PAT’S TOP TEN TIPS WHEN PURCHASING A NEW KITCHEN.
1.Rule No. 1 when searching for estimates for your project is “compare apples for apples”!! Although this point gets stressed time and time again and again to clients, this golden rule often gets ignored. Unless estimators are working from the one detailed and specified plan, too much is left to interpretation and therefore you will not be quoted like for like. So, draw a plan of your kitchen detailing doors, benchtops, cabinet heights, bulkheads etc. with all measurements clearly marked and present this to the estimator. Of course this is not practical or indeed possible for most people and so a small fee to retain a professional designer to design and draw a detailed plan is well worth the investment.
2.Don’t be pressured into purchasing appliances because they are on sale – “the deal of a lifetime”!!! Whilst it’s a good idea to choose the appliances you would ideally like to incorporate into your kitchen and inform the designer of their specifications, the overall design and functionality of your kitchen must always come first.
3.Further to point 2, concentrate on a design that works well, not just looks great. With the help of a good designer you should achieve both. The more features you would like to incorporate and the more complicated the design, the greater the investment in time will be. Merely presenting your house plans and asking for a quote is the worst possible way to ensure success.
4.Work out what is important to you but don’t be a prisoner to it!! Some things are not meant to be in a kitchen incorporating a particular design. If so, it may mean you need to sacrifice to achieve a greater good, leaving you happier in the long run. Either way, listen to the professionals, they will give you their opinion.
5.LISTEN, LISTEN and LISTEN SOME MORE!!! Visit showrooms and talk to professionals. Most kitchen designers will give you some time at no or minimal cost at their premises to discuss your project. At the end of this time you should end up with a good idea of what is possible and what you are after. At this stage you can proceed with whoever you felt made more sense to you and you felt most comfortable dealing with. Remember achieving your ultimate kitchen will be a process not a purchase over the counter.
6.Always insist your cabinet maker is using the highest quality hardware, fittings and accessories that your budget will allow. You will always remember that sagging door or ill fitting drawer whilst the cost of superior hardware will soon be forgotten when you are telling your friends how happy your new kitchen makes you feel!!!
7.KEEP IT SIMPLE. Often this is the case when dealing with such permanent and imposing fixtures such as a kitchen. Whilst you may like to be more adventurous with your colours and ideas, if you intend on staying put for the next 10 to 20 years, consider the implications if you decide to sell. One way to impart some personality and colour in a more semi-permanent way is with accessories, light fittings and wall paint which can be changed at a whim. See our website for examples.
8.Set your budget but be realistic and don’t forget the hidden costs after cabinetry and appliances such as the following:-
- Removal of existing kitchen
- Cosmetic plastering including rectifying any broken or missing plaster
- Wall tiles or other splashback
- Removal of rubbish and debris
- P.S. All trades should take away their own rubbish but clarification of this should be sought before appointing them
9.Ensure the cabinet maker constructing the cabinets is a “Registered Building Practitioner”. This is the law if they are installing a kitchen where the value exceeds $5,000.00. If the value exceeds $12,000.00 they are required to produce builder’s warranty insurance for the project. Any cabinet maker not complying with this is BREAKING THE LAW!! This law is there to protect you against faulty workmanship if the cabinet maker is no longer around to honour his obligation to rectify any problems.
10.Further to point 9, it would be wise to check the credentials of any one you may wish to appoint, including industry certifications, awards, affiliations/endorsements and testimonials. The company’s longevity and reputation in the industry is also very important along with a comprehensive showroom consisting of more than just one kitchen to reference the quality expected should the need arise!!! Be wary of appointing anyone whose showroom comprises only of existing customers.
We hope these 10 tips help you on your way to a great kitchen renovation experience.
To book a showroom appointment with one of our qualified staff, contact us and we will be more than happy to help.