Is A Kitchen Extension Worth It?

extension kitchen melbourne

Creating your kitchen extension means you can use your ideas to create a space for your own needs. Want room for an island? Check! Need space for a dining table? Check again! If you have space, time and budget to extend, you can end up with the kitchen of your dreams.

We are a huge fan of kitchen extensions with side returns; they open up space and create that live-in kitchen that modern families are craving. This is one of the projects that we have done at my own home: I’ve extended out the back of the property into the garden to create a large open-plan living space, with defined areas for relaxing, cooking and eating. Kitchens do sell houses and a well-designed extension that makes the most of the existing space, the area to the back and the under-utilised areas to the sides of a house, can have a really impressive result.

If you’ve got a small kitchen, you probably know how much of a pain it can be. In a home, the right kitchen can become a hub of family activity, with cooking, entertaining and relaxing all taking place in a large, well-designed space. But, with a small kitchen, your chances of that are pretty slim.

This is where small kitchen extensions come in. By cleverly building on your kitchen and designing with space in mind, you can create a space you can only dream of right now. At MJS Construction Group, we have the best dual occupancy selection to make your house a dream come true.

melbourne extension kitchen

Things To Take Into Consideration

There are a few things to consider before you start planning your extension. This includes what type of extension will work for you. Separate dining and utility rooms used to be very popular, whereas now there’s a preference for open-plan spaces. Kitchen extensions can provide more options for cooking but also an area for dining, relaxing, and entertaining guests, so think about what you want to achieve with it.

Kitchen extension ideas go beyond simply making more room – they can change the feel of your house entirely. Some extensions will open into the garden, bringing the outside in for a fresh air dining experience. Others create a more flexible space for the whole family to enjoy.

The size of your extension depends on the room of your plot and what your budget is – an extension is a major investment, and planning permission must be sought before you go ahead.

Starting from scratch means there are no constraints in terms of existing electrics and plumbing, but all extensions do involve significant upheaval, so be prepared. When you’re planning a kitchen extension, cost should also be a deciding factor.

Kitchen Extensions

It’s important to get extensions right, or they can end up looking like a box attached to your existing kitchen. Planning their layout and is important, not only aesthetically but also in terms of space. With a good extension, the original kitchen and the new area should blend seamlessly. A badly planned kitchen will waste precious space that you have paid to add. It’s an area that benefits from a lot of glazing, and if you’re going to extend your property, you’ll need to consider lighting carefully. I have large skylights in my extension that fill the space with natural light — without them, the room would feel too dark. Any glazed areas must comply with building regulations. Although expensive, I would recommend using as much glazing as possible even though they are not the most energy-efficient option.

Popular now are fully glazed sliding door walls. These not only allow a lot of light into the room, but they also allow your garden to become an extension of your home — even when the weather doesn’t permit you to open them!

Side Return Extensions

You might not think it worth extending a measly few feet either side of your property, but it’s the fact that this subsequently enables much improved ‘use of space’ to the remainder of the room — you’ll be surprised what a difference it can make. A few extra feet width to a room opens up space and can make what was an average size room look a lot bigger. Side returns on their own might not be worthwhile, team them with a single-storey extension; however, and the additional cost is minimal. One of the main advantages of extending into the passages/spaces between terraced houses is that these are areas of wasted space, so extending into them certainly won’t feel like it’s compromising your outside space.

If you are considering extending your kitchen/living space, I would certainly recommend a single-storey extension, extending into the side returns where possible. Team it with lots of glazing, and you’ll have a space that not only provides you with a modern family living space but an improvement that could dramatically increase your home’s resale value.

The Benefits of Kitchen Extensions

Extending your kitchen comes with a wealth of benefits that make it worthwhile. You can create the space that you and your family need, making life a whole lot easier and maximising its practicality.

Not only does cooking up tasty, homemade meals become a lot easier and enjoyable when you have the room, you also have more space to store and display all those gadgets you’ve wanted—dreaming of a large, double-door fridge? Now you can have one! Imagining clutter-free, magazine-worthy countertops? A kitchen extension can make it a reality!

You can also increase the value of your home with small kitchen extensions, meaning you can get the money you spend on it back and your home will be a lot more desirable on the property market.

Types of Small Kitchen Extensions

The most popular type of kitchen extension is the single-story option. This is when you only build-out of the lower floor of your home, extending the space into the land around your house for a large, open kitchen.

Side return extensions are great for homes (usually period properties) that have a small alley running outside next to the kitchen which isn’t used. You can build out into this area, making the most of the land you have.

A wrap-round extension can maximise the space of your kitchen. This is when the extension moves out from both sides of your home – the side return and the rear.

If you want to let the light into your kitchen, you could opt for a conservatory extension. These can open up a small space and are usually cheaper than the other extensions mentioned. If you want to incorporate a dining or living area into your kitchen, this is a great small kitchen solution.

How Much Will It Cost?

Every extension will have a different figure when it comes to cost, so we can’t pin down a price. If this is a concern for you, get a professional at Bluelime Home Design to come and check out the area for you – we’ll be able to give you a more insightful quote.

What we can tell you, however, is that your small kitchen extension should add around 5-10% to the overall value of your property – a good return!

Kitchen Extension Ideas

Looking for beautiful kitchen extension ideas? Our showcase of light and bright kitchen extension ideas will inspire and help you create your perfect scheme, transforming a cramped layout into an inviting modern space for cooking, dining and family time.

One of the most popular building projects for homeowners, the kitchen extension can create a big open-plan living space for cooking, dining and lounging. As well as adding more space, it can also increase the value of your home, if you decide to sell.

A must-have in new properties and one of the top remodelling projects in period homes, the generous open-plan kitchen is now the epicentre for modern living. There are several ways to scale-up space, from combining adjoining rooms or adding a conservatory to building a completely new room or digging out the basement. Be under no illusions, and all options require time and money but, once the dust has settled, it’s a decision many celebrate. At MJS Construction Group, we offer a wide range of home builders Melbourne.

kitchen extensionIncorporate structural elements

Instead of trying to hide structural steel beams, turn them into part of the design. In this instance, the black patio window frames and black steel beam bring balance and interest to this simple white kitchen.

Be brave with wall colour

Love pink, the colour of the moment but scared it will date quickly? Why not experiment with a small section of the wall above the tiles? After all, it’s not a huge deal if you decide to change it at a later date.

Make storage attractive and accessible

Don’t want to waste time rummaging for things in the backs of cupboards? Create an open shelving system like this one, and you’ll have utensils, cookery books and other items that you frequently use to hand when you need them.

Bring warmth with brick

If you’ve built a new wall or relocated one as part of your extension, leaving the bricks exposed on the inside will give your kitchen character and warmth. Reclaimed bricks look best as the irregularity of colour and texture will pick up other tones in your cabinetry and flooring.

Extend out with a side return

Extending out to the side is a good option if you live in a semi-detached or detached home, as it doesn’t mean using garden space. You may lose side access to your garden though, and planning permission can be trickier as it will be determined by how close you are to you neighbour’s boundary.

For period terraced homes the path or back garden to the side of a kitchen at the rear, called the side return can be extended into to create a kitchen that runs the full width of the house. Remember, though, to consider how the light will then reach the rooms, and the new space will extend over. You can also combine rear and side extensions for a stunning wrap-around kitchen.

Make colour the star

In an all-white or neutral kitchen, pick a standout shade for a single feature. This will simplify and streamline the scheme, particularly in a smaller extension.

In this stunning space, reflective turquoise glass is the material of choice for the splashback, and it has been repeated as a decorative feature on the kitchen island. The island also functions as a space divider that defines the dining area on its opposite side.

Consolidate storage

Plan your kitchen extension storage with care. If you have space, it pays to keep cupboards to a specified area rather than have them dotted all around.

In this impressive extension, base and wall units have been banked together on a single wall and long, full-width island. This not only keeps everything close to hand at the busy, business end of the space but allows you to coordinate your colour scheme – in this case, a dark-grey matt paint finish.

kitchen extension melbourne

Use a peninsula as a divider

Define the different functions of your extension with well-placed units. If you have extended out into your garden from the back wall of your house, the line of the old wall will quite often make a natural dividing point for the new extension.

Here, a rigid steel joist and window mark the spot. The worktop below houses a sink, a couple of cupboards and a mini breakfast bar and divides the working kitchen from the dining and sitting area overlooking the garden.

Consider glazed doors

In larger extensions with high ceilings, you may feel you need more than furniture to divide up an open-plan space. These full-height sliding glazed doors are a revelation, adding smart, defined verticals to the design and marking a change of function between kitchen and living areas without screening anything from view.

Low-hanging pendants and fabulously tall storage emphasise the height of this space, with cornflower blue paintwork and slate wall tiles uniting the decorative elements.

Build-in, build-out

Enjoy the freedom to fit out a room from scratch. Plan your new extension carefully, and in a perfect world, you will end up with a room that balances practicality and beauty.

Every appliance and every ounce of storage will occupy its ideal spot. This kitchen uses a false wall to house built-in ovens, open shelving and upright and overhead cupboards. At the same time, the hob, sink, wine cooler and supersized drawers have been incorporated into a stand-alone island.

Unite a multifunctional space with wood

Use a single material throughout an extended space to keep the feel orderly, contained and open. This extension features a country kitchen with a breakfast bar, a seating area and a separate dining space.

Decoratively, this could be a messy arrangement, but the use of wood throughout brings its own settled order. From the fitted shelves and larder unit at the back of the room, through to the impressive breakfast bar at the centre and out to the low coffee table, farmhouse dining table and mismatched chairs, the warm wood tones unite the scheme, with pops of vibrant colour on soft furnishings and ceramics to add to the fun.

What Is The Cost Of A Side Return Extension?

To get the best estimate of your side return extension cost, check out our extension cost calculator. You need to enter some details on the size, your location and the rooms you are renovating, and our cost calculator will give you a high-level view. We have included everything in here, including VAT, finishes and professional fees, so it should give you a good indication of cost ahead of working with an architect.

Once you have a high-level view, your architect and builder will guide you as you go to give you a firm view of the costs. This cost will vary depending on your design, product specification, individual property and location. For example, if you are looking to install a high-end kitchen, then the costs will be considerably more than if you are reusing your existing kitchen.

How Long Does A Side Return Extension Take?

You should allow between 3-4 months for the side return extension, and this is assuming that you have things such as planning permissions and party wall act already agreed. This time will allow for the actual build as well as fitting the kitchen, doors and finishings. A side return can be carried out quicker than this, but this is dependent on everything going smoothly, and the builders had no delays on other projects. Hence, it’s best to allow slightly longer to keep your sanity and manage your expectations!

How Do I Maximise Light In A Side Return Extension?

As a side return typically joins on to a wall, there is no option for a window where you would have previously had one. So you have to make sure you allow as much light as possible to flood in, or the room may feel dark. 

Simple adjustments are to add in several skylights, which is the cheapest option. A really popular and modern look is a glazed ceiling or glazed extension which will maximise the light coming in, and also helps let more light into your neighbours home. Floor to ceiling windows is also an ultra-modern look that allows more light in.

If you are choosing to extend to the rear at the same time, this is a great opportunity to incorporate large sliding or bi-fold doors to maximise the light.

Aside from glazing, there are other ways to keep the place from appearing dark. Light walls and flooring will automatically brighten the space, even if you are choosing a dark kitchen. Keeping the open space plan through to the hall will allow more light to flood in naturally too. MJS Construction Group has the best range of dual occupancy builder services to help you create your dream house.

Any Other Advice?

It’s best to get your neighbours on side early in the process as your side return will likely have an impact on them, even if it’s only the construction of it. Chat to them ahead of submitting plans and work with your architect to look at how your extension will get the support of your neighbour, minimising issues! 

Of course, you probably want to keep the price down on your kitchen extension. Cost is affected by how complex the build is; keeping it simple makes things cheaper. It’s a good idea to avoid having things made to order and if you’re confident, take on some of the work yourself. Avoid unusual room shapes, as labour and material might cost more, and try to avoid building over a maintenance hole, as this will mean diverting the drain.

It may not be the easiest way to upgrade your kitchen, but if you decide to go for a kitchen extension, all the hard work should be worth it when you have your new dream space.

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