Planning a kitchen budget

Kitchen budget
The size of your kitchen budget is a straight fight between your finances and your ambition. Having a dream doesn’t cost you anything. Maybe your dream is of owning an island, a kitchen island that is, somewhere off the coast of your sink, and within docking distance of your fridge. Your dream kitchen is a LOT nicer than your current kitchen with a whole fresh colour scheme, lovely surfaces, flooring and cabinets and is fitted out with sleek new appliances.
Now, the really exciting thing about having a dream is the moment when you decide to make it a reality, and create that perfect kitchen design you’ve long thought about. But that is also the most daunting part of the process, trying to figure out what to do first.
We’ve got the answer for you: plan your kitchen budget. Here is our invaluable guide to deciding how to manage your budget, what aspects of your dream kitchen to spend most of the money on, and how to make sure you get the most out of your budget.

Why have a kitchen budget?

The main reason to have a kitchen budget is not for anyone else, partner, builder or bank – it’s for you. You’re the one with the ideas and aspirations and that’s precisely why you need to sit down and take stock. Combine fantasy with stark reality. Setting a kitchen budget is the first thing that anchors your kitchen design project in the realm of reality. It’s a good thing. The first promise you should make to yourself is: stick to your budget!
It’s only when you have thought about the practical requirements that you’ll have the questions you need to ask in order to set your budget.
And be sure to monitor your budget as the project moves forwards. Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions or reconsider where things are going if costs suddenly start spiralling out beyond what you originally set in your budget.

Involve a FREE professional early on

It’ll be impossible to set your kitchen budget without knowing how much things will cost. The only way to do that is to talk to a professional and most, like us, offer a no-obligation meeting to talk things through.
That’s a valuable FREE meeting which will: –
1. Fill you with enthusiasm and a little trepidation
2. Talk about space and any building work
3. Give you realistic estimates for appliances and structure
4. Give you the latest thoughts on kitchen design
5. Raise important ancillary issues like colour, lighting, extraction, flooring, heating etc
6. Probably sketch out a basic layout
7. Discuss the CAD option for a full colour computer impression of your new kitchen
8. Uniquely, give you an experienced idea of the difficult-to-estimate labour costs
9. Tie all this up in a quote – the basis of your budget
10. Clarify the next stages
Of course we want you to decide to give the job to us – but this is a low-pressure way to tap into a professional view AND get a feel for how we work. Valuable indeed.

Build in some slack

Kitchen budgetBudgets are great, and important, but they need a little wiggle room. None of us are fortune tellers, after all, and every kitchen design project is different and throws up a variety of issues. It only takes the discovery of damaged and outdated pipework under your floorboards to set back your original costings, and timeframe, as repairs are made.
So put aside some of your kitchen budget as an overspend contingency. You may never need to use it (you will), but at least you know that any unforeseen extras can be accommodated if necessary.
And if you are thinking about moving, but still want to redesign the kitchen…
Consider investing more of your budget in the things you can take with you, such as white goods. That way, you’ll still be able to enjoy them in your next kitchen.

Think about any changes to the space you want to make

If you want to change the way your kitchen looks, and have plans to fit the oven in a new location, make sure you find out what extra work is needed. For example, if you have a gas oven, gas pipes may need to be re-fitted.
If you’re particularly budget conscious, keeping appliances in a similar location to the current layout of your kitchen can keep costs down, and make more of the budget available for better fittings and finishes. And be aware that ventilation can be costly to install in a new location.

Time is money, so budget for time

If your project is going to involve several phases, such as building an extension, rewiring electrics and refitting gas pipes, then these aspects will be taken care of by different tradespeople, and at different points.
The units can’t be fitted before the pipework has been refitted, for example. And if one job isn’t done on time, then things will be held up, days won’t be productive, and labour costs will creep up beyond estimates. So budget for time, or find someone who knows how to schedule the project effectively.

Decide what’s important… and what isn’t

kitchen budgetQuick, what do you use most in the kitchen? the oven? fridge? sink? One thing most people overlook is the kitchen floor. It takes a lot of footfall over the months and years. Consider including good quality flooring in your budget. Solid-wood is high end, but will last for years – and so will ceramic tiles.
When considering where else to splash out in your kitchen budget, keep in mind the visible parts of your kitchen. Whilst laminate worktops are much cheaper to buy than other options, it’s always worth thinking about a finer finish. After all, it’s not just about the way they look, they’re also the kitchen surface you’ll touch the most. Putting more of your budget in the visible, tactile parts of your kitchen and finding longer lasting, high-quality materials that will withstand more contact and last longer is worth considering.
And if the budget is now looking surface and floor heavy, look inside for compromises. What about an integrated fridge? That way you don’t have to worry about the brand, and can go for a lower cost model that still works well. Also, how much use will you really get out of that showy double oven?

And set out where you won’t compromise

Ultimately, your kitchen should be an extension of your personality. If you’re a social butterfly, then you want that big table and plenty of seating. If you’re the resident chef, then you want the high end, professional grade equipment suited to your skills. So weighting your budget towards your priorities is a wise move at the end of the day, budgets are budgets, but you shouldn’t be afraid to indulge yourself if you can. That way you can be clear on what you must have in your kitchen design, and can chop, change and fiddle about with the things that are less important to you.

Will you stay home?

kitchen budgetHere’s a sneaky question. One thing the professional kitchen designer won’t be able to help with is where you will stay during the kitchen redesign work and where will you eat? If considerable extension work is being done a significant part of your house will look more like the set of a Mad Max movie than a place to prepare food. Dust, drilling, banging, and strangers doing rough and brutal things to your once beloved cupboards will all take its toll on you and your family. Even seeing your old cupboards dumped unceremoniously in a skip can cause distress.
So consider your options. Will you stay with generous friends or family? Or will it be a case of holing up in another part of the house a hotel, rented home or other safe haven for the duration? These costs should be factored into the kitchen budget.

And more importantly, where will you eat?

You might get by through channelling your student days with a microwave and kettle in the spare bedroom or you might find yourself summoning takeaways for several days or eating out. All these meal costs for you and your family add up, and should be as much a part of your budget as the table tops and the sparkly new oven are.
But above all, do remember, your dreams don’t have to be all about budgets. There’s a dream kitchen for you that suits your lifestyle perfectly and will be fitted swiftly and with an expert finish. Your kitchen budget is only there to serve your dream, not stop that dream from coming true. At Anglia Factors, we’ll work with you to make that dream kitchen a reality, so visit our showroom today or call us on 01473 610192.