A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning Kitchen Extensions

The kitchen is the mecca of the modern home. Thanks to the open-space floorplan, the lines that used to divide the living room, dining room and kitchen have now been erased.

You can expect the modern kitchen to function as a place of aesthetics, nourishment, and entertainment. However, most homes have kitchens that can’t handle this multi-functional purpose, so the demand for a more open-space floor plan is very high. 

Some people opt for selling their homes and getting a place with a bigger kitchen. But should you have to move if you love the home you already have?  Instead of packing up and moving out the home you love just to have a bigger kitchen, you can opt to extend your existing kitchen space.

Benefits and Costs

Extending rooms within your home are going to cost money. You have to consider the various fees involved to make your dream kitchen come true. So, how much can you expect to pay for a typical kitchen extension? The average budget per square metre for a kitchen extension is between £17 per m² to £144 per m², but the cost may be slightly higher for a bespoke extension. Sometimes, architect fees and design labour fees may be included in the cost of the extension project.

Professional Fees

Expect design fees to be between 3 to 7% of the total cost to extend your kitchen. Depending on how large your property is, expect to pay between £500 to £1,500 for the house measure survey.

The fee for the construction drawings needed to get approved building regulations will be around £2,400 to £3,600.

Specifics of Kitchen Extensions 

The following estimates will give you a general idea of what to expect when adding/making alterations to specific kitchen features to make the kitchen look larger.

  • Concrete Flooring Costs: concrete flooring has become a popular feature within the kitchen. So, you can expect to pay £120 to £144 per m² for a 50m² 10cm-thick floor.
  • Decorating Costs: Things like tiling, wall paint and finishes will cost about £77 per m². The flooring tiles will cost between £24 to £52 per m². For those desiring to reduce expenses, the painting and finish project (including sanding, filling, priming and undercoating) can be a DIY milestone.
  • Heating Works Costs: According to Michael Holmes, an experienced renovator and author of Renovating for Profit, recommends checking your boiler to make sure it is efficient enough to handle the extra space created from your kitchen extension. He says, ‘If your boiler is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it, as a more energy-efficient design will help offset the cost.’  If you have to replace your boiler, Energy Saving Trust has estimates on the costs for Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and
  • Lighting Scheme Costs: You can create different moods for your guest with the perfect lighting. Lighting designers like Luke Thomas charge as much as £102 per hour.

How to Plan Kitchen Extensions

The first thing you need to consider when doing a kitchen extension is determine how much space you will need for your extension. The amount of space needed for your kitchen extension will be based on how you want to use your kitchen space. So, that’s your starting point. You don’t want to do an extension project that’s too big or too small for what you intended.

The next most important thing you need to consider is who will design your kitchen extension. You could make it a DIY project (kitchen extension ideas – to maximise the potential of your extended space), hire a design company, opt for a build and design company, or you can work with an architect or architectural technologist.

House Extension Plan

Architect or Architectural Technologist?

Architects differ from architectural technologists because architects get certified by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) after a seven-year training.

Architects usually offer a complete consultation package that includes the design and the Building Regulations plan drawings.  Most architects will also be a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

If you have a period or listed property (or are looking for a really sophisticated extension), architects are the way to go.

Architects are a great combination of design scientists, engineers, technologists and creative designers. But keep in mind that architectural technologists can be just as qualified and creative when it comes to fulfilling all your designing and planning goals. Therefore, your choice of which one to choose can be a matter of expertise and proposed fee for services.

Architect or Designer?

It can become a big challenge to find the right professional to draw your plans. Therefore, you need to make sure you thoroughly research your potential lead and find out what type of prior work they have done. If it is possible, try to see if you can speak with some of their past clients to get a feel of whether their skillset will work for you.

Also, you need to keep in mind the possibility that you may need help from a draftsperson or designer to draw your plans, and you may need the expertise of a structural engineer to make drawings and calculations, so they are approved by Building Regulations.  The completed documents will be needed when hiring your builders.

Design contacts: You can opt to select a designer that is a member of one of the following organizations. It is recommended you check to see if they have enough professional indemnity insurance before selecting their services.

  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
  • Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)
  • Association of Building Engineers (ABE)
  • Chartered Institute of Building (IOB)
  • The institution of Structural Engineers (ISE).

Designers that are a member of one of these organizations will have to have the accredited training to be a designer.

Kitchen Renovation in Waterford; Build Me Case Study ?

Will I Need Planning Permission for My Extension?

Some extension projects won’t require planning consent because there are certain residential renovations that can be done using Permitted Development (PD) rights. Under PD, the following criteria must be met to do an extension project without planning consent:

  • When it’s a single-storey extension, the maximum ridge height is no more than 4m on the ridge and the eaves (and no higher than the original property).
  • Two-storey extensions must be at least 7m close to the rear boundary.
  • An extension cannot cover half the garden being covered.
  • Certain locations (like conservation areas, areas of abundant natural beauty, etc.), require planning permission.
  • Side extensions require planning permission.
  • All rear extensions must be single storey.
  • Detached property can be extended by 8m to the rear for single-storey extension (or by 3m for double).
  • Side extensions can only be single-storey with a maximum height of 4m and a width no more than half of the original building.
  • Any kind of extension must be made of the same (or similar) material as the existing building.
  • Extensions must not go forward of the existing building’s building line.

Houses located in a national park or a conservation area will have more limitations imposed by Permitted Development.

Don`t miss the 30 things you have to know before you start your house extensions!

A bespoke extension is definitely going to require an approved planning permission application. Research your local planning policies and start getting the application process going with your local authority to make sure the drawing plan you submit gets approved.

Building Regulations

Whether you need planning consent or not, you still have to comply with Building Regulations. The Building Regulations compliance deals with a variety of architectural aspects—from fire safety to drainage.

Visit your local authority or go to planningportal.co.uk to complete your application. In England, it costs £206 for an extension. You can choose to submit a full plan or a building notice to meet Building Regulations compliance:

Full Plan Submission: Before you begin any building, you will submit your drawing plans to your local authority building control (or approved inspector).  You will have periodic visits from a local building inspector to monitor the progress of the project from start to finish.

Building Notice: This option is a written statement that informs your local authority know you are going to comply with local regulations while completing your kitchen extension project. You must present this notice within 48 hours of the date you start your project. You will have periodic visits from a local building inspector to monitor the progress of the project, and the inspector will let you know if any compliance issues have developed during the completion of the project.

A Building Notice tends the run the risk of generating compliance issues after the project has begun, and the only way to correct it is to pay a fee for compliance violation.

Design and build companies are great for implementing this kitchen extension project from beginning to end.   But if you chose to design your own extension (or you had an architect do it), you might have to hire the main contractor for project management. Or, you can be your own project manager while all the designing and building is taken care of by the subcontractors you hire.

Sites like Checkatrade.com or the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) are good places to start your search. But nothing beats the power of word of mouth. So, ask your family and friends about people they know are good for this type of project.

When trying to find the right builder, you may want to opt for tradesmen. Tradesmen tend to have a variety of useful skills to get building renovations and extensions accomplished. This is important when you want to make sure everyone is on the same page and on task during the entire project. Wasted time means wasted money and more money spent.

Kitchen Extension Ideas

There are so many ways that you can make your small kitchen look bigger. Try combining rooms by tearing down adjacent walls, adding a side or adding a rear extension to your home. You can also create a basement extension or covert a garage.

It does not matter which options you choose, just know that it will take a lot of preparation on your part. Here are a few ideas to get you own your way to having a bespoke kitchen extension project.

Open Shelving

It cost a lot more to add cupboard storage because it uses more material. To reduce costs, just add open shelving. You will love the idea of being able to locate your kitchenware easier.

Clever lighting

If sunlight is limited in your extended kitchen, you can create a lighting scheme that will brighten the space and make it look larger than it is.

  • To create a soft glow on your worktops, use under cupboard lights.
  • To create an atmosphere with bright lights, use ceiling spotlights.
  • You can use pendant lights over the kitchen island and/or over the dining table.

Glass doors

Complement period features

If your home has a historic appeal or is a contemporary rendition of a period house, you may want to add features to your kitchen that complement the period reflected by the house’s architecture. For example, if you have a house that is a contemporary rendition of houses designed in the Georgian-style, you will want your kitchen to complement this feature by having brick-effect tiling, a copper pendant lighting and recessed cupboards.

The Kitchen Diner

Want to really have an open space for cooking, dining, and hanging out? Why not try the kitchen diner layout? This will make your kitchen the hot spot for cooking, eating and entertaining guests.

Here are some tips on how to plan the layout for your kitchen diner!

Extension Calculator

Before you can even begin the extension of your kitchen, you must know how much work you can afford. You can try this free extension calculator that is valid for all UK postcodes to determine the cost of your kitchen extension and ensure you have enough money to get the project done.  Just answer a few questions, and the calculator will give you an instant estimate on the overall cost of your project.  Another calculator is also available online to calculate UK home extensions.


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