What will my new kitchen cost?
There is quite a lot of reading here, sorry there’s really no easy way around this.
Following a typical price list from a kitchen company is not simple. Because kitchens can be individually customised, prices for a particular unit can vary depending on colours, materials and the detail of your selected finish. But even when you figure out all the extras, the cost of a finished kitchen in your home is still not really represented, there are many more things to consider.
That is why we constantly make the point:
you can't compare kitchens on price alone!
The overall costs.
There are three basic elements to building up a final price.
- Preparation. The room needs to be ready for the new kitchen. Walls, doors and windows may require alteration, electrical, plumbing and gas services might need to be moved. Flooring may need to be lifted, and replaced ready for the new units and floor covering. But before any of that work starts, the existing kitchen needs to be removed and disposed of. (more detail)
- Kitchen Fittings. You need to consider the cost of all the cupboards, doors and handles, the worktops, any appliances including your sink and taps, and then the cost of any finishing pieces of trim. Then you need to think about the additional decoration, wall and floor coverings, lighting and heating, everything down to paint etc to finish the job to a high standard. (more detail)
- Installation. When the room is prepared, the kitchen units, appliances and worktops etc are delivered, the whole jig saw has to be assembled. Everything has to be fixed in position, appliances need to be connected to services, worktops need to be cut to size and fitted and all the finishing touches need to be applied. Then the room needs decorating to produce the final finished kitchen. (more detail)
OK so can we get a rough idea of what a typical kitchen might cost?
The average spend in the UK at present on a new kitchen installation is around £7000 to £8000, but naturally the size of the kitchen and the type of units chosen has a huge impact on cost. Also if you are buying bespoke (ie made to your requirements) kitchen units the cost will be considerably higher, and figures in excess of £50000 and even £100000 are possible.
You will need to look at:
The Kitchen Cupboards.
Within our average UK figure of £7000 to £8000, the price for cupboards will be between £2000 and £3000. Be aware that the height of wall and tall units will influence the price, drawer systems cost more than hinged doors, and specialised storage systems such as carousel baskets will add to the cost. Also remember that although a flat pack unit might look cheaper than a ready built (not always the case), if you can’t build it yourself you will have to pay for someone else’s time assembling all the units. It is likely that items such as plinth (kick board), cornice and pelmet (for wall units) and decor end panels where required can be included within this figure.
Laminate is the cheapest worktop and comes now in a vast range of finishes. Laminate worktops will usually cost from £250 to £350 depending on the size of the kitchen, but if you want natural timber, quartz, stone or something like Corian, the worktop price will definitely rise above £1000 and could easily go to 2 or 3 times that figure.
Again there is a vast range available, but the typical requirements will be some sort of cooker, a fridge and an extractor. Expect to pay at least £500 for the very basics, but a typical spend on appliances is more likely to be around the £1500 mark. Integrated and built in appliances are slightly more expensive than free standing as a rule, but they will certainly streamline the look of your new kitchen.
Sink and taps.
An essential, and again such a variation in price exists, depending on style, materials and colour. Even good old stainless steel is available in different finishes, and sinks vary too with bowl size, number of bowls and the size and type of drainer. Taps also come in many options, mixers, monoblocks, pillar taps, single lever to name a few and can cost anything from £50 to £1000. They are available in many finishes, either to match or contrast with your chosen sink. (read more)
For a sink and taps expect to pay around £250 to £500 at least.
Do note if you want a boiling water tap this alone is likely to cost more than £500, and water filter systems if required will also be an additional cost too.
The finishing touches.
You might want feature lighting included in your new kitchen, extra features like hidden ironing boards, television or radio, (of i-pod docks for you more up to date people), plus any tiling, splashbacks, flooring and general decoration. This section is really impossible to put a price on, but you will know what ideas you have yourself. Lighting for under wall cupboards will typically add £150 onto your basic kitchen price, LED’s are generally a bit more, but can cost less to run and last much longer than normal bulbs or fluorescent strips. A fold down TV could cost £350 or more. Flooring will usually be around £250 for vinyl or ceramic tiles (again depends entirely on the size) and wall tiles will be at least the same, again depending on how big an area has to be tiled.
The Preparation and Fitting.
For a costing exercise we’ll look at these areas together, and in practice the preparation is often quoted for by the installer. But do make sure of this when getting quotes, and also check that things like rubbish removal and disposal of your old kitchen is included too. This is of course an area where you can do a lot of the work yourself, including waste disposal to your local council amenity site, but it is a legal requirement now in the UK to have qualified people do any plumbing, electrical or gas work in a domestic kitchen .
The complete job from starting with your existing kitchen to the finished new installation will take at least a week to complete, and more usually around 10 working days. Obviously very large kitchens and those involving a degree of building work or alterations could take a bit longer. A typical cost for this work would be around £2000 minimum for a straight forward installation with no real building work required, but can rise dramatically with the complexity of the job.
In the case where you are simply replacing an existing kitchen with fresh units, and nothing is being moved, the preparation and installation cost might get closer to £1000, but as a general guide you will be looking at 5 or 6 days work at around £160 to £200 per day plus the materials and disposal costs, with the addition the plumber, electrician and gas fitters time.
Finally, there is always a chance of uncovering some problems as work begins and the old kitchen is removed. The most common will be dampness and associated rot of floor timbers, or decay due to damp in walls. Such things are totally unforeseen, but it’s a good idea to keep some funds in reserve just in case you come up against a problem.
When you consider all these separate areas of cost, it’s not hard to see how difficult it is to make any meaningful comparisons when you base your judgement simply on price. Just understanding how the total cost of a new kitchen is actually made up will help you understand what your own project might realistically cost, or at least it will help to open your eyes to all the areas you need to consider.
Even if you are able to undertake most of the installation work yourself, you can see how much scope there is within a kitchen specification for variation of price.
Most importantly, next time you are in a DIY store looking at the example price for an 8-unit kitchen, or checking prices of example kitchens on line, you can now really understand just how meaningless these example prices can be. They offer no true indication of what your own kitchen is likely to cost, they can only show you which ranges cost more and which are costing less.
The FKBD suggest another way to approach the issue, and this means looking at things in reverse, so to speak. When you are at the stage where you have an idea of what sort of kitchen you want, work out what your budget is going to be. Decide what you can afford to invest in your kitchen, whether it be from savings, borrowing or a combination of both, and then you can start to allocate portions of your budget to the various areas.
Let’s take an example where you have decided that you can afford £6000. Allocate £2000 straight away for the preparation and installation, then take another £1500 for appliances, sink and taps. That will leave around £2500 to spend on kitchen units and worktops. You should be able to achieve a really nice kitchen for that sort of budget , and you will be able to have a design, choice of units etc tailored to suit what you can afford. But just imagine the disastrous consequences if you ignored the appliances, preparation and installation costs and, without good advice, spent spend £4000 or £5000 on the basic units?
If you are in the position of having considerably more available to invest in your kitchen then the ratio of costs is considerably different. The installation cost will actually not increase dramatically, although individually designed and built kitchens do present some additional challenges and require certain expert services. if, for example, you are looking at a spend in the £30000 to £50000 region, the bulk of that figure will be made up by the kitchen furniture and fittings. The installation is likely to be closer to £3000 to £5000, and the appliance spend will probably be something similar, leaving the actual kitchen portion at approximately £24000 to £40000. This higher cost is normally due to the more individual nature of the kitchen, the worktop materials and the general standard of finish. It's a bit like comparing high street fashion to the designer labels.
Most customers have no idea of likely costs.
A trade magazine did a survey recently which revealed that very few potential kitchen buyers actually know what a kitchen is likely to cost, and even fewer have a realistic idea of the cost of installation. Perhaps this is why so many people find themselves taking on finance from dealers that they did not originally intend, where the cost of their proposed kitchen project escalates well above the figure they had in mind and a slick salesperson convinces them that the cost might be a bit more than they thought, but the deal on offer is never to be repeated, “but here’s a low cost finance option!”
So remember the Scouts motto and "Be Prepared" !