by on Saturday, 29 January 2011 at 20:27
spent many years in a kitchen showroom, it still amazes me how many
people end up adding unnecessary extra cost to a building or kitchen
renovation project in their effort to get the cheapest price on a
kitchen. This week alone I met with 4 customers looking for a kitchen
design for new builds & the houses had already been wired &
finished plastered. In one case underfloor heatng had been installed
under the whole kitchen floor area. This is sure to cause a few problems
with your american fridge freezer sitting on a heating element &
food going off in presses. The customer also wanted a sink on the island
but never put in plumbing for it. Chasing the floor is not an option
now with underfloor heating in place. In 3 cases sockets & cooker
points will need to be moved, resulting in considerable extra charges
for the customer by the electrician.
All this could have
been avioded if the kitchen design was looked at before the building
started. Most people think that they do not need to think about kitchens
until the house is built & the electrician looks for a kitchen
layout to chase the walls for wiring. The customer then under pressure
calls to a number of kitchen showrooms and ends up with a few 3D images
of proposed kitchen layouts. These are generally given out free by some
of the lower end kitchen companies & are prepared by a kitchen
salesperson who is more interested in quoting the lowest possible price
to sell the kitchen, & so will keep the layout very basic. They are
unconcerned about proper wall sizes or even if it will fit. They are
only concerned with a sale not good design.
professional kitchen companies will charge for design time & will
give far better advice but there is a limit to what they will do without
a commitment to buy their kitchen. By the time a proper kitchen design
is done with accurate wall sizes the electrics often have to be moved
again. Going around from kitchen showroom to showroom getting different
layouts & prices will often leave people more confused than before
they started. As a result people will generally opt for the cheapest
price without looking at why there is such a difference in the price.
best way to avoid all this is to sit down with an independent kitchen
designer as early as possible & preferably before any work starts.
If it is an existing kitchen they will come to the house & take
accurate measurements. If it is a new build a copy of your architects
plans will do. From this they will prepare a initial design layout
factoring in all your requirements & show you the finished room in
3D colour. At this stage maybe moving a wall or doorway a few inches may
make a considerable difference to the overall layout. Not a great
problem as the architects plans can be altered & certainally more
cost effective than trying to get a builder to do it later as is often
Be open with the designer about what you want
from the kitchen. Most importantly give them a budget for the project so
that they can advise you on how best to spend it. An independent
kitchen designer is only concerned with design & is not trying to
sell you a kitchen. When you are happy with your design & happy
about how much it is going to cost, you will have a full set of working
kitchen plans to take to any kitchen company to get the best possible
price for that kitchen. You will be priced for the same materials,
design & contents.
Also your builder will know exactly
what you are doing from the start, so all he has to do is build the
room to suit the layout & put the services in the correct position
as indicated on your kitchen plan. Then your kitchen should fit without
any problems. Spend time getting your design right & then get the
best price you can from any kitchen company.
Some points to consider when choosing a kitchen supplier are:-
Fitting. .............Is it included in your price or is there an extra
charge for this? Is the company responsible for the fitting?
2. Insurance..........Is the company fully insured in respect of all work carried out in your property?
3. Fitters......... ....Are they working for the company or are they freelance fitters?
4. Cabinets...........What material is priced for, (Chipboard, MDF, Birch Plywood)?
5. Payment...........Will you be able to retain a portion of the cost until everything is completed to your satisfaction?
6. Surveys...........Who will check the sizes to make sure the kitchen fits?
7. Previous Work... Can you see previous work that they have done?
Appliances........Can they supply an appliance package & if so will
they take away the packaging & dispose of it responsibly?
9. Granite Tops.....Will they supply granite tops if you require them or will you need to organise them yourself?
10 Service...........Do they have a proper after sales service & will you have a contact to deal with in the company?
of the above will have a bearing on any quote that you recieve so it is
imoportant to look beyond the bottom line figure of the quote. Always
get a written detailed quote outlining what is & is not included.
Early planning will save you money & avoid unnecessary blunders