Whilst there are many ways you can make the most of a small kitchen footprint, you may be considering an extension to achieve the kitchen design you’ve always dreamed of.

Opening up your space when renovating your kitchen is a great way to improve the design practically and aesthetically, offering you the opportunity to explore new layouts, styles and features. With kitchen trends taking a noticeable step towards open, multi-functional designs in recent years, an extension is a great way to create an overall family living space, introducing room for dining, relaxing, working and entertaining, as well as cooking and food preparation.

Before you take the plunge and begin submitting your extension plans, we would encourage you to take time to consider all of your options carefully, as any mistakes can be difficult to rectify later on.


Knocking through

There are several avenues to explore for achieving more kitchen space before building a kitchen extension. The simplest and cheapest is to knock down a stud partition wall between the kitchen and dining room to create a kitchen-diner or kitchen-living room. Many people prefer this open style of living to having a separate formal dining room, however, you will need to consult a structural engineer to ensure that the dividing wall isn’t load bearing. If it is, you can install a rolled steel joist, which will act as a support instead of the wall, but this will involve more disruption and additional cost, so it’s important you consider all of your options.

Adding on

If your property is a traditional Victorian terrace (or shares a similar layout), filling in the side return can transform what was an awkward galley into a wider, more spacious kitchen that could be large enough to include a dining area or living space. A glazed roof over the side return or a series of skylights will also allow more natural light to flood in and create a beautifully bright room.

Extending out

If you have the land and the budget, adding an extension onto your home is possibly the best way to create extra space to plan your perfect kitchen. Adding bi-folding doors to your extension is also a great way to increase the feeling of space and is a wonderful way to bring the outside in.

We recommend trying to keep with the period and style of your property when considering the design of your extension. Whilst a Georgian townhouse can look amazing with a modern, glass extension on the back, it can often be easier to get planning permission if the style of the extension is sympathetic to the original building.

The benefits

Your choice of extension will very much depend on your budget, as well as what offers you the best use of space to suit your family lifestyle. A brand-new extension is the ideal blank canvas in which to create your perfect kitchen and gives you the opportunity to start from the very beginning, meaning you can plan all of your light switches, electric sockets and other functional elements to suit.

Another obvious benefit is that you can create your extension to reflect the layout of kitchen you’ve been dreaming of. Have you always wanted a kitchen island but couldn’t fit one comfortably in your current space? An extension offers the perfect chance to design a space from scratch, to accommodate all of your practical requirements and style wishes.

Practical points

We recommend you start by setting yourself a realistic budget and decide on a contingency fund for any unforeseen costs. If you are knocking through or adding on, look at the services available within the room – these are the electrics, plumbing, drains and gas connections. If they need to be moved, is this possible and affordable?

When it comes to the new layout, workout what you love and, more importantly, dislike about your existing kitchen and make sure these are addressed and improved in the new design.

As a kitchen extension is a major investment, it’s vital that you determine long-term gain and don’t just focus on what is required right now. Think about future-proofing the interiors and consider the changing dynamics of your family, and whether your home life will be dramatically different in five or ten years’ time. You may need somewhere for young children to play now, but in years to come you will also need somewhere for them to do their homework and relax with friends.