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5 Things To Consider When You Plan an Open-plan Home in London

When you go for rear or a side return extension in London, you can redesign your ground floor to an open-plan living space. Deciding to knock down walls will give you a bright and flexible place to work with. Before you start your project, you have to think through several things, including your budget, options and lifestyle.

1. Walls

It is possible to make almost every home in London open-plan. However, you have to consult with a structural engineer first. You will need professional advice on how to plan the wall removal if it's load-bearing or you will need a steel beam – in another name RSJ – inserted to carry the weight of the missing wall. If you need advice, feel free to contact us as we have an extensive list of industry contacts, including Structural Engineers.

Landmass project in Belgrave Mews North

2. Plan ahead

What spaces do you want in your open-plan? We advise you to create a kitchen, living room and dining zones within the open-plan. You have to think about how you want to arrange these zones within the plan. Will the kids bothering you if you put the kitchen right next to the living area? You have to take into consideration your lifestyle. Our interior design team can help you with the floorplan, as we always consider our clients' lifestyle.

An open-plan extension to a home in Camden, north London by Alex Tart Architects


3. Dividers and half walls

Open-plans are excellent; however, you can still create some sort of privacy with room dividers or half walls. If you want a stylish solution go with beautiful crittall windows that give the space a nice, traditional edge.

Landmass project in Campden Hill Gardens

4. Lighting

You have to think about lighting. When you create an open-plan space, some part of the room is floated with light; however, some areas will be darker. Hence, you have to think about how to provide natural light. Roof lights, lanterns and skylights are a good solution for this problem.

Project by Go Building

5. Heating

When you go for a large open-plan, extended ground-floor room, there are some factors you have to consider. With the big windows&doors on the rear side and the increased space, heating can be an issue. To avoid very high bills, consider getting floor heating. You can decide between electric or 'dry' systems and water-based or 'wet' systems. Electric systems are easier and faster to install, but their running costs are higher. Consider installing an electric system to smaller spaces such as bathrooms. When it comes to an open-plan living, wet systems are more suitable. A wet system could potentially reduce your heating bills as it uses the existing boiler system.

There are many other things to consider before you start knocking down your walls. For example, if you live in a terrace or a flat, some alterations to your home could affect your neighbours' property as well. This means you may need a Party Wall Agreement. Redesigning your home is a project that involves a lot of responsibilities. Always consult with a professional before you get into a home renovation.

We at Nu Projects, united with the multi-award-winning, RIBA chartered design and development company, Landmass, offer turnkey design and build packages for any of your needs. We have an extensive list of industry contacts, including Structural Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers and Party Wall Surveyors. Should your project require additional expertise, we will consult the right specialist on your behalf. Get in touch with us if you have any question on open-plan living in London.


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