The Best Way To Buy A Kitchen

By: Kitchen Plans, Independent Kitchen Design Consultancy  30/01/2011
Keywords: PROJECT MANAGEMENT, interior design, plumbing

by on Saturday, 29 January 2011 at 20:27

 Having 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.


More 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.


The 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 the case.


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:-


1. 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?

8. 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?


All 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

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