Kitchen Extension: Key things to think about before planning your home extension
It’s true what they say, kitchens truly are the heart of the home. Now more than ever an open plan kitchen and living space is expected in new build properties, and one of the top renovation projects of older properties. It’s why a Kitchen Extension is becoming so popular.
A well thought out kitchen extension will become the place where people spend the most time in your home. A kitchen extension these days isn’t just a kitchen, it’s a kitchen, diner, social space, daytime sitting room and even an office or homework station for some families. As we need our new extensions to work hard it’s important to think about the rooms everyday functions as well as aspirational design.
If you are planning a kitchen extension here is our guide of the key things to consider before starting.
1. Think about the space
How much space do you have and how much space do you need ? There is no point in spending money on an extension if at the end of it it’s too small. This is not to say that bigger is always better either, if you go too big the space can feel empty and cold.
It’s important to envisage how you plan to use the space. Is it going to be a kitchen or a dining area or do you want it to be more than this ? Is this where you will spend time with your guests? How can you design the space to meet the needs of everyone ? The key to the perfect open-plan kitchen is getting the space and layout right first before deciding on kitchen, units and design details later. It will also help to avoid costly mistakes.
Spend time browsing other alteration projects for ideas and inspiration. Our portfolio is a great place to start your planning.
2. Will you need planning permission for a kitchen extension?
If the work is classed as permitted development, you won’t need to apply for planning permission, but you may wish to apply for a certificate of lawful development, which proves the project is legal. If you do need planning permission, you will have to apply to the local council, and may need additional reports. Whichever route you are taking, you will need building regulations approval.
3. Be realistic with your budget and timescale
This is a simple one but an important one. Do your research to get a feel for the typical cost of a kitchen refurbishment. Take into account the finishing touches and decoration costs, the budget doesn’t stop with just the build itself, and be aware that the cost for worktops, appliances and accessories vary greatly in price. Make sure you have made your budget clear to your designer from the outset.
You should also leave room for a contingency. It’s an all too common occurrence that when embarking on an extension problems with the original house are highlighted and unexpected costs can occur. You don’t want to have to cut costs on finishes such as the floor, kitchen, taps or tiles etc these are the ‘fun’ bits that you will really notice more than anything else.
We recommend a contingency of somewhere between 10-20%
4. Don’t forget to consider the exterior of your kitchen extension
Take some time to consider how your new extension will sit alongside your original property. Do you want it to compliment or contrast with the main building ?
Choosing materials that match those of your home’s exterior will make the new extension blend successfully. Or, perhaps you might want to go for a contrast, such as a glass box extension, for a contemporary finish ?
In the end , you want an extension that will fit with your home and your lifestyle. No matter how good it looks, your new build needs to be liveable.
5. Get lots of quotes and ask lots of questions
Once you have your plans in place, you can go ahead and research for a reliable building contractor. Take consideration of personal recommendations, as well as through trade bodies such as the FMB. (Federation of Master Builders).
Arrange to meet numerous contractors to obtain estimates, send them the plans, construction drawings and specification documents, plus the contract you want to use, so they can quote as accurately as possible.
The more quotes you get the better, we would recommend a minimum of three, but if you have the time meeting multiple builders is an invaluable safety net. Having a number of quotes will allow you to find out the true price for your project. You would be surprised how much quotes for a single project can vary.
This can all prove very time consuming and stressful. Our Project Management service takes all the pain out of the pre-contract tender stage, as well as the post contract supervision and completion stage. Our unique Specification and Schedule of Works process means that builders are all pricing based on the same directive – it’s apples against apples. For you this means that when they go to tender for your project, they price competitively.
Are you planning to build a kitchen extension ? We can help get you started with projects of any shape or size. Get in touch to discuss your plans.