If you’re thinking of having a new kitchen installed, you’re probably already reeling at the potential expense. Kitchen prices can be staggeringly high, and even a budget project can cost thousands of pounds.
If you’ve got your eye on some designer brands and shiny appliances, then it’s likely to cost a lot more. The size and shape of your kitchen, combined with your dream layout, will have a major impact upon the expense. So, how much does a new kitchen cost? On average, around £7,000.
If you’re excitedly planning a new kitchen but don’t want costs to spiral out of control, follow these tips to keep on budget.
Set a Budget Before You Start Looking
One of the most important things to do if you’re trying to save money on your kitchen is to set a budget before you even start looking. This means you don’t have the chance to fall in love with expensive gadgets or costly cabinets.
Instead, you can instantly dismiss them as unaffordable. Knowing how much you can afford will help you make rational choices. It also means that if you discover something expensive you just can’t live without, you can try and cut costs in other areas.
Know Your Dream Kitchen
Though it’s important not to do too much kitchen shopping before you’ve determined your budget, it is a good idea to know what you’d like. Many designers offer a freebie service where they’ll come and measure your kitchen and draw you up a design. However, sometimes these consultants charge a fee upwards of £50. Having a few ideas of your own, such as wanting an island, allows you to avoid unnecessary consultancy expenses.
Remove Your Old Kitchen
A spot of DIY is always a good way to save money, and taking out the old components of your kitchen could even make you money. If you’re up for a project, you can take out all the old cabinets and sell them; you’d be surprised who will pay £20 or more for a few old cupboards.
Though you shouldn’t touch gas appliances without a professional, you could also get rid of electrical appliances. You might be able to sell these, or some repair companies will be eager to have these for free; no bad thing when disposal fees can cost over £150.
Overall, taking down your kitchen will save you money.
Don’t Scrimp on Rewiring and Installation
The kitchen can be a dangerous place with all those wires, so it’s essential to get a qualified electrician in to do any re-wiring. This could cost between £300 and £900 depending on the size of the job and the number of appliances you have. In addition, since 2008 all electricians have to ensure your kitchen has a residual current device (RCD). If you don’t have one, you’ll have to have one installed which will push up re-wiring costs.
There are still a few opportunities to save money, however. For example, some electrical ovens come with a plug so you don’t have to pay installation costs.
Research and Compare Appliances, Cupboards and Worktops
When it comes to keeping kitchen costs down, research is essential. In general, the more straight-forward a product is, the cheaper it will be. For instance, a standard wall unit won’t be as expensive as a rounded corner cabinet or one with a glass inlay. You should expect to pay around £3,000 for a range of good quality units to fit an average sized kitchen.
Like units, worktops can vary considerably in price too. For example, a laminate worktop might cost just £100. Wood, granite and marble, meanwhile, can easily head towards the £1,000 mark. If you decide to choose wood, negotiate with fitters to stain and seal it yourself as this will save in labour costs.
One of the most expensive outlays for a new kitchen is the appliances. This is where shopping around can really help. First, think about the appliances you need, how you’ll use them and if you really need that huge, American-style double fridge freezer, for example. You can expect to spend around £2,000 for a full compliment of appliances. However, some retailers offer cash-back on specific products, so it’s well worthwhile heading online and looking for deals.
Avoid Fancy Accessories
Adding a fancy tap, an elaborate door knob or having all your drawers’ soft-close will bust your budget almost instantly. You should always be on the look for hidden extras. For example, you might think handleless cabinets would be less expensive when, in fact, they cost a lot more than have a simple but stylish handle.
Don’t Forget the Flooring
One area that’s often forgotten, yet can spiral out of control in regards to cost, is the floor. If you’re trying to save money, consider laminate or vinyl. Though the idea might sound horrifying, modern products have come a long way from the plastic-looking floors of the past and are very realistic and emulate wood or tiles extremely well. At just a few hundred pounds for your average kitchen, they’re cheap too.
Use a Local Kitchen Fitter
Finally, it is a very good idea to use a local fitter instead of the ones offered by your kitchen supplier. You can use a website like Quotatis to find trusted carpenters who are often able to install your kitchen at a fraction of the price. In some cases, local fitters also have relationships with kitchen specialists too, allowing you to get discounts or wholesale prices on units, worktops and fittings.