Welcome to Part 2 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.
THINGS TO CONSIDER-
- Bespoke Expense- A small kitchen will not necessarily be less expensive as you must make the most of the space. This may mean fitting bespoke cabinetry into corner cupboards or making bespoke sized cupboards to fill all space in a wall. This additional expense can be offset on smaller worktop space/ costs as well as smaller appliances – however the additional cost will be worth it when space is at a premium.
- Fitting- most kitchen companies will offer a fitting service but be clear about how they work:
- Old kitchen – do they strip out the old kitchen?
- Rubbish – will they take all packaging and/ or old units/ appliances with them?
- Services – will they move services such as electrics and plumbing to fit your new scheme? (Usually they will not, nor are they qualified to – find out if they can recommend someone who can strip the old kitchen and ready the space for the new kitchen installation.)
- Date – most companies will be booked a couple of months in advance unless they are a huge firm with unlimited manufacturing ability and hundreds of fitters. Therefore, it is important to book early and be absolutely sure that the kitchen area is ready and prepared on time for the new installation. Most companies will also do a final measurement before manufacturing the kitchen, therefore the area must be largely ready when this happens.
- What is their responsibility and what is yours – e.g. are the fitters adding under-cabinet lighting or are you dealing with this?
Safety note – kitchens by their nature contain potentially dangerous supplies and appliances so it is absolutely essential you have electrical work carried out and certified by a qualified electrician and gas work carried out by a registered gas engineer.
- What happens to your old kitchen? You have 3 options-
- Sell – You can advertise it online with photos and measurements; if it is good quality someone may want to have it and you can get a little cash and have it picked up at your convenience.
- Give away – You can use free websites such as Freecycle to advertise your old kitchen for free – this is great as they take it off your hands and you know the kitchen is being recycled/ reused.
- Dispose – If your fitter will not remove and recycle you can get in touch with your local council. Most UK councils will help with rubbish collection- https://www.gov.uk/collection-large-waste-items but check what rules and services apply in your area.
- Lay flooring before/ after kitchen installation? Unless your flooring is highly expensive it is useful to have it going fully underneath the cabinets so it is easier to slide appliances in and out, edges / gaps aren’t visible around the units and so you can change kitchen layout whilst keeping the flooring intact at a later date. Of course if your flooring is expensive; it is not worth installing underneath cabinetry where it will never be seen.
- Extractor route- Often we find this gets overlooked when designing the kitchen or even building an extension for a kitchen. Addressing the need for a route and its location early on will ensure the design works and there are no unsightly down-stands or boxing added after.
- Common unanticipated costs or time delays-
- All second fix materials not supplied by the kitchen designer- e.g. plug sockets, tiles, lighting; have you factored these into your budget?
- Fitting costs – don’t forget to factor this in from the beginning unless you plan to do yourself.
- Worktop delay – almost all worktops are ‘templated’ as soon as the kitchen is completed, then the worktop is added 7-10 days later. This is standard but check with your supplier how long they expect it to take and book in for templating as soon as the cabinetry is fitted. (Because the kitchen won’t be fully useable until the work surfaces are in.)
- If fitting a new kitchen in a new extension/ build- ensure you have considered drying time of screed and plaster before the kitchen is due for installation. It is also useful to consider how the walls are built up if you are having wall hung cabinets- the wall should be strong enough for the cabinets to be fully secured.
- Bins- as recycling becomes more commonplace in households – consider whether you have a specific (and large enough!) place for bins/ recycling. There are lots of compartmental bins which can be built into the cabinetry so it is useful to discuss this early on with your designer.
Top tip for a Timeless Design-
A timeless kitchen is high quality, well-proportioned and comfortable to use. If the cabinets are natural wood; they can be sanded down and repainted/ treated when you want a change. Worktops should be hardwearing and neutral; light granite will age well and will look good with lots of different colours and accessories.
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.