View Full Version : New kitchen - am I being unrealistic?
03-08-2002, 04:11 AM
My kitchen is in dire need of replacing, but as you know, these WDW holidays keep on beckoning! ;)
I really do need to do something about it though as it's getting pretty depressing to look at. I've never had a kitchen fitted before, as in our last place we had a lovely one :D
Working out the budget for this year, as we need a new car as well, it looks like we could afford about 2,000. Do you think this is an unrealistic price? It's not a big kitchen, its about 10 ft square, no more than that, I would need a complete new refit, sink, cupboards, and would love a built in cooker as at the moment I have a free standing one and it looks awful! I don't need anything moving ie the sink and cooker can stay in the same place so that should make things easier (ie cheaper???).
DH is completely useless at DIY so it would have to be fitted for us. I would appreciate any help and advice, and am I dreaming in the clouds about getting a new kitchen for £2,000? The one we have was a DIY job and I really do want something professionally fitted this time but depends what price it comes at!
03-08-2002, 04:19 AM
Mazzy, I've never bought a kitchen as we always seem to move to a new house before they need replacing! But MFI do some nice ones. I suspect you'd be looking at something pretty basic at that price (without all the little twiddly bits like cornices, etc), but it's worth a look.
03-08-2002, 04:19 AM
As with everything in this life you will get exactly what you pay for. £2,000 for a new kitchen is a little on the low side especially if you want built in appliances included. You could probably just about squeeze one in for that price but the quality will not be up to much.
BTW I am not that impressed by the 'complete' kitchens as sold by the big DIY places. Very often they are overpriced for what you get.
In our last house we fitted a new kitchen but contracted the job to a local carpenter (I did the plumbing and electrics). He built the units from scratch and the quality was superb while I plumbed in the integrated dishwasher, washing machine and fitted the oven. In total it cost us about £3,500 (and that was a few years ago)but we ended up witha kitchen worth close to £10,000.
One way to keep the cost down is do it in stages particularly if you can find good local tradesmen to do the work.
03-08-2002, 04:28 AM
Deb, yes it would be pretty basic I guess, but compared to what we have now it HAS to look better. None of the cupboards have a backing, you can see the concrete behind, and it's all just totally yak!!!!
Kieran, thanks for that, one bonus is that we wouldn't have to mess with the washer and dryer as they are in a separate laundry room, so that helps. As you say, you did your own plumbing and electrics, which is great if you can, but DH is absolutely clueless, he would either flood us out or blow us up!!!
Thanks both of you, anyone else who can help out here? I need a kitchen badly, but need WDW just as much! ;)
03-08-2002, 06:42 AM
What about checking out places like Wickes or fitted kitchen shops as they often have display stock that they sell off cheaper. I must admit that I don't think you'll get much for £2k I'm afraid.
03-08-2002, 08:14 AM
I'd definitely recommend checking the cheaper places - a lot of their ranges have identical carcasses to the more expensive brand names, just with cheaper doors and handles.
If you find a range you like (and can afford), sometimes just changing the handles for something a bit 'classier' can give the whole kitchen a more exclusive look for very little extra cost.
Is this going to be a 'quick fix' just to last until you move or can afford to do it again with less restriction on budget in a few years, or are you hoping for something that will see you through to retirement? ;) If it's for a long-term investment, then £2,000 may be a bit unrealistic! Personally, I'd rather have a 'cheap' (cheap? - who am I kidding? :rolleyes: ) kitchen that I can change when I get fed up with it or it looks dated, than an expensive kitchen that I'll have to keep for longer to get my money's worth.
03-08-2002, 08:21 AM
Have you considered just changing the door-fronts. There is a company who advertise in the sunday supplements who do this and it is quite reasonable.
I'm getting quotes and plans for a new kitchen at the moment and even if you go to the cheaper end of the market - MFI etc, you really will find it difficult with a £2000 budget. They will do plans and quotes for free though - no obligation - so it might be worth getting them round to see what they can offer you then seeing if its worth it.
Personally, I'd say beware the cheaper makes. They may look the same but they definitely don't last the same. We made this mistake with some bedroom furniture and I won't ever do that again.
03-08-2002, 09:43 AM
when Phil got our kitchen done (before I met him - so lovely brown melamine.... but I digress)
he bought the units from a builders merchants and then had a local plumber fit them - why a plumber I have no idea, but he seemed to think that was the right way to go.
he did the same when we had the bathroom done - he bought the units and got someone else to fit them - he reckons it's a lot more reasonable doing it that way.
another alternative... My uncle took his kitchen apart and rearranged all the units how he wanted them, then he put new doors and countertop on and it looked like a brand new kitchen but it wasn't - but if you have concrete showing at the back then that might not work!
Janet & Terry
03-08-2002, 05:40 PM
We had a kitchen that'd seen better days too, couldn't afford to replace it. We got the door front people (from the Sunday supplement) to quote '*** they say its cheaper than replacing kitchen - well all I can say to that is their product is cheaper than a top of the range kitchen! :rolleyes:
The basic layout was ok, we could live with it. In the end, we painted all the units (hard work!) , a friend created a breakfast bar area, replaced the worktop, hob and extractor fan for an agreed fee, also we retiled the walls. If memory serves me right, it all came to less than a grand.
If you are able to spruce up the existing cupboards in some way, couldn't you find a good local handyman who could maybe put some backs onto your cupboards? Only a woman, me, don't know my DIY :rolleyes:
I would leave it until i could save up more money.
I think that spending £2000 on a kitchen will not really make it much better in the long run as the units will be of an inferior build quality and will not last very long. Give it a couple of years and you will be kicking yourself for wasting the money.
If your DH was able to fit them then it might be ok, but the labour charge for fitting a kitchen of that size would be about £1000 to £1500 anyway............
Make the best of your units for now. Get some of that kitchen cupboard paint and give them a good facelift for a year or so while you save up....
03-08-2002, 08:15 PM
Lucky you, at least you have a budget - I'm just at the looking and dreaming stage!
However, a couple of hints would be:
1. Spend a tenner or so on a couple of kitchen magazines, you get great ideas and tips.
2. Bear in mind that freestanding and "reclaimed" units are in at the moment. (Not my cup of tea but can look very good in the right surroundings.)
3. What about buying a "used" kitchen? My neighbour is extending her house at the moment and is putting in a new kitchen. Her old (fantastic) kitchen was in great shape so she sold it! She's delighted that the old kitchen isn't going to the dump, and the lady who bought it is thrilled to have a great kitchen at a really good price.
Keep us posted, won't you, and good luck.
03-09-2002, 04:54 AM
Thanks everyone for all your help and advice :D
From all this info, I think we are going to have to rejiggle the budget a bit, as using the units we have or putting new doors on just wouldn't work, as it is all in such a sorry state!
I don't see much point in doing it if we end up with cheap units, it just defeats the object. Well, I'm not giving up my holiday, so maybe we will have to think about getting a car a little less new than we intended!
WDW has a lot to answer for! ;)
03-09-2002, 05:26 AM
We just had a new kitchen installed, absolutely everthings new with intergrated fridge/ freezer/oven etc
We shopped around and had a MFI Hygena one in the end. I did budget for about 2.5k but in the end I must of spent 4k, it's all those hidden extras you dont't budget for. Anyhow, I was in a similar dilema at Xmas, New kitchen or back to DIS?
Solution was haven't hardly been out since Xmas(fortunately social life re-starts tonight) and instead of staying on DIS prorerty as planned we are staying on I-Drive again. A small price to pay for my lovely kitchen:D
03-09-2002, 06:23 AM
Where you buying a brand new car?? If so why don't you think of getting a euro import. I'm taking delivery of my Scenic next week on an 02 plate. The list price is £14770 and I've paid £11699, so lots of extra cash left over. My DH has just got a diesel Clio for £7999 brand new and Ford KA's for £5400. They do PCP's too which we have done (to keep payments down) and are now saving a massive £450 per month which can now go towards anything we like!!
03-09-2002, 08:05 AM
Forget what I said about motorpoint they are great if you are paying cash but disgusting on the credit front. All sorts of hidden charges - so beware.
03-09-2002, 08:31 AM
HI Mazzy, I am in the same situation as you kitchen wise. I cringe every time anyone comes around, but then I go on line and end up booking more flights to Disney! I then balance it out by spending even less time in the kitchen! I've done that so many times I don't even care anymore. LOL Carolyn
03-10-2002, 05:58 PM
Hi Mazzy - I was just in IKEA this afternoon and took a look at the kitchens - I don't know how many units you would need but they were showing a base price for a set number of units and many of them were under £1000 - you would need to add appliances and fitting etc on top of that - but it might be worth a look.
03-11-2002, 04:25 AM
Thanks Bev, but we've bought drawers from IKEA in the past and I'm not really that impressed with them, we've had a lot of problems with knobs coming off etc.
We actually popped into MFI yesterday and had a look round. It looks like we could get one for around 3.5K doing a rough estimation as they have some special offers running. I just can't decide what type to go for, so now we have worked out the prices in the brochure, we need to go back and have another look, I'm terribly decisive about everything and this is no exception!
We are looking at the Hygena kitchens there, has anyone had one of these from MFI? Just wondering how you found it re durability etc.
03-11-2002, 05:45 AM
We have a Hygena Kitchen that we bought from MFI 15 years ago and it is still going strong!
We <i>have</i> replaced the oven twice, the hob once, the cooker hood once, the sink once, and put new work tops on once.
The first oven broke, so we replaced that after five years, then a few years later, about 3 years ago, we decorated the kitchen and I wanted white appliances so we changed the oven, hob and cooker hood to white. The sink we changed from Stainless Steel to white and I wish I had never bothered! The work tops were changed at the same time too. We re-tiled and gave a whole new look to the kitchen.
The actual cupboards are now beginning to look a bit *worn* and it was my intention to rub them down and buy that stuff from Ikea to give them a Limed Oak effect, but we are moving now - I think the new owners are going to do the same thing though.
I think a lot of it goes down to how the stuff is fitted in the first place to be honest, and my Dad was a carpenter so he helped Chris fit them and I have been really delighted with the way it has lasted. We paid £800 for the complete kitchen (not an over big galley type kitchen) including appliances during one of their sooper dooper weekend offers :)
When my mum and dad's house got flooded 5 years ago, we had to replace all their kitchen and bought Hygenia again - this still looks like new and they have been really happy with it.
Hope this helps.
Oh and when we move, the kitchen is already done.......in Limed Oak!
03-11-2002, 06:18 AM
I've never bought a kitchen from MFI, but whenever I have a look around the showroom, I'm always really impressed with the quality. Take a look at the drawer runners, hinges etc., - they seem just as good as the more expensive ones. My Mum has an MFI kitchen which she's had for years - again the only things she's had to replace are the appliances. I think you'd get fed up with it before it would wear out.
03-11-2002, 06:50 AM
Thanks Janice and Deb, it has put my mind at rest about Hygena, it's always good to know someone who is happy with something you are thinking of buying isn't it?
I just have to decide now whether to go for something 'traditional', 'shaker' or 'Contemporary'. I am leaning towards the Shaker style but worried it may look dated in a few years, but then, the traditional style I think looks dated already, but maybe that's just me :crazy: They do have a nice white kitchen, but a bit wary of that with two children, thinking maybe something a little darker may be better, they do the Shaker style in a light green, but then I'm thinking with coloured units you are restricted in your colour scheme!
Any tips on what type of sink and work surface to get? I'm thinking it is better to have darker work surfaces? I have white at the moment and every little mark shows. Re sinks is steel better than white? I have never had a kitchen fitted before and am just brain boggled by all the choice available, but want to get items which will wear well, not something which is going to show up every tiny mark or stain, or am I asking too much? ;)
Any tips in this endless task would be greatly appreciated! :D
03-11-2002, 07:27 AM
Don't know about colour - but my advice on work surfaces would be go for a smooth one - we currently have those little tiles and they are horrible to keep clean. So much easier to just wipe over a smooth worksurface.
03-11-2002, 08:46 AM
it's all personal preference isn't it - but to add my 2pennysworth anyway - I have a stainless steel sink and I wouldn't have a white one. the stainless one is dead easy to keep clean - my mums coffee coloured sink looks awful all the time.
I don't think you can 'future-proof' too much - even so called classic styles start to date eventually - my kitchen is something like 'country oak' and it's only 3 years old and already I think it's a bit heavy and dark. I think the Shaker one's are lovely, as are the plainish Beech cupboards I was admiring in IKEA yesterday for you. (Any excuse for a window shop)
My sister in law had her kitchen done about 5 years ago with Shaker units, so they are a reasonably classic style - I just wouldn't go for Chicken Wire and curtains like they do on Changing Rooms!
I don't think I would get green units - I think they would date quickly - personally I like any kind of pale wood, but it is all about personal preference. We once viewed a house with a bright pink kitchen - it was hideous - but the owner obviously thought it was beautiful :cool:
I don't know much about appliances, but we bought a blue Stoves oven about 3 years ago, and it has been terrible - I wish we hadn't gone with Blue to start with, I'd have preferred stainless steel I think - but either way, the oven is rubbish - we had loads of trouble in the first place and this was the third oven they fitted, and the temp on it is not right - we have to use an oven thermometer and check it frequently as it is often much cooler than it should be - I won't be buying another Stoves, and they are not cheap :mad:
Have fun looking - it's much more fun to look with a slightly bigger budget - nothing worse than having to cut things back all the time so you can afford it.
03-12-2002, 04:25 AM
Angela, I'll avoid the tiles then! ;)
Bev - yes I was thinking that stainless steel sink would be a better option so that's one decision made! A bright pink kitchen!!! Ugghh, but like you say, the owners must have liked it!
I think I am leaning more towards the Shaker style, though the one in my price range is either green or white, I would really prefer pale wood but you can't have everything can you? But I could have a wooden worktop so that would look OK I guess. There are pale wood kitchens I could afford, but the style is very modern, and I don't think it would go with the rest of the house.
Decisions, decisions! ;)
03-12-2002, 04:26 AM
I've put Hygena kitchens from MFI in this house and the previous one and have been really pleased with them - as Deb says, I know I'll get fed up with them before they wear out!
The one in this house was put in about 8 years ago and still looks great (but the doors are wipe-clean, which helps a lot!) - I felt really guilty ripping out the top quality solid French Oak kitchen that was already here, but it was just too dark for my liking. :crazy:
This is also the second white sink I've had, and I don't have a problem with them, although I know others do. I was told never to use bleach to clean them (I think it causes yellowing), but I leave a solution of Milton baby bottle steriliser in the sink for half an hour once a week and it comes up like new! I do have a problem keeping my stainless steel hob and cooker hood looking half decent - any tips?
03-12-2002, 05:15 AM
OOOhhh Hilary, just as I had made a decision on the sink! ;) I think I will stick to stainless steel though, to be on the safe side!
You just made me think about ovens, and I'm wondering if I need an extractor fan? I have a fan in the window which I use but would I still need an extractor fan over the hob? Don't want to pay out for something I don't really need, anyone any idea on this?
03-12-2002, 05:51 AM
It might depend on the position of the window fan in relation to the hob. If they are quite close, then a cooker hood extractor might not be any better than what you've already got.
I think extractors definitely help to keep the condensation levels down (as well as smells!), so if you could run to one, I would.
(Sorry to have added a potential complication to the sink dilema! ;) )
03-12-2002, 06:19 AM
Thanks Hilary, yes, the extractor fan in the window is quite close to the cooker, it is a small square kitchen, so nothing is far away from anything, unfortunately :rolleyes:
I actually use a plug in steamer for cooking my veggies, which is on the worktop near the window fan, so I don't really use the hob that much really, as I'm not a frying sort of person (try to keep the weight down) so it's not that often I have lots of pans on the hob anyway, so maybe I could manage with the fan in the window. At the moment I have a free standing cooker but I really want to get a hob and oven fitted in, I think it is much neater looking and more hygienic, I'm sick of pieces of carrot flying up in the air and falling down the gap between the cooker and the worktop, the mice must love it though! ;)
Fiona R from UK
03-12-2002, 06:35 AM
I have a 4 year old shaker style kitchen from B&Q that is fine!! I reckon cheap and chearful, or one made by a good carpenter that you know. I think we paid £1 800 for the units, built in dishwasher and fridge and extractor fan, and a new window. The total cost was £3 500 using a good carpenter/builder who knocked walls down, moved gas supply, added spotlights and plugs, plastered it all etc etc All I did was painting and blinds!!
I would go with MFI or B&Q but find a good tradesperson to fit, I have heard stories about the sub contracted ones, you have less control!!
Also, have a good look at the design, I had 3 people design my kitchen (freebies) and they were all awful. I taught my self a simple CAD package and used that to plan it. The unit costs were halved (ie a 30cm cabinet costs about the same as a 80cm one) Drawer line units cost more, put a drawer stack in instead. We have a "mocha" 1 1/2 bowl sink (dark brown) picked up from MFI casualty bay for £10!! I didn't like it but wasn't allowed a stainless steel one, now I'm glad as is never looks messy, the white ones stain so easily!!
The fit was critical as I have a long narrow kitchen, and I asked the builder to check that I hadn't overlooked any technicality!! The B&Q rep was miffed, as I had spent £600 less than he had "planned!" I reused the old hob and oven, decided that it would spread the cost at the time and they are still going strong! I checked that it would be a simle job to put new ones in when they pack up!
Oh, and don't rip anything out until you have taken delivery of everything!!
03-12-2002, 06:42 AM
....and just to throw in my tupennyworth.....
I have a Hygena MFGI kitchen too which was put in by an MFI fitter, I thought he did a really good job and have no complaints at all Mazzy.:) We've only been here 2 years so can't comment on durability etc. And, its the pale sage green shaker style one. yes I know people will say it'll date , but I love it! Its very easy to wipe down and keep clean and I've been able to match colours etc in the kitchen really well. We have stainless steel hob, oven etc and like Hil says they are a monkey to keep clean! Good luck deciding...its a real mine field isn't it?
I did like going to MFI and planning the design of the kitchen though Mazzy!:)
03-12-2002, 12:43 PM
Okay - me again LOL
I have a white sink and would never have one again. It is a pain to keep clean. We live a very, very hard water area and even with a water softener fitted, the limescale builds up and is just not easy to get off the White Astracite Sinks. Also, you cannot afford to be careless with hot pans etc.
I dont know why I didn't think of this before Mazzy - we have fitted kitchens through our work in flats and houses and we supplied them from Travis Perkins. They do a really nice range and would be worth taking a look at. Their prices usually are very good. Have a look at their Symphony range. A helpline for TP is 0800 3896611 - they may be able to send you a brochure.
A couple of things to bear in mind when choosing an oven and hob: a lot of the under counter ovens only come with an integral grill. If you use your grill a lot, then you might find it a pain that you cannot use your oven at the same time. Also, you have to have the door open whilst grilling which can be hazardous with young children around. Eye level Oven Housings tend to have separate grills or Double Ovens.
Try to avoid Stoves as pointed out by Bev. Not always customer friendly we found.
We have had White Worktops in the past - again, they can stain easily, I found I was forever getting the Jif or Ajax out - become quite fanatical about in the end. We have Granite effect now and this works well for us. TP again do a fairly comprehensive range. The thicker ones tend to look the best.
Flooring - we have had Carpet tiles (done even go there!); Vinyl Tiles (mmm - quite cheap and effective, for a while) and now have Laminated Flooring which looks good and is easy to keep clean with a Swifter.
That's all I can think of for now - I read a sure fire way to clean Stainless Steel somewhere and will see if I can find it.
Oh and here's a tip for getting tiny scratches out of white enamel - use a tiny amount of toothpaste on a cloth.
03-12-2002, 02:23 PM
I've got a white sink and I bleach it several times a week (didn't know I wasn't supposed to :eek: ) and I haven't had a problem with that. What I hate about it is that it has become covered in tiny scratches which collect dirt - I have to rub bleach into the drainer to get it clean. I'd far rather have a stainless steel one - and they're trendy again now.
I have seen Fiona's kitchen and I <i>can not</i> believe it came from B&Q. Get yourself down there Mazzy - it's fantastic. It looks like a very expensive bespoke kitchen. Had me fooled (although Fiona will probably tell me that she told me it came from B&Q and I wasn't listening;) ).
I've just read in our local paper that Hygena and Currys have linked up and that Currys (in Gloucester at least) has Hygena kitchens on display. Sounds as though they have some offers on appliances for the launch.
03-13-2002, 05:11 AM
Thanks everyone for the replies, my brain is boggling away here! :crazy:
Fiona, thanks for the info, I will check B&Q out, see what I think. The only thing that puts me off using an independent builder is if they botch up the job, it would be a lot easier to sort out if I use MFI for the whole thing, but then I am a pessimist as you can probably guess! ;)
Angela - pleased to hear that you are happy with your Shaker kitchen, it looks really nice in the brochure. What worktops did you have fitted with it, and how have you found them for wear? Is you oven under the hob or in an eye-level housing? And what exactly happens when it is being fitted, do you have to remove the old units and tiles before they arrive, or do they do that as well?
Janice - you must have read my mind! I had been thinking about the oven, and as I use the grill and oven together quite a lot, it looks like I will need to go for an eye-level housing for an oven and separate grill, so thanks for that advice! As my kitchen is small, I would need to have the oven and hob next to each other, is this possible to do ie is it safe that way, with the hob right next to the oven? It's difficult as I don't have that much room at my disposal!
I will check out Travis Perkins, thanks :D Is the laminate flooring the 'floorboard' type of flooring, if you know what I mean? Is there a particular type which is better for kitchens?
Fiona, thanks, I will check out Currys :D
You have all been so helpful, what would I do without you? ;)
03-13-2002, 05:57 AM
Hi Mazzy - I am sure it is safe to have the Oven housing next to the Hob, I know it was in my Brother's old house. Are you talking Gas or Electric by the way?
Re the fitting of the units: I would suggest you ask around local friends and neighbours for recommendations of good fitters. I know there are exceptions to the rule, but Sub Contracted Kitchen Fitters unfortunately do have a bit of a reputation as "bash 'em in" types. Most are paid per Job on Price Work. The more they get done in a day, the more they earn.
I dont want to put anyone or any tradesperson down - this is just what I know from our experience in the building trade.
<i>Janice puts on her Business Hat and stands on soapbox!</i>
If you intend to have any Gas Appliances - it is vital that you make sure the fitter you choose is Corgi Registered. Most reputable Kitchen Fitters have registration and you should ask to see their Registration Identity Card before you decide. The card is plastic, like a CC but about twice the size. Their picture should be on one side, with their name and number etc - and the expiry date. On the reverse is listed down all the elements they have qualified in. If Domestic Cookers isn't ticked - then they haven't got the necessary training. I know this may sound a menial point - but we read of horror stories weekly in the Trade Publications - it pays to be sure you are getting a qualified person to fit Gas Appliances.
<i>Janice climbs down from soapbox!</i> ;)
We bought our Laminated flooring from Sainsbury's Homebase on a special offer. They also do a really good quality one in Ikea and the price is very comparable. It is the floorboard type - you buy it in packs of 8 strips I think, about 5 foot long and 8" wide, they slot together just like floorboards. This is easy to fit, you need the foam lining underneath to give is spring - but it is just so easy to keep clean. We have it in our bathroom and James' bedroom too. Were going to put it in our bedroom but now we are moving there is little point.
Still looking for the info on cleaning stainless steel appliances - Doh!
Hope this helps. I had another thought - I have brochures from Travis Perkins, if you dont have the access to one near you, I could send you one (and yes, I <i>am</i> trying to eliminate some of our paperwork and brochures before we move! LOL) ;)
03-13-2002, 07:49 AM
We have all stainless steel appliances and they're not as bad to keep clean as everyone makes out (imho!) I just use a sponge with soapy water and dry it straight away with kitchen towel (no smears). For the sink I use Brite Sinks which you can get in the supermarket which is very good.
For our laminate flooring we got ours from B&Q on special offer. We've now got Pergo (expensive to buy and expensive to have fitted!) and B&Q Clic-type thingy floor and I don't think there's much difference!!!! Except, of course, in price, the Pergo inc fitting was approx £600 for 1 room and the B&Q about £190 for 2 bedrooms! One thing the Pergo fitters did tell us was to use straps instead of tapping the blocks with a hammer to get the joins perfect. There is more of a chance of damaging the planks with the hammer.
03-13-2002, 11:52 AM
We've got an under the counter cooker (double oven and grill) which we're really pleased with. I also use the oven and grill at the same time, so neede the double option. There were quite a few to choose from, so don't feel forced to go down the eye level route if you don't want to!
03-14-2002, 04:45 AM
Janice and Lisa, thanks for the info on the laminate flooring - I have made notes!
Alison - to be honest I think I would prefer the eyelevel fitting as I do have a dodgy back and would find it much easier without bending down when using the grill, so I think I'll stick with that option :D
I have narrowed the choice of kitchens down to 3 now, we will go on Sunday to see them in the showroom again, then hopefully we can get on and plan it! :D
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