Fitted Kitchens Buyers Guide
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and as such is often considered the most important room for many members of the family. The modern family kitchen has evolved from a room simply used for cooking, and is now a multi-functional room commonly used for socialising, doing homework, entertaining, watching TV and dining, as well as cooking.
Buying a Fitted Kitchen
There are two options when planning a new kitchen – either you’d like a completely new kitchen or prefer to simply update your current kitchen. If you are quite happy with your current kitchen but feel that it just needs a refresh then you may be able to save money by simply updating the unit doors or worktops, for example. If you feel that completely updating your current kitchen could add value to your home, however, it may be worth making the investment and buy a brand new kitchen. The average cost of a fitted kitchen is £8000, so be sure to have your budget decided before you proceed with the buying process, and make sure you have budgeted for installation, plumbing and electric costs also.
Choosing a Kitchen Layout
If you have decided to buy a brand new fitted kitchen, the first decision to make is which type of layout you would like. There are several different layouts possible, although the choice you make may be limited by the space you have available, the positioning of doors and windows in the room, and how you plan to use your kitchen. Popular choices include Galley Layouts, Kitchen Islands, L-Shaped, U-Shaped and Open Plan. You can use graph paper to plan your kitchen and work out where you want the different components to be located. Make sure to note where electrical sockets, plumbing and waste pipes are.
If you’re unsure about doing this process yourself, there are many kitchen companies and specialists who will design and plan your new kitchen for you.
Choosing a Kitchen Design
The next step is to decide which style of kitchen you’d like. There are many different styles of kitchen available, from modern high gloss designs to traditional Shaker styles. The design you choose will be based on your own individual tastes, how the design will work with the functionality of the room and whether you want the kitchen to fit in with the style of the rest of your property. You will need to make sure you have enough storage options to meet your requirements, so think about open shelves, hooks, and freestanding units as well as fitted kitchen furniture. Other elements to consider include lighting, flooring and wall coverings, all of which will need to complement the style of the units and worktops.
Once you have chosen the layout and design of the kitchen you will also need to choose new appliances, if you have decided not to keep any of the existing appliances. It depends on your available budget. Kitchen appliances can be bought quite cheaply, if you select budget models, but they also range up to high-end premium brands. For smaller kitchens, there are compact versions of many appliances on the market, such as slimline dishwashers and two ring hobs instead of four or five.
How To Find A Kitchen Fitter
Many fitted kitchen companies will include installation of the units in the overall cost of the package, however, it may be necessary for you to find a fitter yourself. Bear in mind that you may need more than one type of tradesperson (e.g. electrician, plumber and Gas Safe Engineer) to complete the job depending upon its complexity. Always get a range of quotes before deciding upon a fitter to ensure that you get the best deal. Speaking to friends, family and neighbours is always a useful activity as they can usually recommend good fitters or advise you of bad experiences that they may have had.