Welcome to Part 1 of our two-part series on how to go about designing and installing a new kitchen.
Part 1 covers all things budget; how to reduce costs, where best to spend more and some rough costs from low to high range kitchens.
Part 2 is a list of important things to consider; including what to do with your old kitchen and tips on design decisions.
The first stage when considering your new kitchen is budget, we suggest setting two-
- Your ideal budget– try to be realistic about cost (at least 8k unless you’re doing the work yourself and using reclaimed cabinetry) but also consider if there are other areas of your house where you’d like to spend any left-over cash- this will encourage you to not go overboard!
- Your maximum budget-which you absolutely cannot go over. There will always be finishes, designs or appliances which you will find and want along the way. Setting your maximum budget allows you to indulge in one or two of these items but stops you from saying yes to everything. (We suggest you don’t tell your designer this maximum budget as they will work to this cost- leaving you no wiggle room for tiles, and finishing fixtures such as lighting.)
See this initial example budget for low, mid and high range kitchens to give you a starting idea on costs-
TOP TIPS ON WHERE TO SPEND BUDGET-
Appliances and taps- these tend to be the most disruptive features of a kitchen if they break down or need servicing or replacing, particularly if they are built in. We therefore recommend getting high quality appliances from reputable brands- that way you know you’re less likely to have issues.
Worktop- There are lots of wide ranging choices available therefore we recommend you first consider how you use your worktop and how much upkeep you can live with;
- Stone worktops such as Granite and Quartz tend to be hardwearing however marble can be very easily stained. Think about how much you want to spend and how useful it will be to have a hardwearing worktop.
- Wood worktops- these are beautiful and natural however require lots of upkeep. You must oil them regularly- never leave standing water on the worktop and be careful about spillages and burning. Nevertheless, wood can be sanded down and made to look new, also some people like the natural, rough/ used look.
- Laminate- this is very common in less expensive kitchens and there are hundreds of good looking finishes available. Generally, these worktops are great for the price however they are not hardwearing- can stain easily with heat/ bubble if cut and often do not have high quality finish on the edges. If there is damage the whole piece will need replacing but at such a low cost this is less of an issue.
- Other options- such as concrete or tile are available but can vary in price. Ensure you talk through the options advantages and disadvantages with your designer as they should be able to advise on whether the material is suitable for your needs/ lifestyle.
Cabinets- consider style and finish as the cost for cabinetry can vary vastly. For example- traditional shaker style kitchens can look fabulous however if made from inexpensive materials or veneers, they can stand out as looking cheap/ fake. With shaker style we always recommend clients spend more to get good quality and hand painted units as this will last longer and will look fabulous. Shaker style is generally more expensive due to the labour required to make the doors.
With modern gloss styles it is easier to use low or mid-range cabinetry as there are less details which could make it stand out as cheap. Additionally, clean gloss cupboards are less labour intensive to make and therefore are less expensive to produce and purchase.
We always suggest going to the showroom and seeing your cabinets in the flesh before choosing. The weight of the doors, the hinges and shelving inside should also be checked to ensure you are happy with the quality.
Splashback and floor- we suggest choosing which is most important and shelling out on cost there; for example, this kitchen had some beautiful Fired Earth tiles as the splashback which were their expensive ‘showpiece’, whereas the floor was finished in good quality but inexpensive Vinyl flooring.
We have dealt with many kitchens as part of extension projects, renovation projects or simply updating an existing kitchen. If you’d like help with your project please get in touch.