A Guide To Planning A Kitchen Extension

So you’re planning on doing a kitchen extension? How exciting! These renovations come with endless possibilities and can completely transform your cooking space. 

Now, a kitchen extension may seem as simple as designing the layout and then laying the brickwork. In reality, a lot more thought and preparation goes into this process – you need to find the right architect, builder and designer – and on top of that, there’s still the potential headache of building regulations and other nitty-gritty details. 

To help you through this process, we’ve compiled this guide to planning a kitchen extension. If you follow these steps, you’ll have your dream kitchen in no time. 

Plan your dream kitchen

When it comes to your kitchen extension, you need to sit down and think about what you want from these renovations before you start developing any serious plans with external parties. 

This means sitting down and answering questions such as whether you want to do an open plan kitchen extension or what type of kitchen layout would you like? These are all important questions to think about before going to an architect as they will affect various factors like costs or whether the electrical outlets or plumbing needs to be changed. 

How much does a kitchen extension cost? 

The cost of your kitchen extension will vary depending on what you’re planning to do – smaller extensions are more reasonable, whilst luxury bespoke kitchen extensions can cost up to £100 000. On average, most kitchen extensions in the UK cost around £30 000. 

Interestingly, where you live will also play a role in the cost. If you live in London and plan to renovate your kitchen, expect to pay around £50 000 or more.

Choose an architect 

Once you have a good idea of what style and feel you want in your kitchen, it’s time to find an architect. Once you’ve conveyed your ideas to them, they’ll be able to tell you what can be done and also help you to plan out the process and your budget roughly. Your architect will then do a site survey and draw up plans for you to approve. 

Building regulation & planning permission

Once you have the approved plans in hand, you’ll be able to determine whether your extension plans fall under the ‘permitted development’ category or whether you need to apply for permission to go ahead with your renovations. 

Do you need planning permission for a kitchen extension?

‘Permitted development’ means that you will only have to have a building control officer (BOC) come in to determine whether your extension project adheres to building regulations. This can be done through a local authority inspector or, if you want the process to go as quickly as possible, through an approved private inspector. 

However, you’re planned extension may not fall into this category, in which case, you will need to apply for planning permission. Generally, your architect can do this for you. 

There are several factors that will influence whether you need this approval or not, such as how big the extension will be, which area of the UK you live in or if your home has undergone development previously. This process takes anywhere from eight to ten weeks, so do keep this in mind in deciding when you want to begin the groundwork. 

Find a builder 

Once you have planning permission and know that your project adheres to current building regulations, it’s time to find a builder. It’s always best to start by asking your family and friends for recommendations, as they will likely have first-hand experience with whichever builder they recommend to you. However, your architect will also be able to suggest possible candidates who they’ve worked with in the past. 

Before choosing your builder, always get references from previous clients and ensure that the builder is covered by the necessary insurance and guarantees. Lastly, it’s also important to get quotes from potential builders, which usually takes around three weeks. Be sure to check that these are TrustMark approved. 

Consult a kitchen designer

Generally, it’s best to do this while you’re vetting out potential builders. A kitchen designer will help take your architectural drawings and create a kitchen design for you to approve. They’ll also help you find suppliers too. 

Once you’ve given them the go-ahead with the design, they’ll be able to iron out the finer details – such as plumbing and electrical work – and discuss this with you and your builder. 

Get cracking on your kitchen extension

Something important to have established with your builder is a contract – ideally, this should be finalised by this stage. The type of contract you choose is up to you, however, most architects will advise you. Generally, you’ll want the contract to have ‘staged payments against valuations’. 

Now that all the planning is done and the necessary approvals have been obtained, it’s time to get cracking and let the renovations begin. At this point, the ‘first-fix’ issues (position of walls, floors, ceilings, electrics and water pipes) will be set in stone. 

However, ‘second-fix’ design aspects can still be tweaked in the early stages. These ‘second-fix’ items refer to things such as your light fittings, tiling and other finishes. Be sure to allow enough time for these items to be ordered and delivered to the site. 

Sort out all the nitty-gritty details

The building work is all done, and your kitchen extension is almost complete! All that’s left for you to do is sort out any ‘snagging’ issues. This refers to fixing any defects in your property after the building work is done – like if something looks unfinished or if anything broke due to the building and construction work. Only after these defects have been fixed should you pay the final instalment to your builder and get the final certificate of completion. You should also ensure that all the plumbing, electrical work and gas supplies have been signed off.

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