Considering extending your kitchen but are unsure how to start? We give advice on how to plan a kitchen extension – from determining its size to approaching an architect.
Step 1: The Size of Your Kitchen Extension?
Start by thinking about how much space you want. Finding the right size can be tricky – too big and it may look out of proportion, too small and there will be no point of the extension. Space is dependent on what you want to include, so a good way to determine its size is to consider how you plan to use your new kitchen. Activities include cooking, dining and entertaining, amongst other things, but you should account for storage too.
Kitchen islands or peninsulas are invaluable for increasing both storage and worktop space area but will require more room. Breakfast bars are ideal for arranging seating around and so add a social aspect to your kitchen. If you would like lots of storage, base, wall or full height cabinetry are essential, however you will have to allow for more wall space in your plans.
Step 2: Determine Your Budget
It is a good idea to have an estimated budget for the whole project. Perhaps you have savings that you want to stick to or are considering a loan. Either way, factor in a buffer of about 10% for unforeseen expenses. When you have an amount in mind, allocate individual resources to each element of your kitchen extension. You may have to adjust accordingly if your budget will not stretch.
Step 3: Where Will Your Kitchen Extension be Located?
Is the current access point to your kitchen practical or would you rather move it to a more desirable area of your house? If so, then this is one factor that could determine to which external part of your house the extension will be added. If you are not moving your access point, outside space is another important variable.
The options for extension location on your property are the sides, the back or even, in certain circumstances, the front. If you have a basement this is a possibility worth thinking about too. Basement conversions are particularly useful in built-up urban areas. When planning your extension. find out where your services reside i.e. electrics, water, waste, gas and any extraction points. These are considerations that you will discuss with your architect.
Step 4: Approach an Architect
Now that your ideas are starting to come together, arrange a consultation with an RIBA-registered architect. They may have feedback, advice or recommendations which you have not considered. Architects, or architectural technologist, are experts in building regulations compliance and so will be able to tell you if your ideas are achievable or not. For example, your extension might not work in your ideal location because of certain service pipes or cables. The architect you work with needs to be the right fit for your extension. Ideally, they should have worked on similar projects. Keep in mind that, whilst many oversee construction of the project (full service), others might only provide a partial service and end your relationship after building control approval. Full services cost more but all of the build will be managed by your architect. Conversely, partial services are cheaper but you will have to manage more of the project yourself.
Now you have a clear idea of how to plan a kitchen extension, you have everything you need to approach an architect – they will guide you through planning permission and putting the project out to tender.
Planning a kitchen extension can be a long process so it is worth bookmarking this page to come back to it at a later date if needed. Have you already had a kitchen extension – what tips could you give our readers? Leave your comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for great inspiration or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.