The kitchen in your home is the very social centre of the house. It’s where you eat as a family, where you have that first glass of wine when entertaining and where you relax for a chat at the end of the working day. If you can extend this space to give to a larger open plan area where you can relax as well as cook and eat as a family then it will really add to the value and to the enjoyment that you get from your home. This is why kitchen extensions are one of the most popular home improvements that you can do. We’ll now have a quick look at what’s involved in extending your kitchen.


Your kitchen extension project will be a fairly expensive job, so you need to plan carefully if you are to get what you really want, and need, without spending the earth. Begin by asking yourself and the family a few basic questions about what you want and how you need to use that extra space. Do you: Need a more flexible family space for you all to enjoy? Need more space for entertaining friends? Want to have some more informal seating, like a sofa or a breakfast bar? Want to create a ‘garden room’ effect, with French doors opening out on to the garden? As well as your immediate requirements now, you should try and work how your family needs will change over the next 10 years or so. For example, while lots of floor space may be important for young children now, in 10 years you may need space for study or homework, when the kids are teenagers. Kitchen extensions – the ideal approach is to extend into the garden.


In most modern houses, you have two options for extending your kitchen space. Option 1: Knock Through To Combine Two Rooms Into One In a modern house the walls are likely to be wood and plasterboard stud walls and so the easiest option is to simply remove the stud wall between say, the kitchen and a dining room, or between the kitchen and a study or sitting room. Don’t rush in though – mget a builder – J Freeman Building Services – to check that the wall is not a load bearing wall, BEFORE you remove it. If it is then a steel bean is called for and we will be able to sort that out for you very easily. If you have a garage adjacent to the kitchen, you can consider a garage conversion. Option 2: Extend An Existing Kitchen Out Into The Garden Space With suitable space on your plot, this is the better of the two options. Subject to planning permission, you will have a relatively free hand and you can place things wherever you want them, from doors and windows to skylights. Another, less complicated, but maybe more expensive option, is to add a well insulated conservatory on to the kitchen and open the kitchen up to light and fresh air. Hey, Julian, How Much Is This Kitchen Extension Going To Cost me? The Halifax Building Society says the minimum cost of a kitchen extension is £20,000. As a general guide you’re looking at somewhere between £1,200-£1,800 per m². If you’re converting a garage that drops to around £950-£1,150 per m². A kitchen extension can increase the value of your home by as much as 10% so if you have the space and money, then we suggest that it’s a great idea.


We always have to examine every project individually of course, but usually, for small extensions, most jobs don’t need planning permission. Knocking through a kitchen and dining room for example, or extending your kitchen into the garage, probably won’t involve the planning office. But – if you extend the overall ‘footprint’ of the property, then it’s a good idea to get Planning involved. However, that’s what we’re here for and we will be able to advise on those points at an early stage. If you want to set out to avoid having to apply for planning permission for your kitchen extension, then you have to ensure that it: Takes up no more than 50% of the size of the original property for side extensions. Is no deeper than 4m for detached houses and 3m deep for a semi or terrace. Is not higher than the existing roof of the property. Is made of the same type of materials to the rest of your property. We’re most likely stating the obvious here, but if you live in a listed building, a conservation area or an area of outstanding natural beauty, then you WILL need to ask your local building authority for permission. Similarly, if the kitchen extension that you’re planning is substantial (knocking through and extending, extensive areas of glass requiring an architect to meet heat conservation requirements etc.) then it’s safe to assume that you will need planning permission and full architectural drawings of the layout and elevations. Planning applications cost around £150 in England and take around eight weeks to process. You will also, of course, have to comply with Building Regulations. Generally,it’s a good idea to submit full plans to your local authority building control department.


While the work is being carried out – and we do our very best to keep the mess to a minimum – there will be times when your kitchen is unusable so if you have the space to create a makeshift ‘kitchen’ it’ll be a real stress-saver. For a short period you can probably get by with a microwave, fridge and kettle. A kitchen extension is not a quick job. Depending on the scale you could be talking a couple of weeks or a couple of months. Just keep telling yourself, it’ll be worth it in the end!


Now that you have a better understanding of what to considering when extending your kitchen, you’ll probably need some new plumbing at some point. For our readers in Brisbane, we recommend The Brisbane Plumbers. They’re Brisbane’s most reliable 24/7 Emergency Plumber and offer great general plumbing service.