If you're planning to update your kitchen, the thought of the stress and hassle might be holding you back - it's a big job and we know that people worry about all the things that could possibly go wrong. You don't want to be struggling without a kitchen for months on end if it doesn't go according to plan.
So what can you do to make sure the whole process, from deciding you want a new kitchen, to cooking your first meal in it, happens with the minimum level of stress possible?
1. Start with an idea
Why are you updating your kitchen? Is it outdated? Do you have different priorities than when it was first fitted? Do you need more storage?
When you know what your current kitchen isn't achieving, it's easier to work out what you need from your new one. There's no sense in going through the process of fitting a new kitchen if it doesn't give you any benefits. We can help you enhance your storage, perk up your design, shape the space to fit your lifestyle... If you know what you want from your new kitchen, it's easier to find a way to achieve that.
2. Have a plan
Are you just doing the kitchen, or is this part of a wider home improvement project? If it's part of an extension or other building project, you'll want to liaise with your builder and your kitchen fitter - get them in a room together if possible, so that everyone knows what's happening and can communicate effectively about the schedule.
3. Have a budget
As fun as it can be to imagine your absolute dream kitchen, with imported Italian marble and Moroccan tiles, finding that you can't have what you want can make your new kitchen seem a little less shiny. Have a realistic budget in mind before you start shopping, so you can create a dream kitchen you won't be paying off for the rest of your life.
Having a budget doesn't mean you have no choice but to pick a flat-packed, off-the-shelf kitchen, though. German kitchens, like the Nobilia range, are built for you, to your specification. They're delivered whole, which makes them fit better and feel much higher in quality, despite not being anywhere near the cost of the usual bespoke kitchens. Just check out our case studies, and see how many people are surprised at how affordable they are.
Splash out on the unique touches that bring your kitchen to life, because those are the real showstoppers that make the difference between showhome kitchen and your kitchen.
4. Measure up your kitchen - accurately!
You've heard the old adage, "measure twice cut once"? It's a popular saying for a reason. If you're trying to do everything yourself, it's even more important. There's nothing worse than ordering units only to find they're a few centimetres out - you're either left with a gap or forced to shave down parts of your brand new kitchen before you even start. And you'd be amazed how often that happens.
One of the benefits of working with kitchen companies that cover everything from design to installation is the fact that we take all the necessary measurements for you (including the ones you might not have thought of), while we help you work out the best possible use of your space. But however you choose to proceed, never underestimate the importance of the measuring stage of the process!
5.Know the rules
Do you know the building regulations for kitchen renovations? If you're having an extension, you might need signoff from the relevant authority, but even if you don't, not following building regs might make it more difficult to sell your house in the future. So even if you're not thinking of moving right now (you're fitting a new kitchen, after all), don't leave your future self with a headache.
You could choose to work with a reputable company who can handle all of that, a builder who knows the regulations inside and out, or an established fitter. If you're doing it yourself, be very careful and follow every rule, even if they seem arbitrary - most of them genuinely are there for good reason.
6. Schedules and contracts
If you're working with a kitchen design and fit company, an independent fitter, a builder, a plumber, or all of the above, you'll want a written schedule of works that you can refer back to. It will never be set in stone, so some flexibility and expectation of change is important, but you should know what's supposed to happen and when.
7. Prioritise communication
In any project, communication is key. It's even more important when you have multiple trades involved, so you need to keep on top of the communication. Is one of your suppliers going to act as go-between, or do you need to keep everyone up to date? Which trades will be overlapping and which need the space to themselves? Make sure the trades that will overlap are aware of each others' movements and enable them to talk directly to one another.
If you've started with one supplier - a kitchen design and fit company perhaps - ask them for recommendations. They may already have a good working relationship with a local plumber or flooring specialist. You don't have to use their suggestions, but if they've worked together before, chances are they'll have an easier job of working together again.
Ask your primary supplier (or all of them, if you're coordinating everything) for updates and make sure you know what the schedule is, and how it's progressing. If there are any delays, what's causing them and why? And, more importantly, what will the knock-on effects be?
8. Test everything
Before you sign off your new kitchen, test all the appliances, sockets, extractors, lights, and anything else you had installed. It's much easier to rectify a problem if you notice it right away, rather than discovering an issue in a few months when you use that one plug that isn't used that often.
You should also keep all of your manuals, instructions, and warranty documents for your appliances - file them away just in case you ever need them.
The whole point of a new kitchen, for most people, is to create a space you can enjoy. A space that works for the way you live, whether that's feeding a big family, entertaining friends, or being able to cook as quickly and efficiently as possible.
So plan something to celebrate your new kitchen - you'll probably want to show it off, after all!