Buying a new kitchen can be a terrifying task. There are many special offers and huge variations in price, quality and service.
Satt Sembhy, Broadway Kitchens MD and Senior Kitchen Designer, has written some tips to help homeowners buy new kitchens with confidence.
“For my family and many others, the kitchen is the heart of the home so rushing in to choosing a new one without carefully thinking it through can be a huge mistake.” he said.
“Follow my clear strategy and I can’t ensure you won’t become a victim of an unscrupulous kitchen company, and I can help minimise the many pitfalls you are likely to encounter.”
- When you’re looking for a new fitted kitchen be sure to visit the showroom and discuss your requirements with experts who genuinely care about you. “Never, ever purchase your kitchen on the same day, no matter how attractive the ‘special offer’ sounds,” Satt said.
“Go home, get a good night’s sleep and have a think about it. These ‘special offers’ are only likely to be even lower in the days or weeks when you say no.”
- Get at least two designs at different budget levels; you may be surprised what you can afford. This way you can get a clearer picture of what is right for you. It will also help establish what budget you want to set for your kitchen project.
- Find out how long the company has been established. Some companies offer ’20 year guarantees’ on their products but have only been trading in business five years or less! This gives you a good idea of the caliber of company you are dealing with. “If the company has been trading 10 years or more, you know that they have survived by not over or under pricing,” Satt said. “They would have had to have been competitive, have offered good products and, of course, had a good level of after sale service.”
- Does the company have their own fitters or are they sub-contractors? Who is it you actually pay? “Sometimes if an after sales service is required under the guarantee period the company can blame the fitters and vice-versa,” Satt warned. “This can leave you with the problem unsolved, if you cannot establish who is accountable. Having a broken oven, badly fitted sink or leaking washing machine can really disrupt family life.”
- Always ask for references and ask to see an actual installation. This gives you a clue about the quality and service you are likely to get.
- Think long and hard about the design. Plan views are now a thing of the past and you should deal with a company that can offer you a visual of your new kitchen. It is always advisable to see your new kitchen in the style and finish of your choice before you actually buy it.
- Some trade only companies are now offering their services direct to the public. They will show you around their workshops and you are able to see the quality of kitchens for yourself without being confused by any sales patter. You will always be able to save money on a like-for-like basis.
- Remember that quality is not always skin deep. When you go looking for a new kitchen, the appeal is probably on the appearance. It is natural to look at and touch the kitchen cabinets, the worktop, sink and taps and appliances. However, this can be a risky strategy. You need to look at the quality of the carcasses, especially the density and thickness, the types of drawers and drawer runners, the type of hinge, the type of backs of cabinets etc.
- If standard kitchen cabinets do not fit exactly to your existing room you have two choices: Accept that standard sizes of kitchen units may be cheaper or seek out a manufacturer who will supply and fit your new kitchen directly and will make the special sized cabinets to fit your room. “Remember you may pay a premium for bespoke sized units BUT they will always fit your room better and look more appealing,” Satt said.
- Go to a company that will give you a realistic time-scale for your project. The amount of time it will take to supply and fit your kitchen will vary depending on its size and the products you choose but be suspicious of anyone who promises a very quick, or very slow, turnaround.
- Lastly, and by no means least, it is important to realise that the true cost is not just the kitchen units, worktops and appliances. You must allow for floor and wall coverings, curtains (or blinds), lighting and, of course, the painting and decorating.
“I hope my top 11 tips help you create a perfect family kitchen which you can enjoy for years to come. Wishing you all the best for your new purchase and blessings of love, light, health and happiness,” Satt said.
The team at Broadway Kitchens can help you design your dream kitchen. Call us 0121 353 4999 or visit our showroom.
Originally written 24th March, 2009 and still relevant today.