Kitchen Extension Rules and Tips - are there any unwritten rules or tips I should know
about? - a satirical perspective.
With kitchen extensions being the most popular of all house extensions I personally
complete, it is not surprising to find that there are certain trends that could be considered as unwritten rules. A
lot of these kitchen extension rules relate to how the kitchen furniture and appliances are laid out.
Many refer to this as the golden triangle and keeping the travel distances between the fridge, sink and cooker
down to a minimum simply because these are the most used appliances within any working kitchen - and therein lies
the oxymoron! ‘working and kitchen’.
For many homeowners who have busy lives at work and externally being social, these glorified ‘trophy kitchens’
become very rarely properly used for cooking. A quick rushed breakfast or a ‘ding’ from a microwave for the Marks
and Sparks pre-prepared meals is about as far as it goes for many ‘dwinkies’ (dual income no kids).
So are these internal golden rules for the kitchen extension still good tips and relevant for today’s
complicated life styles where the travel distance between the wine cooler, dishwasher and the microwave is possibly
more important than the sink or cooker.
For the odd times of a party or the dining of the visiting parents for when the ‘trophy kitchen’ may be nearly
used for its actual purpose, having a longer travel distance between the ‘golden triangle’ may be preferable for
the entertaining host as it will give them the appearance of making them look busy doing something productive while
placing the next set of ready made vegetables from Waitrose into the microwave steamer.
A few practical rules and tips are usually applicable that may seem obvious but you would be amazed at how often
these things get overlooked. Here are my top ten list of do’s and don’ts tips for a kitchen extension:-
1 - Do not place a roof light directly over the cooker, hob or sink as heavy condensation will occur.
2 - Do not have a token gesture island. Long and big are the new designs that work better.
3 - Galley style kitchen layouts are still preferable for a true working kitchen provided they have no travel
routes through then to other parts of the house or external garden.
4 - Do not sacrifice the openness and space of a kitchen extension simply for having a dedicated utility room.
Only have a separate utility room if the feature of a large open plan kitchen and dining area is still
5 - Consider where the heating will go. A fully filled kitchen may not have any wall space for radiators.
Consider plinth heating as an alternative if wall space is limited. Use designer radiators to make an arty feature
if need be
6 - Do not use under-floor heating with a normal radiator system. Many combined systems have experienced
operational problems. Under-floor heating is not that instant and needs to be kept on. It does not respond well to
quick changes of the environment.
7 - A central island containing a sink or washing machine will require expensive underground drainage that is
often hard to fit retrospectively. External drainage exit and connection points are preferable and easier to
8 - Breakfast bars are back in but consider carefully where they are located - right in front of a hob unit is
9 - Many wall units stop well short of the ceiling wit wasted dust traps over. Why not consider adding extra
wall hung or floor standing units right up to the ceiling line for those long term storage items.
10 - Do try to make the kitchen extension part of the garden as well by including for large sections of wall
glazing and doors. Bi-fold glazed door sets rather than patio doors are a ‘must have’ accessory these days.