Does a kitchen extension add value? We ask the experts

kitchen side return extension
(Image credit: Brayer Design)

For most people, the kitchen really is the most important room in the house. The way in which we use our kitchens these days means that this is now far from being a purely functional space. Not only does food get prepared and cooked in the kitchen but guests tend to congregate in this spot and relaxed family meals get eaten here. 

However, whatever your kitchen extension ideas, they won't come for free and if you are not planning on staying in your home indefinitely you will no doubt be keen to know how much value a kitchen extension adds to a house before you decide whether it will be worth it.

"It has long been a popular and relatively simple idea to extend your kitchen," says Chris Husson-Martin, Head of Sales at Hamptons in Salisbury. "However, the trend has been ‘super-charged’ in recent years. The kitchen is now the heart of the home — we live, work, eat, play and relax in our kitchens."

The popularity of kitchen extensions seems to be ever on the rise, with homeowners keen to create a space capable of handling everything we expect from this room and more. We have asked the exerts for their opinions on how much a kitchen extension could add to a house, as well as for tips on the best ways to get maximum return on your investment.

How much value could a kitchen extension add?

If you are considering the idea of a kitchen extension, it is really important to be aware of how much value it will potentially add to your home. Not only is this important if you are planning on selling your home in the future, but it is also useful to know the expected uplift in value when it comes to setting out your budget — you don't want to spend more on your extension than it will ever be worth.

“The kitchen is the hub of the home and as the most multifunctional room, renovating or extending it the right way can increase the value of a property by as much as 20% — not to mention increasing its saleability," says James Bernard, Director of Plus Rooms

That kind of added value is most certainly not to be sniffed at, but not all kitchen extensions are created equal. For your extension to add value, it needs to be a well-designed, useful space that complements the rest of the layout of your house.

"A kitchen extension done right comes with a wealth of benefits and will undoubtedly enhance your home immeasurably and offer a handsome return on your investment,” says James Bernard. 

How much does a kitchen extension cost?

While a potential 20% uplift in value is obviously hugely appealing to most homeowners, you will no doubt be asking 'how much does a kitchen extension cost?'. It is really important that you have a clear idea of what your designs and plans are going to set you back in order to decide whether this is a viable project.

While the cost of your extension will very much depend on the area you live in, the size of your extension and the kind of specification you are aiming for, you can expect costs of around £1,500-£2,250/m² of new internal space — meaning a 30m² kitchen extension could be estimated at somewhere between £45,500-£67,500, plus, VAT at 20%. 

On top of that, of course, will be the costs for the kitchen itself. Average figures for new kitchens tend to sit around the £8,000 - £10,000 mark, easily rising to more than £20,000. 

wooden kitchen with corner doors

A beautiful, high-quality kitchen within a well-planned extension could add as much as 20% to the value of your home.  (Image credit: Wood Works Brighton)

What type of kitchen extensions add the most value?

To add value to your home, your kitchen extension needs to be appealing to a wide range of potential buyers and to really enhance the rest of the house and the way in which it can be used. If you plan to sell in the not-too-distant future, it makes sense to create a space which will suit the kind of people you expect to be interested in your house, rather than thinking only of your own needs.

"Kitchen extensions that can particularly add value to your home are those that create a relationship between the living space and the garden, a seamless connection from the kitchen leading to a terrace," says Chris Husson-Martin. "This means that during better weather you can create a bigger better living space utilising both kitchen and garden. This is the perfect space and will add a considerable amount of money and saleability to your home."

In addition to more natural light and a better connection with the garden, other features that can really add to the value of your home are the addition of a utility room so if you can find space for one in your kitchen extension then it will be well worth it. 

According to a survey, commissioned by UK Radiators, which questioned 1,000 British people to find out what features their dream home would include, a utility/laundry room featured in the top three (along with a walk-in wardrobe and kitchen island.) Experts tend to advise that you could expect a 5% uplift in value through the addition of a new utility room

open plan kitchen living room

Creating a good connection to your outdoor spaces through your kitchen extension will really help add value to your home. (Image credit: Porcelain Superstore)

Is a small kitchen extension worth it?

If you are worried about the cost of a kitchen extension but are keen to expand your home, it is worth bearing in mind that adding even small house extension ideas can have a huge effect on how you can use the space and the value of your home.

"Remember that bigger isn’t always better, sometimes even a foot of extra space can do wonders," says James Bernard. "There's a myriad of factors that need to be considered before embarking on a kitchen extension, including how often one cooks, the orientation of your home, storage needs, planning permission from your local council and so on. 

"Planning ahead of time is key as you want to be realistic with your budget and focus your finances on the things that matter the most. There’s nothing worse than embarking on a major project you fail to finish off, which ultimately disrupts your living conditions."

Are there any kitchen extension mistakes to avoid?

While an extension, done well, can boost the value of your property, there are a few extension mistakes commonly made to bear in mind in order that your new addition doesn't actually decrease its saleability. 

“When getting your property ready to put on the market, it’s a good idea to listen to advice from an agent as to how to present it in the best light and achieve the maximum price," says Nathaniel Wilde, Senior Head of Sales at Hamptons in Sloane Square. "I’m a big believer in advising sellers to not spend too much money before selling. It’s really important not to go overboard. I have had a few instances where sellers have ignored the advice given and put in a new kitchen purely to sell just to see a buyer rip them out unused. This is obviously a huge waste; a waste of time and of money not to mention the obvious waste in materials and labour.

"As a rule of thumb it’s always a good idea to declutter, and in some instances properties can benefit from re-painting, possibly in a neutral colour, but a complete renovation isn’t necessary."

Hampton's Chris Husson-Martin advises against adding an extension just for the sake of it. "Just strapping a box onto your existing kitchen may not be the best solution," he says. "It may not have the desired effect and may be an expensive folly when you may have been better off finding a new home rather than investing a considerable amount of capital. The advice would be to look carefully at your plans to see what it is that you want, and how best to create your new ‘heart of the home’ as it will be a special place for you to enjoy for years to come.”

"Undertaking a house extension comes with an array of benefits in regards of raising your property value and maximising your living space. However, it’s crucial that homeowners do proper research and make plans ahead before embarking on a home improvement, especially amid trying times where money pressure becomes an increasing reality," says James Bernard. "You don’t want to rush into an extension project that you regret doing later, which would cost substantially due to last-minute changes of plan."

navy kitchen island with white worktop

In some cases, simply opening up your kitchen to the other spaces in your home will be a better use of funds rather than a full-on extension. (Image credit: LochAnna Kitchens)
Natasha Brinsmead

Natasha is Homebuilding & Renovating’s Associate Content Editor and has been a member of the team for over two decades. An experienced journalist and renovation expert, she has written for a number of homes titles. Over the years Natasha has renovated and carried out a side extension to a Victorian terrace. She is currently living in the rural Edwardian cottage she renovated and extended on a largely DIY basis, living on site for the duration of the project. She is now looking for her next project — something which is proving far harder than she thought it would be.