The humble bungalow is an often-overlooked housing option in the UK – but not anymore. Built from the 1950s onwards, these humble, detached, single-storey homes have one feature in abundance that other properties don’t: potential. Using thoughtful bungalow extension designs, like this example in Richmond from Plus Rooms, homeowners can entirely transform these humble properties, reinventing the floor plan, creating the large living spaces needed for modern family life, and adding considerable property value in the process. It sounds like a win-win situation and many homeowners are ready to hit the ground running with new property designs – but there’s a lot to consider before you take on this major project. 

Deciding on Your Design Brief

Bungalow kitchen extension in Richmond, London

The time of cookie-cutter homes is in the past, and everyone wants a home that’s not only different but – more importantly – works specifically for their needs. That means that every extension needs to be based on what you want from your home; from the current lifestyle you lead to the future you’re planning for. In a typical design brief, you’ll need to consider:

  • Budget – This includes budget allocations for essentials and wish list items, as well as a maximum budget that includes a 10-15% contingency.
  • Challenges of the current house – A list of what isn’t working in the current house. Is it too dark? Is there no space for your children to have their own rooms? Is there no space for entertaining? Are there underutilised areas?
  • Lifestyle – The style of your home should support the type of lifestyle you want to lead. For example, you might want to spend more time together as a family, so you need large open spaces that can be zoned for different uses but still allow you to easily watch the children or chat together. You might want your parents to come live with you, so you need a fully independent flat on your ground floor, changing your entire floor plan. Or you might entertain a lot, and need a space that flows well into the garden and is integrated with a fire pit, outdoor bar area, or sitting area.
  • Must-haves – These are the basic features of the bungalow extension that you aren’t prepared to compromise on. For example, having a certain number of bedrooms or bathrooms on the ground floor, the minimum size for your kitchen, if you want a combination kitchen and dining room, and so forth.
  • Wish list – These are bonus spaces and features that you’d like added in but have room to compromise. For example, having a chef’s kitchen with luxurious features, creating artistic character in the space, adding another WC, or having more expensive fittings and cabinetry.

The Style Choices for Bungalow Kitchen Extensions

Kitchen extension view from inside

Of course, a design specialist can help you develop the perfect style for your kitchen extension, but there is one important consideration for you to think about before you start with the details. This is about whether your extension will be seamless or deliberately different.

  • Seamless extensions – These are designed to look as if they have always been a part of the original home design, and they use the same materials, architectural features, and proportions to carry this off. The result is that your entire home is one single design style, which can look exceptionally attractive in an architecturally unique home. It can be a more challenging project, however, because you have to match materials and architectural styles exactly and getting them a little incorrect or changing details can make the extension jar with the original building.
  • Contrasted extensions – The popular alternative is to make the bungalow kitchen extension unmistakably different from the original building. The styles must complement each other, making them look as good together as they look apart. For example, you could have a plastered and painted or glassed flat roof extension sitting against a traditional brick or stone wall. Think about it a bit like having worn vintage denim and a crisply tailored white shirt – each item adds to the complete look, enhancing both. This also works well because modern features are better at delivering the kind of lifestyle we want from our home, bringing in the light and space most of us want from our extensions.

In this Richmond home, our team was able to take the best from both design approaches. The home is effortlessly enhanced by creating an open plan living and dining area with modern features including large-scale glazing and skylights, carefully hidden or sensitively included into the home’s original architecture.

Planning Permission for Bungalow Extension Designs

Side return bungalow kitchen extension in Richmond, London

Not all bungalow kitchen extensions need planning permission from local authorities. You can make an application yourself if it falls within permitted development (PD) rights. Here are the basic PD rights for single storey bungalow extensions:

  • Single-storey rear extensions cannot extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than 4 metres if a detached house.
  • Where not on Article 2(3) designated land or a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the limit for single-storey rear extensions is increased to 8 metres if a detached house.
  • Single-storey rear extensions cannot exceed 4 metres in height.
  • Only half the area of land around the original house can be covered by extensions. 
  • Extensions cannot be higher than the highest part of the existing roof or higher at the eaves than the existing eaves. 
  • Where the extension comes within two metres of the boundary, the height at the eaves cannot exceed 3 metres.

In addition, planning permission is required if you want to include new verandas or balconies, a chimney or flue, microwave antenna, or alteration to the existing roof.

See more kitchen extension ideas here.

PlusRooms is a full-service provider for all home extensions, including bungalow kitchen extensions. We’ll work with you through the entire process, from designing your extension and managing planning permission to building the project and handing over the keys when it is completed to your satisfaction. Contact us to find out more about our home and bungalow extensions, and to start the journey towards your dream home.