The Process Of Buying
A New Kitchen
Buying a new kitchen is not something you do every day, so understandably there are a lot of unknowns and it can be a daunting prospect, which is why we thought it would be helpful to break the process down in to easy to follow steps
Do Your Research
A great first step when deciding on a new kitchen is to do your research. Look on Pinterest and in Kitchen design magazines and see what styles appeal to you.
Also, think about how you are going to use the kitchen. For example, if you are planning an open plan kitchen then having a separate utility room or a quiet dishwasher and washing machine are important things to consider.
Similarly, if cooking is your passion then you may want to allocate a larger part of your budget to a top of the range oven.
Storage is another important aspect to consider. For example, are you wanting a pullout larder, a built-in pantry, or a wine cooler?.
As you can see there are a lot of decisions to be made and it is important to think about what you want from your new kitchen at this stage when you still have the luxury of time
This is the perfect time to consider the layout of the room. It could be that your kitchen is already in the optimal layout, but if not, now is the time to make those changes.
If space is tight can a wall be knocked down to make more space ? or if the room is open plan you might want to consider a utility room for those noisy appliances.
Think about how your family uses the space, do you need somewhere for the kids to do their homework, or do you and your partner need space to be able to cook together?
Choose your style.
There are many different styles of kitchen, from traditional Shaker to handless modern and industrial and the style you choose will impact other decisions, such as the type of sink and lighting you have.
Think about the look you are wanting to achieve, how you use your kitchen, and also consider other aspects such as the architecture of your home.
The Neff Hide and glide oven
image. We are a Neff dealer. Pop into our showroom to view the Neff range we have on display
Take time to think about the appliances you are wanting, so they can be incorporated into your design. Have you set your heart on an American style fridge or would you prefer the appliances hidden away?
Ovens also require important consideration. Are you happy to bend down to take things out of the oven or would you prefer them at eye level, or are you wanting a freestanding range cooker, with a feature chimney/mantel above?
These elements will all have an impact on the design of your kitchen and they are the sort of questions your designer will ask you.
Set a budget
When outlining your budget, first consider how long you intend to stay in your house. Is this your forever home and an opportunity to create your dream kitchen or are you planning to move in a few years?
Once you have your wish list and you have set a budget a good designer will be able to work within your budget to ensure you get the best value, without compromising on quality or design.
And while that may mean you don't get to have everything on your wish list, they will help you decide which items are the must-haves and which you would like to have but are not important enough to sacrifice something else for.
How much should I spend on a new kitchen
Choosing a kitchen retailer
A New Kitchen is a big investment so it is not worth making compromises with quality and design
While on the outside two kitchens may look the same. A handmade kitchen is obviously much more durable than a mass-produced product and will offer longevity over the years.
When visiting a showroom, don't just look from a distance, examine the sturdiness of the cabinetry you are investing in. Open all the doors and drawers to test the strength of the hinges, check the smoothness of the drawer runners and the sturdiness of the drawers.
Handles are another area to look at closely, popular styles are often replicated with cheaper alternatives and although they may look the same as more expensive handles, after a few years the finish will start to wear off and they will need to be replaced
Remember quality lasts!
The kitchen designer is key to your New kitchen being a success.
You have done your research, you have an idea of the style you are after and you have thought about what you would love to have and made a decision on your budget. So what next?
Being sold a line of kitchen units is not the same as receiving the benefits of a person with a vision, and who has the skills required to ensure your kitchen works as well as it looks.
A new kitchen is a big investment in your time, and money, so it is important that you feel confident in your choice of designer and that you feel unrushed and listened to
The role of a designer is to see you through the whole process and deal with any issues for you quickly and efficiently.
They are the person who will discuss your wish list, the look you are after, and your budget and be able to not only design something that is aesthetically pleasing but also create a design that works for you and your family.
Your designer will also be able to suggest ways of tweaking the details slightly, to ensure the kitchen comes within budget without compromising on quality or design
They will produce rendered CAD drawings for your new kitchen giving an accurate idea of what your finished kitchen will look like and then discuss what you like or don't like and would like to change.
At Somerville kitchens we also use special design software that offers a virtual experience, enabling you to take a virtual tour around your kitchen.
Choosing your worktops
Often referred to as "The icing on the cake" the worktops have a large visual impact on the room and unless you are choosing laminate they will also take up a large portion of the budget.
There is a large selection to choose from such as Caesarstone quartz, granite, Staron and Corian They all have different qualities, so it is important to choose the right worktop for your needs.
At Somerville, we fabricate all our worktops in our workshops in Five Oaks.
So you can be assured of quality service and unbiased advice
Commissioning your Kitchen
You are now at the stage of ordering your kitchen.
The design has been agreed and the style and colours have been chosen. At this stage, a deposit is taken to book your workshop time and agree on an installation date
Your designer will also want to carry out a final full site survey before placing the order with the kitchen manufacturer.
Once your order is confirmed and your deposit paid you will be given hard copies of your drawings, and measurements.
This a good time to source other components such as flooring or wall tiles that will fit in with your scheme if you have not done so already
This is the day you have been waiting for. The day that all those weeks of decision making and planning start to come together.
Usually, the designer will have arranged the fitting and this is certainly recommended as the correct fitting of the kitchen furniture is really important, plus the responsibility for any damage lies with the kitchen company. However, if requested most kitchen companies will also be willing to supply only if you have arranged your own fitter
Most kitchen companies offer what is known as a "dry fit", which means that any plumbing and electrics will be carried out and invoiced by a separate company. This is usually a more cost-effective and simpler option for the customer but we can also provide a full service and will organise the other trades if required
Excluding any building, plumbing or rewiring works the process of fitting the kitchen, depending on the size can take up to a week, although a hand-painted kitchen, will be longer.
If you have chosen stone or Staron/Corian worktops then the worktop will be templated once all the cabinetry has been fitted. The usual time from the worktop template to fit is fifteen working days, not including the day of template
If you are living in the house at this time it is a good idea, if possible to set up a makeshift kitchen in a separate part of the house with a microwave toaster kettle, fridge freezer, etc, away from the dust. Especially if you are having extra works done at the same time, such as laying a new floor, moving plumbing or electrics etc