Making the decision to install a new kitchen in the home can be a daunting affair. Which is hardly surprising, given the fact that the design and installation represents a very major investment.
When it comes to installation costs, the sky really is the limit. High-end designer kitchens, replete with top of the range appliances and units can quickly spiral into the eye-wateringly expensive. Of course, most of us will have to work to a more limited budget, cutting our worktops accordingly so to speak. However, even then, the price is likely to be in the thousands.
The obvious answer to this question, of course, is to only spend what you can realistically afford. Setting your budget before you start your project helps you take control of your spending as you progress.
Let’s breakdown the kitchen costs:
In the UK, the average cost of design and installation of a new kitchen is in the region of £6,000 – £8,000, based on purchasing from any of the more recognised suppliers in the market. However, this is not the end of the spending, with additional costs needed for appliances, labour and furniture.
When you’re considering how far your budget will stretch, it’s worth knowing all the factors that contribute to the overall costs, to give you a good idea of how best to prioritise where to spend your money.
For instance, do you want to pay a little more for higher quality units at the expense of a lower spec oven or cooker? Or are your appliances the be all and end all, meaning a slight compromise on the material quality of your cupboards or worktops?
Kitchen Costs To Consider
- Getting rid of the old kitchen – Don’t neglect the cost entailed with removing the old kitchen to make way for the new. Your kitchen fitters, dependent on who you use, will likely be able to provide this service for you, but they will charge for it and you need to know both how much this will cost, and how they intend to dispose of the waste. Of course, to save money, you can roll up your sleeves and get rid of the old kitchen yourself.
- Design – kitchen design costs can vary dependent on who you use and how you go about it. Many businesses will offer a free design service if you opt to buy your kitchen units from them; although be aware that some companies may charge a fee (typically £50 – £100) for the service. For a more high-end professional kitchen designer, however, could cost (according to the website Grade Tradesmen) between £1,500 and £4,600.
- Units – Your units are going to represent a large chunk of your budget, as this is essentially the framework of your kitchen. The cost of kitchen cabinets, for a standard sized UK kitchen, will generally be in the region of £3,000 – £5,000 for decent to good quality; with high-end units being perhaps double this amount, or higher.
- Appliances – Do your homework when it comes to kitchen appliances. As with all consumer goods, certain brands come with a premium price, but check the specifications and reviews online to see if they are the most cost-effective option. Also, have an understanding of what you need, before you buy. If you’re a large family then you might need that large double-doored fridge that costs upwards of £2,000. So, you will need to ensure it’s in the budget
- Worktops – Your kitchen worktops are an important purchase when it comes to the overall look and style of your kitchen; so, it’s worth spending the time to get this decision right. And, of course, that means another significant chunk of the budget. There’s a wide variety of worktops from which to choose, with prices ranging anywhere between £2,000 – £5,000 for an average kitchen size, dependent on the quality and style. You should also note that installing worktops can be a fiddly and pretty specialist task, fraught with the danger of costly mistakes. Using the services of skilled kitchen worktop fitters might be an investment worth making.
- Lighting – You need to consider the kind of lighting you want in the kitchen, with your preferences having an impact on what you will pay. For instance, the work entailed installing spot lights (a popular choice in modern kitchens) will be more expensive that standard strip lighting, for example. LED lighting on the underside of your units can also create a stunning effect, but again they add to the overall costs.
- Flooring – What kind of flooring are you going to choose? Kitchens offer perhaps more options for flooring than any other room in the house. From traditional materials such as marble and other types of stone, to vinyl or laminates. One thing to consider if you opt for laminate, is that you should consider a higher-spec type that has waterproof sealed joints, so it can withstand condensation and spills. Otherwise it could be costly in repairs further down the line.
- Tradespeople – As mentioned above, the fully fitted kitchen option will offer a fitting service. Indeed, this is likely true of most companies that you end up buying your units from. If you want to keep your costs down, however, it’s really worth considering the services of a local kitchen fitter. Word of mouth is generally the best route to finding reputable kitchen fitters who won’t cost the earth, or you can research online through review sites, forums or websites.
Know Where Your Money is Going
As soon as you embark upon a new project, it can quickly become the perennial money pit if you’re not careful.
It’s therefore important to try and retain a clear understanding of what jobs are required, what items need to be purchased, and what you are looking to spend, the decoration and the appliances.
This gives you the best way to keep track of where your money is going.
Fully Fitted Kitchens
For instance, are you going down the fully fitted kitchen route, where you will seek the services of a specialist kitchen provider who will design your kitchen, as well as supply all your units, drawers, appliances and, most likely, your worktops; as well as potentially fully installing the kitchen for you with their own team of tradespeople?
The advantage of this, naturally, is that you will be provided with an accurate quotation for the complete project at the outset; meaning you know where the bulk of your expenditure will be going.
On the other hand, you need to consider if this is truly the most cost-effective option.
While fully fitted kitchen prices are almost all-encompassing, the reality is you may well find that you are paying a premium for some of the products and services that are packaged together.
Indeed, you may well find that a quick online search reveals that you can buy appliances of similar or even better standard for less when purchased separately, saving you money and allowing your budget to stretch further.
Similarly, while you may have the peace of mind that the ‘fully fitted’ tradespeople will have the knowledge of the exact kitchen you have opted for, they are likely to be priced at a premium. Do you know of, or are you likely to be recommended alternate, independent kitchen installation specialists who can carry out the job to the same standard for less money?
Managing the Project Yourself
If you’re confident that you can manage (or even part manage) the project yourself, then you really do need to ensure that you have a very firm understanding of your budget.
This includes knowing where your money is being spent, but also where there are the dangers of money leaking away if things go a bit awry.
Hiring A Kitchen Fitter vs DIY
Well, only you can answer that one. Fitting the kitchen yourself can undoubtedly be a more cost-effective installation – If you’re confident and adept at all, that is all that is required. Of course, you might be a skilled plumber, meaning you can take care of washing machine, dishwasher, or sink installation, to shave some cost off the bill. However, installation is something of a specialist skill and even the handiest of DIY enthusiasts can quickly find themselves in trouble, leading to more expense and heartbreak down the line. Besides, having spent a large amount to get the kitchen of your dreams, don’t you want to ensure that the end result is exactly as you want it to be?