It's easy to get overwhelmed when you start thinking about how to expand a kitchen; from planning permission and design briefs to how much it will cost and whether it will be worth the time and money, there's a lot to consider.
But if you've started thinking about expanding your kitchen, you're probably dreaming of a larger cooking space that does everything from cooking and dining to housework and office/school work.small kitchen designsYou may have had the work done before, but as your home's needs change, so should your kitchen, which is where an extension cord comes into play.
"If you face a daily struggle to use a small kitchen and don't have the space to enjoy family meals or socialize, a kitchen extension might be worth it," says property expert Thomas Goodman,my work quote(opens in new tab). "And while extensions cost a lot of money, you'll likely see your home's value increase significantly."
Our step-by-step guide will walk you through everything you need to know about extending akitchen. We asked the experts and compiled their advice, covering everything from the initial planning stage to the final touches. Read on for answers to all your questions so you can start building the kitchen of your dreams.
How to enlarge a kitchen: step by step
1. Make initial plans
Hekitchen layoutmust be decided in advance so that all electrical and plumbing services can be located according to your plan. Think about what you want from your extension and therefore how much space you want your extension to provide. Do you need space for a kitchen-dining room? Want to include a kitchen island?
Make sure your new extension provides an adequate supply of natural light. It may not be possible to add windows to a side span, so a glass roof may be a good option. You want your extension to add space to your home...but not a dark, uninviting space.
It is very important to think well at this stage. The more detailed your plan, the more likely your contractor will be able to bring your ideal kitchen extension to life, and he will know exactly what planning permissions you need.
Keep in mind that the more spacious yourkitchen extension, the longer the process will take. A single storey rear extension is usually the friendliest planning permission option, often achievable under permitted development. Do not swallow too much garden, otherwise you risk reducing the value of your property. A simple side extension that is subservient to the main house is also easy to plan and can extend a narrow kitchen without robbing the precious garden.
Side return extensions are a common option for terraced properties, which often have a half-width semi-detached kitchen to the rear. The section of garden adjacent to the kitchen is called the side return and can be used to create a full width kitchen of the property. A side return can create valuable wall space for cabinets and countertops. And it can still be filled with light, as long as you install a series of skylights in the new roof space.
How much will it cost?
kitchenextension costsThey are probably at the forefront of your mind and it's understandable why. HeHillary's Renewal or Relocation Tool(opens in new tab)predicts that a kitchen extension can cost up to £30,000 and take 11 months to complete.
That amount might make you want to throw in the towel, but we recommend doing multiple quotes to get a rough idea of how much your specific kitchen extension will cost. Try sites like MyJobQuote and PriceYourJob. There is also a kitchen extension cost calculator atMiConstructor(opens in new tab). The more details you provide, the more accurate your quote will be.
"As a rough guide, you can expect to pay around £1,400 - £2,000 per square meter for an extended kitchen in 2022," says property expert Natalie Mitchell,HomeHow to do it(opens in new tab). 'In addition to the extension, you may also need to buy the kitchen suite. You can expect to pay around £200 - £1,000 per square meter for the kitchen.
When planning your budget, use the higher numbers on this scale to cover any unexpected costs.
2. Choose an architect
Once you've decided on the style and space, find aarchitector designer who can advise you on what's possible, guide you through the planning process, and help you work within a budget. Make sure your architect is RIBA Chartered and make use of recommendations from family and friends.
Ideally, you should create a list of three or four architects. Ask to see examples of their past work and to speak with past clients. The chosen architect will conduct a site inspection and submit plans for your approval.
3. Understand building regulations and planning permission
After approving the architect's plans, you'll know if the extension is within permitted development or if you need to apply for a permit. Your architect should be able to advise you on this, but for more advice on building permits visitGOV.UK(opens in new tab).
"Obtaining permits is an integral part of the project development process that you will undertake with your architect," says George Omalianakis, kitchen extension specialist,GOAStudio(opens in new tab).'It will help you make decisions about your requirements, starting with the general layouts of your kitchen extension project and then 'scaling up' to assess more detailed requirements on technical and structural requirements, finishes, fixtures and materials, before finally Prepare bidding information for builders to review and price before you can assign a builder to your project.'
If your extension falls belowpermitted development, you will still need to get building code approval from a building control officer (BCO), also known as a building inspector. Building regulations apply to most jobs and ensure safety and energy efficiency. You can choose between a local authority inspector or an approved private one, which may be faster.
if you are applyingwork permitand your home is not listed or restricted, your architect can send you the plans. Please allow at least eight to ten weeks for the application to process. It may also require the passing of the Law of the “Dividing Wall”, which is a wall that crosses a line of land belonging to two or more owners. Foundation work within certain distances from walls is also covered by the act, not just work on the wall itself.
4. Find a builder
When looking for a builder, try recommendations from friends and family. You can also post a job atqualified people(opens in new tab). Your architect should also be able to suggest contractors they've worked with. As with choosing an architect, be sure to get references and check that they have the proper insurance and warranties.
Make sure any builders you ask for quotes from are TrustMark approved. This means that your previous work has been vetted and subject to on-site inspections to verify that it meets government-approved standards.
Costs vary for construction work and it's a good idea to get multiple quotes. Allow at least three weeks for contractors to prepare their prices, as they themselves rely on subcontractors to price parts. Then ask them to submit a timeline proposal.
5. Consult a kitchen designer
This can happen around the same time you decide on a builder. Your architect may have planned the basic kitchen design for you, but now is the time to bring your architectural drawings to your favorite kitchen companies. They can tweak the design and create designs for your approval.
Design completed and vendor chosen, then you can request detailed layout, wiring and plumbing plans. Have them ready to share with your builder in time for the next step...
6. Start on the website
Once you have planning approval, the Party Wall Agreement and a kitchen in order, the construction work can begin. At this point, 'Fix 1' decisions such as the position of walls, floors, ceilings, electrical and water pipes should have been finalized.
While the preliminary work is done, "second solution" design decisions can be made and an offer of finishes, fixtures and mosaic tiles. Allow plenty of time to tidy up the floor.
You will need a contract with your builder and your architect will be able to advise you on the type you need. "Most contracts require tiered payments against appraisals," says Hugo Tugman, founder ofdesign your house(opens in new tab). This means that your architect visits the project each pay period and issues a certificate to say what percentage of the total work is completed. Then pay against completed jobs.
7. Final steps
After completion of construction work, hitch issues can be fixed. The input refers to the structural and finishing effects of the building that rest on its foundation after the completion of the work. Only when they have been satisfactorily completed should you make the final payment to the builder in exchange for a final certificate. Make sure all electrical, plumbing and gas work is approved as well.
Before installing the kitchen cabinets and appliances, you will need to lay the floor. Installing your new kitchen should take up to four weeks. Once the cabinets are installed, your kitchen company will create a template for thebenches, which should take about two weeks. In the meantime, you can paint the walls and add accessories and lighting. Then, when the countertops are in place, voila!
Can an existing kitchen be extended?
Yes, you can probably expand your current kitchen.
"The question is how it can be extended so that the new space works with the existing space," says George Omalianakis, ARB/RIBA Expert ResidentialArchitect,GOAStudio(opens in new tab). "You want the extension to create an expanded kitchen, dining room, living room, and even a children's play area that opens up to the back garden and effortlessly connects to the rest of the house."
He adds, "You'll need the expertise of a qualified residential architect to help you assess what works best for you, what works best for the property, and how it can all be put together in a way that makes sense and meets your requirements. . ."
'When planning an addition, visit your kitchen designer with your plans after your planning permission has been accepted,' advises William Durrant, owner,herringbone kitchens(opens in new tab). "This should save you having to compromise your design later and your designer can provide the builder with drawings of your kitchen layout."
Do you need permission to expand a kitchen?
The construction permit is usually one of the most difficult steps in expanding a kitchen. You will likely need multiple approvals for your extension, all depending on the type of property, the location and how the new extension relates to adjacent boundary neighbors.
"If your property has allowed development rights (this usually applies to unlisted homes that aren't in conservation areas, but not apartments), you can add an extension that doesn't need prior planning approval," says architect George . But you'll be limited with what you can do in terms of design, as permissible development requires you to check a lot of boxes. It is also advisable to apply for a Certificate of Legality to confirm your Permitted Development Rights.'
You will need building code approval from your local building control or an approved private inspector. Building codes deal with a range of technical and structural issues, including general insulation levels for your extension and home, fire regulations, structural safety, waterproofing details, etc.
"You'll also have to take care of any party wall issues if you're building close to the border with your neighbors," explains George. 'And if your property is rented, you'll need to get an approval (often called a License to Modify) from your landlord. It's best to ask a lawyer to advise you on the terms of your lease and how to get your landlord's approval.
Finally, if you live near a public sewer, you will also need to run your plans through your local water authority. There's a lot to cover, but any certified architect should be able to advise you on planning permission for your extension, and you can keep checking GOV.uk for all the relevant information.
How can I expand my kitchen with little money?
If you're wondering how to expand a kitchen on a budget, it might be worth considering.small kitchen ideasinstead of a full extension. There are several cost-effective ways to make the most of the space you already have, and going this route will save you a lot of time and money.
"Shutters work really well in kitchens as they can make the room appear taller, and by freeing up space on either side of the window, they instantly make the room appear larger," says Yvonne Keal, senior product director.Hillary(opens in new tab). “Plus, you can instantly create the illusion of space simply by adding a mirror to your kitchen. Place a mirror in front of the window to reflect natural light into your kitchen, and pair it with a light, airy color palette to heighten the effect.'
You can also lengthen the walls by painting the baseboard the same color as the kitchen walls. Try these simple tricks if you're still on the fence about investing in a kitchen extension. They will make your kitchen look bigger than before, and you might not feel the need to expand afterward.