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Starting out on the kitchen journey

(8 Posts)
MotherBluestocking Wed 12-Feb-14 15:20:25

I am about to embark on the kitchen process, and have absolutely no idea where to start or how to go about it. We will be knocking down a small useless wall that I have been reliably informed isn't structural (though I gather I need to have it looked at by an engineer), putting down a new floor with underfloor heating, and installing new lighting as well as the kitchen units, work surface, an island, etc.
I am a complete and utter novice and desperately need advice. Budget is mid-range (I think) - not Plain English but not B+Q either. Most of all I need to know how many different people will need to be involved. Presumably I will need a builder to knock down the wall; but then if I go to (eg) John Lewis of Hungerford for the kitchen proper, will they do flooring, heating, lighting etc or do people like that just do cabinetry, appliances and work surfaces? What about fiddling with services? - am not planning anything major here, but obviously some work will be needed.
I realise these will seem massively dumb questions but I'm completely clueless on this. Very very grateful for any help!

oif Wed 12-Feb-14 21:44:42

We did a kitchen as part of an extension and we had the following involved:
Architect - plans, structural stuff and checking builders were delivering what they'd been contracted for
Builder - knocking walls down, building and installing kitchen, and laying flooring
Electricians (who were recommended to us from the builder) - Lighting
Plumber - Underfloor heating (we had a wet system installed)

I think it will depend to a large extent on your builders and what they are experienced in - you may find someone who can do the wall, the kitchen fitting and the floors, or you might find different people for all these jobs.

Not sure about what extras kitchen suppliers might do - we got a Benchmarx kitchen (wouldn't recommend incidentally) and they really just did the cabinets. We sourced lighting and flooring separately (apart from the under-cabinet lights etc. integral to the kitchen).

Asking locally is going to be your best bet for getting recommendations for good tradespeople and once you have builder in place, probably much easier to work out the rest from there depending on what they do and don't do and who they can recommend.

Good luck!

oif Wed 12-Feb-14 21:52:21

PS Read this thread and this thread for some ideas on kitchen planning too.

OnePlanOnHouzz Thu 13-Feb-14 08:02:07

hi ! exciting times ahead !!!
IME a good kitchen studio will generally have contacts for building, electrics and plaster work, some can do flooring and UFH too - so I would recommend shopping around at the independent studios for a more complete package - but also consider the larger /multiple companies too - as they might surprise you ! Most places are keen to offer free design - but most won't give you a copy of the plan - so it will be difficult to compare 'like for like ' unless you have your own, independent design done . Then you can truly compare, on an even playing field, so to speak. or even buy the cabinets via online companies ( lots of MN's have done this and saved loads )
some builders are keen to take on the whole project if you can show then the plans of what you want - so that can make the process simple !
best advise is take your time to plan what you really want - and don't be swayed into something that's easier for someone else ( usually the installer ) as you have to live with it long term !! it's a big investment , so no snap decisions !!!

MotherBluestocking Thu 13-Feb-14 18:21:04

Thank you both - this is really helpful. I think probably the first thing to do is to start talking to some kitchen companies and seeing what happens!

kmdesign Fri 14-Feb-14 07:42:07

Visit your local independent kitchen studios and see what sort of kitchen you like. Speak to designers there. It is vitally important you find a designer who is on the same wavelength as you are and understands your requirements and is able to design a kitchen that works for you NOT suits what they can offer.

Expect to pay for a design. No kitchen studio worth its salt and able to produce quality designs it going to give it away free as it involves a fairly significant time commitment on their behalf. Many will rebate the cost of the design against the purchase of the kitchen.

Alternatively, you can get an independent kitchen designer to produce a plan which you can use as a basis for getting like for like quotes.

Whichever way you look at it, a good design will pay for itself.

redshoespurplehat Fri 14-Feb-14 08:41:00

and lucky you as I think OnePlan is a designer and I guess by the name KM is too

kmdesign Fri 14-Feb-14 08:46:35

Yes I run a kitchen design studio. This is not to tout for business but we come across some shocking plans brought into us from the sheds, most recently an Odina German kitchen design from Homebase. Not only was it very poor use of space, it was unsafe and unergonomic. And they wanted a whopping £33k for it!!!!

Independents are perceived as being expensive. This isnt necessarily the case and I can say confidently that most will offer good service and great value for money.

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