With so many homes hampered by tiny, claustrophobic kitchens, a certain home improvement project has been growing in popularity: conservatory kitchen extensions! As the name suggests, the gist of this job involves building a conservatory extension leading off from a kitchen, providing extra space and an abundance of healthy natural light.
This solution offers a number of advantages, most notably that conservatories are often cheaper to build than standard extensions. They can also provide a welcome walkthrough to a property’s garden, letting in more natural light and showing off views of the outdoors. This can make a conservatory extension the perfect place to set up a space for dining or prep work; some even choose to relocate their entire kitchen to their new conservatory, freeing up valuable room indoors.
Building any kind of extension is never a tiny task. It will be important to run your idea past a local architectural designer first and foremost, as they will be able to design the conservatory and incorporate all of the materials you want to use through building information mapping. They can also predict the work necessary to alter your property’s utilities to accommodate the extension, which will be particularly important if you want to relocate the kitchen itself. That said, if you simply want a conservatory to use for dining or food preparation, an experienced local builder may be able to get the work done more cheaply.
Be sure to contact a local kitchen fitter at the start of your project. In addition to performing the kitchen fitting work, they will also be able to help you source materials at a discount and advise you on kitchen design elements. Remember, for any home improvement project experience is absolutely golden; asking the right Pro for advice could be the deciding factor that leaves you with something truly fantastic when all the work is finished.
Before we get started it is worth pointing out that extension work will, at the very least, be subject to Building Regulations. In addition to applying for approval, you may also require Planning Permission. Be sure to get consent for the work in advance: you do not want to pay for your project, only to be told that you need to undo everything because of an issue with the paperwork. This is another advantage of hiring experienced local Pros, as they should be well versed in local planning law.
The question of whether you can simply turn the conservatory that you already have into a kitchen is actually surprisingly common. In fact, it’s almost as common as the answer is blunt: probably not.
In order to accommodate a kitchen, an existing conservatory usually needs a great deal of physical work done. Ventilation will need to be added for the cooker and insulation will need to be installed in order to make the kitchen usable all year round. Many kitchens are also simply too small to comfortably contain a cooker, fridge, countertops, sink, dishwasher, washing machine and so on. Remember, it is not just about fitting them all in: you also need to be able to use them without straining yourself.
For all these reasons, using a timber framed conservatory as a kitchen is usually out of the question. Solid brick conservatories and orangeries have slightly more potential, provided they have the space, but as a general rule it usually makes more sense to build a new conservatory from scratch.
Here are generally two types of conservatory kitchen extension:
We recommend the latter for a number of reasons. First, relocating a kitchen is not just a matter of lifting the units into place. You will also need to alter your property’s plumbing, electrical and gas utilities, install ventilation above your cooker and, depending on the size of your extension, you may also need to upgrade your fuse box. This of course brings us to the second reason: price. While building a conservatory from scratch will make it easy to accommodate the necessary utilities and installation, working all this in will still be more expensive than simply creating a cosy kitchen add-on.
That said, there are a few perks to moving your kitchen. For one, it will free up valuable space indoors. Most people however do it in order to give themselves a more attractive work space (at least in the summer, before the outside views begin to turn dreary).
Whatever your decision, it will be important to plan the work carefully. Almost all projects like this are done bespoke because the structural, space and design considerations can vary considerably from house to house. Because of this we highly recommend having architectural plans drawn up by an architectural designer.
There are a few common elements, however:
If you want your project to go smoothly, there are two things for you to keep in mind: