Do I need an extractor in my kitchen?
by Sam Shaw
Picture that traditional farmhouse kitchen with oil fired aga and freestanding painted cabinets and more often than not you don’t expect to see an extractor. We spend a lot of time building extractors into traditional chimney surrounds or fitting them discretely into cabinets to hide them rather than expose what is essentially a very contemporary appliance in such an elevated position in a traditional kitchen. But do you really need to fit one at all?
Well official building regulations state that for existing dwellings being refurbished, ie when there is no extension or change to the fabric of the building, then the ventilation should be no worse than before, meaning that if there is already an extractor then you must put one of equal or greater specification back in its place. For all new builds, extensions and extensive renovations where the layout of the building is completely changed then you must install an extractor of some kind.
An extractor does not have to take the form of a hood situated above the cooker though, it could just as easily be an external fan situated on an external wall or above a window. Having said that, there are plenty of ways of really making a feature of your extractor by housing it in a chimney style surround either natural or purpose-built, that can really add something to the most traditional looking of kitchens.