It's an exciting time when you are planning a home extension or renovation project. There are a lot of decisions to make and things to consider. In this series of posts we will try and explain the process and hopefully make it a little easier - from choosing an architect, comparing builders quotes, and then the nice one - interior finishes!

Part One - Extensions

Image from DMVF Architects

Image from DMVF Architects


A well designed extension can transform your home and the way you live in it. There are a number of things to consider before you engage with an architect.

1. Try to have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve by building an extension - Do you need a bigger kitchen, dining, living area, playroom? Do you want a more open plan room so you can see the kids while you are cooking? Make a wishlist of all your requirements - in order of priority - so that the architect can work these into the extension design.

2. Think long and hard about a budget. How much are you hoping to spend and how much you can afford are generally two different things. Having a figure before you approach an architect will help them with the design process. 

The actual cost of your extension can vary depending on the specification you want. For example if you want extras tall, extra long sliding or bi-folding doors they will be a lot more expensive than a standard sliding doors. The standard heights are usually up to 2.4 or 2.5m high. If you go over this size then you are looking at additional costs for the glass and frames.

We asked a number of builders to give us an average price per square foot for a standard flat roof extension. The prices vary from €100 to €130. They all said the same thing about the height, length and finish of the windows and doors. Anything extra tall will significantly add to the overall cost of the extension.

3. Have a style for the extension in mind. Look online and in magazines for ideas. Websites like, are great for inspiration. Print off the ones you really like or save them to an idea-book on the relevant websites. You can then share these idea-books with an architect, designer etc. 

Image from Robin Mandal Architects

Image from Robin Mandal Architects


Once you have completed the above it's time to contact an architect to help achieve the look you desire. Ask family and friends if they have used any that they recommend. Look on the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) website for the registered ones in your area.

Again if you look online at they will have images from architects and designers where you can see some of their previous work.

In the images above you can clearly see that one is more modern than the other. If you really have no idea what style you want then I would allow the architect to design what they feel looks best. They will have worked on numerous jobs like yours - leave it to the professionals!

Next Week > Choosing a builder and comparing quotes