Design Process

Planning a side return or kitchen extension may seem overwhelming at first, but using the right home extension company can make it so much easier!

Every kitchen extension is different as there are so many way and options available to you to really make the design your own.

The design process for a kitchen extension typically follows a similar pattern which makes it pretty straightforward to get your head around. When planning your side return or kitchen extension, you’ll find the process tends to follow a standard order of events:

1. Choosing Contractors / Design and Build Company 

Some homeowners prefer to select their own contractors and essentially build their own team from scratch, while others prefer an all-in-one design and build company to oversee the entire design and build process. The advantage of a design and build company is that you have a single point of contact – your dedicated project manager – and this can also be a very cost effective option. If selecting your own contractors, be sure to obtain at least 3 quotes so you can be sure you’re getting a good deal.

2. Designing your Extension

The first steps to beginning your project are carried out by your selected architect or design and build company. You’ll work closely with them to design the plans for your side return extension or kitchen extension; they will take into account your budget and any time schedules or restraints.

3. Applying for Planning Permission

In some cases, you will not need to apply for planning permission for a side return or kitchen extension, instead but you will need a Certificate of Lawful Development, if the extension does not exceed 4 metres in height.

However, if you are extending over multiple storeys, or if your plans do not meet the government’s ‘permitted developments’ guidelines then you will need to submit your architect’s plans to your local planning council for approval. Your design and build company or architect will act as you agent during the planning application process.

4. Arranging a Party Wall Agreement 

If your home extension plans include work that needs to be undertaken to an adjoining wall separating your property from your neighbour’s property, then you will need to ensure a Party Wall Agreement is in place. A Party Wall Agreement ensures that both you and your neighbour are protected in case of damage to their property. If you choose to work with a design and build company, they can arrange the agreement on your behalf.

5. Structural Engineering and Building Regulation Drawings

You will require structural calculations, carried out by a structural engineer, and Building Regulation drawings. These act as a guide, ensuring your contractors build your extension to your specifications in a safe and secure manner in accordance with Building Regulations.

Building Regulations are in place to ensure that any construction to residential properties is carried out in a safe and responsible manner.

If you’re planning a side return extension or kitchen extension, you will need to have the project monitored by Building Control or an Approved Inspector to ensure that the building work is being carried out correctly. If you’re working with a design and build company, they can appoint an Approved Inspector on your behalf.


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