understand the local market, as well as the trends in home design and architecture. Extending or adding on to your home is a big decision – and a big investment. That is why it is important to consult with a professional to get an idea of the costs involved, as well as the feasibility of your project. 

In this article, we will explore the different outdoor extensions and addition options available, as well as the pros and cons of each. We will also provide some tips on how to choose the best option for your home and budget.

So what changes should you make to turn your house into an attractive, high-class property? First, we will look at points around the building itself, things inherent to a house as a centerpiece of any property and is the main point of interest. Devil is in the details, and such details can make or break the impressions of anyone who is looking into property evaluation and looks for ways of increasing their house’s market value.

Solid Cover for a Solid First Impression

Сeramic roofing /

It is important to keep your roof in good shape and appearance, although sometimes this may not be possible due to age or weather damage. Aesthetics are important, but so are costs, weight, and installation requirements. Any quality material must be resistant to fire, rain, noise, and wind, all while being cost-effective and lightweight. Other features, such as manufacturer and warranty, should be considered when it comes to roof materials. Nowadays, different products are sold in different types and styles. Choosing the one that suits your needs can be a challenging task. 

Whether you are building from scratch or choosing a new roof for your existing home, there is a wide range of materials available and worth considering. These include:

  • Wood shingles: they are most commonly made of cedar wood. They can also be taught with rot resistant wood. Wood offers a natural look, although it is not as durable and may need occasional maintenance.
  • Clay tiles: the name of this material speaks for itself. These tiles are produced using natural resources, but their production requires a significant amount of energy. Clay tiles can be durable and cost less to maintain, but they are a bit finicky. Therefore, they are usually quite expensive.
  • Concrete tiles: this material can last longer and is relatively cheaper compared to clay tiles. They are also obtained from natural resources, but they need more energy to produce, which makes them generally quite expensive compared to inorganic options.
  • Plastic polymer: this option’s greatest benefit is that they require little maintenance long-term. They are quite durable, and this type of synthetic roofing is recyclable.
  • Asphalt shingles: they are often made of fiberglass or a pad of organic paper fiber mixed with an asphalt coating and mineral granules. Such material’s price is average and reasonable.
  • Metal: metals can always be recycled, but their production requires a lot of energy. It is important to note that exact durability expectations will depend on the properties of the metal in question.
  • Natural slate: this is one of the ancient materials used for roofing. This is one of the best natural materials for building construction. The value of this material is closely tied to its durability, versatility and impermeability. The natural appeal of slate is one of its strongest attributes. When applied to any sloped ceiling, its natural texture, grain, and color often give it a clean, shaped look that is quite beautiful, additionally satisfying people with its aesthetic chic.

By having different options, you can face the challenge of choosing the best one with knowledge and understanding of possibilities and long-term expectations that come with each of them. Your final choice will most likely depend on the overall style of your home, structural capabilities of the building, and how much money and effort you are willing to put into roof’s maintenance.

Fortifying Your Entrance and Façade with Stone Veneer

The cladding on the facade can have two functions. Firstly, it adds beauty to the front of the house, accentuates the entryway, manipulating visitors’ attention to where you want them to look. Secondly, it provides good insulation that reinforces the walls. It helps take the pressure off the main structure when it comes to additional building and decoration of the house’s front side. In general, the priority of this addition is its practicality, although lately we are beginning to see more and more facades where the panels, plates, tiles or whatever is used for cladding hardly offer anything but decorative use. Stone cladding is definitely the most popular. However, materials such as wood, glass, aluminum or brick were, are and will be appearing on any façade and embellishing it.

As we have established, this addition is mostly about its decorative value, so it presents opportunities for interesting design choices. Many times the material that is used in the facade is the most important part of its design, as it, in the end, makes a basis for a message you are sending to anyone approaching your house. Big stones around the front door can give your house a more rustic feel, while clean, organized tiles or polished wood that contrast with clean walls around them can help create a bold yet modern look. A specialist in exterior home design will be paramount in the process of arriving at the best decision for your property, as many intricacies should be considered as to not make the house’s appearance look disjointed and chaotic – unless that’s what you are aiming for, as that can be a valid choice that gives your home a unique look. Still, planning this addition can use a perspective of a seasoned professional that will help you bring your vision of an ideal luxurious property to life.

Beautify Doors and Entryways for the Most Inviting Feel

Choosing the front door of your home is not a purely aesthetic decision. There are several more factors to take into account when choosing a door, such as security and the type of house the door is for. While the front door is what greets people as they enter your home, it’s also a part of your home’s exterior design. Whether you are looking to add curb appeal or increase the value of your home, choosing a front door that complements your home style and architecture can greatly help making your house the one people would want to enter.

Here are some front door types to help you know what to look for when making a choice:

  • Aluminum: luxury aluminum doors are particularly weather-resistant and robust. In addition, they offer optimal protection. Due to their construction depth and material properties, the doors ensure maximum stability and security.
  • Wood: for houses in a rustic country house style, there is nothing better than a matching country house front door made of fine wood. Stylish wooden doors also score with a whole range of advantages: natural sound and heat insulation, ecologically sustainable, stable and burglar proof aesthetic and style. It is usually the most cost-friendly option.
  • Plastic: with a front door made of plastic, you are opting for a very modern and, above all, easy-care variant. Thanks to its strong thermal insulation, plastic scores with excellent thermal insulation. This material is therefore extremely popular as a frame or profile material.
  • Wood and aluminum combined: when wood and aluminum are combined in the process of creating front doors, it can result in variants that combine the advantages of both materials. Wood creates comfort and a feel-good atmosphere, while aluminum, on the other hand, is particularly stable and offers the best protection against the weather. Together they result in a luxury front door that will endure anything that comes at it and nestles perfectly into any facade.

There are numerous design options when choosing luxury entrance doors. In addition to a large selection of wonderful colors, glazes and decors, special door handles and locks can be configured in the selection. Due to the large number of individual design options, accents can be set and the luxury front doors can be integrated into different buildings and facades. For example, doors with additional side or top lights additionally accentuate the entryway, leading people approaching the house in an effortless manner. Front door, while a somewhat overlooked point in any design considerations, is an important aspect when you think of establishing a character of the entire house and therefore is something that should not be overlooked.

More details like touching up exterior walls with a fresh coat of paint or installing new siding panels are also points that should be checked before you can say that you have done everything you could with what you had, of course. However, what if you have done all of this, but you feel like your house could be expanded upon? If you are at your wit’s end, we got you covered! Here are some options of adding buildings and extensions to the luxury house of your dreams that will not only bring your house more functionality, but will also sufficiently raise the property value of your house.

Pergola, Terrace, Porch, Veranda or Loggia – What Are Those and What to Pick?

If you ever looked into the topic of house extensions, you may have heard all of those different names: terrace, veranda, balcony, pergola etc. Defining a balcony is not difficult; most of us have encountered one or two of those in our lifetime. The situation is different with the rest of them – because what is the difference, or is there perhaps none at all?

Terraces and verandas are usually attached to different sides of the building. A porch or veranda surrounds the entrance area, while the terrace is placed at the back of the building and either leads further into the garden or replaces it. The patio can be a somewhat standalone construction or can be connected to the back door. A detached veranda, on the other hand, is not common. 

Another difference is the materials typically used in their construction, because while wood or WPC (wood-plastic composite) is usually used for the planks for the veranda, the building materials and floor coverings for terraces are very diverse: from aluminum or stainless steel in the construction to tiles and concrete. Almost anything is possible with flooring of a terrace, while verandas or porches usually are not under as much creative freedom. In any case, it is important that the types of wood used are stable and weather-resistant: teak, ipe and cumaru are ideal here. 

A ground-level porch adjoining the house should be built on a foundation if possible. Water and frost damage to the structure can be prevented this way. In addition, a slope of 1.5% should be maintained, and this rule applies to both terrace and verandas. The next distinction between porch and patio is in purpose. A porch is used to receive visitors, to have a cup of coffee and chat with neighbors, and to protect the entrance area from the elements. A terrace is used for cozy get-togethers, grilling, eating, it can be equipped with comfortable furniture, etc. On the back of the house, i.e. on the terrace, you usually have more privacy and privacy than on the veranda in the entrance area.

In order to complicate the situation a little bit, we might also mention the loggia. The term comes from the Italian and stands for loge. In principle, the loggia is a balcony that does not or only very slightly protrude over the facade. A loggia is not at ground level, but attached above the floor area like a balcony. If a loggia is glazed all around, it can be converted into a conservatory. While the porch is always on the ground floor, the patio can also be on the flat roof of the garage or other home extension. There is another special case here, the roof terrace. However, it may only be called that if its floor space on the floors below belongs to the house, otherwise it is a penthouse or a roof balcony.

And last but not the least in our list, a pergola is a house extension made up of columns that hold up a grid of beams and rafters for the roof. This roof grid can be closed off or left open to create a space protected from the elements. Both freestanding and house-attached pergolas are possible. While sometimes confused with a gazebo, a pergola is defined by being attached to a main building on the property by at least one side, usually having a roof that starts at an exterior wall of a house it’s attached to. The main difference between a pergola and a terrace or a porch is a lack of additional supporting structures like foundation or walls around it.

Sunroom or Patio Enclosure for Bringing Outdoors In

A patio roof or conservatory gives you a great opportunity to stay outdoors, protected from the sun, wind and weather while feeling connected to the outside world. 

However, there is a noticeable difference between a patio roof and a conservatory in terms of how well- protected they are from the weather. Simply put, the patio roof can be described as “cold”, while the attribute “warm” fits the conservatory. Thanks to a patio cover, you have a roof over your head on your patio. The patio roof protects you from everything that comes down from above: precipitation such as rain, hail and snow. A patio canopy also offers you protection from the sun, which is high in the sky and shines from above, for example if you have equipped it with substructure awnings. Prying eyes from your neighbors sometimes come down from above – a canopy effectively keeps them away. The terrace roofing does not bring you that. What a patio roof doesn’t protect you from is the outside temperature. Heat or cold comes through the canopy at the outside temperature uninterrupted. You are also unprotected from the wind that blows under the patio roof. Even if you close the patio roof on the side with sliding glass doors or folding sliding systems, that hardly changes anything. This happens because the front of the garden remains open.

You should also know that you may need a building permit to build your patio cover. The government regulates this individually in their building law, so that when it comes to building permits, it depends on where you live. In addition, local authorities can make the permit based on how big you are building: if your patio roof is to be larger than the spatial allowance that your county grants you, you cannot avoid a building permit. 

Finally, when deciding between a patio roof and a conservatory, you should also consider the building materials: the supporting structure of the patio roof can be made of easy-care aluminum or out of wood that requires care. When it comes to covering the patio roof, it is usually a matter of choosing between polycarbonate and glass. Final decisions on that should be discussed with your house extension planners and designers in order to achieve the best result in both general property improvement and your budgetary expectations.

Add a Balcony to a Master Suite to Turn Your Estate into Your Palace

Balconies can decorate the house and make it more comfortable, but they also can become a source of unnecessary expenses and troubles during construction, and then practically not used. Therefore, when choosing a device in the house from balconies, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons.
The main purpose of the balcony is the same as that of the terrace – to give a person the opportunity to leave the room and relax in the fresh air. In a private house, one can do without a balcony, since it is easy to go from the second floor to the first and get to the terrace or plot. However, if the house has more than two floors, then an additional exit from the rooms to fresh air becomes more relevant.
Aesthetic considerations are also important: a well-made balcony will decorate the facade of the house, give it individuality and charm – exactly what we’re after when it comes to effectively raising your property value by building house extensions. However, it is worth considering that in our climate, open summer rooms are available for active use for only six months a year. Design errors when installing a balcony are fraught with freezing and soiling of the wall, accumulation of snow and the operation of the balcony, and they require costs and time. In general, the answer to the question of whether a balcony is needed depends on the lifestyle of family members, the design and planning features of the house, the orientation of the rooms and the geography of the site. Moreover, if you still need a balcony, it should be professionally addressed for construction with experienced specialists. The balcony is one of the most complex elements of the house, its construction is the responsible work associated with the risk of collapse.

Stand-Alone Garage to Free Up Space in the Driveway

A garage not only protects the car from the weather, it also offers protection against vandalism and theft. It is also the ideal storage place for tires, tools and various accessories, as well as additional storage space for anything you don’t want cluttering your space at home.

The cost of building a garage depends on the size, number of doors, materials and construction. As a rule of thumb, the lower the material costs, the more you have to spend on construction. A prefabricated garage can be erected in just a few hours, so there are only minimal labor costs. In the case of classic on-site construction, on the other hand, the material costs hardly make a difference.

The cost of building materials depends on the type of garage. It depends on whether you prefer a non-plastered or plastered sheet metal garage, or whether it is a prefabricated concrete, brick or wooden garage. The material costs consist of the costs for the walls, the roof and the gate. Electrical installations, insulation or a water connection can raise the price of a building, but provide additional functionality and can be planned to be added later if needed. 

Tin and wooden garages are easy for installation and DIYers can set them up themselves. With a prefabricated concrete garage, there are often no additional costs, since these models are only placed in the desired place by a crane truck. However, some companies charge for the delivery. When it comes to building your own garage from scratch, however, bricking up a garage on site, as well as roofing, plastering and painting come to be the most costly parts of the construction. However, as a result, you get an additional element in your estate ensemble, which effectively improves the rate of your property in the eyes of property evaluators.

Cook with the Elements with an Outdoor Kitchen

Barbecue at the outdoor kitchen /

An outdoor kitchen is the ultimate upgrade for any patio. Preparing meals in the open air delights hobby cooks and barbecue lovers alike. If your party guests have a particularly large appetite, you have to offer a lot, and that can be arranged with a carefully planned set of cooking appliances and sitting arrangements that will provide enough space and freedom for culinary creativity.

An outdoor kitchen needs to be well planned. In the end, this not only saves time, but also money and nerves. Here are a few basics every aspiring outdoor kitchen owner should know: 

  • Building surface: The surface on which your outdoor kitchen stands must be stable and level. A foundation of paving stones or concrete is recommended.
  • Equipment: Think carefully about the equipment you want your outdoor kitchen to have. Also consider small things like drawers, hooks and lighting. Garden kitchens usually combine a grill, sink, worktop and storage space. Popular additions include a refrigerator, cooktop, fire pit, oven, bar and beer dispenser. 
  • Material: Wood is a popular material for outdoor kitchens. However, the building material is comparatively sensitive. In any case, pay attention to wood that is suitable for outdoor use. Weatherproof materials such as stainless steel, concrete, granite and marble are more suitable for permanently installed outdoor kitchens without a roof. 
  • Electricity: Whether for the lighting, the refrigerator or a hob – a good outdoor kitchen needs electricity. The connections should be conveniently located. If you want to save energy costs, you can also rely on photovoltaic modules. 
  • Roofing: If you plan to use your kitchen for more than just a fair-weather barbecue, you should think about roofing. A glass sunroof can be a worthwhile purchase. Your kitchen is protected from UV rays, rain or wind and you still have enough light. 
  • Heating: If you want to sit outside for a long time, even on cool evenings, you can complete your outdoor kitchen with a patio heater. However, note the high-energy consumption here. Safety: Things can get hot in an outdoor kitchen. Pay attention to appropriate fire protection, optimal smoke extraction and child safety devices. Noise insulation and a privacy screen can also be useful. 
  • Building permission: As a rule, you need an official permit for any additional building that requires expanding upon your electric grid. Since the requirements are complex and vary on a case-to-case basis, it is best to inquire in advance with the responsible building control body or to hire a contractor or a company that are specialized in this type of work and thus are aware of when to step it when it comes to legalizing your construction plans.

In conclusion, we hope that, with this article, we have given you some ideas on where to start when it comes to improving your property’s value through additional construction projects. As you may have come to realize, these projects require the expertise of seasoned professionals to plan them right and make sure you are not stepping into any legal hot water with your aspirations. Here at AA Architectural Services we provide a wide range of services that will help you make your dreams of a cozy sunroom, a luxurious outdoor kitchen or a grand bedroom balcony overlooking your garden a reality.

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