Renovating or building your kitchen or adding a kitchen extension might be the biggest investment you make for your home and it’s also the most likely to add value.
How can you trim back your budget without losing the all-important elements you want to include? As I am at the moment building my kitchen extension , I will give you few tips how to get the best value for money by cutting the cost of a new kitchen, cleverly.
How much does a new kitchen cost?
Average kitchen range from Eur 4000 IKEA style up o Eur 16 000 supplied by kitchen companies (and more if you decide to choose high end materials) , this doesn’t include appliances, fitting, lighting and tiling, cooker ,dining table, chairs and over Eur 65 000 if that is kitchen extension.
1. Get a grant for heating system and a boiler service. Under the new SEAI grant scheme, householders who own a house that was built before 2006 can get a grant of €700 towards the cost of upgrading central heating controls, a job which can encompass a boiler replacement. Visit seai.ie to check eligibility (New boiler cost Eur 1800).
2. Contract a good carpenter. The kitchen installation itself can be a major contributor to cost. A good local fitter will most often be cheaper than the in-house kitchen installation service from a kitchen showroom. Ask around for recommendations, see some of their work if you can and get a quote.
3. Shop around for cabinets. Visit a few places, get a few quotes and don’t be afraid to haggle. You’ll be amazed at how much you can push the price down just by asking and/or saying that you have been quoted a lower price elsewhere.
Also, don’t get caught up in big discounts like 50% off this month – in all likelihood, it’s just been inflated so the store can give you that discount. Finally, make sure you shop around at least a few places. Not only will it help you to find the best price, but it can also help give you different ideas for your design.
4. Shop online for appliances. Buy your appliances online. Unless it’s something quite specialist, most of the best big brands are available to purchase online and are almost always cheaper than from a kitchen showroom.
You may even have more choice of brands as some showrooms only sell certain brands that they display. Do a bit of research to find what you want and remember to purchase them in good time. You don’t want to get to the point of needing them the next day, only to find they are out of stock.
You could also source your small appliances, such as the sink or tap, online too, but typically there isn’t quite the same amount to be saved here. However, if you’re on a mission to save the most, there’s no harm in shopping around.
Secret tip: Don’t be fooled by appliance promotions from kitchen showrooms. In all likelihood, they have inflated the price elsewhere to be able to give away free appliances or discount them to beat online retailers. Remove them from your quote and then ask for the best price on the cabinets. That’s what you need to push.
5. Sell your old kitchen. The fact that your old kitchen is no longer suited to your taste doesn’t mean it is destined for the scrapyard. There are companies out there that will buy your old cabinets, worktop and appliances.
Even just trying to get a bit of money for your old appliances can be worthwhile. There are dedicated websites and companies that will buy your old kitchen, or consider putting something up on DoneDeal.ie. You’ll be surprised what people are looking for and what they’ll be willing to pay for it.
6. Get the worktop yourself. This is a big one and can save you a considerable amount of money sometimes.
If you are having laminate or wooden (timber) worktops, then your best bet is to buy the lengths of worktop yourself online. There are many good online retailers for these types of worktop and it will be considerably cheaper to buy these yourself than through a kitchen showroom.
Most of the time the kitchen showroom is supplying the exact same thing, just with their mark-up on top.
Laminate and wooden worktops come in set sizes, so just work out how much you will need for each run of your worktop. Always allow a little more than needed for cuts and if it’s a bit close, pick the next size up to be safe. If it’s a wooden worktop you can always use the off-cuts as chopping boards.
If you are having a granite or quartz style worktop, then instead of shopping online go directly to the stone fabricator or quarry. This will require a bit of research and effort to find a good local stone fabricator, but once you have found one or two, get some quotes for what you want.
It will almost certainly be less expensive than the same thing quoted from your kitchen showroom. Again, it will most likely be the exact same service and guarantee provided, it may even be the same company that the kitchen showroom use, but you are cutting out the middle man.
Secret tip: Modern laminate worktops are also a great way to save money on a kitchen refurb and can look deceptively like expensive marble and stone finishes. the trick is to get your sink under-mounted, as it gives a much more flush and polished finish.
7. Use Ikea Kitchen Planner Tool to design your kitchen yourself. It’s really easy too. Simply design your dream scheme using the handy Ikea Kitchen Planner Tool, then send to your up scaling company of choice with your pick of doors, drawer fronts, cover panel facades and worktops, and they will do the rest. All the fronts arrive complete with pre-drilled holes, and fixing holes that make them as easy to assemble as the rest of your flat-pack kitchen.
8. Buy accessories yourself. Similar to buying your appliances online yourself, you can save money by buying your kitchen accessories online too. What do I mean by kitchen accessories? I’m talking about some of the smaller items (often up sells) you can have in your kitchen, such as pop-up sockets, wooden cutlery trays, spice racks, and peg boards to organize your pan drawers. These are really useful extra bits that you might want for your kitchen, but it will be much cheaper to source these yourself.
If you are having your kitchen installed by a local fitter or builder, rather than the kitchen company, you could take these savings on accessories one step further and source any storage mechanisms yourself as well.
Things like le-mans corner solutions, pull out wire work, integrated bins and even under cabinet lights can all be sourced online and for a much lower price than if you purchased the cabinets with them already installed from the cabinet company.
Yes, you have to factor in the time it takes your fitter to install these as well, but most often your quote will be for the entire kitchen fit and may already include the time it takes to install these mechanisms. Also, depending on the accessory, they can be quite easy and quick to install, so if you’re a little bit DIY handy, then you could fit these yourself.
Secret tip: If you are planning on sourcing and fitting mechanisms yourself, make sure you get the right type of cabinet to fit them into, or specify the construction accordingly.
For example, if you want to fit your own pull out mechanism, you don’t want the door to be fixed with a hinge on your cabinet. You want the door separate so you can attach the mechanism to it. If you have a door fixed with hinges, you will need to remove it and this will leave holes in your door and cabinet where the hinges were.
9. Avoid moving utility meters and services. Unless it is an essential to radically alter the orientation or usability of a kitchen, try to keep the sink, dishwasher and cooker in the same position if costs are an issue.
That way, you’ll be minimizing the amount of additional electrical, gas and plumbing work that is needed to realize the new design – and save hundreds of pounds into the process. And, if you can, avoid having to move your gas and electricity meters, as they cost Eur 1300- Eur 1550 each to relocate.
10. Reduce any structural alterations. Think long and hard before committing to that extension. Yes, it will look fantastic to have that big open plan space, but do you really need it? How much will it cost? And, if you’re selling soon, is it worth the investment? As soon as architects and planning applications are involved the price of the project can jump up hugely.
Another way to potentially create more space is by knocking down internal walls, especially if they are stud walls and not load bearing. This can cut down hugely on structural costs compared with an extension or anything requiring supportive steel work and may mean that you avoid the need for architects and planning permission.
You should always check if planning permission is required when making any alteration. Contact your local planning department if at all unsure.
Should you try to save money on a new kitchen?
The answer is yes and no. Yes, you can save money by doing a lot of things yourself, but it will take up your time and may cause stress doing it all. I was lucky and my contracted carpenter helped me out a lot from measuring the kitchen to giving his discount code in the kitchen manufacturer.
I wish you the best of luck with your new kitchen project.