A kitchen extension can transform your home, adding valuable space and enhancing your living environment. However, it’s a significant investment that requires careful planning and execution. 

To help you avoid common pitfalls, here are 10 mistakes to steer clear of when planning your kitchen extension.

1 – Not Considering How you’ll Use the Space

One of the most common mistakes when building a kitchen extension is not considering how you actually use your kitchen, and focusing on aesthetics or trends instead. This can lead to a kitchen that looks great but lacks functionality, like insufficient surface space or unused seating areas.

Think carefully about how you use your kitchen day-to-day. If you have a family, consider how everyone uses the space, where they like to eat, and where they spend their time. Do you want a kitchen island, so family members or guests can sit while someone cooks, or a table in the kitchen for meal times. Tailor your extension to your lifestyle to ensure your kitchen is practicable and enjoyable.

Consider the ‘working triangle’ of your kitchen – the relationship between the fridge, sink and cooker – designed to make cooking and cleaning as efficient as possible. Optimising this layout will provide functionality and ease of movement. Also, plan for adequate waste disposal with enough bins, conveniently near preparation and cleaning areas. Don’t forget to consider the placement of electrical outlets; make sure there are enough to accommodate appliances like toasters, mixers and coffee machines.

2- Being Led by Trends

Don’t be led by what you see! Following trends can negatively impact the long-term value of your home. Trends come and go, so whether you’re designing the kitchen for yourself or thinking about future resale value, opting for a timeless design that emphasises functionality and efficiency will offer a better return in the long run. Creating a kitchen that is practical and suits you should be your top priority.

You can still create a beautiful extension that feels contemporary without being entirely trend-driven. Trends can be very useful for inspiration so do that, identify the elements you like, and incorporate those features into a more timeless design. This approach will enable you to create a kitchen that’s stylish and endures the test of time.

3- Not Making the Most of Natural Light

The amount of natural light in your home can make a huge difference to the overall appearance as well as your mood and health. Increasing natural light is especially beneficial for your mental well-being.

Opt for a kitchen design that enhances natural light through strategic glazing and thoughtful layout. Consider how the light changes throughout the day and how the direction your kitchen faces affects this. Ideally, you want to harness natural light as possible from south, east and west. Use this as a guide for window placement, incorporating larger windows and skylights where they will capture the most light. Introduce big glazing elements thoughtfully to enhance light without overwhelming the space. Strategic placement can have a profound effect without the need for excessive glazing.

4- Forgetting Your Outside Space

Don’t forget to consider how your kitchen integrates with your outside space. Designing with your outdoor area in mind can create a more seamless flow between the two, giving the illusion of a larger kitchen. Utilise glazing and even matching materials to merge the indoors with the outdoors, creating a unified feel.

One trend that seems to be here to stay is bringing the outdoors in, which can serve as great inspiration. Opt for glazing that showcases your garden and consider natural materials and colours in your extension design to infuse your home with nature.

5- Going Too Far

It’s easy to get carried away with the idea that a more open-plan layout is always better, leading to extensive wall demolition. Especially if you’re on a budget, consider how you can achieve your goals with minimal structural alterations. Go for options that require fewer changes and explore how you can utilise the existing layout to create your extension.

Excessive structural changes can also lead to issues down the line. Going for a design that is too open-plan can compromise the structural integrity of your home. Think carefully about the long-term consequences of removing too much structural support and balance openness with practical considerations for a design that’s stylish and sustainable.

6- Not Enough Storage

Another common mistake when it comes to kitchen renovation is not creating enough storage. Kitchens require ample storage for everything from crockery to gadgets to food items.

Think about the storage you need and how you want it to look. If you prefer a rustic style, open shelving can be a great solution, especially if you’re limited on space as they can utilise vertical space. However, this does require more cleaning to maintain. Alternatively, explore clever storage solutions like turnstyle pan cupboards, pull-out racks and hidden waste bins to maximise efficiency without compromising on style.

7- Counter space 

Another common pitfall in kitchen design is not allocating enough counter space. Consider your cooking habits – if you’re an avid cook or baker, you’ll likely need more counter space to work comfortably. On the other hand, if cooking isn’t a priority, you can allocate more space for other things such as additional floor space or alternative units. Increasing storage will also help free up some space.

Take into account the appliances and items that will occupy your countertops permanently, as these will inevitably reduce your available workspace. Consider if you have anything specific like a coffee station in mind that you’d want to dedicate accordingly. Be realistic about what you can fit into your design to achieve a balance between functionality and aesthetic.

8 – Poor ventilation

Ventilation is extremely important in kitchen design because it is the area most prone to dampness and odours, which can lead to poor air quality and negatively affect both your interior and quality of living. Extractor fans are vital for dealing with damp air and preventing it from circulating through the house. There are a variety of options available, catering to different budgets, that can effectively enhance air quality and eliminate impurities.

Good ventilation systems not only reduce odours but also improve energy efficiency by removing cool air along with smoke and maintaining an optimal temperature. Your glazing choices can also improve ventilation. Thoughtfully designed windows can enhance airflow to ensure a fresher, more pleasant kitchen environment. Prioritising ventilation in your kitchen design is essential for creating a healthy, comfortable living space.

9 – Using wrong materials 

While it might be tempting to cut costs by choosing cheaper materials, this can backfire in the long run. Low-quality materials can wear out quickly, leading to more frequent repairs and replacements. Invest in durable, high-quality materials for cabinetry, countertops, flooring, and fixtures to ensure your kitchen extension stands the test of time.

10 – Ignoring energy efficiency

Ignoring energy efficiency in your project is a missed opportunity. Building with energy efficiency in mind is crucial not only for reducing the cost of living but also for increasing the long-term value of your property. While it may require initial investment, the payoff in the long run is substantial.

Take a holistic approach to energy efficiency throughout the entire project, from insulation to glazing. Consider investing in premium glazing products that offer superior thermal performance. Evaluate your heating system, especially if you’re expanding your space. A new boiler can significantly improve energy efficiency, reducing your carbon footprint and utility bills. Prioritising energy efficiency in your project not only benefits you financially but also contributes to a more sustainable future.
Looking to extend your kitchen? Contact Build Team today and embark on a seamless journey to transform your home with our expertly guided and comprehensive extension services.