One of today’s most popular home improvement projects, the kitchen extension will create a large open-plan workspace for dining, cooking and relaxing. A sought-after upgrade in all new builds and among the highest remodelling projects on average property, the spacious kitchen has become the centre for contemporary living. Although previously seen as something for restaurants, cafes and boutique hotels, many homeowners are realising the true benefits of a kitchen extension. From increased convenience and storage space to improved aesthetics and functionality, extending your kitchen into the outdoors is quickly becoming one of the most popular home improvements in the UK.
When considering a kitchen extension, consider the layout you have in place now. Is it difficult to get around when there are limited light and ventilation? If your existing layout is difficult to navigate through due to narrow doors and exposed floorboards, then a kitchen extension is the solution you’re looking for.
An ideal kitchen extension is one that complements your existing home. Ideally it should connect your dining room to the kitchen, offering a seamless transition from outdoors to indoor experience. By integrating your new extension with your existing landscape, you’ll instantly create the impression of a bigger, more spacious garden. Kitchen extensions are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from two storeys to three storeys; there is no limit what can be achieved when planning your project.
One of the main components to consider when planning your kitchen extension is the number of doors required. Are you looking to create an extension of an already existing kitchen, or are you looking for a completely new room? Both options have their pros and cons, depending on your budget, home design and how much square footage you are trying to cover. If budget is a limiting factor then opting for a smaller extension may be a better option. Conversely, if you are attempting to completely recreate a natural eating area, then the larger the size of your extension the more you are able to invest in extras such as double doors, skylights, ventilation and/or a breakfast bar.
It’s worth thinking carefully about whether your kitchen extension will be used predominantly by children, or if it will be used as a leisure activity by adults. Most kitchen extensions are available to cater for both scenarios, with the larger units often providing separate eating areas for young children, and a child’s play area next to an adult playing area. If you want to create a space that can be used exclusively by children, then a one-storey extension designed with a play unit in the centre will be an ideal choice. Likewise, if you are looking to create a leisurely outside space that adults can enjoy, then a larger two-storey extension designed with exposed brick walls and wooden shutters over exposed stone walls will provide the ideal backdrop.
When considering whether or not you require planning permission to fit a kitchen extension, it is wise to check whether or not your proposed new space will be within a ‘development area’. Development areas are local councils that manage large swathes of land that have been earmarked for development. You need planning permission in order to construct new homes on this land blocks, but you don’t need planning permission to install appliances and other fixtures on the land itself. Some developers will sell their development rights to you, after which you can begin construction without any form of planning permission.
Before contacting an architect, it’s worth finding out whether or not your planned extension will be permissible by your local council. Some councils strictly regulate architectural designs and may prohibit back-formation (re-modelling) of existing properties, or reduce the number of square metres in which new structures are sited. Others allow rear extension only if the proposed building occupies an entire block of land. If your kitchen designer intends to work on this type of site, then he will need to get planning permission at the earliest opportunity. Architects should therefore discuss their plans with their legal advisor, in order to ensure that the construction is compliant with local council regulations.
Planning a kitchen extension shouldn’t be too difficult, provided you follow the basics mentioned above. There are many different types of designs out there, from the traditional flat kitchen layout to more modern open-plan layouts, and the type of layout that you choose should be influenced by your budget and personal preferences. Some people love a more traditional look, whilst others are open to incorporating elements of contemporary design into their kitchen extensions. Whichever style you prefer, there are many kitchen extension ideas that can be implemented, depending on your needs and desires.