Renovating your Kitchen for £7,000!

publication date: Jun 8, 2009
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
This is the average amount that people in the UK spend on a kitchen renovation. You’ll be amazed when you pop into a local kitchen retailer and find how quickly they will add up your spend to over £15,000, but there is no need to spend that much money, you can get a perfectly good and durable kitchen for £7,000-£10,000.
What don’t you like about your kitchen?
The first thing to do is look at the kitchen you have and how it works. Write a list of things that irritate you about your kitchen. Is your fridge freezer in the garage and a pain to get to? Is it easy to unload the dishwasher and put your cutlery and plates away, or are they on the opposite side of the kitchen? Is your sink too small?

What would you like from your kitchen?
Next, think through and collect from magazines pictures of kitchens that have things that you want, and get the kids involved, you’ll be amazed at how creative they are. One word of warning, make sure you and your family know this is a ‘wish list’! Gadgets can quickly add up to a small fortune!

Do you want space for a massive American fridge freezer, or for a nice big cooker with a hot plate? Do you like everything out on the work surface or do you need cupboards for coffee machines, a microwave or dishwasher to be hidden away behind a door. Do you want room for trays, a rack for wine? Consider the lighting, is it good enough when you are preparing food? Do you need lights to shine down on the work surfaces? Have you enough plug sockets? Where do they need to be?

What type of kitchen would suit your home?
It’s worth getting some of the kitchen magazines, ideally the ‘makeover’ ones that break down how much everything will cost, so you get a feel for what you can and can’t afford to do. Look out for good offers, especially in January sales of ‘free appliances’.

Make a plan of your current kitchen
It is a good idea to start with a plain piece of paper and map out how your current kitchen looks. Take measurements if you can and then go to local retailers. Especially mark down doors and windows, radiators, electric sockets, gas pipes and water in/outlets. These may restrict what you can do in your kitchen, or you’ll need to budget for having them moved.

Visit the retailers – but beware of the salesmen!
Buying a kitchen is great fun. Salesmen know that and are masters at getting you to spend twice as much as you want to. They even advertise their carefully selected kitchens which look huge for only ‘£4,000’ then you find that for all the cupboards you need, it’ll cost you two to three times as much! The trick to dealing with salesmen is to stick to your budget. If they want to add something else in, ask them if they can do it ‘within budget’ or what else they would need to take away from the plans to meet the budget – they’ll soon get the message.

Alternatively, negotiate hard. Go with all the things they suggest and when they announce that’ll cost you £15,000, say that’s great, what discount can you give? We want the kitchen but we only have £7,000 and not a penny more. Don’t fall for their financing packages, unless they are at 0% interest. Even then only borrow what you can afford to pay now ie £7,000.

Check who is fitting the kitchen!
It’s up to you how to fit the kitchen. You can do it yourself, but you need to have some DIY experience and you will need expert help for the plumbing and electrics. Make sure electricians are ‘Part P Registered’ and plumbers working on gas are ‘Gas Safe Registered’.

Get the right certificates!
Any gas or electric work will require a certificate from the person carrying out the work. Make sure you get a copy of these certificates and don’t pay the tradesmen until you do. Without them, you may not be able to sell your home in the future.

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