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Is it worth spending lots of money on a kitchen?

(68 Posts)
amysaidno Mon 03-Jan-11 10:55:20

We're still a bit of time away from putting in a new kitchen (we need some structural work done first) but looking at kitchen designs and ideas and it would be very very easy to spend an absolute fortune on a new kitchen and I keep wondering whether it is worth it. I'm a bit more comfortable spending a bit on appliances but does it matter how much you spend on cabinets/doors etc? Is it just that they last longer? Presumably if you buy standard cabinets, you could always replace the doors to "refresh" the kitchen if it is looking worn in the future? I'd love to hear your views.

ninedragons Mon 03-Jan-11 10:57:45

Are you in your forever house?

It's less important if so, but I can't see the logic of putting a Poggenpohl kitchen in a poky terrace.

ninedragons Mon 03-Jan-11 10:58:33

Sorry, that sounded rude and I didn't mean it to. I just meant don't spend a disproportionate amount relative to the value of your property.

amysaidno Mon 03-Jan-11 11:17:44

It didn't come across rude! Probably a forever house, or at least a very long time house. That's part of the dilemma though, if I fork out thousands for a fancy kitchen will it last longer than a cheaper kitchen... I'd like to get this one right and not have to go through the disruption of fitting a kitchen more than once.

lalalonglegs Mon 03-Jan-11 15:53:52

I don't think there is any point buying a very cheap kitchen and, yes, pricey ones are generally better made. But, chances are you might want to change an expensive one before it came to the end of its life anyway. I would choose a solidly-built kitchen from a range that comes with lots of internal storage fittings. This could mean anything from Ikea to John Lewis - it depends what you feel comfortable with. I visit a lot of houses belonging to architects and a lot of them use Ikea but are imaginative in putting together different doors, using non-Ikea handles/worktops etc. It's not all about the cupboard doors - just avoid cheap wood-effect and I think Shaker has had it.

stealthsquiggle Mon 03-Jan-11 15:58:22

Go and shake the cabinets in show rooms and decide where the balance between solidity and price lies for you. We spent far more than we originally intended (not quite poggenpohl but not far off) but 4 years later it all still looks "as new" and it is the forever house... build quality makes a big difference, but at some point it switches from that to brand-based pricing and the trick is to spot that point, I think. An interesting test for me was the pull-out larder units - ours are full height and very heavily loaded, and I think any of the less solid ones we looked at would have given up by now.

headfairy Mon 03-Jan-11 16:01:57

I don't think it's worth spending money on the cabinets, do you really care if the back of your kitchen cupboards is solid wood or mdf? However I would spend money on things like worktops. They get a lot of wear and tear and something solid will repay you by looking good for ages. If you go for a wood worktop for instance, get the best you can afford, something solid and chunky like oak which lasts for ages. Doors you can always change later.

I agree it's worth spending time and money on getting the internal fittings in the cupboards right, shelving, racks and different bits you can get to sort everything out will make your kitchen work so much better.

I'd also think long and hard about the floor, I put down lovely glossy cream polished tiles down in our last kitchen, which looked fab for about a week. Go dark and durable!

I think the most common mistakes made with kitchens are rubbish lighting and poorly thought out cupboards. Our current kitchen we inherited from the previous owners of the house, who were architects so you'd think they'd know better. Lovely plain white kitchen, beautfully sleek, but crappy light grey floor which stains horribly and has to be cleaned every day. No proper task lighting, all the lighting is in the centre of the ceiling so if you're standing at the sink or cooker you cast a massive shadow over what you're doing which drives me crazy. Also, there is no full height cupboard so there's nowhere to store mops/brooms/hoover.

hatesponge Mon 03-Jan-11 16:06:45

It's worth spending time in planning the layout of your kitchen, and working out what you need to store as well so that ultimately you have a kitchen that works for you.

We spent a long time planning our kitchen and 5 years on I'm still happy with it, and it still looks (imo) good. The only thing I would change was to have granite worktops, but that would have added nearly 50% to our budget so wasnt achievable (sadly!)

crystalglasses Mon 03-Jan-11 16:12:46

How much is 'lots of money' to you and how big is your kitchen? Ours is very small and so mostly taken up with appliances, which cost the money.

amysaidno Mon 03-Jan-11 16:13:24

Thank you for excellent feedback, really helpful stuff. It never occured me to shake the cupboards to see how solid they feel, I'll have a go. Also, good tip about the lighting, shadows would drive me bonkers too.

headfairy Mon 03-Jan-11 16:16:26

crystalglasses - the only kitchen I've ever had installed from new was in our old flat, it was tiny, 1.5m by 3.5m. It was just one run of cupboards, with a double stack of eye level cupboards (one on top of the other to the full height of the ceiling) with dishwasher, oven, cooker, extractor, sink, waste disposal, washer/dryer all in cream gloss with solid oak work top and blue glass tiled splashback, from MFI (yes, I know customer service is rubbish but the kitchen was pretty solid) and it all came to £5k all in, including tiling and electrics etc etc. Expensive for the size of the kitchen but was worth it because we were selling a couple of years later and it did still look good.

Carrotsandcelery Mon 03-Jan-11 16:18:34

I agree with hatesponge it is worth getting someone out from an "expensive" showroom for a really good layout and design. That is what makes the difference between a good kitchen and a brilliant one.
Then take the design to a more medium priced kitchen fitters.
Most people around me go for inexpensive carcasses but decent doors, appliances etc.

amysaidno Mon 03-Jan-11 16:23:31

Cross posts! I had it in my head that I would be spending about £3k on a kitchen. Everyone thinks that is absolutely laughable and I think we'll be spending about that on appliances. We haven't had any quotes in yet but I am expecting them to be about £10k which I think is heaps, but it is a big space to fill (we're knocking down a wall into the next room). I would expect it to be pretty perfect for that kind of money. The problem is, I have no experience of buying kitchens and have no idea of what is reasonable.

KangarooCaught Mon 03-Jan-11 16:30:32

Doesn't sound a lot for a kitchen, unless it's small. We didn't think this was our forever house, so did a superficial upgrade of doors, floor, appliances & worktop - and 3-4 yrs on wish we'd gone the whole hog. We'll be looking to spend about the 10k mark.

crystalglasses Mon 03-Jan-11 17:20:13

Go to Homebase or the other large DIY chain (can't remember the name) and they will do a free design aand cost calculation. All you need to give them is the dimensions of the kitchen including door and window spaces and the type of kitchen you have in n mind (from their stock). doesn't commit you to anything but it will give you an idea of what the cost is. John Lewis will do the same for about £50-£100 plus a visit to your home from one of their kitchen designers. There's no obligation to buy but if you go ahead the cost of the service will be deducted from the bill.
We did all this and found it helped us decide what we wanted, what could be installed in our kitchen and the costs entailed.

LaurieFairyonthetreeEatsCake Mon 03-Jan-11 17:26:52

As a rough guide I've read to spend no more than 10% of the house purchase price on a kitchen.

Kitchen prices have gone up quite a lot in the last 8 years, I spent 7k plus fitting on a solid oak Ikea one about 9 years ago- would be surprised to get it for that now

BalloonSlayer Mon 03-Jan-11 17:34:34

We have a quite large kitchen, had fairly basic Benchmark units fitted by a reasonable builder. Included was a new oven and hob and a small wine fridge wink, wall tiling (but not tiles) floor tiles and tiling and a new back door and window. It came to about £12,000 < chokes >

God only knows what it would have cost had it been "bespoke"

Come to think of it that price could have included some internal doors as well, can't really remember.

My advice would be not to replace things like washing machines unless you have to - they break soon enough anyway and you can get a new one when you need it.

wubblybubbly Mon 03-Jan-11 17:43:42

We bought an IKEA kitchen which my DH fitted. It was pretty easy to put together and is solid. We saved a load doing it that way, although still needed professionals to fit the appliances/plumbing/worktops.

The only problem is the cupboard doors, they are rubbish. We did go for a low price door, as that's the only one they did in the style I wanted but they have chipped and marked and are a nightmare to keep clean.

The units and fittings are great though.

A pricier door might be better quality.

GrendelsMum Mon 03-Jan-11 17:47:35

We spent £10k on a kitchen in our previous house, and it made a huge difference - it went from being a room that one person could stand and cook in while someone else stood in the doorway and called through to them, to being a room where two people could sit down and eat.

We found that drawers are much more expensive than cupboards, but have far more usable space, as you can get things out of the back without difficulty. Swapping from cupboards to drawers throughout meant we had the same storage but contained in far less space, freeing up room for a breakfast bar.

BiL (a builder / developer) says you should look at the German kitchen manufacturers, as he has reluctantly had to admit that the Germans give much better quality for the price.

As StealthSquiggle says, try shaking drawers in B&Q. It was doing that that sent us rapidly upmarket.

WhatsWrongWithYou Mon 03-Jan-11 17:47:36

We used a local carpenter who made us a bespoke wooden kitchen (at the time I was obsessed with having no mdf) for about the price of a Moben.

I used the savings on an Aga blush.

kayah Mon 03-Jan-11 17:51:09

prices of appliences are very high once you go for build in ones - so consider carefully if you need those

gregssausageroll Mon 03-Jan-11 19:01:33

I think it depends on if it is your forever house. If not then I'd do cheap but may be spend a little more on worktops and appliances.

Pannacotta Mon 03-Jan-11 19:03:31

Just wondering about this myself as we are contemplating a new kitchen before ours actually falls apart...
We are in our forever house, does that mean we should spend a fair amount?
Which kitchens are deemed decent quality and which arent? Any thoughts?

mollymax Mon 03-Jan-11 19:10:29

I think it is the fitting the kitchen that costs.
We had a quote for ours and half of the money was on installing it.
My DH did ours, it took him quite a long time, and is not perfect, but has saved us a fortune.

GrendelsMum Mon 03-Jan-11 19:45:21

Seriously, Pannacotta, go round lots of showrooms and wiggle the drawers.

But a lot of people do say that Ikea carcasses with snazzy doors and handles work very well.

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