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Modern house extenson in Edinburgh New Town


As an Edinburgh Architect, I have been designing extensions across the city since 2009 and in that time I have acquired considerable experience in the legal, technical, regulatory and financial skills necessary to create a great house extension. There is a gallery of my projects at the bottom of the page and this is a list of the main things necessary to ensure your house extension is a success. 

The current going rate for a basic house extension design in Edinburgh in 2024, built on a flat site, with no additional work inside the house is £3,000 + VAT per square meter. As projects become more complex the cost will increase; Large areas of glass, split level spaces, unusual layouts, sophisticated materials, I have used them all and they can lead to costs increasing beyond £6,000 + VAT per square meter. 

I publish a guide to house extension costs which shows the minimum budget necessary to build typical house extension projects. 

One thing all projects should have is a contingency fund. For a house extension this should be at least 10% above and beyond the agreed contract sum but 15% would be better. The good news is that things which requires a contingency sum to be spent are usually found in the early weeks of a project, when excavation and demolition are carried out. Whether its cracked foundations, damaged drain pipes, lead pipes, rot, subsidence or defective electrics and plumbing, they are usually identified early. If not, you can then choose to pocket the contingency fund or spend it on higher quality fittings later in the project, like a fancy worktop for the kitchen. 

A major factor in the design of any house extension is to think about the entire house. Many of my best designs re-imagined the entire property, creating a whole new space that becomes the centre of family life. 

Integrating a new extension with an existing house requires careful consideration of both form and function. Whether it's matching materials, blending architectural styles, or preserving historical features, I will work with you to ensure that a new extension feels like a natural and harmonious addition to your home. 

I specialise in creating interconnected spaces that promote flow and natural light, fostering a sense of spaciousness and adaptability to modern lifestyles. Open-plan living is more than just a design trend – it's a lifestyle choice that enhances the way you live. I specialise in creating open, airy spaces that maximise natural light and promote flow between rooms. 

For families, open plan spaces work best in an L-shaped configuration, where the kitchen, living and dining spaces are all together but not getting in each others way. 

It is possible to design extensions in Scotland with large areas of glass but this usually requires a compromise in order to comply with the building regulations. Any extension up to 50 square meters can have unlimited amounts of glass, provided it is thermally isolated from the existing house by an external grade door. Several of the projects in my portfolio have used this method to maximise glazing in the design.

If you want an extension that is open to the house, the building regulations set a limit on the amount of glass. It is possible to exceed that limit, by a small margin, but the building regulations have been reducing that margin over recent years, so talk to me as early as possible to work out whats possible for your project. 


The usual starting point is the amount of glass in the extension equals 25% the new floor area, plus the area of any existing window or door covered by the new extension. So if the extension measures 20 square meters and covers a 2 square meter door on the back wall of the house, the amount of glass would be 7 square meters. That glass can be used in new windows, doors or rooflights. I will prepare and lodge a building warrant application for your house extension and deal with any issues the council have until the warrant is approved. 

Anyone who tells you they can guarantee your house extension will get planning permission is either lying to you, or they don't understand how the system works. I have been doing this since 2009 and built up a great deal of knowledge about the system.


Edinburgh Council Planning Department set numerous criteria for assessing house extension proposals. I have been able to get planning permission for striking, modern additions to listed buildings in the New Town. I have been able to get approval for extensions despite objections from neighbours. I have been able to design extensions right up to the boundary and still comply with requirements for overshadowing. 

A major part of my role in designing your house extensions is to give it the best chance of getting planning permission. There are no guarantees but I have a high success rate, even with complex designs on challenging sites. 

Most of the projects I have worked on were sufficiently large, in a conservation area or extending listed buildings so they required full planning permission. Occasionally, when the circumstances were right, I have been able to design house extensions in Edinburgh to meet permitted development guidance. I would only advise clients take this route if the layout of the extension suits their lifestyle. One of the biggest mistake I see homeowners make is to build a smaller extension, complying with permitted development guidance, because they fear the planning system. It is in your interest to fight for the home you need. I can use my experience to design the best extension possible for your home.  

You can see from the gallery below that I have produced a variety of different house extension designs over the years. I have worked with a range of materials, from zinc, larch, cedar, sandstone, render, natural slate, clay tiles and lead. I don't take a one size fits all approach, I work with each client to produce a bespoke design, made to match their lifestyle, budget, site and circumstances. I don't impose ideas on a project, each design is unique and is the result of a collaboration.

I have 15 years experience creating house extensions in Edinburgh. In that time I have worked with a large number of suppliers, contractors and consultants. My network of contracts in the industry is extensive. If your project requires a special material, a unique skill or a bespoke item made to measure, the chances are I know someone who can help. 

Some famous architects portray themselves as lone artists but the reality is that construction is a team effort. I know many of the best people across Edinburgh and can bring them together for your house extension. 

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