You’ve pinned all the gorgeous looks from Pinterest, drooled in the showrooms and got the money together. Now you’re finally ready to create your dream kitchen there’s a lot to think about. It can be a little overwhelming, so use our tips on budget planning to get a head start and save yourself some cash.
It’s time to get practical. When remodelling your kitchen, you need to know the scope of what you’re taking on. A total kitchen remodel will involve rewiring, replumbing, cabinets, worktops, new appliances, tiles and splashbacks, flooring and lighting! Take each of these areas in turn and think carefully about what you want from each.
It can help to look at your kitchen as it is now and note down what works and what doesn’t. If your kitchen is very dark, you may want to bear this in mind when choosing appliances (not too many or too big) as well as the tiles (don’t choose too dark a colour) and wire in new lighting to illuminate different areas. Your remodel could also involve knocking down walls. Think about whether the actual space works for you or if it needs opening up. A simple decision to knock down a wall between kitchen and dining room, can create a more open plan feel that makes a big difference. Planning ahead can obviously save you loads in time and money.
Obviously this is up to you and there’s no definitive right answer. But the current thinking is that you should spend around 40% of your budget on appliances, as a rough guide.
It’s easy to get giddy when looking at shiny new appliances with fun gizmos. But think about the functions you really need and want. Don’t jump in to accepting a package of appliances from a kitchen manufacturer. They may not be the best value. A recent Which? survey highlighted that many people regret the appliances they buy, so it’s worth taking the time to get this right beforehand. Consider if you really want something special – eg a colourful, retro SMEG fridge or a glamorous range cooker. And then consider what you’re prepared to spend less on. You can achieve a high end feel with a few investment pieces, balanced by more budget options for a total spend that won’t break the bank. Another area of buyer’s regret is on the number of integrated appliances bought. So think about whether it will suit you better if your appliances are built in to your kitchen for that sleek, streamlined look. Or whether you’re happy for them to be freestanding so that you can make your space work better. It’s difficult to integrate things after your kitchen is finished if you change your mind.
Make sure you’ve also thought about the size and capacity of the appliances you choose. If you have a big family, you may appreciate a washing machine with a large drum. Similarly, if there’s only the two of you, do you really need an enormous fridge? A more modest one would swallow up less of the budget.
Kitchen showrooms are great for getting inspiration and ideas, but are easy ways to blow your budget. If you plan ahead and spend time researching prices, you can save literally thousands. Online-only retailers don’t have the same overheads as companies with showrooms and can therefore keep costs down. Check online reviews to help you make a decision. Can you time your kitchen refit in line with a seasonal sale?
After everything you’ve read, you’ll realise you need to keep a tight grip on your project. That means drawing up a budget and sticking to it. Use a spreadsheet to note down everything you need to consider, your planned spend and your actual spend. You can download a useful budget planner here.