jigsterman

Kitchen lean to extension, interior walls removed, outside WC convert

James Gibson
25 March, 2019
last modified: 25 March, 2019

Hello Looking for any advice and suggestions please. I’ve just purchased a small end of terrace 1930s property. The kitchen is tiny and has a lean to attached. Outside there are two small brick buildings attached to the outside kitchen wall; one is storage and the other an outside toilet.

I’m thinking I’d like to knock down the internal walls from the living room, kitchen, and lean to and have a proper lean to extension built so that then a new kitchen could be installed in the area making one large kitchen living dining space. Then I’d also like to convert the two outbuildings by blocking in the outside doors and adding an internal door into the kitchen leading to those spaces which could be used as a utility and downstairs WC. I’ve never done anything like this before and don’t really know where to start so would appreciate any guidance or drawings, CAD designs, architect ideas etc. Kind regards, James Gibson.







Comments (43)

  • Jonathan
    What budget do you have?
  • PRO
    Handcrafted by Woodworks

    Hello James.


    What is your budget or cost range? This will have an impact on what you would be able to achieve.



    Joel.


    Creative Director

    HbW Bespoke Kitchens

  • James Gibson

    I’m not sure as I don’t know how much this kind of thing would cost? It isn’t a big lean to at all? I can spend maybe up to £5000? Or more if that isn’t feasible.


    KITCHEN 9' 0" x 6' 11" (2.74m x 2.11m) Having a range of fitted wall and base units with work surfaces and tiled splash backs, inset single drainer sink with mixer tap, space for cooker, space and plumbing for automatic washing machine, space for under counter appliance, storage cupboard housing Valliant boiler, single glazed window to the side and obscure uPVC double glazed door to:


    LEAN TO 4' 9" x 13' 1" (1.45m x 3.99m) Having polycarbonate sheet roofing, uPVC double glazed windows to the side and door to the rear.

  • kwg kwg
    Congratulations on your buying your property! It definitely it has the potential to look amazing but I don’t think this would be achievable on £5,000. So you want to knock down the wall between the kitchen and lean-to which is the original external wall?
    James Gibson thanked kwg kwg
  • James Gibson
    Thankyou KWG. £5000 isn’t for the entire house. I thought £5000 - £7000 for the knocking down of walls between living room kitchen and lean to and installation (if required) of lintel etc. Then the building / alteration of the lean to to make it sound- would only need slim upper windows as it looks into a car park. Glass roof, velux style windows or lantern on the side lean to with double doors onto the garden. Then just the conversion of the outbuildings to a utility and WC.
  • PRO
    Handcrafted by Woodworks

    Thank you for the extra information James.


    Although it is a seemingly smaller project in size, the actual work you are proposing is quite intrusive and complex. I would recommend reaching out to local builders and or architects with a view to a walk through on site.


    The lean to is an addition to the existing building therefore I would imagine that the walls are external and load bearing. If you are looking to knock down and create a brick extension to replace the existing lean to then it will require a lot more work.


    I do agree that opening the space will create a wonderful and open living/dining space and therefore always worth exploring but certainly do speak with a local builder who has experience within your location and its houses.


    The outhouse alterations sound like a fantastic idea and you already have the necessary plumbing and you will just need the builder to check the waste and such.


    Although 5,000 is already a considerable sum, I would expect to pay more hence the need to collect quotations and meet the person potentially kicking your home about.


    From the kitchen perspective, I would expect to pay between 2-6% the value of the property depending on geography. The same principle applies though, meet with designers in your local area through independent retailers as they are always more at-tentative in my opinion and will offer you the best option for both budget and how you want to use the kitchen space.


    I do hope any and all of this helps.


    Feel free to reach out with any more queries.


    Joel.


    Creative Director

    HbW Bespoke Kitchens

    James Gibson thanked Handcrafted by Woodworks
  • James Gibson
    I understand, Thankyou Joel. I appreciate your comments. I have never done anything like this so really do find any guidance, suggestions or advice helpful. I’m so excited as it’s my first ‘renovation’ property.

    I will post this job on MyBuilder and see what local tradesmen have to say / quote. I, maybe naively, thought that maybe it wouldn’t cost the earth as all of the structures are already there. The lean to and the outbuildings. Obviously not ♂️
    I just hope I’ll actually be able to afford to do the house up; otherwise I’m kind of stuck.

    Still; peoples ideas or alternative suggestions will still be useful so hopefully others will still comment.
  • kwg kwg
    Hi James, you’ve come to the right place to get advice! :-). I love this forum as you get everyone’s advice / opinions from all perspectives.

    I’ve just seen something on houzz, do you want something similar to this? So open out that kitchen wall section where the sink is? You will most likely require a steel beam but the architect/structural engineer will advise you at the time.

    https://www.houzz.co.uk/photos/mapledene-road-contemporary-kitchen-london-phvw-vp~10879908

    Do you plan to stay there for long? If yes it makes sense to do it properly if budget allows, not only for your own enjoyment but future resale value too.

    Maybe someone down your road has done a similar project and you might be able to find a similar layout on rightmove - just to get ideas. Or if you see anyone doing building work around your area, you can check on the council website and look at their plans for ideas, or speak to your neighbour to see if they recommend them and get their builder to do a rough quote and discuss ideas. Always use a builder recommended by someone and preferably a local one.
    James Gibson thanked kwg kwg
  • PRO
    Handcrafted by Woodworks

    No problem James I am glad I can help. If you are concerned about your budget then why not rethink the process? Do you really need to undertake all this work? Your initial budget will go someway to creating a stunning kitchen space within the existing perimeters and major works can always be undertaken at a later date.


    Absolutely reach out through MyBuilder but also ask around local establishments pubs, shops etc as tradespeople will be recommended through local work they have undertaken.


    May I suggest you call into your local Howdens depot possibly as they offer a free design service and may have some recommended builders and or kitchen fitters.


    This platform is brilliant for such conversations and I am sure people will reach out.


    Joel.


    Creative Director

    HbW Bespoke Kitchens

    James Gibson thanked Handcrafted by Woodworks
  • James Gibson
    Hi KWG, it’s only 4 houses in a row. None of them have done anything like this. They are all elderly owners that have been there for years.
    Yes I’ll be living there for the foreseeable future. The lean to isn’t big at all; I don’t even know if planning would be required?

    I’m really worried now though that I’m just delusional and I’ve made a HUGE mistake buying a do er upper; both funds wise (or lack of) and skill wise (again, lack of)

    The lean to kitchen living room part is the only real big thing structurally I need doing to the house though. Well the bathroom too I suppose.

    All the other rooms, I hope, will literally be cosmetic.
  • James Gibson
    Part of me is really regretting this. I was so excited for this project (I’ve had an awful few years health wise etc and this was a new start) and now finding out what people reckon it will cost I feel awful
    I’d understand if it was a huge house extension but literally it’s a tiny lean to conversion ♂️

    Hopefully actual site quotes, once I’m in, will be more promising
  • James Gibson
    These kind of lean to kitchen extensions but obviously much smaller and less grand. Wonder if I can have the brickwork sorted ten by a pre made / pre fab aluminium and glass top section?
  • Jonathan
    Really sorry to tell you that your plans are way too ambitious for the budget you have. Because you have underestimated this I suspect you have underestimated the total cost of the house. I suggest stop thinking of it as individual parts and think about the whole project and work out where your money will make the most impact.
    Since you were talking about thousands for these alterations you are still going to have enough to make this a beautiful house.
    What is your total budget? What else needs doing? Heating? Electrics? Bathroom? Upgrading kitchens and bathrooms? Flooring, decoration and window treatments?
    James Gibson thanked Jonathan
  • James Gibson
    Thankyou Jonathan. Yes the whole house needs decorating; polystyrene tiles removed from ceilings, wallpaper and carpets removed, flooring added, bathroom installed etcetera. It has been rewired and a new boiler installed.

    Having said this there is no rush for the work at all I’m happy to take as long as it needs. I will do the garden myself and as much decor wise as I can.

    The idea to sort the kitchen and lean to was my initial first project once I get in the house as it’s the biggest job. Hence me posting on here to get ideas and advice; along with an overwhelming sense of demoralisation
  • Jen P
    Don’t be too demoralised it still looks like a fab house. Those side return extensions cost an absolute fortune and I would think very carefully if you would see the return in the price of your home. I find living there for 6-12 months before deciding on layout/major works really helps. At that stage I’d talk to some local architects who should have a good idea of cost plus you can tell them your budget (never tell a builder!). Is there access to the rear or will builders/materials have to go through the house? It looks from your ideas book that you have successfully completed a project before, so you know what you’re doing
    James Gibson thanked Jen P
  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    Getting your quotes on My Builder is an excellent idea. You need to mindful of the fact that the Lean To's may not be of sufficient quality to use and may require knocking down and re-building. Coupled with the fact that you want to knock down two walls, one of them the outside, load bearing wall, will require steelwork too. So I do feel that 5-7k is ambitious.


    One poor lady on here at the moment was just quoted 10k to knock down one internal wall and convert half a garage, and you'rs is way more complex than that. Still, it does change area to area and getting a great builder is essential. You shouldn't need planning permission, but you will need building regs and a structural engineer for your steel calcs.

    James Gibson thanked Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman
  • chloeloves
    Hi James. Have a look at this renovation, no side return but a clever use of space. The layout reminds me of yours although yours is much bigger. https://www.houzz.co.uk/projects/3212243/tiny-house-in-ballsbridge
    James Gibson thanked chloeloves
  • Jonathan
    The issue with your planned layout is that you want to open the kitchen up to the back lounge and the lean to area. Both of these are major structural walls and so removal may eat up all of your budget. Your next issue is building regs- they will almost certainly say that the lean to has insufficient thermal properties to be open to the main house and would require it to be completely rebuilt to a better standard (likely £10k with the glazed roof you are planning). Then the outbuildings are likely single skin and will require upgrading to make into habitable rooms which is a job that could costs thousands.
    Personally I think instead you should have the wall between the kitchen and lounge moved which is likely minor and put exterior Bifold doors to the lean to so that you can open them up, make the space feel like bigger but be able to close then when the lean too gets cold. This will likely spend most of your £5k
    As far as the outbuilding- connecting them to the kitchen would have made the kitchen into a corridor and challenged the budget- but given the pleasure you get from the garden I would dedicate them to the garden- of course they could be valuable storage but perhaps they might have more value as a garden room- look up pictures of a loggia for inspiration.
    James Gibson thanked Jonathan
  • Jonathan
    Building Sheriff is a good starting place as it has guides for the expected cost of jobs.
    If it were me I would move the kitchen wall first and the opening with bifolds to the lean to, refit the bathroom including a laundry cupboard for the washing machine and dryer, have all the polystyrene tiles down everywhere, strip wallpaper, have additional sockets put in and downlights, get a plasterer to skim ceiling and repair walls as needed, decorate upstairs, decorate downstairs, then the kitchen, then flooring. If garden work means trades have to come through the house the delay flooring until that is complete.

    I would budget
    £7,500 for the bathroom including laundry cupboard
    £5,000 building work including bifold doors
    £3000 electrician to add sockets, downlights for kitchen and bathroom, power to the outhouse and garden and to fit light fittings.
    £1500 kitchen fitter
    Kitchen purchase £5- 20k dependent on spec
    £1200 for a plasterer to have some work in most rooms.
    £5000 for decorators to decorate everything inside and out quickly to get it all to a good standard that you can personalise later
    £4000 flooring.
    £1000 window treatments.
    £5000 hard landscaping for the garden.
    £2000 planting for garden

    Mr suggested figures likely takes the total cost to £40-50k course there are economies to be made. You may have contacts who will give you better prices, you might do some of the jobs yourself, you might purchase well and reduce the cost. Personally I think there are some bargains to be had by purchasing a used kitchen with appliances- it is not always easy to reuse worktops and you do have transportation costs but if you find a kitchen for sale with lots more cabinets and appliances than you need you will have plenty to fit your space and you may well end up with higher quality than if buying new (it’s like do you buy a small brand new Ford or a bigger three year old Mercedes)
    James Gibson thanked Jonathan
  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    I think for that budget, i would knock down the lean to as it likely sucks light from the dining room.


    I'd swap over the kitchen with the dining room and knock down the outbuildings, opening out the dining room to the garden.


    James Gibson thanked Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman
  • Jonathan
    To do what MATH is proposing you would have to also knock down the outbuildings. By the time you have made good your demolition and replaced a boundary to the car park, and added some hard landscaping where the lean to was and moved the services from the kitchen to the lounge and satisfied the building regs people I think this could be a pricey job.
    And for what it’s worth I don’t think it is the glass lean to that is sucking light out of the lounge- I think it is the carpets fault!
    James Gibson thanked Jonathan
  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    I think there's a partial small wall of glass on top of the boundary wall itself. Thus the room as Jonathan pointed out would not suffice for an actual room, as the boundary wall would not pass building regs. It's a little glass lean to stuck on a wall and wouldn't take two mins to take down. You could keep it for extra storage, or another place to sit, but to be fair it's not great is it?


    Yes, I would knock down the outbuildings and possibly start again. It may be nice to have a downstairs loo, but I think that you'd be better off seeing straight out of the garden from a dining room.


    Looks like the drains go out to the left where the lean to is.


    No that carpet isn't helping.

    James Gibson thanked Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman
  • Jonathan
    Please don’t knock down the outhouse- although I get the temptation they are likely attached to your neighbours and if you demolish yours you will likely have to build a wall on your side to shore theirs up so it’s not a cheap or easy job. Besides I love the idea that you could use them as a garden room
    James Gibson thanked Jonathan
  • Jonathan
    Photo to illustrate that how the outhouse may be linked to neighbours
    James Gibson thanked Jonathan
  • Jonathan
    I think with an additional door or window facing the garden you could make a charming space from the outhouse
    James Gibson thanked Jonathan
  • Jonathan
    Although your would be tiny I think you could make your outhouse into a charming open to the garden space
    James Gibson thanked Jonathan
  • James Gibson
    Maybe a prefabricated lean to side extension is an option then?
  • Jonathan
    I think prefabricated or modular building has the potential to reduce costs by up to 20% so given your stated budget I am not sure this is enough of a solution.
    I think by moving the kitchen wall so that the kitchen is the same proportions as the bathroom above you will have a pretty good kitchen. If you decide to add bifold doors to the side you will gain a few inches and make it feel bigger. I don’t mind the lean to and wouldn’t pull it down especially while you can’t afford an alternative.
    James Gibson thanked Jonathan
  • Jonathan
    Btw- is everyone else having the same issue with pictures on Houzz? On this thread in particular all the images look the same until you click on them
    James Gibson thanked Jonathan
  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    All pics look diff for me, and the slow loading seems better now too.

    James Gibson thanked Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman
  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    Was just thinking about your project. If you are short on the funds front, why not do your work in stages. One of my customer's had a very similar house to yours, even had two out buildings, just the same. They did the kitchen first, but they planned it quite well so that they could then do the out buildings at a later stage, which they then did. It turned out well in the end, looked great.


    I'd definitely move the kitchen to the dining room and vice versa. Keep the lean to as it is, because at a later stage you could add double doors from the dining room out in to it.

    James Gibson thanked Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman
  • Jonathan
    Personally I think the lounge makes a poor kitchen because it has too many doors and the stairs. As a result I don’t think you would have more cabinet storage and the work surface would be fragmented
    James Gibson thanked Jonathan
  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    Looking at your pics again and the room plan, it seems that the kitchen / lounge wall is in an odd place compared to where you would expect the rear wall to be and that of the bathroom above it. Also, the ceiling height is different...................therefore, just wondering if there is actually a steel already there? Worth checking out. It could mean that the wall is not load bearing and can just be taken down.


    James Gibson thanked Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman
  • kwg kwg
    If you keep the existing structure due to budget, I think it’s better to keep the current kitchen where it is. The lounge can be a lovely dining room. If you move the kitchen into that area, you won’t have room for a dining table and entertaining or it will feel like you’re sitting in the middle of a kitchen.
    James Gibson thanked kwg kwg
  • Jonathan
    I can imagine you must be demoralised because you can’t afford what you were dreaming of but I have got to say I get excited about this kind of house, it’s amazing high ceilings and finding one at an end so the garden is not shaded is brilliant.
    I think you could have a beautiful space if you put bifold doors between the kitchen and the lean to, raise the floor in the lean to so it’s the same height as the kitchen and have the same flooring for a feeling of continuity. The bifolds satisfy building regs as you don’t need to rebuild the lean to, you have a dining space for all but the coldest days and when it is cold you just close the bifold doors.
    James Gibson thanked Jonathan
  • PRO
    Townhouse Design


    in part of our showroom we have a galley display that illustrates that you don't need a large space to have a stylish kitchen. Best of luck with whatever you decide. Please contact us if we can help in any way.

    Daniel at Townhouse Design. Harrogate

    James Gibson thanked Townhouse Design
  • kazzh
    Love hearing all the suggestions for your project. Yes budget might be limited, but your enthusiasm shouldn't wane - you just have food for thought and time to think it out. Take some time to see how the house works in it's current form - light to the interior in differing weather conditions, how you use the current lean to structure - it looks in good enough condition for you to furnish as an enclosed dining area - see if you use it! how you use a kitchen - just to cook or need dining options?. Your thoughts will develop and then you will be more confident with where you want to spend.
    James Gibson thanked kazzh
  • Jonathan
    Any further thoughts in the last week James?
  • James Gibson
    Hi Everyone, Thankyou all for your comments and suggestions. Once I get the keys I’m going to get 3/4 different quotes for the work. Then see from there...
    I love your idea Jonathan.

    I assume I’ll need an architect / surveyor first to make plans & check structurally what walls can go etc? Plus to make plans? Then quotes from different builders for the work?
  • Jonathan
    Your work is fairly simple- you are unlikely to need an architect (unless you up the budget and decide to extend).
    You need a great builder with a structural engineer they can call on..... make sure it is clear who is responsible for buildings regs. If it is you then you will need the Email from the structural engineer about the required steel - if the builder is responsible then withhold some payment until they have done it because you will later need building regs to sell.
    James Gibson thanked Jonathan
  • Jonathan
    I think you should take your personal details off a public forum James
  • PRO
    Man About The House - The DIY & Odd Job Handyman

    James, you should be able to hovver over the button on the left of the comment and delete it that way, kind of the same way you'd do it on Facebook.

  • Jonathan
    I have sent you a message on the desktop site where Houzz has more functions.
    Instead of using the app, open Houzz in Safari or Chrome and request the desktop site rather than a mobile site. In Safari use the refresh button (top right of a mobile site) to get a pop up to request a desktop site

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