7 tips to keep costs down when building a kitchen extension

Liv Butler
Authored by Liv Butler
Posted Thursday, July 7, 2022 - 7:01am

The cost of a kitchen extension can change tremendously depending on where you are in the UK, the size and shape of the extension you want to build, the materials you use, the quality of the contractor, and the overall complexity of your project. That being said, there are ways to keep costs down. Let’s a take a look at a few.

Tip #1: Find the right balance between your extension size and its build costs

Any properly designed and constructed kitchen extension comes at a price. So, to avoid breaking the bank, you’ll need to achieve the right size / cost ratio. How much extra space do you really need? And more importantly, how much extra space can you afford?

Tip #2: Avoid too much glazing

In a typical kitchen extension project, glazing accounts for about 15% of the total cost. So, keeping the amount of glazing at a minimum will help you keep control of your budget (and reduce stress levels!)

Tip #3: Use standard products

Another way to reduce costs is to use off-the-shelf products. Take these into account when designing your extension. For example, using standard sizes (e.g. Velux rooflights) means you won’t need any elements made to measure or bespoke, which increases costs.

Tip #4: Carefully choose your finish and fittings

Don’t settle for the first supplier you find when it comes to finish and fittings. You should choose them carefully and explore several options to get the finish you want at a decent price.

Tip #5: Keep the structure light

This will help reduce the loads on the foundations, which means you’ll require smaller foundations. This results in less digging, less labour, less concrete, and less money spent! To keep your structure light, use timber frames where possible.

Tip #6: Talk to your neighbours as early as possible

If your extension affects a party wall, you’ll need your neighbours’ agreement to start building work. So, it’s a good idea to have them on your side as early as possible. This isn’t just to avoid trouble. If they’re planning an extension too, you could look at undertaking a joint venture. Not only could you get away with a larger extension than planning authorities usually approve (because you’re reducing the impact on each other), but you could even save money by choosing one single contractor for both you and your neighbour.

Tip #7: Keep things simple

If you’re hesitating to make a decision between two solutions, always go for the simplest one. For instance, when it comes to choosing the shape of your extension’s roof, go for a flat roof rather than a pitched roof. It’ll be easier and faster to build and therefore less costly.

This can also create a great design opportunity. For instance, by opting for a cost-effective flat roof, you’ll be able to convert it into a terrace or roof garden.

From the early stages of designing your extension up until the moment you pick your builders and suppliers, there’s room to make savings. This is why it’s important to work out the best financing options for your project beforehand, be it personal savings and/or remortgaging your property.

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