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How do we go about an extension and new kitchen...I have no idea where to start!

(9 Posts)
wideawakenurse Sat 15-Oct-11 06:03:35

We are hoping to do an extension of our current kitchen, knock through the utility room to have one big kitchen/dinner.

Had a builder come round last night, who thought it was able pretty much 'do-able'. He also said that he can just do the basic building work or we can get him to do all the electrics etc, and finish it to an agreed standard.

There are two things I am really confused about.

Firstly, we would need either planning/regs from the council. Builder says we need to submit some plans to them. In terms of level of detail what should these be like? (They will be pretty crap - coming from me grin)

Secondly, we havent really considered what kitchen we would like as everything is dependant on price. (We have further major work to do in other areas). How do you work out if you want the builder to do things for you, or whether you are going to use a kitchen fitting company? If you go for the later, how do you tie up the two, i.e tell the builder where you want plumbing points etc if he is not fitting your kitchen.

Help, I am confused!

DottyP Sat 15-Oct-11 08:16:43

Hi - we are going through the same thing at the mo although building an extension across the back of our house to extend the kitchen into. Completely understand how confusing it all is (and still is!). We had a structural engineer draw up the plans (cheaper than an architect). Get a recommendation from friends. If you aren't taking out any major load bearing walls or building foundations then this should be really straightforward. Get several builders round to look because they may draw them up for you and a good builder will guide you through the process. I have had kitchen design drawn up by a couple of kitchen companies - Benchmarx and Howdens and still haven't decided on final design or who will fit it. Depends on price but I've told builder approx where the sink will go and extractor hood so they can make sure services are in place whoever I decide to fit it. Budget is really important for me. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is choose a builder who has been recommended and go and see their work. We have just learned a very hard lesson by going for the cheapest and having to get rid of them after a week. Fortunately got fantastic one now.

Pendeen Mon 17-Oct-11 13:48:36

Here's some useful links...

Planning & Building Regulations guidance here:

The Interactive House

Also check Party Wall Act here:

PWA Guide

Contract suitable for small scale domestic projects:

Homeowners Contract

and, (here's the advertisement) if you want peace of mind, have a chat with a local Architect before doing anything...

Pendeen's Good Deed for fellow Architects

Best of luck! smile

seasidesister Mon 17-Oct-11 14:17:19

Agree with Pendeen. Get an architect round to talk through your ideas. Ours came up with great ideas we would never have though of. They will make sure you get appropriate permissions and also make you get enough quotes from builders.

seasidesister Mon 17-Oct-11 14:17:37


Lizcat Mon 17-Oct-11 15:46:02

You can get pre-planning advice for free from your planning department that helps you make an application that they are likely to accept.

Itsjustafleshwound Mon 17-Oct-11 15:54:03

Make friends with your neighbours and see how/what they have done to extend
Make friends/speak to the council planning office - they are the 'horse's mouth' when it comes to what is acceptable/regulated
Subcontracting can be difficult - it requires a LOT of micro management and ensuring that things are done as per plans. Having someone responsible to bring it up to a certain standard makes it easier. It is also a good idea to have a 'fixed price' contract - so no surprises.

wideawakenurse Mon 17-Oct-11 17:12:54

Thank you so much for all the advice and great links Pandeen.

Well, now we are starting off with converting the loft so the kitchen is on hold till next spring. DC2 is on the way, so bedroom space is needed.

Still got to get though planning though!

Thanks again.

drcrab Mon 17-Oct-11 20:24:19

My dh is an architect who's just started his own practice and would be willing to do 'small jobs' like this for v reasonable prices. At the moment he has a few house extensions both upwards and backwards (lofts and kitchens) and garage conversions too. I think it's probably safest to go with an architect. They can suggest also surveyors and builders who they've worked with so you get a 'package'. Good luck. We hope to do the same when we move in a few weeks time! fingers crossed

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