Kitchen Extension Ideas and Designs
If you want more living space but can’t afford to move, an extension is a great alternative. Extensions are the second most popular home improvement project and can also increase the value of your home by as much as 11%, says property expert Phil Spencer. So, if you’re sold on the idea of extending, consider building a kitchen extension – kitchens are usually the heart of modern homes and are often located at the back of the house near a garden, which makes them ideal for extending.
Kitchen Extension Designs
Here are some top kitchen extension designs and ideas you might want to consider:
- Underfloor Heating – is up to 15% more efficient than radiators so it can save you money and help the environment. Installing a water-fed underfloor heating system, whereby warm water is passed through pipes laid under the floor, is a good option since you’ll be digging up the ground anyway. Underfloor heating works particularly well when powered by an eco-friendly ground source heat pump, which heats water using natural warmth from the earth. It’s also a good idea to choose stone or ceramic floor tiles which work best with underfloor heating.
- Kitchen Worktops – will be one of the biggest design considerations when planning your kitchen extension. It’s important to choose worktops that are in-keeping with the overall style of the room and are practical as well as budget-friendly. The most expensive, hard-wearing kitchen worktops are composite and natural stone – choose from attractive granite, marble or a quality composite like Corian. Wooden worktops are a cheaper, less practical option that’ll require regular maintenance; however they do look great in traditional, country-style kitchen extensions. Laminate is the cheapest worktop option, but it does mark easily and will have a shorter lifespan.
- Conservatory Kitchen Extensions – there’s been a recent trend for these light and airy extensions. However, building your kitchen in a conservatory can contravene building regulations, in particular those relating to conserving heat and energy. Conservatory kitchen extensions can also become incredibly hot in summer, cold in winter and subsequently suffer from condensation and damp. Get expert advice from an architect if you’re thinking of installing a conservatory kitchen extension.
- Open-plan Kitchen Extensions – when designing your kitchen extension you’ll need to think about the circulation of space and how you’ll use different areas of your kitchen. You might want to include a preparation area, a utility space or separate dining area. Open-plan kitchen extensions are very popular options, you can still divide up space using islands, steps or furniture – just be sure to tie all these spaces together using colour or similar flooring.
- Plumbing in Kitchen Extensions – one of the most important stages when planning and building a kitchen extension is deciding where to install the plumbing. You’ll need to decide early on where your appliances and sink will go so that the plumbing is situated and installed in the right area. Hire a professional plumber to complete all the plumbing work.
- Kitchen Islands – these are a popular option, especially good for large kitchen extensions (ideally you’ll need four feet of space between the island and other surfaces and units). You can use your kitchen island as an additional preparation space or as a breakfast bar – you may even want to integrate some of your kitchen appliances or an additional sink into your island.
- Sliding Doors – it’s likely that your kitchen extension will back onto the garden, so think about how you can use this to your advantage; installing patio or sliding doors can provide easy access to the outdoors. Installing a patio or decking area just outside the kitchen is a great way to create an outdoor dining space for summer – using a similar material as the kitchen floor will help the two areas flow together.
Planning Permission for Kitchen Extensions
It’s important to get a local architect to help you draw up your kitchen extension plans. They will be able to design an attractive, structurally-sound extension which brings your dream kitchen ideas to life. An architect will also be able to help you with any necessary planning applications and will ensure your extension meets current UK building regulations.
Extensions are classed as a permitted development, which means they don’t require planning permission to install, as long as you meet certain conditions, including:
- Your extension may not be more than 50% of the size of the original property
- The extension shouldn’t be higher than the existing roof
- Your extension should be made of similar materials to the rest of your home
- The extension should not include any balconies, verandas or raised platforms
An architect or your local building authority will be able to provide more details on regulations for extensions.
However – if you live in a listed building, a conservation area, world heritage site or area of outstanding natural beauty you’ll need to ask your local building authority for permission to build a kitchen extension. Planning applications cost around £150 in England and take around eight weeks to process.
Kitchen Extension Cost
The cost of your kitchen extension will vary depending on the size, design and where you live. Typically, you’ll be looking at a minimum cost of around £20,000 to carry out an extension, says the Halifax Home Improvement Survey. Always get at least three quotes for your kitchen extension from qualified, insured professionals.