Kitchen extensions are a really good way to improve your home and add value. During the 80s and 90s the trend was to create as many rooms as possible, people wanted separate dining and utility rooms, whereas now there’s a preference for open-plan.
Many potential buyers with young families want this room to be the heart of the home and kitchens really do sell houses. Therefore, if you’re looking to add value to your home with a limited budget, focusing your money and efforts on creating a family kitchen/ living space is usually the best option.
There are a number of different options and considerations when extending your kitchen, depending on the type of property you own, how you want to use the space and of course, budget.
Single storey extension
Single-storey extensions at the back of a house are increasingly popular, with full length sliding doors that draw a lot of light into the space. You can now buy off-the-shelve bi-folding doors which have made this type of extension a lot more affordable than it once was. This sort of extension is a relatively simple building project and costs in the range of £10,000 – £15,000.
In most cases single-storey extensions are classed as permitted development, meaning you don’t need to obtain planning permission. If you live in a conservation area or your property is listed, however, you will require it. To be on the safe side I advise checking with your local planning authority before you commence any work, there are some limitations regarding the size of an extension and its proximity to roads and properties surrounding it.
Many people are choosing to knock through and combine their kitchen and a reception room to create an open plan living space. Done well this is the ideal solution for most families. With the lack of walls it’s important to zone the areas into cooking, dining and relaxing. This can be done by dividing the space with furniture, open book shelves can help divide a room but keep the open feel. Colour is a more subtle way to zone a space, but done well it’s really effective, especially in a small space.
Conservatory extension vs. orangery
Orangeries and conservatories are often cheaper to build than single-storey extension and are a really good way to increase the living space in a kitchen area. The main difference between an orangery and a conservatory is the brickwork. Orangeries typically have a flat solid roof or flat glazing and solid brick walls, while conservatories are often entirely glazed. Orangeries were popular in the 17th century for people to grow citrus fruits, now they’re a modern solution to open plan living that with their solid walls are suited to installing kitchen appliances.
It’s important to get the proportions of the build right, especially the design of the roof, to make sure the extension fits with the original building.
The roof of an extension is the area that requires the most attention to tie the extension in with the original building. There are a couple of options:
- a modern box-style extension with a flat roof, which can include sky lights
- an orangery style glass roof, with solid walls
- a conservatory glazed roof
- a parapet roof (a pitched roof concealing a flat roof), to give the appearance of a pitched roof and appear sympathetic to the original building.
The roof of an extension is the aspect of the build that is most affected by the constraints of permitted development. The height of the ridge of the roof and its impact on first floor windows should be considered and in many cases this is why people opt for a flat roof design.
Whether you want to create a modern box-like extension or a space that blends seamlessly into the original structure, extending the rear of your property is an easy way to generate extra living space and add value to your home. It’s not just about re-sale value, a well designed open plan style kitchen will change how you live in your home and that’s priceless.