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Low cost house extension by Exeter architects

Maybelle Cottage


A discrete and contextual extension in the heart of a Devon village, Maybelle Cottage takes cues from its agricultural surroundings to create a sympathetic addition to an existing village house.


New British Design were commissioned in 2017 to find a way to add much needed space to a historic stone and cob built cottage, located in the heart of a mid-Devon village. The design was developed to provide additional living space, a utility room and shower room on the ground floor, with 2 bedrooms and a bathroom above. The house had previously been extended at one end on the ground floor only, and a poor quality conservatory added to the prime south facing elevation. The extension inhibited the main entrance to the house, whilst the conservatory internalised the key living spaces which restricted light levels and made for awkward circulation. Planning permission was granted for the wrap-around extension which represented an almost 200% increase in volume over the previous extensions that were to be replaced.


The decision was made early on not to interfere with the roof of the existing house, which meant the new extension had to tuck under the existing eaves level. This presented an architectural challenge to accommodate a new first floor with sufficient headroom. The first floor spaces were planned carefully to maximise the areas with reduced floor to ceiling height, and create playful bedrooms for the family’s children. These rooms are accessed by a new bespoke oak staircase designed by New British Design. At ground floor, a new bathroom and utility room off the main entrance allows the house to function better as a whole. The conservatory area was replaced with a new fully insulated garden room which is now usable all year round compared to the previous space. It also allows for a far better connection to the garden, and has a flexible partition at one end to create a private guest bedroom when needed.


The budget for the project was paramount throughout. With this in mind, the construction of the extension was designed to be as simple and cost-effective as possible, whilst still achieving the external and aesthetic qualities required of a building in this location. By virtue of meeting current insulation standards, and wrapping the existing house on two sides, the thermal performance of the house is also improved. The extension utilises a simple palette of render, treated larch louvres and a slate roof to settle into its surroundings. It nestles behind a local red stone facade which was retained from the previous extension.






CONTRACT £170,000

AREA 125 SQM  

Maybelle Gallery


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