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 Welcome to the Virtual Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Exhibition

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hafele symphony kitchens & bedrooms Landau Parapan worktops & doors
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Inspiration for your project

Visit our picture galleries for ideas and see the different styles and themes.  You are sure to find something which suits your personal taste and fires your imagination.

Check out what's available from various manufacturers, find out about the latest products and see what meets your individual needs.

Free impartial advice.

Read our expert tips on all aspects of your project, what to look for in a design, how to seek out the best value, how to best meet your own needs and what to expect at the installation stage.

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A new kitchen, bedroom or bathroom is a favourite way of improving the home, but there is so much choice and so many products and styles, the design and buying decisions can be very daunting for most of us.

The FKBD bring you the Facts about Kitchen and Bathroom Design

The tips you can read here are written by experts who have many years of practical experience.  If you want some genuine, unbiased advice you have landed in the right place.

Of course kitchen, bedroom and bathroom projects are complex, and so there is a lot of advice here.  We have tried to structure it into a logical order, and some sections contain a lot of information for those who want to research in some depth, but you can simply enjoy our inspiration galleries where you can browse the pictures for ideas at your leisure.

We hope you enjoy the Virtual Exhibition and find it helpful.  If you have any comments, please feel free to post your thoughts on our forum.

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Daval kitchens & bedrooms  Thomas Crapper traditional bathrooms  donrbracht brassware  Impey wetroom systems 

everything you want to know about kitchens

Read more: The Kitchen Hall

everything you need to know about bedrooms and bedroom design

Read more: The Bedroom Hall

Everything you need to know about bathrooms and bathroom design

Read more: The Bathroom Hall

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Financing your Kitchen or Bathroom

Naturally the key to getting this right is affordability.  You might well have the cash available, but do you want to part with a lump sum in one go, or would you rather keep your money and pay for your bathroom over a period of time?

There is always a calculation of interest.  The interest you will pay on a loan will always be more than the interest you lose on savings, but only you can make the judgement.  The balance is always difficult to judge, regardless of interest rate levels, but think it through carefully.  Everyone has their own particular circumstances and personal feelings.

Paying by Cash.

Avoid paying up front in full.  Certainly do not pay for installation at the time of your order.  Many companies sub contract installation work, or ask you to pay the installer direct, but there should be no requirement for you to pay the installation costs at the point of order, particularly if there is a lead time of several weeks.

It is entirely reasonable for a retailer to want a deposit when you order.  Usually the deposit amount will vary depending on the nature of the products you are ordering.  If you want items which have to be specially ordered in, then expect to pay a higher deposit (as a portion of the total).  Some retailers will ask for full payment on special orders, and certainly on bespoke pieces which are made especially for you.  Again this is reasonable, if you are having bespoke products you need to make a commitment.

Usually your supplier will ask for around 25% of the overall cost as a deposit with your order.  The balance will be due for payment before the goods are delivered.  If the supplier is charging for the installation then a small retainer is usually left until the job is completed, but if you are paying for installation separately to the installer, or doing your own work, then the goods will have to be paid for before delivery.

At the deposit stage it’s a good idea to make at least £100 of the payment by CREDIT card (NOT debit card).  You will then be eligible for protection through the credit card company if the dealer becomes insolvent before your goods are delivered.  Many dealers also offer their own protection plans which are underwritten by major insurance companies.

Getting a Loan.

Credit Card.

This is a simple option, but if you cannot clear the balance quickly then the interest charges will become high.  Again affordability is the key.  If you can clear the balance quickly then your credit card is a quick and easy source of finance.

Bank Loan.

A personal loan from a bank is a relatively simple means of finance, but interest rates and terms and conditions can vary, so check carefully and look at the total you will have to pay back.  This is an easily understood figure whereas interest rates can be difficult to fathom.

A bank loan is usually simple to arrange and will offer you a choice of repayment times.  

An overdraft is another option, however these are not the best way of financing larger amounts.  Over a short term, and for a lower amount they can be the cheapest way to borrow, but for a longer term and a larger amount they can be difficult to manage, and in fact are much harder to obtain these days.

Adding to your Mortgage.

This can offer a much longer repayment period giving much lower monthly payments than other loans.  However your mortgage is a secured loan and there will be initial costs associated with setting this up.  Although the monthly repayments will be rolled into your mortgage payment and seem low, the overall cost, including any arrangement fees, can be much higher than a shorter term loan.

Dealer’s Finance.

A finance package from your dealer might be an option.  This will going to offer convenience and will often have flexibility of repayment terms.  There might also be options like deferred payments where you pay nothing for several months, or even an interest free option.

Check the total you will repay.  This is always the important figure and much more meaningful than APR or whatever other way interest rates are expressed.

With an interest free deal, someone will pay the interest.  Usually it’s the retailer, so this will be factored into the overall cost somewhere, but it can be an attractive deal.  

Specialist Finance Companies.

There are many finance companies who offer finance deals particularly targeted at the home improvement industry.  Most dealer finance packages will be offered through one of these companies, but you can often deal directly with them yourself.  The actual package will often be similar to a bank loan and can usually be arranged on the internet, so the convenience element is there, but do always check the total amount repayable.

Summary of finance essentials.

Check the total repayable, not the percentage rate.

Check what happens if you want to repay early.

Make sure you can afford the repayments throughout the loan period.  What would you do if you were ill or lost your job?

Check for hidden costs, like arrangement fees.

Check what would happen if you missed a payment or made a late payment.  There are normally set fees for these situations. 

 

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