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new kitchen advice

(24 Posts)
KB02 Fri 25-Jan-13 12:58:39

Hi, this is the first time I have owned a home and we are thinking about getting a new kitchen. So it's the first time I have had to think about it. Our current kitchen units are quite badly designed/laid out so as not to make good use of the space. So we need to add units where there are no units. We are on a low budget and would like to keep our own appliances . But Undecided whether to keep cooker as it works fine or to get a built in one.

I am not very good with change/making decisions/ spending large sums and am getting stressed at the thought of it ,

Which I know is silly.

Does anyone have any tips for me , things you wish you knew or considered before you got your kitchen or best place to buy ?

impty Fri 25-Jan-13 13:19:10

Ikea have an online tool to help you design your own kitchen. This will help you visualise it. If you buy a kitchen from somewhere else you will have a clearer idea of what you want.

Always go home after having a kitchen designed for you (most places do this for free) and sleep on it. What works on paper may not work in real life.

Make sure you know where all the stuff in your cupboards will live in your new kitchen.

As you are on a budget I can recommend ikea. I have done 2 kitchens in Ikea units, they have looked great and lasted really well. However, as with all things flat packed they are only as good as the people who put it together. If you know a great carpenter then go for it. Ikea also do a fitting service. I used them the first time and they were really really good.

I don't work for them by the way!

Also don't be afraid to mix and match. You can buy your units from one place, work tops somewhere else, sink somewhere else etc etc. If you see a style of tap you like look online you can often by it cheaper from plumbers merchants yourself.

Finally, put some take away money to one side. Having the kitchen done makes cooking awkward to say the least so you'll need the odd meal out/ take away to keep you sane!

wadadlis Fri 25-Jan-13 13:34:14

Go to a friend's kitchen that you like and is a similar size to yours. Measure the distance between the counters/ counters & wall so you can work out what space you would like/need to work in. If your feel for space is bad as mine, it is useful to know what measurements you need. I did this in my mum's kitchen before I did it in mine - saved me tripping over DH in our new kitchen like I do when I am at mum's!

There are some really good corner units which are like a tardis in terms of what they will take - look carefully at the ones on offer.

When you put the shelves inside the cupboards, you need to know that you will get your cereal boxes/olive oil bottles etc inside without screaming. Measure measure measure!

Magnet will design a kitchen for you if you go and visit them - I found it much quicker than trying to do the IKEA one by myself (and IKEA queues reach to the moon and back if you want to wait for someone to do it with you). They measure up with standard units which you can buy anywhere - so you get the magnet plan but go elsewhere once you have it!

If it's a small kitchen and maybe a bit dark, get glossy cupboard doors and work surfaces to reflect the light

Sounds like you could put new doors on your old units and add new units into the mix with the same doors - looks like a new kitchen but infact a mix of old and new.

Good luck, it might be fun...

GettingObsessive Fri 25-Jan-13 13:36:30

There was a thread on here not long ago about what people wished they had done when they gad their kitchens in. Also, go to all of the shops with your measurements and see what they suggest.

Yorky Fri 25-Jan-13 13:48:02

We have nearly decided on our kitchen plan (started in July last year so haven't rushed!) as you say its a LOT of money. And its been fascinating watching how our ideas have changed over that time - we wanted a breakfast bar, which we're having, but I was sure I wanted curved door cupboards under the end of it - but they are expensive for curved doors and don't hold a lot - so we're not having them. And the conversations DH and I have had about what goes in which cupboard - its nearly 3 times the storage space we currently have so it should be easy!!

I've gone for a built in double oven because I don;'t like under counter ones, and if I want to do a cake at the same time as cooking tea I can.
I wanted a built in microwave - a lot more expensive, but its buying back room on my work top.
Don't get integrated fridge or freezer - they're so much smaller than free standing ones.
I liked the idea of boiling water taps, but then worked out how many kettles I could buy for the same money!

Have fun

impty Fri 25-Jan-13 14:45:49

eBay your old kitchen! its cheaper than skipping it and you might make ££££.

KB02 Fri 25-Jan-13 18:17:19

Thanks for your advice everyone! I'll have a look at the IKEA online tool,just to have a look at possibilities impty and see if I can find that thread getting, thanks again. May be asking more questions soon. [Grin]

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Sat 26-Jan-13 09:44:47

just one thing... don't go to wickes. useless tossers. angry angry

FishfingersAreOK Sat 26-Jan-13 11:41:12 This is worth a read...before you get your heart set on anything....and plan your bin grin

fossil971 Sat 26-Jan-13 11:53:20

This is a useful website about layout and ergonomics of kitchens. The Ikea interior fittings are very reasonably priced if you want to pinch some ideas.

I thought about the layout a lot when designing ours and have ended up more or less following the "dynamic" layout except we were keeping our ugly old fridge that had to be put in a corner to make it less obvious. Just think a bit about where you will stand to cook, where you will make a coffee, where the washing up will get stacked - have a bit of separate space for each.

YY to keeping anything that works and using the Ikea planner and units.

KB02 Sun 27-Jan-13 10:50:11

Thanks everyone grin

Springforward Sun 27-Jan-13 19:28:36

We had a new kitchen not long ago, and the bit I'm most pleased with is the built-in double oven and seperate 5 burner hob with the cutlery drawer underneath. Most of the time we can just use the little oven, but on sunday or when we have visitors I can cook enormous meals without juggling everything to get in on the table hot. Love it.

aufaniae Sun 27-Jan-13 21:49:40

Tips on kitchens on a budget:

- Avoid IKEA unless you are installing the kitchen yourself and have good carpentry skills, or you have no pipes running along your walls. All kitchens made for the UK market have a recess at the back of the cupboards, to allow for pipework on the walls. IKEA don't have this, the cupboards go all the way ip to the wall. This means you will need to cut holes in your new cupboards to allow for the pipes. Besides it being a shame to have to cut up new cupboards, and have pipes running into your units, it also means it will cost you money as it will mean more work for your kitchen fitters.

- Check out Wickes Take-away kitchens. I know someone above has said to avoid them, but we found them to be great when doing our flat up (we went to the Tottenham branch in London). Their Take-away range was very reasonable. Can't vouch for longevity however as we were doing the flat up to sell!

- Check out independent tile shops. We found them much better value and with better ranges than the high street chains. If in London Al Murad are worth a visit.

- Perhaps consider a second hand cooker? We just got a range oven (with 8 hobs!) on eBay for £155 for our new house, we're very pleased with it smile

ILikeBirds Sun 27-Jan-13 22:09:50

"This means you will need to cut holes in your new cupboards to allow for the pipes. Besides it being a shame to have to cut up new cupboards, and have pipes running into your units, it also means it will cost you money as it will mean more work for your kitchen fitters."

Or you could just get a deeper worktop and create you own service gap behind the units. Or run any pipework below cabinet level.

fossil971 Sun 27-Jan-13 22:24:30

I don't think Ikea are a lost cause. It is quite feasible not to have lots of pipes running along walls. Gas and water pipes can easily be moved to run at plinth level, which leaves the sink unit and the back of that can be moved forward a few inches on some battens if you don't want to see the pipes. A kitchen cabinet is four pieces of chipboard, there is no law against customising it and it's certainly possible with moderate DIY skills. I've installed an Ikea kitchen and it wasn't a show stopper.

aufaniae Sun 27-Jan-13 22:39:06

"Gas and water pipes can easily be moved to run at plinth level" well yes, of course they can, but if you're on a budget, this is a not insignificant and unnecessary cost! (Unless you have the skills to do it yourself).

"Or you could just get a deeper worktop and create you own service gap behind the units."

Ooh, cunning! However - aren't worktops usually a standard width? Wouldn't it cost more to get an especially wide worktop? It would certainly limit your choice, wouldn't it? But could be a possibility.

Why not simply go for a kitchen supplier which makes kitchens for the UK market?!

I was all set on an IKEA kitchen for our flat until I discovered this at the last minute. We had only about £2.5K to do the whole kitchen. Paying someone to move pipes would have been a significant dent in our budget! I feel we had a lucky escape. If we'd bought it and got it home only to find out at that point that we needed to move pipes I would have cried!

impty Mon 28-Jan-13 16:44:17

Ikea sell extra wide work tops. we have them in our utility room. pipes are behind the cupboards and unmoved.

ILikeBirds Mon 28-Jan-13 16:57:41

"Why not simply go for a kitchen supplier which makes kitchens for the UK market?!"

Because they're twice as expensive? Our homebase quote came in at twice the price of our Ikea one and that was after Homebase had taken off their '60% off for this week only' discount.

It cost £100 pounds to move our gas pipe 8ft, we made sure they routed it below plinth level at the same time. Even on a 2k kitchen as ours was it was a small part of the overall budget. Result is nice deep cupboards with more storage space.

Other bonus of Ikea is that they do tall wall cupboards on all their kitchens. Most other high street suppliers don't offer them on their budget ranges.

FriskyMare Mon 28-Jan-13 17:41:57

We spent nearly 18months planning our kitchen although that did involve some building work too. We took our time and got lots of samples/visited showrooms etc to get ideas. Quotes varied from an eyewatering £23000 to a more reasonable £6500.

fossil971 Mon 28-Jan-13 19:52:22

Aufanie, all good points but the main thing is take a little time to look at what's behind the doors. It's easy to think the big choice is over gloss doors or oak worktops. What will make the kitchen durable and easy to use is good quality cabinets, good drawers, well planned storage. If you look at the insides and backs of the units and the sizes carefully then you can figure out if you have a problem with pipes etc.

OP I have one criterion for quality of a kitchen: open a base unit and prod the back. If it wobbles (hardboard) walk away! And I know Ikea are hardboard but because they're flat against the wall they can't be pushed out when the cupboard is stuffed with tins.

Having done a few kitchens I'd say an independent supplier should be able to do you a decent rigid built kitchen with a choice of cabinet finishes and doors, good drawers etc for a price to match the likes of Homebase.

Murtette Mon 28-Jan-13 20:09:16

Plan, plan & plan. We had five kitchen designers come to do drawings for us (Wickes, Howdens & three independents) and it was fascinating how they all had different ideas and then, if you mentioned one idea to another designer, they'd either go "yes, that probably is the best use of space" or "no because of X". Personally, I found the designers with children to be the most helpful as they knew what my needs & concerns were and could also explain how things would change as my children got older.
If the person in the showroom of the company tells you something, write it down! We got base units without a draw at the top. When I decided on this, I know my conversation with the salesperson went "if I don't have a drawer, does that mean I get an extra shelf where the drawer would be" & she said "yes". There isn't an extra shelf so I now have very big cupboards with just one shelf which is a waste of space and, whilst I could get an extra shelf, I'd have to pay for it as she claims we were talking about extra shelf space which I do have as there is more space above the shelf than there would be if the cupboard was lower as it had a drawer above it.
Read the contract! One of my appliances magically transformed into a much more basic model but the cost remained the same. Luckily I had an email in which we'd agreed on the other model so they've agreed to supply that despite the signed contract saying otherwise.
If you've got a bee in your bonnet about something and its cheap, go for it if it will make you happier but don't if its expensive. I have a warming drawer. I have no idea what I'll ever do with it but it looks nice and makes me happy and I don't feel too bad about wasting money on it as it was my birthday present!
We've got a combination microwave oven thing which I was deeply suspicious of but seems to do what its supposed to. Yes, its more expensive than a normal oven but it saved us the cost of a microwave and frees up worktop space and unit space as we're not having to find room for a separate (whether freestanding or integrated) microwave.
Keep your appliances if they work. If they work but don't fit in your layout, sell them.

frustratedashell Tue 29-Jan-13 01:09:46

ive done 2 new kitchens in the last few years (long story!) One was from B & Q, one from IKea. Both were fine.
However I did come a cropper with the installation the first time round. A "friend" offered to put it in for me, mates rates etc. So I merrily said yes.
To cut a long stressful story short, I didnt realise that you have to have certificates to do electrical work. You have to be qualified. At the end of the work your electrician/installer should give you a certificate to say its all safe etc. This only came to light 15 months later when I wanted to sell the property and was asked for the certificate. What certificate??? So I ended up having to get in a proper qualified electrician (Thank you checkatrade) and pay him to check all the electrics in the flat. It turned out that there were a few things that werent right. He put them right and issued me with a certificate which then had to go to the local council so they could rubber stamp it. Each part of the process cost me money! So beware of well meaning "friends".
Enjoy your new kitchen!

janmoomoo Thu 31-Jan-13 13:53:06

I don't get why people think lack of recess is a problem with Ikea units. Our Ikea units were £2k, the nearest other quote was £5k. That leaves £3000 to move pipes. In fact it is only a couple of hundred quid, so still a bargain. Or bring the back of the cupboard forward a bit. And you can get wide worktops most places. It is usually builders who don't like Ikea cupboards.

aufaniae Thu 31-Jan-13 13:57:56

janmoo our Wickes kitchen (take away range) cost roughly the same as the Ikea kitchen I'd chosen and was better quality IMO.

We saved money by not having to pay someone to hack it up!

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