Side return extensions. Worth it?

(12 Posts)
AGreatUsername Sat 08-Feb-20 14:24:28

We are debating extending into the side return on a new house. The current kitchen is only 3.5m wide so too small for the kitchen I want. The side return would add on almost 2.5m more. However (there’s always a catch!) the side return is the only source of light for the dining room. Which means we’d have two accesses and also a formal dining room still so we couldn’t have another table in the extension as you normally would.

I know they look beautiful, but is it really worth spending all that money just to get a nice island and a better shaped kitchen? What else can go in the return section (the dining room doors are pretty much flush with the boundary wall so we can’t have the kitchen on that side really)?

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BrexitBingoGenerator Sat 08-Feb-20 14:45:08

We thought of doing this for years and even went to planning with our proposals. However, it proved to be so eyewateringly expensive to do (best part of 100k) that we sold and moved instead- no side return would ever add that much value to the house.

Not sure if it helps but I watched Phil and kiraties love it or lost it the other day and there was a family with exactly this problem. They ended up knocking the front and middle rooms together to make a big kitchen/diner/open plan living space and their old kitchen became a brilliant utility room and boot room. I think they chose still to move on, but it might be a way of sorting out your dark middle room. You’d have to move pipework though and that seemed to be where all our costs came from. Good luck with it though!

BrexitBingoGenerator Sat 08-Feb-20 14:46:41

Sorry, I meant Phil and Kirstie’s Love it or List it 🙄! Stupid autocorrect!

AGreatUsername Sat 08-Feb-20 15:49:37

Thanks. We’ve had costs and it’ll be around 30k to do so not unbearable but I’m not sure it’s worth that if the only thing to really go in it is 300mm of island and a few stools. I can see it would look good but it’s such a lot of money.

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Remmy123 Sat 08-Feb-20 15:54:49

For that price it's defo worth it they look great!

Claphands Sat 08-Feb-20 17:21:02

Can’t you have skylights on the extension to give light?

AGreatUsername Sat 08-Feb-20 17:38:58

Oh sorry if I wasn’t clear. Yes, it would have either a full glass roof or big skylights, I meant that I’m unable to block up the second entrance into the area therefore have to keep a dining room attached (it doesn’t really work as a second reception/snug), so am worrying what I’d put IN the extra space if not a dining table! The other entrance can’t be blocked up either as it’d leave an awkward passage to nowhere. The kitchen would have to pretty much stay in it’s existing layout but taking the side of the house out into the return would enable me to have an island.

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bravotango Fri 11-Dec-20 10:43:12

Sorry to revive an old thread but @AGreatUsername did you go ahead with your plans? We are having the exact same dilemma!

AGreatUsername Fri 11-Dec-20 10:47:49

Hi! We didn’t. We decided it would be massive cost for minimal gain (essentially just the space for an island but not much else) and have altered plans to make the kitchen work instead. We had a quote back for 30k plus kitchen and glazing etc and just couldn’t justify it. We are knocking the living and dining into one now, but still wouldn’t really gain enough value by doing the side return, much as I’d love to. It was partially decided by our soil pipe etc being in the side return too, and rerouting drains etc just go too involved for me!

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JanewaysBun Fri 11-Dec-20 10:50:22

I'm in London where lots if people have side returns. 're the light some people put a door into the dining room to make a tiny courtyard that brings light quite well.

minipie Fri 11-Dec-20 14:16:52

Round here (Sw London) everyone who can afford it gets the side return done, as it adds more value than it costs. It doesn’t just give space for an island, it tends to mean you can have kitchen (with island), dining table, and sometimes a small seating area in the same room - so creates a big room for the family to hang out in. You get to cook in a more spacious room, which is also usually lighter than before, as people put big glass doors and a glass side roof in too.

Yes the back reception does get a little darker, people use that as a playroom for the kids, or as a tv room, or a study area.

It all depends on the economics really, cost of building work vs value added, and how cramped you feel as things are.

bravotango Fri 11-Dec-20 22:30:54

Food for thought, thanks everyone. We live in a small house so the light from the kitchen would be enough for the dining room (middle room), plus it's already been knocked through to the front room with double doors so I don't think light is an issue. More just thinking about the cost!

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