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We’re hopefully moving into our new house in the next few months, and although it is perfectly fine to move into and make it it our own from off it doesn’t stop me daydreaming about the future and what we can do to improve it. One of those things is a side return extension to make the kitchen into a bigger space and link it up to the dining room. I’ve been doing a lot of research on pinterest and other blogs of people who have done similar and have put together four important questions to ask before you get started.
Affordability vs Property Price
Will it increase the cost of your property? If the answer is no then you need to think very carefully about going ahead. If you plan on spending the rest of your life in your house then it doesn’t matter too much, but if you plan on selling at some point in the future you want to make sure you get back at least what you spend but preferably more! A large kitchen is a must for most of us these days especially people with little kids or who like to entertain, so seems to be one of the things that does seem to guarantee an increased price vs a similar property with a small kitchen.
Get expert advice
As well as getting advice on whether planning permission is needed (in the UK you can extend by up to 6 metres in total, but no more than 3 metres past the end of your house without permission) you need to consider the type of foundations you need for the type of house you have and the extension you want. A structural engineer will be able to advice on the type of foundations you need and a domestic concrete supplier will be able to quote for the material.
Impact on your life
Will you be able to stay at home with the work going on? Or will you need to find somewhere else to stay? For all of the build or part of it? A lot depends on how long it will take, but always take the contractors estimates with a pinch of salt – and don’t forget that once the build is complete you still need to get the interiors done – new kitchen fittings, electrics, doors etc. If you’ve got a room you could move a microwave, kettle and toaster into you could probably survive for a couple of weeks – but any longer and you might be wanting to escape from the noise, dust and boring dinners!
Think about the light
We would be extending sideways to make a wider kitchen rather than a longer one, which would effectively eradicate a kitchen window and the double doors from the dining room into garden. I am planning sky lights to ensure that the light still floods the room without the window we’d be losing, as well as strategically placed light fittings inside. You do also have to take into consideration the ‘right to light’ of your neighbours – I think we’d be okay on this front as it would just be a single storey extension.
Hopefully if you’re in a similar position to me this has given you something to think about, and I also found this website super helpful too in terms of design and what might work in our new house