Masterclass Lumina kitchen in a contemporary kitchen extension

A step-by-step guide to kitchen extensions

Make multifunctional living a reality with this expert advice on planning and executing your project

By Rachel Ogden | 15 February 2022

Open-plan kitchens don’t just provide a more sociable area for families to spend time together, they’re also more versatile and can be adapted to suit changing needs. However, with a fluid variety of functions, it’s important to get the design right with a good kitchen extension guide.

Planning the build in tandem with the kitchen is key, to ensure that essential services are in the right place for your extension and that you won’t have to make compromises on the layout of your building further down the line.

rear kitchen extension with bi-fold doors, kitchen island and dining area

Photo: Roundhouse

Planning your kitchen extension

Deciding what you want your extension to include is the first step – as well as a kitchen and somewhere to eat, consider if you’d also like a living area, a desk space, extra storage or direct access to the garden.

Next, think about how you want it to look inside and what type of addition would suit your property: for example, a single- or double-storey extension, a lean-to or side return, or a rear addition. Take clippings from magazines, look online and see what has been built in your local area for inspiration.

All these factors will affect your budget, timeframe (check if you need planning permission or if it will fall under permitted development) and level of disruption. For example, lean-tos and side returns usually require less foundation work and garden space, but may need more internal structural changes, such as removing walls, disguising pillars or levelling floors and ceilings.

Once you have a rough idea of the size and type of extension, you’ll need to work out a schedule. Remember to factor in time to submit planning applications and party wall agreements with neighbours if required and find an architect and builder (the best companies are often busy), as well as time for the actual construction, which often takes between three and six months.

modern kitchen with large island, dining table and blue cabinets

Photo: Edmondson Interiors