The Aspire Guide to Planning your New Kitchen Project
There’s a lot to think about when planning your new kitchen and before you start obtaining quotes, it’s a good idea to take some time to consider your options, your budget and ways of achieving what you want without exceeding it.
This helpful advice guide is designed to help you understand what’s on offer and what you need to think about before you embark on requesting your quotes, so that you can present your prospective kitchen refurbishment specialists with plenty of information to enable them to give you an accurate estimate.
It’s important to have a budget in mind and also to communicate this to your kitchen designer. Rather than receive a quote that’s far more than you expected, it makes sense to provide at least an outline idea of what you are willing to spend so that they can quote for materials and appliances that are within your budget.
There are always ways of reducing costs, so if your kitchen fitter is aware of your maximum spend before they work out your costing, they’ll be able to factor these in for you. You may wish also to ask for two or three different budget options.
It’s important to consider that, whilst it’s more economical to opt for flat pack kitchen units, they do of course need to be built, and this involves labour costs. So before you dismiss ready made units because you think they are out of your budget, why not keep your options open and ask your kitchen designer to quote you for both? You may be surprised.
Take some time to consider the finish you’d like, and be aware of the differing cost scale for the various options:
Solid Wood – highly desirable and a favourite of the traditionalist. Solid wood cabinets measure a sturdy 18mm thick but are, as you can imagine, at the top end of the price scale.
Gloss PVC – much admired by those who prefer a modern, stylish finish. Again this is a high end option, with the units a good 18mm thick. Just bear in mind if you have a busy household, or pets, that scratches do occur on gloss finish cabinets.
Matt PVC – durable, practical and versatile. Again 18mm thick, this finish is considered mid range.
There are other options, for example a gloss or matt finish in 15mm thickness for those looking to keep costs down for whatever reason.
We recommend you visit a kitchen showroom to have a good look at the various options so you can make an informed decision on the finish you’d like.
When it comes to drawers, there are more decisions to be made! The type of drawer closure you choose will affect the cost of your kitchen. Options start from the standard box drawer with standard runners to the ‘soft close’ type with ‘anti-slam’ technology.
Keeping Costs Down
It’s good practice to set a budget and stick to it. Here are a few ways of keeping costs down if you find you are exceeding your ideal limit:
- Try to keep electrical work to a minimum; don’t add unnecessary sockets if you don’t need them.
- Consider your lighting; spotlights are very popular for kitchens, but they are more expensive than a single light fitting and of course you have to consider the ongoing costs of replacement bulbs.
- Think about your tiles. Natural stone or porcelain look wonderful, but they are of course expensive to buy and more costly to install too as they take longer to cut and to lay. Ceramic tiles are less expensive and much quicker to install.
- When choosing your flooring, opting for vinyl will save you money as opposed to floor tiles which are more expensive to buy, and to install.
- Select your appliances carefully and remember to think about long term running costs. Look into the energy efficiency rating of each appliance and also read plenty of reviews because you might discover that maintenance or repair costs can be high. Buying appliances online will usually get you a good deal, but it’s easier to deal with a local retailer if there is a problem.
Important Considerations Concerning Safety
Probably the best piece of helpful advice is to never, ever, cut costs on electrical or plumbing installations. All electrical work must be carried out by a qualified NICEIC Part P compliant electrician, otherwise you will find your home insurance is not valid.
All gas work must be carried out by a Gas Safe Registered engineer who is qualified specifically to conduct the particular type of work being undertaken.
For your own safety, always check the qualifications and accreditations of your chosen contractor.
And Finally …
Always obtain at least three kitchen installation quotes to compare; if one is much cheaper than the other two, suspect that something is missing.
Make sure your quote includes everything – from fittings such as handles and drawer runners to electrical and plumbing work. Ask for a breakdown of materials and labour costs and be sure about what you are getting for your money. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions, any kitchen installation specialist worth their salt won’t be afraid to tell you anything you need to know.
Looking for Helpful Advice on Kitchen Design or Installation?
If you’d like us to provide you with an estimate, give us a call on 01932 718015 or use our online form.