How to plan a kitchen extension

Updated April 17, 2017

Building a kitchen extension is a costly and time-consuming project, but with proper planning, it can be accomplished economically, smoothly and in a timely manner. Before taking on a kitchen extension project, consider the pros and cons of kitchen remodelling versus kitchen extension. Determine if upgrading the cabinetry or countertops, or repositioning the work triangle in your kitchen will resolve your dilemma. If building a kitchen extension is the answer to your kitchen needs and desires, then seek out advice from recommended and professional contractors. Select a contractor and subcontractors to build our kitchen extension.

Go to your planning department to obtain the rules and requirements for permits needed to build a kitchen extension. If a community association exits, approach the community manager to obtain the community rules for building a kitchen extension.

Seek advice from a plumber who can recommend to you the proper location and plumbing for the kitchen sink, dishwasher and refrigerator. The location of the wall will be determined by the dishwasher vent and other factors, such as the location of the water pipe connection from under the sink to the refrigerator's water dispenser.

Seek advice from a licensed electrician, who can recommend the proper distances for light switches and fixtures, electric outlets for the stove and dishwasher. Maintain equal heights for electrical outlets and switches.

Seek advice from a contractor who can recommend to you the location of walls, window fixtures and door entries. The contractor can recommend the type of foundation for the floor and if any walls need to be taken down or added.

Decide where your kitchen extension will be added and where the window fixtures, kitchen sink and kitchen appliances will be. Using a pencil and ruler, draw a simple sketch of the kitchen extension on graph paper. Write down the measurements of cabinets, countertops, kitchen sink and other appliances, as well as doorways and windows.

Present a simple sketch to your contractor and other subcontractors. Ask them to study the extension and ask for changes or recommendations to the sketch and plan.


Measure the distance between the kitchen sink, refrigerator and stove. A work area with a distance of less than 3.7 metres (12 feet) will be too tight, while a distance of more than 6 metres (20 feet) will be too far apart. The standard width of kitchen cabinets are 76 cm (30 inches) and 91 cm (36 inches). The standard width of a dishwasher or an electric stove is 76 cm (30 inches).


Only deal with licensed contractors and subcontractors. Research how to negotiate and write up fair and clear contracts. Always obtain the required legal permits for building a kitchen extension.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Graph paper
  • Ruler
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About the Author

Based in Hawaii, Cristina Hagan has been writing since 2008. She has worked as a technical writer for Toyota and her articles appear on eHow. Hagan is an early childhood educator registered with Hawaii Careers with Young Children. She holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from California State University, Los Angeles.