Ideas & Inspiration

Finishing touches – some top tips

There is a lot to think about when you are designing your new space. For most people, this is the really fun part, where you’re not just thinking about bricks and mortar, but a new room with needs to be filled with colour, light and textures.

Some of the things you might want to consider, either before or during the early stages of construction are:


You have a wide choice available to you when it comes to sourcing your new kitchen. Make appointments with a couple of different suppliers and visit their showrooms to get a feel for the type of kitchen you like. You can also try asking your builder for their recommendations (they may have be able to source certain ranges at lower prices for you, too).

Firstly, you need to think about how this new space will be used. Do you want to make entertaining a focal point? Are you more concerned about having plenty of worktop for whipping up a feast? Or is having a child-friendly set-up a strong consideration? Factors such as these will determine how you best use the available space, and your chosen kitchen designer should base their ideas on these requirements.

In terms of style, think about how the kitchen will fit into your home as a whole. If you have fairly traditional or classic décor throughout, then you probably won’t want to go too contemporary with your kitchen.

For ideas on what style of kitchen will suit your space, why not take cuttings from magazines when you see something you like? This will help both you and your kitchen designer in making your ideas come to life.

Kitchen appliances

This is one of the major expenses when considering your new kitchen. It may well be possible to keep your old appliances, if they are in good working order. You will need to have an idea of where your sink, oven and washing machine will be located as soon as you can, so that water supplies can be built into the right places.

Kitchen worktops

There are a number of options open to you. At the top end of the scale you have granite, quartz, marble and other composite stones. Mid-range you’ll find some wooden worktop options and the choice for those on a tight budget would be laminate or vinyl.

Each option has its pros and cons. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the more you spend, the more hard wearing and attractive the material will be. However, there are a number of really good laminates out there, so don’t dismiss it until you’ve checked it out!


Give some thought to how you will heat your new space. Most people opt for either underfloor heating or radiators.

Underfloor heating can be powered by either your boiler (a ‘warm water system’) or electricity. While generally cheaper, electric heating is not particularly recommended with side return extensions because the heating capacity is much lower.

Warm water underfloor heating is lovely, but it is an additional cost – and it also requires you to have a decent enough boiler installed. If you need a new boiler, then the costs start mounting up.

Radiators don’t have to be boring, or even intrusive. There are a number of super-slim, designer radiators around; many customers opt for a vertical design, in order to maximise wall space.


You will need to decide fairly on in the construction process which type of flooring you will have, as it will affect the level to which your builder fixes the floor.

The most popular choices for flooring with a side return extension tend to be wood (either real or ‘engineered’) or tiles. Both will cost approximately the same.

If you are considering underfloor heating, then tiles will be your best option. Some engineered woods can also withstand electrically powered underfloor heating. Tiles are hard wearing, water resistant and easy to clean.

Solid wood or ‘real’ wood can add a touch of warmth to your new living space. The most popular material to use is oak, which comes in a variety of shades. However, as lovely as wood looks, it is prone to expanding and contracting and is therefore not good if you’re going to be getting the floor wet at all.

Engineered wood has all the beauty of solid wood, but it is much harder-wearing and does not expand or contract. It is constructed with a layer of oak on top of a hardwood base. It costs around the same as solid wood.

Laminate flooring is hard wearing, easy to clean and cost-effective. You can go for tile effect, wood effect or something completely different. There are literally hundreds of designs to choose from.

Check out some of our work!

Please click here to see some photos of completed side return extensions, with a variety of finishes.

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