Kitchens have always been the central hub of the home, where families gather for meals or a catch up over a cup of tea, so it comes as no surprise that so many people want this space to be as big as possible to suit their living needs.
Following the change in planning rules in 2019, Property Wire indicated that 2 in 5 UK homeowners would rather add an extension than move house, giving them added living space whilst at the same time adding value to their property.
If you’re considering building a kitchen extension this year, here are our top tips to ensure that your home renovation works for you.
Tip 1 – Identify what you dislike about your current kitchen and make sure it’s not repeated
What do you actually need in you new kitchen? How can you make your extension really work for you and look good at the same time?
It’s time to get that pad and pencil out again. Start by writing down all the things that bother you in your current kitchen. Do you have enough storage for food? Is your fridge overflowing? Do you hate dodging the rain to go and get the fish fingers from the garage chest freezer? Do you have enough worktop space? Are the power points in the correct place for food mixers etc. or are you dragging wires across your kitchen? Do you have multiple drawers full of random things?
There is no point telling fibs about the drawers. We all have those drawers full of old keys, broken hair bobbles, junk mail and in my case lots of random cables and plugs that may come in handy one day. So far that day has never come but you never know, it’s always good to be prepared. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
Make that list and use it as the first stage of your new kitchen design. Revisit that list from time to time and use it as a reminder and to keep you on track. Do not repeat the same mistakes in your new space!
Tip 2 – Work out your ideal kitchen layout and see how it relates to your current available space.
This is the point that I ask you to channel your inner designer. Deep breath, it’s time to buy a scale ruler. Floor plans are generally drawn in either the 1:50 or 1:100 scale. The scale will be noted on your floor plans (assuming you have existing floor plans). Draw your ideal kitchen unit arrangement in the same scale as your existing drawings and cut them out.
The next thing is to overlay your cut-outs onto your existing floor plan and move them around. See where it looks and feels best. The extra space, both size and location will then become fairly apparent. At this point it’s time to have a meeting with your architect/designer to discuss potential issues caused by planning, drainage, structural limitations etc. Work together with your designer to develop your extension plans to suit your ideal kitchen layout. Remember, revisit to your list (tip 1) regularly to keep on track.
Tip 3 – Getting the finishes in your new kitchen right : making sure that your new space looks fantastic and suits your lifestyle.
There is little point in having kitchen finishes that don’t suit your needs. Dogs, cats, toddlers, seniors, disabilities and allergies: all things that need to be considered when choosing your finishes. There are questions that we need to ask ourselves that will guide us to the correct choices. The main finishes will concern door and drawer fronts, worktops, floors and walls.
How much wear do you expect your kitchen to have? A middle-aged professional couple will clearly not have as much impact on a kitchen as a young family with pets. It is unlikely a pair of grown-ups will run around and around a kitchen island wielding hand made weapons, with a moggy and a spaniel in hot pursuit. If your kitchen is going to have to endure the rages of family life, make sure paint finishes are wipeable, door fronts are durable and floors scrubbable.
If you have pets or family members with allergies, it may be an idea to have a floor that you can steam. The steam cleaner is a thing of wonder and almost as satisfying as jet washing.
As always, it’s a balance between aesthetics and practicality. If you’re considering building a kitchen extension, get in touch to discuss how we can help you create a space that you will be rushing to get home to.