Steps To Achieving A New Kitchen To Suit Your Needs And Your Space
Last month we looked at some design ideas for kitchen extensions, so let’s now look at how to get started with your extension project.
Planning Your New Kitchen
It’s clearly important to decide what you want out of your new kitchen. Be clear on the features you desire; do you want to create a kitchen diner? Do you want plenty of space for entertaining? A checklist (though by no means exhaustive) of some of the features you may wish to incorporate or make room for (such as a range style cooker or American style fridge-freezer).
- Separate utility room
- An easily accessible outdoor dining area
- Island unit
- Breakfast bar
- Seating area for entertaining and general relaxing
- Walk in larder
There may be more; ensure your own list is comprehensive and you have some ideas of the look you want. There is a myriad of kitchen designs, and a good designer can take your ideas and create a kitchen that will suit you and complement the type of extension you have in mind, and maximise the use of your property, boundaries and of course budget.
Talking to you bespoke kitchen fitters is a key step once you’ve made your list of priorities and have an idea of the look you’d like. Before you agree your final building designs with your architect, be sure to consult with your kitchen designer to ensure that you can achieve the kitchen of your dreams.
Establishing a budget is key; you can if you’re not careful get carried away and spend much more than you had in mind. It’s important for your designer to know what type of budget they’re working with, too.
So, you’ll need to know:
- The cost of building the extension (once you’ve established how you might extend your property)
- Building regulation and possible planning permission costs
- Architect fees
- Cost of relocating plumbing, gas and drainage
- The cost of the kitchen itself
- The cost of new equipment you may wish to buy such as new appliances (if not factored into the cost of the kitchen overall)
Check with your kitchen designer if any other costs may be required – they’re used to designing kitchens for many different properties, so can advise you based on their experience.
What options do you have? It’s common to extend to the side or rear of the property to effectively add space to the building as a whole, but maybe you’re thinking of converting a garage or changing an existing room layout?
Once you’ve had some thoughts on your extension type, then enlisting the help of an architect to see what is actually possible.
Your architect can advise you on what can be done and draw up plans your builder can follow and can be submitted for planning approval (if required) and compliance with building regulations.
A first step to finding a good architect is to ensure they’re RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) registered – you can find one here. Perhaps people you know can recommend a builder.
What level of service do you require? Some architects provide full project management from drawing up plans to overseeing construction while others confine themselves to the process up to when planning and building control approval is secured.
Applying For Planning Permission
You may not require planning permission if your extension would be classed as ‘permitted development.’ If you do need it, you’d apply to your local authority. You’ll certainly require building regulations approval; again, you approach your local authority for this.
Your architect will advise you on what is required and how to apply for it, and your local authority should have their planning and building permission procedures explained on their website.
Back To Your Designer
Now you know fully what type of extension you are building, your kitchen designer can help more precisely as they now know exactly what space the new kitchen will occupy. So it’s wise to have a session with them armed with this information.
Ask For Building Quotations
You’d now put your extension building project out to tender by asking some building contractors to quote for the work. You may have a builder in mind who comes recommended or you’ve worked with before, but it’s still worth having at least three builders provide a quote.
Ensure they all have the full plans and construction drawings so they can quote you as accurately as possible.
To find reputable builders, then word of mouth is a good way or you can find a competent one in your area through the FMB (Federation of Master Builders) website. The FMB has strict membership criteria and a dispute resolution service so this should help you find high calibre builders in your area.
Design Your Kitchen
Once the above has been achieved, then you’re all set to get together again with your kitchen designer and fitter to ‘rubber stamp’ the final design and schedule the installation of your new kitchen.
This is the interesting and exciting part as you can identify those little detail touches along with the larger items that will make your new kitchen the feature space in your home.