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How to work out what your new kitchen will cost

If your kitchen is not quite the 'hub of the home' that you envisioned, you may be at the stage where you're planning some major changes.

A kitchen renovation can be a costly undertaking with the average homeowner spending around £20k, so you'll want to plan ahead.

Taking the time now before you start will not only ensure a smooth transition from old to new but it can ultimately save you both time and money.


Decide your priorities

If you are refurbishing an existing kitchen, consider making a list of pros and cons in terms of what you like and what you don't like. If you love that the sink allows you to look out to the garden but hate that there's not enough prep space nearby, write it down.

You'll also want to make note of everything you currently need storage space for and anything you're planning on getting in the future. So, if you've always dreamed of having a place to display your grandmother's bone china collection or you would love to finally splurge on that expensive mixer, write those down too.

Whether you give these lists to your kitchen designer or you keep them for yourself for reference, they'll come in handy once you are ready to decide on the design of your final look.


Assess your layout

Before work begins, you'll also want to fully understand the scale of your project. This means measuring the square footage including the length of worktops you'll be requiring, the size and location of any doors or windows and any additional storage you require. You'll also want to make note of where electrical outlets are or will be, where the gas feed is located and any plumbing that might need to move.

If you don't feel confident doing this yourself, ask for help from someone comfortable with a tape measure. The measurements you take now will be very important for your kitchen fitter later so the adage to “measure twice, cut once” is an important one to follow so there are no costly mistakes once work has begun.

Of course, you aren't tied to the layout you currently have. Whilst keeping things like your appliances or electrics in the same place will save you money, a kitchen designer can help in terms of the best use of the space you have.


Do your research

There is a myriad of kitchen manufacturers on the market now spanning from ‘cheap and cheerful' to full-on luxury and everything in between. Consider creating a Pinterest board of designs you love and speak to friends or family who have been through the process themselves.

You may want to consider the age and style of your property when thinking about the design of your kitchen. A country cottage style will coordinate beautifully in a Grade II listed property but may feel out of place in a very contemporary new build. Or, you may want to contrast a character Victorian property with a sleek cutting edge design as an interesting juxtaposition. It's a personal choice, of course, but just be aware that sympathetic designs normally fare better when it's time to sell.

Your design will ultimately come down to personal choice but having a good understanding in terms of what you need from your design as well as how you'll be using your kitchen and optimising storage requirements is a crucial part of the planning process. Early planning means the end result will work perfectly for your needs.

Bring a kitchen designer on board and/or an architect if you will be extending the space or removing walls to assist you with this aspect and allow you to see the full potential of your new kitchen.


Consider your budget

Setting and sticking to a budget might just be the most challenging aspect of your kitchen remodel. With a multitude of costs to consider from worktops and cabinetry to appliances, lighting and installation, you will want to keep a tight rein on your spend so as not exceed your budget.

The quickest way to go over budget is in the materials and finishes you choose so you'll want to keep a strict eye on these in particular. Some recommend a realistic budget is approximately 6-10% of the value of your house as a guide. Decide first which aspects are the most important to you. Save money by spending less on lower priorities items so you can splurge on those special items you really want.

List all your costs on a spreadsheet and get quotes for all your work and materials. Some companies are able to manage the tradespeople for you if they supply as well as fit, but it's always good to be aware of what's happening and keep the lines of communication open.


Where can you save?

If you are looking to save money on your remodel, consider the things that don't have to change. Changing the location of things like gas, water and electricity feeds may add additional costs that are unnecessary if you are able to keep the existing layout relatively unchanged.

One other area to minimise costs is by keeping your old cupboard carcasses and simply replacing the doors. Want to save even more? If your existing cupboard doors are in good condition, it may be possible to simply refinish or paint them in a different colour for a quick refresh.


Create a schedule of works

If you are project managing your remodel yourself, you'll want to create a working schedule that will need to be agreed by any trades you may have coming in. You may need to plan around your tradesperson's schedule or you may be ordering in items that have longer lead times. Add these items to your spreadsheet and agree the dates of completion in writing or via email of each stage with your tradespeople.

If there are any delays on site, be sure to let any other trades know where the schedule may be affected. This will keep everyone in the loop and they'll appreciate being able to make any changes as necessary ahead of time.


Plan to be on site

Depending upon the size of the renovation, your kitchen remodel might be completed within a month or two or may stretch out longer. Be sure to plan in plenty of time to be on site whilst the works are taking place and engage with your tradespeople to keep that communication flowing and the work continuing without interruption. There are nearly always unforeseen occurrences so your availability will allow work to continue if any decisions need to be made on the fly.

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