Everything You Need to Know About Planning a Kitchen Extension

If your kitchen is small, poorly laid out, or devoid of natural light; chances are, you’ve considered getting an extension. Get it right, and it can truly transform your space, turning your kitchen into your favourite room in the house. However, they’re also very expensive, so if you are thinking of extending your kitchen, it’s important you understand the full process.

How much does it cost to extend a kitchen?

The size and scope of the project will determine the total costs, but it’s important that you have a figure in mind before you start contacting architects and builders.

On average, extensions cost between £1,260 and £1,680 per square metre – and a single storey extension could increase the value of your home by up to 10% more.

While some people will use their savings to pay for their kitchen extensions, other payment options include taking out a loan or remortgaging your home, so it’s crucial that you explore all of your options before you reach a decision.

Choose your architect

If you’re only going to extend your kitchen by a few feet, then hiring an architect won’t be necessary, as a builder should be able to design it for you.

However, if your vision isn’t quite so straightforward, an architect can really help to bring your kitchen dreams to life.

There are a couple of things you and the architect will need to consider when designing your kitchen extension:

  • Natural light: How will you further brighten up your kitchen? This could be something as simple as adding in some skylights; or as daring as creating a full glass extension, complete with heated glass to keep your kitchen warm all year round.
  • Ventilation: If you think your current ventilation system could do with a helping hand when removing odours, grease and smoke; then you may want to add in some additional ventilation methods into your extension.
Kitchen extension with natural light

Obtain planning permission

Once you have the kitchen extension design drawn up, and a proposed size and structure in place, you’ll need to contact your local planning authority to see if you need permission.

There are many extensions that are known as ‘permitted developments’, which mean they don’t need permission – however, it’s something you’ll need to check out before starting the build.

If you do require planning permission, bear in mind that it could take up to 8 weeks to get a response – and up to 13 weeks if your request is particularly complex.

Many local authorities will stipulate in their requirements that the extension must be attractive, and fit in with the rest of the building – so be mindful of using the same (or similar) materials as the rest of the structure of your house, to ensure it looks cohesive.

Kitchen extension with planning persmission

Find a builder

Once you’ve received permission, the next step to planning a kitchen extension is to find a builder.

Make sure that you use a reputable builder with accreditations – head over to the Federation of Master Builders’ site to find builders in your area that have all been vetted, and adhere to a Code of Conduct.

Get in touch with a few builders to receive quotes and find out the different types of extensions they’ve completed – they should be able to provide you with some examples.

It may sound silly, but you should also make sure that you feel comfortable around them – after all, kitchen extensions can take months to complete, so you’ll be seeing builders in your home virtually every day.

Before you sign anything, be sure to agree on a payment plan – the majority of builders will ask for a deposit up front, with the full payment being made upon completion of your kitchen extension.

It’s also worth checking what aftercare will be involved. It’s not unusual for minor complications to crop up along the way, or for small issues to arise after the extension is done. Ask the builder if they can write something up into the contract whereby they’ll check on the extension one and three months after it’s been completed, to give you peace of mind.

Once you’ve signed the contract, the work can begin, and you’ll be one step closer to turning your kitchen extension ideas into a reality! A new extension can totally transform your kitchen, into a space you’ll enjoy cooking and socialising in.

For inspiration on how to give your kitchen the makeover it deserves, try our free online kitchen planner, or book an appointment to visit your nearest Wren showroom.

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