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How to add a modern extension that complements your home

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You don’t have to sell your old property in order to enjoy all the style and elegance of a newer home. A modern extension is the perfect way to give yourself more space while blending the old and the new. More importantly, by creating a completely new extension with a unique style, you can preserve the older elements of the house while ensuring it continues to meet your needs as a forever home.

Here’s what you need to focus on for your new extension.

Select your style

From Modern Mixed Materials to the quintessential Hamptons look and beyond, there are many different styles for all types of extensions. What you choose will depend on your existing home, your future needs and of course your design preferences.

Most importantly, though, you’ll need to decide whether you want:

  • Continuity: Find a happy blend from new to old with an extension that draws from your existing home’s style but also stands out on its own. Along with your personal tastes, you can even take into account the architectural integrity of your street and surrounding homes.
  • Contrast: Alternatively, you might choose to make an obvious shift to modernise the new extension completely. Take this phenomenal Scandi Barn project in the tiny town of Strathalbyn. It brings all the architectural class of the Nords with a sleek, black design, which contrasts beautifully to the old brickwork in this unique farmhouse build. Similarly, this historic property in Kew, Melbourne earned a new lease on life with its own Scandi Barn extension.

What type of extension matches your needs?

You don’t have to completely renovate your home to enjoy a brand-new look. Maybe you want to increase your living space with an upper-floor extension. Or perhaps a single-storey side and rear extension will maintain the integrity of your home while allowing for more open-plan living. Even a garage extension can breathe new life into your property and help you embrace a modern look – while also adding value to your home.

Extending heritage homes

Owning a heritage home means you get all the architectural value of a listed property alongside its unique history. But unlike extending a home built in the 1980s, for example, with a heritage-listed home you’ll need to abide by state legislation.

It’s not as simple as buying the products you need, hiring a builder and getting to work. You’ll need to consult your local council for advice and permits, and abide by any legal restrictions that may impact your extension.

Blend the old into the new

Just because you decide on a ‘contrasting’ extension, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t encourage an old-to-new flow throughout the house. You can achieve this by using period items in the new parts of your home – older-style details like window casings and ceiling roses can be added to your extension, for example.

It’s also worth using the same or similar products to create a sense of continuity, so walking from one part of the house into another has a blended feel. If your current interior has traditional white timber walls, think about using a more durable and modern fibre-cement solution like HardieGroove™ lining. You’ll get the same visual effect without the knots in timber or the risk of shrinking and swelling with moisture.

Find the right products for your modern extension

Ultimately, what matters most to any extension is that the products used are high-quality, durable and provide the stunning visual effect you’re looking for.

So look no further than James Hardie. Whether it’s an outdoor deck extension with HardieDeck™, a striking Scandi Barn transformation with Axon™ cladding, or that Hamptons-style look with hardwearing Linea™ weatherboard, there’s a product to match your every extension need.

Ready to bring the ‘new’ into your home but not sure where to begin? Find design inspo on our Pinterest page and in our Design Ideas hub. Our Home Renovation Guide can also give you plenty of tips on the best ways to transform your home.

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