Golden Side Return Extension, Including Opening Vario Rooflight.
VELUX Company Ltd
Jessica's home renovation and extension. Please see below a brief overview of Jessica's renovation journey in a blogpost:I’m not going to lie, renovating in a pandemic with no kitchen, was extremely stressful at times, particularly during the long stretches we were home-schooling, and it’s not something I’d want to repeat, but it definitely could have been worse, and we survived it.We bought this house six years ago and I have wanted to do the kitchen side return extension ever since Day One, but we had to wait and save, and then finally in September last year (2020) the day finally came, and we started the renovation. For reference, this is what it looked like when we bought the house. We did do a budget makeover in the interim by painting the cabinets and replacing the handles, but by the time we came to do the major building work we had doors hanging off, shelves collapsing, and the major lack of storage meant things were stuffed in and precariously balanced on top of each other and ready to topple as soon as anyone dared to delve in. I shared lots of my inspiration and ideas for the new kitchen before we started. I knew from very early on that I didn’t want to spend a huge amount of our budget on creating a fancy architectural kitchen extension. For me, the space inside was what was most important, and I just wanted to make sure we were maximising that to its full potential. We hired architect to draw up just the plans for us. I had initially wanted a pitched glass roof to run the length of the side return extension, but council planning regs and the unusual way our house is laid out, put paid to that idea. Our local council had recently introduced a height restriction of 2.5m at the boundary when extending more than 3m at the rear. Which we weren’t. Or so we thought! What we hadn’t realised is that the existing kitchen had already been extended and that counted towards the allowance, so the restriction did apply. This caused a lot of stress at the time, as we were so worried that the ceilings were going to feel low and dark. The good news is that as soon as the Vario by VELUX rooflights went in, all our worries melted away, and it’s not something I even notice or think about now.Another thing we did was speak to our neighbours about a third-party wall agreement. This was pretty key for us, as the buttress was on our side of the wall and if we had to build around it we would have lost at least half a metre of the side return. What we needed to do was take it down and build up right up to the boundary (saving as many of the London stock bricks as we could in the process). Luckily our lovely neighbours agreed, as this really did make a huge difference to the internal space.The LayoutI have had a lot of questions about many different aspects of the kitchen, but I think the thing I have been asked about most is the dimensions and the layout. We extended out 1.5m at the rear and around 2.5/3m to the side, bringing us to a total of 5m wide x 8m long. I think our layout is fairly unusual for a kitchen, and it seems to have inspired lots of people to try and do the same in their own kitchen renovations. The good thing about waiting almost six years to renovate your kitchen is that you get plenty of time to mull over what your dream kitchen might look like. The Design knew I wanted to go with a seamless sleek, understated design and let the other materials do the talking, so I settled on the Urban kitchen, with slab doors. I worked with a kitchen designer to fine tune the space, and that’s where it really comes into its own, because they think of all the details you wouldn’t necessarily think of, and they know exactly how much space you need to allow you to move around your kitchen comfortably. The area around the island and peninsula was a tricky one to get right, because we didn’t want to interrupt the flow too much, but having lived in it for the last few months, I can confirm the kitchen designer got it spot on. We also included a fluted glass cocktail cabinet in our kitchen design, which houses all our glasses and drinks bottles and sits on the dining/entertaining side of the kitchen.The Vario by VELUX rooflightsOur previous kitchen had very little natural light and as a result none of us ever wanted to spend any time in there. So getting as much natural light as possible was a major priority in this renovation. We planned for two large rectangular rooflights along the side return (as we knew we needed a steel in between) and a square one towards the rear. Once we got planning permission, I asked our architect to tell me the absolute maximum amount of glazing we were allowed, and then headed straight for the Vario by VELUX website to design bespoke rooflights to the exact size we needed, using every last bit of glazing we were allowed! The bespoke nature of Vario by VELUX means you can tailor your sizes exactly to your needs. Using the 3D configurator online, you can also choose the frame colour, the type of glazing, and whether you want them to open or not. We have two 2.3m x 1m Rectangular rooflights (one opens) and a 1m x 1m square rooflight. Our builders had never worked with them before and were really impressed by the ease of fitting. The moment they went in, was the moment we really start to get excited about the new space. Even with screed floors and bare brick walls in November, the light was incredible in there. Now it’s finished, one of my favourite things is to work in the kitchen and watch the light as it changes and moves throughout the day. Even watching the rain is epic.