Is your old kitchen dark and poky? Are you in a position where it would be better to ‘improve, rather than move’? If so, why not consider building a kitchen extension to get the additional open-plan space and light you want. By opening up your old kitchen space or adding an extension proposes many different options for improving your living area. A light and airy kitchen extension can offer many new possibilities for working and entertaining or dining and relaxing thus creating a more flexible space for the whole family to enjoy.
Whilst there are numerous ways in which to improve your kitchen area, generous dining space is usually central to any kitchen extension design enabling the family to sit down together and share a meal. If you have sufficient room at the rear or side of your property (obviously depending on budget) adding a large extension onto your home is probably one of the best ways to create adequate space allowing you to plan your perfect kitchen?
Your choice of extension will very much depend on your budget but more importantly, always consider what will offer you the best use of space to suit your life style. When it comes to working out a new layout, consider what you love ‘if anything’ about your old kitchen but more notably, what you loathe about your existing kitchen and make sure these issues are addressed and rectified in the new design.
A new kitchen extension is the ideal blank canvas in which to craft your dream kitchen from scratch, right down to the bare basics of choosing where the switches are to be positioned, to clever recessed lighting in the ceiling. For superfluous luxury, you could always install under floor heating or add features such as Bi-folding doors that lead onto the garden – a perfect way to bring the ‘outside in’ and in the summer months Bi-folding doors can provide the perfect alfresco dining experience! For those people with a more generous floor area, incorporating an island into your new kitchen design is always an option. Islands are multifunctional units that can be used for a number of things from providing extra prep areas, to housing additional sinks, dishwashers, wine cabinets and storage space. They are also a good form a casual dining by simply adding a set of bar stools; the list of possibilities is endless.
If your budget is limited, don’t despair; there are other options to explore in order to achieve that all-important additional kitchen space. By far, the cheapest and easiest method is to knockdown the dividing wall between the existing kitchen and dining room to create a kitchen-diner or kitchen-living room. Most people these days prefer an open plan style of living eliminating the need for a separate formal dining room, but if you do chose this option always consult a structural engineer to ensure that the dividing wall you are intending to remove is not load bearing. If that is the case, your builder of choice will have to install rolled steel joists known as RSJ’s to act as a support rather than the wall, but bear in mind, this option will involve extra cost and a lot more disruption. However, if open-plan living is not for you and you are the sort of family that like to have a formal dining room then you could always contemplate knocking through from your existing kitchen and converting the garage which is an alternative way to re-configurator the ground living area and maximise the kitchen space.
Whatever the extent of the building work you are considering always start by setting yourself a realistic budget and make sure you have some form of contingency fund in place for those ‘unforeseen costs’. If you are knocking through or adding on, always engage an architect and run any ideas past the local planning office first. Depending on the Council, planning regulations can vary considerably so don’t just assume that because you had an extension built on your old property, the same rules apply and it will be acceptable to build a similar project where you live now. There are many things to consider when planning a kitchen extension but the most important thing is to enjoy the process and try not to get too stressed out!