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How to design your kitchen extension.

One of the many reasons for adding a house extension to your home is for a larger kitchen usually with a dedicated eating area rather than forming a separate dining room. This could be to make more space as the family grows, or to make it into more of a focal point or the hub for the house and change it into a Kitchen-Diner.

Whatever the reason, the new or extended kitchen will need to be designed well to meet the requirements of the family and it is important the layout this works well to also future proof the scheme for many years.

Planning a Kitchen Layout

Most of the drawing detail will be within your house extension building designers plan so you would only need to trace out the main building fabric. If not then you will first need to measure the room, draw up an overall layout, preferably on squared paper, and position the existing services (plumbing, electricity, gas point) and also the windows and doors. Remember that services can be moved if necessary, but it can be costly to do.

There are three main zones within a kitchen - food preparation, cooking, and cleaning up. These correlate to the main work surfaces (and fridge/freezer), the cooker and the sink. These zones should make a triangle called the Work Triangle. Even though the sides of this triangle do not need to be of equal length they should not normally be longer than 4.5m (4500mm) and there should be no obstacles along the length of the sides of the triangle.

Remember overall keep the design simple and make sure it works for you. You will probably be spending a lot of time in this room so make it work.

Making Your Kitchen Plan

Once you have a copy of your home extension plans or you have drawn up your own scaled plan of the kitchen on squared paper with all the relevant points marked (e.g. doors, windows, services etc) you should cut out shapes that represent the different sizes of cupboard available and also ones to represent the appliances (cooker, hob, fridge, freezer, sink etc). This makes it easier to move things around if you are not happy with a design.

Once you are happy with your design you should be able to work out exactly how many floor and wall units you require and also calculate the length of worktop required. Remember with worktop that you should avoid any joins and therefore you will need more worktop than the total length of worktops on your design.

Alternatively you can take your sketch plan or home extension plans to a specialist kitchen designer who will input their own thoughts, ideas and suggestions based upon each manufacturers products.

Buying Your Kitchen

There are 3 main options for buying a new kitchen.

Completely DIY - buy the units flat-packed, and install them yourself

Partial DIY - buy the units flat-packed, build them and have someone install them for you

Design and Fit - bring someone in to design, build and fit the kitchen while you put your feet up!

 Of course the main reason for choosing any of these options is budget, with the options generally becoming more expensive as you go down the list. This isn't always the case and if you have specific requirements it may be better value for money to go for the last option.

Enjoy Your New Home Extension Kitchen

You will be spending a lot of time in this room over the following years so make sure you are happy with the design before starting it. Remember whichever way you go when designing your new kitchen, it is there to be used and also to be enjoyed - it is not a ‘trophy kitchen’ simply to be ‘fussed around’ during a yearly dinner party to impress your friends.


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