Your kitchen is often the hub of your home, and the shocks of everyday life – especially with more cooking, home schooling, and working from home – can make it look tired.
Plus, as the days get longer and brighter, the little worries and bumps you ignored during the winter catch your eye.
Redesigning, replacing and redecorating your entire kitchen can cost up to £ 10,000 – and often a lot more.
But there are ways to keep kitchen costs in check and make sure you get the best kitchen design for your budget. Experts and owners who recently remodeled their kitchens share their tips.
Discover the price of a new kitchen whether you live on a terrace, in a semi-detached house or in a single-family house.
1. Look for inexpensive kitchen cabinets
Buying ex-display or second-hand kitchen cabinets can save you a significant amount of money. Retailers can offer 50 to 75% off the recommended retail price on display units, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), and they will barely be used.
Second-hand cabinets will also be much cheaper than new ones, albeit with some wear and tear. Before purchasing, check exactly what condition they are in, including scuffs, scratches, and missing parts.
Look for well-built and sturdy units for a durable kitchen. The best units are made of durable materials, such as good quality MDF or melamine particle board (MFC), which do not scratch easily and have no sharp corners or edges or chips. They will have cabinet drawers and hinges that close smoothly, and cabinet doors, drawers, and shelves that can withstand heavy use.
2. Carefully consider the design of the kitchen
If you’re planning a complete kitchen refresh, it’s tempting to reinvent your space with your sink, stove, and units in new places.
Relocating your sink and gas appliances, such as the hob or boiler, will increase the cost of your kitchen. So if you are happy with your current kitchen layout, sticking to it will avoid paying to reroute electrical, gas, and drain pipes.
You will need a licensed gas safety engineer to install a new gas appliance or relocate an existing appliance.
Larger changes, including new drainage, new electrical appliances, or the addition of a new gas stove or hob, will require building regulations approval. Find out more in our advice on building regulations for extensions.
Minor electrical work – such as adding a new outlet or light switch – does not require building bylaw approval. Check if your kitchen installer or builder is capable of doing this.
Use our kitchen planning guide and checklist.
3. Know how much a new kitchen costs
By reading our kitchen price guide you can get a feel for the cost of a new fitted kitchen and then do your own research.
Our prices are an example, based on average costs collected by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Design, materials, brand and more will all have an impact on the exact cost of your kitchen.
So have a clear idea of what you want and approach different brands or local cooking companies for advice and quotes. We recommend at least three – this way you get a feel for the going rate for your dream kitchen.
Get detailed quotes so you can see what’s expensive and where you could trade down or up.
Finally, keep in mind that changing your plans can increase costs – for example, if a countertop has been cut to size, additional items need to be ordered or your plans need to be redesigned.
4. Replace your kitchen cabinets and drawers
Replacing only the doors and drawers on your cabinets, rather than the entire kitchen, is a good budget option if your units are still in good condition.
It will give your kitchen a new look and avoid the hassle of a complete kitchen remodel.
Adding handles or knobs to your doors and drawers is another option for making a dated kitchen look fresh.
If you buy a new standard range kitchen, you can dress it up with high end handles.
See the cost of repair and replace kitchen cabinet doors and drawers.
5. Try painting the kitchen cabinets
A few coats of paint on tired kitchen cabinet fronts is a quick way to transform your room or add a splash of color.
Cabinets will need several coats of paint, and you’ll need to prepare them ahead of time (usually by sanding and washing them to remove dust and grime, then using a primer or undercoat).
Check that the paint is suitable for kitchen cabinets and cupboards before using. The type of paint you need will depend on the surface area of your current kitchen cabinets. If it’s laminate, look for a specialty multipurpose paint designed for wood, melamine, and MDF. For solid wood or wood veneer cabinetry, look for interior wood paint.
6. Replace only your kitchen worktops
Installing new or replacement worktops is another option for dressing standard units or giving new life to an old kitchen.
It’s not just the material you choose that determines the cost of your kitchen countertop. Laying a granite or marble countertop is trickier than a laminate countertop. therefore will often cost more to install and purchase.
To find how much do kitchen countertops cost including laminate, solid oak and granite.
7. Hire reliable kitchen installers
The choice of an experienced and qualified kitchen designer is crucial. Be careful if you choose an installer just because it is cheap. It could be a false economy if you have to pay more to fix the issues in the future.
One-third of people in our survey who bought a new kitchen in the past 10 years had a problem with it. * Faucets, appliances, and kitchen doors or hinges were the most common faults .
Plus, we’ve heard from people whose kitchens were so poorly equipped the first time the job had to be redone.
Some kitchen companies offer in-house assembly services, although you don’t always have to use them. If your new kitchen is part of a larger extension or renovation, your builder may be happy to fit it out as well.
8. Consider DIY Kitchen Options
Installing your own kitchen will reduce installation costs. DIY layout is doable if you are proficient in DIY, and especially if you set up a similar flatbed kitchen.
Only 8% of people in our survey * had their own kitchen, so ask yourself if you are sure you can finish the job. Otherwise, use Who? Trusted traders to find a reliable kitchen installer.
If you are unsure of how to set up your kitchen, there are still many things you can do to control costs. Take this into account, depending on your skill level and self-confidence:
- Decorate, for example paint or line the walls and ceiling
- Tile around the sink or splashbacks
- Floor covering
According to the FMB, removing the old kitchen is a day’s work, so doing it yourself could save money. You will likely have to pay to rent a dumpster to dispose of it, while a kitchen builder or installer will usually include disposal costs in their total price.
* In May and June 2019, we surveyed 2,228 Which one? members who have purchased a new kitchen in the past 10 years.