Enjoy the Process

Diary of a Kitchen Extension

What happens between the Before and After photo? Ellie Frost (@e.t.shown_home) shares her photo diary from her stunning kitchen transformation.

When we bought our home in 2016 we knew there was a lot to do, but nothing quite as rewarding as the kitchen extension.

The kitchen is placed on the South East side of the building, with an old wooden door and window on one wall and a further 4 doors on 2 more of the walls.

This meant that…

A. We couldn’t change the kitchen layout as we had so many doors and openings to contend with.

B. It was a really dark space. This was not helped by the fact that outside the window was a shabby, leaky lean-to housing a decrepit boiler, washing machine, tumble dryer and fridge freezer.

The Frost kitchen before the extension

In short, the space was damp, cold and deeply unpleasant. All these factors helped us make a wish list of the new kitchen/dining/utility space. Top of that list was light, bright and well ventilated! We dreamed of a warm, dry family space wrapped up in an open-plan bow.

Work begins...  23rd April

A mini digger materialised and within minutes the kids were climbing all over it. The original lean-to was poorly constructed and I’m sure my 4-year-old would have been as swift in its deconstruction had I let him loose with a sledge hammer. The most interesting thing to report is how much lighter the kitchen immediately feels!

15th May

All wall footings and drains are dug out and we're able to get a feel for the scale of the finished project.

Drains getting dug out

Over the next two weeks the drains go in and the concrete screed goes down. I spend many moments standing in the furthest corner of the foundations, imagining the view across the new kitchen.

1st June

Timber frame time! The frame goes up quickly and within a fortnight we have outside walls, stud wall, door frame and most importantly window spaces in the roof.

After much deliberating we opted for three larger VELUX windows, 114cm x 118cm. Now I had confirmation of how light and airy the new ceiling would feel.

Timber frame going up

28th June

The framework is boxed out and the cladding is put on. The roof is insulated, felted and tiled. Exciting times we are ready for the three VELUX windows to be installed.

The framework is boxed out and the cladding is put on.

30th June

With just two burly builders the windows went in easily, instantly looking contemporary and beautifully framing the sky above. Now that we're weather tight it’s about to get very exciting and very miserable at the same time.

The VELUX windows are installed

16th July

The walls are coming down! We've stripped out the kitchen ready for the interior walls to be demolished. Adam is thinking worse case scenario and has purchased a mini oven and two hob plates for our temporary kitchen.

The temporary kitchen

Within five days the remainder of the exterior wall and the kitchen/dining room wall are demolished. This means copious amounts of dust, Acrow props everywhere and crucially it means that we have no kitchen! No sink, running water downstairs and no boiler. Pretty crappy BUT it's also super exciting as we can now see the space opened up and get excited about what it may look like at the end.

23rd July

The plumbers and electrician are in - it's a bit of a squeeze with everyone here and I'm pretty fed up with the house so full of people as early as 7.30am... but needs must, right? Progress is fairly quick as I have already planned where everything should go and have given both the electrician and the plumber detailed drawings.

27th August

The floor is down. We've opted for PSE timber as it keeps us on budget and will tie in with the original flooring in the dining room. I’ve sanded the timber ready for staining and varnish. The plasterboard is up and everything is skimmed. I love this bit as suddenly everything looks neater, brighter and bigger!

The floor is down and installation is in

3rd September

So busy week this week! The walls are painted, the floor has been finished. It's not going to get any quieter though as the kitchen arrived yesterday and we’ve got to put the whole thing together.

The walls are painted

9th September

What a weekend, I feel like Superwoman! Armed with a screwdriver and a level I managed to put the entire kitchen together. Now we need doors, worktops, sink, boiler, final fix... we're getting there. Not long now.

Assembly the kitchen

17th September

I've ordered the wooden worktops – would have loved concrete or stone but just don't have the cash. I'm going to stain them dark to keep it all streamlined. Better get dad up here to fit for them. I've also been building the kitchen island using two sets of 80cm drawers and MDF.

Building the kitchen island

8th October

The worktops are on and we have a sink! Just waiting on the final fix and we are a go go!

21st October

Phew, we're there. I'm broken, shattered and not desperate to do it again for a while. We're so pleased though. The space is light and spacious and the kids keep running around the island. Adam cooked our first roast in the new oven... bliss!

You can follow Ellie's home renovation adventures on Instagram @e.t.shown_home.

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The completed kitchen

The completed kitchen

The completed kitchen


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