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Side return kitchen extension: costs and benefits

If you have some unused space in your property, a side return kitchen extension could be the solution to expand and improve your kitchen.

4 min read

If you’re looking to renovate your home and make your kitchen the star of the show, it’s worth considering whether a side return kitchen renovation is the right fit for you. Join us as we explore everything from what they are to what impact they could have on your property.

What is a kitchen side return extension?

If you have space to the side of your property (many Victorian terraces have unused alleyways), a side return extension is a great way of creating extra space in your home. Side return extensions (sometimes referred to as side infills) allow you to expand out into an alleyway, turning an unused area into much desired living space. A side return kitchen extension is specifically focused on creating more kitchen space, which in turn opens up the possibility of transforming your entire kitchen layout.

Kitchen side return extension example

How much does it cost to build a side return kitchen extension?

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to side return kitchen extension costs because each property and project is so individual. While we can estimate it will fall somewhere between £80-£120K, it’s not an exact science and will depend on a number of factors – from the size of the extension to the specific materials used, contractors and area you live in.

How far can your side return extension stretch?

When you’re thinking about a renovation, it can be exciting to picture your dream space as though the sky's the limit but, when it comes to side return kitchen extensions, there are some limitations to be aware of. One of these limitations is size. Here’s what you need to know: under permitted development, you can install a side extension if it's at most 4m high and has a width that's less than half the width of the original building. You’ll also need to ensure your extension is less than 2m from the boundary, with eaves height not exceeding 3m.If you have any queries about whether your project falls under permitted development or requires planning permission, book an advice call with one of our Resi experts.

What are the benefits of a side return kitchen extension?

Without a doubt, the key benefit of any extension is increasing the amount of space in your property. But that extra room comes with a number of great possibilities that can benefit your home life in terms of comfort, practicality and style. We explore some of our top perks that come with building a side return kitchen extension:

Getting a bigger kitchen

If cooking in your kitchen can often feel like an obstacle course or a perseverance test thanks to the lack of available space, it might be time to consider stretching out the space in your property to the side and increasing the size of your kitchen. Maximising the space could help you minimise clutter and find a space for everything as well as giving you freedom to move more freely and enjoy recipe-testing in a more laid-back environment.

Adding a kitchen island

A side return kitchen extension could create enough room to accommodate a kitchen island in your space. Kitchen islands are an increasingly popular addition to modern kitchens, providing ample counter space, an opportunity for putting feature lighting centre-stage and creating a more social space. Click here for more in-depth kitchen layout ideas.

Adding a kitchen island thanks to a side return kitchen extension

Adding a dining area next to your kitchen

If you love the idea of having a dedicated area of your home for dining but a separate dining room feels a little old-fashioned and kitchen islands aren’t really your thing, carving out space for a dining table alongside your kitchen could be a winning route for your renovation plans. Whether you’re crafting the area with family mealtimes in mind or dinner parties with friends, a great start is choosing a table that’s both sturdy and stylish. We love these elegant creations from Grain. For special occasions, top off your table with a simple tablecloth and statement candle holders. Inviting in more natural light

Having a side return kitchen extension carried out can turbo-charge the amount of natural light that gets into your kitchen. Typically, there would have been a wall separating the outside world and your kitchen so it would have been a lot darker. What’s more, you can adapt your extension to include large glass panels, skylights or sliding glass doors to really let the light in.

Increasing storage space

Opting for a side return extension doesn’t mean having to go totally open-plan. If what you’re looking for in more space is a discrete area devoted to tidying away clutter, a storage room could be the answer to your concerns.

Click here for more great ideas for your side return extension and try out our Quick Quote Calculator to see what your renovation options are.

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What is a kitchen side return extension?

A kitchen side return extension allows you to expand your kitchen and add more space into your home by extending your home into unused areas of your property.

How much does it cost to build a kitchen side return extension?

On average, it can cost between £80-£120K.

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