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How to buy a new kitchen in 2020. Part 2

Last month we looked at breaking down the process of buying a kitchen into stages to help make the journey easier and more enjoyable - from making a wish-list to reviewing the space, deciding on style to thinking about must-have appliances, and of course, setting that all-important budget.

With kitchen sales still going strong, finding the right designer and supplier is paramount and can make all the difference

Finding the right designer:

Kitchen designers understand the need to create a scheme that looks beautiful but is also functional and practical. As designers specify products regularly, you can expect them to be up to date with the latest cabinet materials, worktops and appliances. Make the process as easy as possible by taking along as much information as you can to your initial meeting – your wish-list, sketch of your space and how you’d like to use it, photos of your current kitchen, mood-board or inspirational images of styles you like. Most major kitchen retailers have in-house designers or kitchen consultants who will either visit your home or go through your ideas in store with you. Alternatively, you may wish to use an independent kitchen designer employed by an independent retailer or you may opt to design it yourself.

Finding a kitchen supplier:

Ask family and friends for recommendations you will be amazed at how quick others are to either sing the praises or advise you to stay clear! Browse magazines to find companies working across all budgets and look at local online forums to review others’ experiences. To compare companies and quotes, make time to sit down with three different companies to discuss your plans and ideas. Make an appointment so that you can be sure that the staff will have enough time to help you. Look around the showroom, check the quality of the units, see which appliance brands they stock and whether you get on with the designer. Quality input at this stage is key – you will be working closely with your kitchen supplier so it’s important to get it right.

See your design develop:

Most companies produce CAD (Computer Aided Design) drawings to give you a sense of how the finished kitchen will look – these can be amended along the way. It is always best to ask for samples of materials such as cabinet doors, worktops and flooring so that you can take them home and see how they look in your space at different times of day.

Understanding lead times:

Lead times can vary enormously from retailer to retailer depending on manufacturers’ lead times – ask the question early on – you don’t want to spend ages designing your dream kitchen to find that there’s a 4 month lead time but you have a drop-dead date of 12 weeks! Obviously a fully bespoke design will involve longer lead times. If your project involves building work then this will dictate the pace of the installation. Most companies are used to liaising with architects and builders, to make the process as smooth as possible.

Deciding on payment:

A kitchen will usually need to be paid for in stages – when and how much will vary according to supplier so make sure you check this all before committing. Some companies offer finance packages.

To read our earlier blog “How to pay for your new kitchen” click here or to compare the key kitchen retailers’ latest finance deals, click here

21st Jan 2020