Kitchens – Choosing a Supplier
My new kitchen - a dream not a nightmare
The thought of a new kitchen in your house is an exciting prospect - make sure it stays that way and doesn’t become a daunting and over expensive task.
You can’t give the project too much thought - don’t fall into the trap of rushing out to see what is out there before you have decided on several important things such as:
• budget - you need to be realistic and also look at how you can afford to pay, search around for finance deals if you need one - don’t just accept the first one because it ‘sounds’ ok
• consider what you NEED in your kitchen and then think about the extras you would love to have
• will the company do the design for you and ensure that you make good use of space and get the working area and storage you need
• how will it be installed (are you really a proficient plumber, carpenter, electrician or gas installer ?), and
• DIYing or not, how much professional advice and help you need.
The internet is a great place to start the search you can look at as many styles, gadgets and gismos as you like without having to make instant decisions.
But also remember that looking at actual units and appliances helps you to make lots of decisions, such as quality, colour, combinations…
So give both options a try.
How far will your money stretch:
• are you going to look for flat packs and do most of the work yourself
• or flat packs and bringing in tradesmen
• will your budget stretch to a bespoke kitchen designed exclusively for you, or
• does it fall somewhere in between.
Choose the Company Carefuly
Whatever you decide, or however you buy - through the internet, from a retailer or kitchen specialist company you need to ensure you are dealing with a sound business.
How long has the company been trading? Do you know someone who has bought from them? If so ask them to be honest about the quality of products, the workmanship, and how long the installation actually took.
Check that the company is a member of trade body such as the Kitchen Specialist Association (KSA). It gives you the backing of a trade body which has checked out the company and will act as a mediator if a problem should arise.
Get a costing for the job - and make sure that it is fully itemised, then you will know exactly what you will be paying and will be able to discuss any queries before anything is signed. Also be wary of handing over full payment before a job is completed - it is your back-up if workmanship is not up to standard or parts are missing.
•Does the company offer a full fitting service and if so what kind of guarantee comes with the workmanship?
Then choose the Kitchen the Kitchen Carefuly
If you are visiting retailers look carefully at the show kitchens. You want this to be a dream not a battered wreck.
Here are one or two ideas of the things you check out for yourself just by having a good look round:
• are corners on units wearing well
• åre the hinges beginning to sag
• are there scratches
• do the parts fit well together - no gaping seams for example and,
• just how robust are the materials?
Visiting a showroom will give you an excellent opportunity to look at finishes and how colours gel. Many companies will send a specialist to your home to advise on what can be achieved and he or she should provide samples of worktops and cupboard doors to help you make that all important choice, which is going to be part of your life for some yeas to come - so you want to get it right.
If appliances come with recognised standard such as kite marks, you know that they should be manufactured to an approved national criteria.
After Sales Service
Does the company you chose offer an after sales service - if not - walk away now.
Some companies will inspect the finished kitchen to ensue that everything has been installed correctly and is working properly.
And check how long a guarantee the kitchen and appliances have? You ought to look for the longest period possible.
A Little Bit of Research
Some of the things we have recommended might take a little research, but this is your dream kitchen - it isn’t something most of us replace every day, so get exactly what you want, from a reliable company, and make sure that work is carried out to a high standard.
Then all you have to do is sit back as the neighbours admire the finished job and wonder why their kitchen doesn’t look anywhere near as good as yours.