Frequently Asked Questions when buying a kitchen
To help you understand what we offer and the way we do things we’ve set out some answers to some of the frequently asked questions our customers have. If there’s anything else you’d like to ask us, we’d be happy to answer, so please let us know.
What is the first step?
Get in touch. Have a chat and arrange a design consultation meeting. You can either come in to see us with your own room dimensions or we can come to you and carry out a survey.
What do we cover in the design meeting?
We use the meeting to find out about what your plans are for your new kitchen including: what your requirements are based on usage, functionality and design; timescales for the project; plans for any associated works; and project budgeting. By the end of the meeting we will confirm if you want us to proceed on to producing a design and quotation.
Do you charge for your kitchen planning and design service?
No. We understand that we need to demonstrate our capability to understand your design brief so we will provide an initial design at no charge. Similarly, whilst there is no charge to you, there is a cost to us of the initial survey and design due to the time incurred. As such, we ask that our potential clients take a little time to review our website so you can get a feel for what we offer and if that is likely to be compatible with what you are looking for.
What information do you include in the quotation?
Our usual starting point is to provide you with a quotation for the removal of your existing kitchen (unless following building works) along with the delivery and installation of your new kitchen including appliances; work surfaces; plumbing to the sink tap, dishwasher and washing machine; and gas connections if required. We don’t include associated works such as electricals, plastering, flooring and decorating within the initial quote but are happy to arrange these so that you can budget for the total project cost and give you indicative costs for those elements. We’ll also co-ordinate with all those other trades for quotes and delivery of those elements of the project.
Can you produce a design for my awkward kitchen shape?
Yes. Not only do we have modern CAD kitchen design software which can cope with odd shapes and angles, many of our kitchen doors and cabinets can be made to non-standard shapes and sizes which means that we can produce a kitchen design to fit your space.
The design will include a proposed plan of your kitchen together with a virtual walk through of the kitchen including the style, colours and features discussed in the design consultation.
What about other trade services I need to finish off my new kitchen installation?
We can offer you a 'one stop' service where we arrange for all other trades you require as part of installing your new fitted kitchen including electricians, plasterers, plumbers, tilers, flooring contractors and decorators.
Alternatively, we can tell you what other services are required and then liaise with the contractors engaged by you to carry out those works.
How much does one of your kitchens cost?
For obvious reasons this is the question everyone wants the answer to. The short answer is 'it depends'. The price of a kitchen will be influenced by a number of factors including the type of door selection; size of kitchen; cabinet features; the appliances and work surfaces you choose and how much installation and associated trades work is required.
Our kitchens offer excellent value for money when you consider the quality of the construction of the units including fittings and doors used; the use of high-quality accessories and appliances as well as the service we provide from initial design through to completion of the installation.
The foil wrapped door ranges we offer are the starting point of our price range. Painted hardwood shaker doors and modern tru-handless kitchens typically fall within the mid to upper end of our price range. Hardwood in-frame kitchens occupy the top end of our price range.
Within the above, pricing will also be affected by factors such as the need for non-standard sized doors; selection of standard or non-standard paint colours; the number of drawers and accessories included in the design; appliances and worksurface selection and the extent of the works required.
In broad terms this means we give quotes for fitted kitchens ranging from £9,000 to more than £45,000 with our more typical price range being between £15,000 to £30,000 including installation, work surfaces and appliances.
Why can't I judge best value on price alone?
Whilst we pride ourselves on providing highly competitive kitchen prices, it is important to note that price is only one factor in choosing your kitchen supplier. Design and planning; a flexible product range; quality of the product and installation; customer service before, during and after the installation are also all key considerations in ensuring that your kitchen looks and works as well when it has been in service for several years as was intended when you placed your order.
It is important that you compare all these factors when making what is, after all, a long-term decision. When all these factors are considered, we offer excellent value for money.
What is the lead time between order and installation starting?
All our kitchens are made to order and, as such, we do not carry the kitchen in stock. Because of our relationships with our suppliers and we use local and UK based manufacturers where possible, the kitchen delivery lead time is still only 3 - 6 weeks. However, we will confirm delivery and agree an installation date with you as part of our project management of your new kitchen.
How long does it take to install once work starts?
Depending on the size of the kitchen installation usually takes 1 - 3 weeks. We can split this out as follows:
Week 1: kitchen removal and prep works (electrical first fix and plastering etc);
Week 2: kitchen installation and quartz/granite templating (if applicable);
Week 3 quartz/granite installation and second fixing tap, sink, electrics and appliances.
Decoration will follow and is not included in the week 1 to 3 schedule (or if you choose to decorate between plastering and installation the programme will be extended to allow for this to happen).
If you choose granite or quartz work surfaces the programme is extended due to the need to template the surfaces once the cabinets have been installed and to then return to install them once they have been cut to size (which is typically 7 days after the installation date).
Flooring will also add time to the programme. This can either be laid between kitchen removal and the new installation or after installation of the kitchen. This is usually dependent upon the need to get the kitchen back into functional operation (quicker when the floor is laid afterwards) and the type of the flooring being installed.
I am planning an extension or other building works, when should I come in and see you?
Whilst it is difficult to fix a price for a new kitchen at the planning stage, there are advantages to talking to us early on within your project. We can help with budget costs, give advice on spatial planning, location of electrical and plumbing services and show you samples to help you visualise your finished kitchen scheme, all of which can be factored into your overall design.
When your design is finalised we can give you a more detailed quotation for your new kitchen. We are happy to collaborate with your architect and/or builder during this process. In addition, because of our extensive links through our trade counter, we can even suggest local tradespeople to carry out your works if you haven’t already done so.
We appreciate that a building project requires you to balance the competing costs of construction, many of which are essential but not visible, against the visible finishing elements which includes the kitchen. A successful project, and one that adds most value to the property itself, balances the construction costs and the aesthetic elements that are seen when finishing off the works.
What after care do you provide?
As a family run business that has been established for almost 40 years we pride ourselves on the service we provide from initial enquiry through to any after care issues that may arise. Once the kitchen installation is complete, we will undertake a final inspection before handing over to you. You will receive care instructions and manuals and if you have a painted kitchen we will provide a complimentary pot of touch up paint for any knocks and dinks that can be picked up during daily life. We will also call you a few weeks after completion to check that everything is working as well as intended. We also offer guarantees on our kitchen doors should any longer term issues arise (we can provide full details on request).
What do you mean when you say your kitchen cabinets are pre-assembled with rigid cabinets?
Our kitchen cabinets are made to order with 18mm thick MFC (melamine faced chipboard) sides and at least 8 mm MFC backs. Our cabinets use high quality board from the market leading manufacturers to ensure structural strength, durability and great finish. The cabinets use 1mm ABS edging for long-term durability throughout everyday use.
The cabinets are cut and assembled in a specialist factory which means our cabinets are strong enough to withstand the loads that they are required to carry over many years of use. Using pre-assembled cabinets also takes less time to install than flat pack kitchens.
Not all kitchen suppliers' kitchen cabinets are the same, some supply them flat pack and leave the installer to screw them together; others use MFC sides but cut costs by using thinner hardboard backs that are as little as 2.5mm thick; some use cheaper board with less durable facing materials and some use thinner less durable edging. Make sure you consider all of these elements when assessing one retailer’s cabinetry over another.
In addition to the cabinet itself it is also to consider the other componentry in terms of drawers and hinges. We use leading brands of Blum and Hettich for all our drawers and hinges. Hinges are integrated soft close as standard. The drawers are full extension and also use soft close technology as standard which means you can be sure of years of trouble free use.
What colour are your kitchen cabinets?
Our kitchen cabinets are made to order so we can produce a cabinet in a colour that complements your choice of door. This means we have the flexibility to offer a much wider range of finishes than the larger kitchen retailers with a limited colour palette. We have 64 colour / finish options in our standard range with a further 94 options in our higher price bands.
Where are your kitchens made?
Our kitchen cabinets are made by specialist cabinets manufacturers in England (with the majority made in Macclesfield). The majority of our kitchen doors are also supplied in the UK. We use local suppliers wherever we can because we can monitor quality, keep costs low and support UK business. We believe it’s unnecessary to buy our kitchen cabinets from Europe because the quality of modern UK kitchen manufacturing means there is no need to.
What type of work surfaces do you install?
We are able to provide a wide range of work surfaces including laminate, granite, quartz, ceramic, corian and wood from suppliers including Fugen, Silestone, Caesarstone, Cimstone, Duropal and Corian.
However, because we are not tied to a specific manufacturer or supplier we are able to source the best product to suit your requirements and budget. Work surfaces need careful selection, whilst it is obvious that they need suit your kitchen design scheme, usage also needs consideration. Some surfaces, such as quartz and granite, are much harder wearing than others and wooden surfaces will require ongoing care and maintenance to look their very best.
Which brands of kitchen appliances do you sell?
We are a Siemens Studioline Partner retailer because we find their appliances are stylish, high quality, durable and have a comprehensive range including ovens, hobs, fridges, freezers, warming drawers, coffee machines and dishwashers to suit a wide range of cooking tastes and budgets. This includes offering the exclusive Siemens Studioline range of appliances. Our other key ranges include Samsung (with its exclusive dual cook single oven technology).
We are also a displaying dealer for Elica cooker hoods and venting hobs with a wide range of designs.
For sinks and taps we are a 1810 Studio Partner. Their stainless steel sinks carry a 50 year guarantee, 1810 and Schock also offer composite sinks in a range of colours and designs.
However, with our extensive trade connections we regularly source and offer other brands of appliances and sinks/taps including Abode, Bosch, Blanco, Franke, Rangemaster, Fisher & Paykel and Whirlpool.