So what should you be thinking about next as you have visited a number of showrooms and you may be at the stage where you have decided on the style you would like.

Some showrooms ask that you bring in your measurements so that they can design your kitchen, however this is not a procedure I choose to use.

As a designer I can’t design without a feeling for the room and a full understanding of its usage, therefore it is my preference to book a visit to your home to survey the room.

It is worth spending time and thinking about how you would like your new kitchen laid out and determining what, if anything, you would like to change from your existing kitchen. You need to understand that some things cannot be moved very far, the position of the sink is determined by the existing waste and although it may be an option to move the sink, it could be costly. You need to consider where all your appliances (especially those that require a water supply) are going to go and to discuss with the designer how their positions will affect the plumbing and alterations (if any) to the worktop depth. Your designer should be able to answer these questions and give alternatives if they cant be moved.

The electrical supply in your property is very important. Any electrical work is regulated by local council building control and your electrical system needs to be up to a certain level, otherwise you will need a new consumer board. If you do not have flick fuse switches known as residual circuit devices, then all electricians would be required to change your consumer board as part of the electrical works and then issue you with a certificate. Also many of today’s appliances require more power than you currently have in a particular area and this may result in additional costly work, therefore all these things need consideration and your designer should have good grounding on these issues.

Other questions you need to be asking yourself and your designer is about storage issues that you may currently face, and how these can be resolved. You will need to know what storage alternatives are available for accessing your cupboards in ways that best suit yourself Remember the designer will never have to work in your kitchen like you will, and there is no one solution that suits all. A kitchen must be bespoke for you and your family’s needs and that does not have to be an expensive option. Clever use of baskets, pull out drawers, lift up doors and corner solutions can make all the difference in making a kitchen work. Share all these thoughts with your designers and make sure they understand your needs and consider all of your options. If some of the accessories you have chosen seem to exceed your budget then ask your designer about alternatives that are more within your budget.

Make sure you get what you desire and what suits you and your family’s needs, as I mentioned earlier it is your kitchen and you need to work in it unlike the designer, who doesn’t.

Consider what you are prepared to spend on your project and be open with your designers. Ask them if what you had budgeted for is a realistic budget, and be sure to understand what is. More importantly ensure your are clear what is not included in the quoted costs. Some companies will not give you an accurate price until after you have signed a contract, and this is based on an estimate which may not include a considerable amount of installation work and which could increase your costs considerably. You would never consider buying a car if the engine was not connected within the price, so why buy a kitchen if electrical work is not included.

Remember to question companies as to how their pricing works, and remember that a good priced kitchen is a kitchen that you would be happy spending that amount of money on.

My preference is transparent pricing as it doesn’t matter what commodity it is, as it is only worth what you are prepared to pay. The enormous discounts and deadlines that are used to are only there to entice you. They are just sales tactics to persuade you that you are getting a real bargain.

All companies in this industry are in the business to make a profit and irrespective of whether you are getting less 50% plus a further 10% if you buy before next Sunday, the truth is they are still making a profit. The final cost is the true retail cost, nothing is given away free otherwise we would all be out of business.

As reported recently a well designed and installed kitchen will increase the value of your property by an average of 5.8%, so don’t make costing mistakes as your kitchen is a good investment.

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