I need a new kitchen - where on earth do I start?

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I need a new kitchen - where on earth do I start?

25 replies 6.3K views
fimonkeyfimonkey Forumite
1.2K posts
Help please, what are your suggestions?

I need a new kitchen, designed and fitted (I don't even want to lift a paintbrush after my bathroom DIY disaster). Where on earth do I start? I'm not even sure what styles I like yet, until I see what they would look like in my existing space.

I tried to book a 'kitchen designer' appointment with Tesco, they called, told me their starting price was 4K and I needed to know what styles I liked before they would come out. Same with Homebase - I need to visit their store and choose a kitchen (but how can I choose without seeing it on a computer in the space I have?)

I tried the IKEA online kitchen design, but my computer is so slow it couldn't cope, plus IKEA is 35 mile away.

A friend said "buy the units from wicks and get a local builder in to fit - much cheaper" - would be if I even had half a brain cell to know what I need to buy and where the units should go etc (it really needs a completely new design).

My kitchen is 3m by 2.5m, so not huge. I want intergrated appliances too (washing machine, oven, hob and fridge freezer) and given what Tesco said I am guessing it will be in the region of £4K plus.

If it is this amount (I foolishly thought it would be much less when I saw wicks prices, but realise this is without all the add ons) then I would need to take out a loan to pay it. Iam considering the 4 years free credit options which are only available if you use their fitting services etc - but overall is it really a deal? I can pay it off in 4 years but is the overall cost much higher than the 'wicks and local builder' option? (for which I would nee a loan too, about 9%APR from my bank).

Confused - and the 'free kitchen design' offers are not what they seem to be,

Where do I start getting the best job for the best price without having the hassle?


  • edited 12 December 2012 at 2:12PM
    richardwrichardw Forumite
    19.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
    edited 12 December 2012 at 2:12PM
    You've go to start with the basic triangle, hob-sink-fridge and where you want this in your kitchen.

    Go for a look round the diy store showrooms just to pick up ideas of what you like and don't like and to magnet and howdens.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • krlyrkrlyr Forumite
    6K posts
    You could probably find a "kitchens forum" to post for advice on and have some local-ish kitchen fitters do you some designs or offer some kind of deal to get your custom in this climate - I imagine there's a fair few fitters eager to get some new custom in.
  • NivNiv Forumite
    1.9K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    I do believe your best start is to go around the diy sheds and have a look at their offerings, and pick up their brosures. You will know from looking at their display models what sort of style you like etc. I also agree with richardw above, you should have an idea where you want the 'non moveables' (sink, hob fridnge).

    Once you know what designs you like you can start to look at suppliers. Some people suggest avoiding places like b&q entirely, but this is not always the simplest / most cost effective solution for everyone.

    As for who to fit, it comes down to if you can find/ can find atrustwirthy fitter. i am sure there are a lot out there but finding the good ones is not always easy. Do you knwo anyone that has had a kichen fitted recently etc? Where did they go, did they use an independant fitter? If you buy the kitchen from b&q (for example) and got an independant fitter, how easy is it to get replacements bits if thigns get damaged / broken during installation? (Equally - I am assuming that this is more straight forward if you use the 'in house' fittters but cannot say for sure).

    Target: Mortgage free by 58.
  • Melaniep101Melaniep101 Forumite
    629 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    Here's what we did when we were getting a new kitchen:

    1. Look through some house magazines to decide on a style/feel (traditional/modern/country/minimalist)
    2. Went on Check a Trade to find a kitchen installer with great reviews
    3. Had several quotes for fitting from different installers
    4. Choose your installer
    5. Find out if they recommend a particular kitchen supplier - We went with Benchmarx on our installers recommendation (Benchmarx/Howdens have showrooms so go and have a look)
    6. We then got Benchmarx in to design the kitchen (try different layouts)
    7. Once we were happy with the design, we bought the kitchen and our fitter did the rest.

    Can't emphasise enough how important a good fitter is, a good one can make a cheap kitchen look amazing! Ours was fantastic and did everything bar the plastering and electrics.

    Hope that helps.
  • find a trusted locak builder/fitter. They will have accounts with places like Howdens and Magnets which have showrooms for you to go and look and choose, and have kitchen designers to come out and measure your kitchen and plan it for you. i think it will be the builder who has to arrange the appointment but basically it is generally free.

    They will then pass on the price of the kitchen to the builder (as he will get trade prices not the prices shown in the books etc) and well it is up to the builder what he will charge you - you are effectively buying the kitchen of him.
  • LokoloLokolo Forumite
    20.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
    I had the same problem OP.

    I went to Wickes and they designed it and quoted me a very high price. I then went and found a local fitter (I actually found 3 from mybuilder). 1 was OK, 1 wouldn't do tiling and 1 was perfect.

    He then suggested I look at the styles of Howdens or Benchmarx. He then went to local Travis Perkins (which had Benchmarx showroom). They then redesigned and measured it all up. I bought the appliances myself from Appliances Online (I knew what type of oven and hob I wanted).

    He then fitted, tiled etc. the whole thing and the job was very well done.
  • edited 12 December 2012 at 10:45PM
    cddccddc Forumite
    1.2K posts
    edited 12 December 2012 at 10:45PM
    Lots of good advice on this thread so far and I would add that you should not be afraid of kitchen designers and going to see them. Free design services are exactly that when you go to the sheds or the trade chains, and this will mostly be true of independents also.

    What you should watch out for, are the type that plan and sell in the home, those who charge you a deposit for visiting you etc.. Despite the demise of a few in recent years there are still plenty of sharks about and I would very loosely say that Tesco's are on the edge of that. Anyone who offers you free fitting is not being entirely honest with you. You are paying for it somewhere.

    At the end of the day, a Designer with a multiple will design easily well over 150 kitchens a year in most branches, in some many more than that, and a good one will sell half of them. They are used to not selling everything they plan, so whilst you will get a sales pitch, you will not get thumbscrews, and though of course they want you to buy from them, at the end of the day they are not be too upset if you dont. And because they design so many, they will probably come up with a few better ideas than you could with an online planner.
    Yes it may mean spending a few days trawling the stores and a few hours of your life that you will not get back, but you will almost certainly get a better kitchen for it.
  • edited 13 December 2012 at 5:07PM
    xmandyxxmandyx Forumite
    3 posts
    edited 13 December 2012 at 5:07PM
    Managed to get onto my old account :)
  • cddccddc Forumite
    1.2K posts

    ...and I work for them...

    Agree with most of that in all honesty, but would never, ever, put it like that on here..

    And when, exactly, xmandyx, did you buy this kitchen on a finance package which kicks in next week for the Winter Sale (when we will be competitive by the way;)):rotfl:
  • adamgadamg Forumite
    485 posts
    xmandyx wrote: »
    I cannot fault them....they really have the wow factor. I have had kitchens from the other big ones in the past as have family and friends and it is just nightmare after nightmare. My poor brother has had two floods from the dishwasher in the past 12 months alone. Nothing has gone right for them and he needs a new kitchen with the state it is in after only a few years. He has had awful customer service.
    As you work for Wickes why did your brother not buy from you???
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure - MSE ForumTeam
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