As the heart of the home, the kitchen needs its fair share of space in order to function on both a practical- and visually pleasing level (what’s the point of having beautiful cabinetry that don’t help you out with storage, right?). But to achieve that level of perfect balance, sometimes it’s necessary to renovate your existing space and opt for a kitchen extension.
Whether that home improvement project is only squeezing in a few extra metres of legroom or completely changing your entire home’s layout, it is still going to require good management from the beginning to the end. After all, you don’t want to be hit with massive renovation costs due to unforeseen or unplanned occurrences, do you?
So, to avoid a nasty surprise, let’s see some good-to-follow tips…
Most budgeting problems occur due to lack of organisation and the fact that not all costs are being factored in correctly.
Kick off your project with a good spreadsheet system which includes all estimated costs and quotes, then add in all labour and material receipts as the job progresses. Save everything in date order and pay out of one account to keep things clear.
The running total allows you to keep track of costs and make savings decisions if required.
Before you phone up a professional kitchen planner or builder, ask yourself what you want to achieve with that extension. Extra working space? An open-plan layout ideal for socialising? Once you can answer this question, you can decide a budget for each area and where you can make savings and investments.
For example, if a designer kitchen is your dream, you could save on materials, or you could go for a more affordable kitchen if your extension design ideas require bespoke, highly finished materials.
homify hint: Always include 10% contingency in your budget for unforeseen events. Trust us – it makes all the difference!
Right at the very early planning stages of your project, you need to start pricing up the amounts for materials, fixtures, labour, fittings, etc. Add this to your spreadsheet tracker.
In general, a straightforward brick extension’s costs rise once three main things are added: bi-fold or sliding doors, glazing to the roof, and underfloor heating. If including all of these rips your extension budget to shreds, go back to the drawing board and see where savings can be made, such as opting for a cheaper design.
Trust the experts; take your roughly laid-out plans to a good design showroom and get advice on where your new kitchen would be best positioned (it could be in a totally different place you initially thought).
An architect, interior designer or kitchen specialist should be able to offer their expertise in terms of both space and cost – but ensure that they know your overall budget so that they can present you with realistic and achievable solutions.
Where can you cut costs? Can you, for example, project manage the extension and installation yourself instead of paying someone else to do it?
Remember that this takes time and good organisation skills, so don’t attempt it if you work full-time or are not a DIY pro.
Try and avoid the harsh months of winter, as bad weather will delay that project and cause costs to rise.
Compare every single thing. Even bricks or roof tiles vary widely on price, so check this with your builder and play off suppliers against each other to get a better deal.
It is your utmost right to shop around and find the best price. And remember: the more you save on basic materials, the more you get to splurge on the final finishes.
It’s so easy for costs to skyrocket with bespoke and high-end kitchen installations, which is why you should know your budget cap.
Research prices from high-end showrooms, more affordable builder companies and even a DIY option to see the difference in overall costs before committing to a choice.
List every last detail if you’re project managing yourself (unit numbers for doors, cabinet handles, worktops, appliances, etc.) and keep track of any extras or savings on your spreadsheet breakdown.
Worktops can make or break your kitchen’s look, but also your budget. So, mix and match expensive surfaces with less costly ones to create not only a unique design, but room in your budget to spend on other areas.
For example, there are some fantastic laminate worktops available designed to look like real wood or stone – a much more affordable option compared to the real deal. Find good, local suppliers and buy direct rather than through the showroom, who’ll add a mark up.
Even though you should look for the best builder you can afford, remember that the best is not always the cheapest. Draw up a list of the work your project requires and ask at least three separate tradesmen to provide quotes based on your list.
Good quality bi-fold doors are worth the investment, but even though you shouldn’t skimp, you also need to shop around.
Look for customer reviews and, if possible, visit properties where styles have been installed for a first-hand look.
With taps, you get what you pay for. Consider whether a hot or filtered water surface-mounted tap would be a good investment for your family.
The devil is in the detail, which means stylish cabinet knobs (or a charming backsplash, or exquisite ceiling pendants) can change the entire look of your kitchen.
Don’t be rushed when it comes to the little things.
Have a look at these: 13 practical solutions you’ll find useful in the kitchen.