Kitchen Planning

Planning your kitchen extension: a step-by-step guide


If your kitchen doesn’t have the floor space to fit in all the features and areas you would like now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t ever have these. If you would love a large, open-plan kitchen, and you don’t want to move house to get one, a kitchen extension could be the solution you’re looking for. An extension can give you extra room and a better flow of space.

Those interested in a kitchen extension may not know how or when to draw up plans for its design. You may not know where to begin with any of the planning. But fear not, this article will outline the logistical side of kitchen extensions. Here are the main steps to think about when you plan a kitchen extension.


Step one – Initial planning

A kitchen extension is a big job, so thorough planning is key.

#2 Layout

This should be decided on early to allow easy and neat installation of the electrics, plumbing and any necessary windows. Questions to ask yourself at this stage include:

    • Where will you use appliances?
    • Where will you need light fittings to go?
    • Do you want to include a kitchen island?
    • How much natural light will be coming in?

#2 Cost

It is important to consider your overall budget. This will make it far easier for designers and experts to help you when it comes to choosing your fittings and materials.


Step two – Choose your architect

Now that you’ve dreamt up your ideal structure, we need advice on what’s possible. Find a RIBA Chartered architect to guide you through the planning process and help you to work on a budget. Recommendations from family and friends come in really useful too. Your chosen architect will undertake a site survey and present plans to you for approval.


Step three – Get to grips with the building regulations and planning permission

Building regulations help to ensure safety and energy efficiency, and will apply for most extension work. Your architect will be able to advise you as to whether you will need planning permission or not. Allow at least eight to ten weeks for any necessary planning applications to be processed. A simple side extension is ‘planning permission-friendly’ and can widen a narrow kitchen without stealing too much garden space. Alternatively a single-storey rear extension is also ‘planning permission-friendly’. The different types of kitchen extensions are outlined in this blog post. For more advice and information about planning permission, visit GOV.UK.


Step four – Meet with a kitchen designer

It’s time to take your architectural drawings to your favourite kitchen companies. They will fine-tune the layout and come up with designs for your approval. This means finalising layout, suppliers and wiring and plumbing plans. It’s not unusual to have multiple meetings with your designer and suppliers. They’ll be lots of important but fun decisions to make! Some useful resources to help with these are listed below:


Appliances and plumbing services:

Design features


Once the initial building works get under way, ‘second-fix’ design decisions and a tender can be made about finishes, light fittings and tiling. Allow plenty of time for flooring to be ordered.

You may have an opportunity to introduce your builder to your designers. It’s certainly not a bad idea to do so, although it’s not the end of the world if you can’t. You just need to share your structural and design plans with your builder ahead of the next step.


Step five – Find your builder

After your meeting with your designer, you can show the initial plans to your builder so that they can cost more accurately.  As with sourcing an architect, there’s a lot to be said for making use of recommendations from friends – or your architect. Get references and check that they have relevant insurances and guarantees. Costs vary for building works, so it’s a good idea to get a few quotes. Allow approximately three weeks for contractors to prepare an accurate quote (they’ll be relying on sub-contractors to price parts). Then request a proposed schedule.

Depending on the type of building contractor or company you employ, you may need to employ separate plumbers and/or electricians. Alternatively your builder may have their own ‘external’ contractors that they work with for these elements. In an ideal scenario the contractor you choose will be able to provide and project manage all of the above.

Step Six – Proposed project dates

Once you have planning approval, you’ve chosen your design plans and your kitchen is on order, you can finally get a start date in the diary! But let’s recap first – here’s your check list of how you reached this stage:

  • Independently established your rough plans and budget
  • Architect chosen
  • Reviewed and approved architect’s plans
  • Planning permission applied for and approval received
  • Builder chosen
  • Quote and schedule for building works agreed
  • Final structural and design plans shared with your builder
  • Proposed start date agreed

Step Seven – Living arrangements

In the excitement of planning and designing, this step can be forgotten about. But it’s important to make sure you have make arrangements either for a temporary kitchen or use of someone else’s kitchen while yours is being built. Sometimes builders can help you with this by moving appliances into different spaces temporarily while the work is completed so that you can continue to cook, wash up and store your food…you may just need to encroach into another room of your house!


Step Eight – Project launch

You’ll need a contract with your builder (your architect can advise you on the type required). It’s recommended to pay against completed works. For example, your contract may require staged payments against valuations. This means that your architect visits the project every payment period and issues a certificate to say what percentage of the total work is complete.

Step Nine – Snaggings and project completion

With building work finished and your kitchen installed, any snagging issues can be dealt with. Snagging issues are caused by the knock-on structural and finish effects of the building settling back on its foundations after the work is completed. When these have been completed to your satisfaction, you should you make your last payment to your builder in return for a final certificate (including electrical work and plumbing services).

Step Ten – Kitchen decoration

All of the harder stages are done and dusted. Now you can begin with the fun parts and begin to see your dream kitchen coming together. With the help of a kitchen designer you can watch your seamless scheme become a reality. Once all of the finishing touches have been made the only question to ask is, is your kitchen magazine ready? Read the blog post to find out what we mean.

For a helping hand with designing your new kitchen, or to chat with our professional designers, get in touch. At Burnhill Kitchens we pride ourselves on our beautiful designs and quality projects. We are one of southern England’s leading independent kitchen companies and one of the largest outside London.

We get booked up quickly, so come and see us soon (whatever stage of planning you’re at). We heard that 2019 was the year you get your dream kitchen…

Why wait? Request your brochure today…