What is a side return extension?


Side return extensions are most common in Victorian terrace houses where the original building leaves a strip of land on the side of the house making an L shaped garden. If you have lived in a house like this you are aware of how useless this dark, dingy passageway is. Those crazy Victorians. By extending sideways you can reclaim the unused space, transforming it into a spacious room full of natural light!

Find your perfect design pro within minutes…

Here at Design for Me, we’ve helped thousands of homeowners all over the UK to find the best architect or designer for their project.

✓ Get matched within minutes and see who’s interested.
✓ Get no obligation quotes.
✓ It’s completely free.

How much does it cost?


A side return extension is one of the cheapest forms of house extensions, starting from around £30,000. It’s common to put in a a new kitchen into your spacious new room. You could add £10,000 for a good/mid range kitchen. This is a rough estimate and obviously prices can vary quite considerably depending on where your location and the materials you choose.

We’ve written a separate blog in kitchen extension costs here


Party wall agreement


A ‘party wall’ is any wall shared between you and the adjoining house. There are regulations in place under the Party Wall Etc Act 1996 that provide a framework for preventing and resolving disputes surrounding building work involving the shared wall. It is important to be aware of this as you’re likely to require a party wall agreement to undertake a side return extension. Qualified architects know the ‘ins and outs’ of such procedures and will assist you along the way.


 Some side return inspiration from DfM Architects Design for Me architect creates a stylish side return extension

Design for Me architect Dean has made use of white reflective surfaces to maximise the flow of natural light through this stylish side return extension.

Side Return Extension by Design for Me architect David

Design for Me architect David has made use of Sky lights in this side return extension to create a spacious naturally lit kitchen. By using the same flooring to pave outside as inside, he managed to create a natural blend between the kitchen and garden.

10362 Rashid Ali - Extension interior from the outside

OK not a side return extension exactly… but a nice example of using sliding doors to create a smooth flow between the house and garden whilst providing plenty of natural light to the stylish kitchen. By Rashid from Design for Me See our review of sliding doors.

Design for Me architect Dean side return extension

Design for me architect Simon has made good use of space in this side return extension making an entirely new dining room by leaving the old structural wall in place and extending off it.

Angus,  Design for Me


Follow Design for Me’s extension ideas board on Pinterest.

Find your perfect design pro within minutes…

Here at Design for Me we match you with the right design professional, from thousands all over the UK. Get quotes & arrange up to three no obligation consultations. And it’s all completely free! Find out more here or get started below…



Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)