- Hiring tradespeople
- Interior design
We asked Which? Trusted trader, Craig Byars from K & B Installations, for some advice.
Redesign of the kitchen, plus supply and installation of a new kitchen with worktops, appliances, units and doors.
Costs can mount up when specialist contractors have to be hired, says Craig Byars from Dorset-based kitchen and bathroom fitting firm K & B Installations.
Provided you’re happy with the existing layout of your kitchen, you can save money by keeping the oven, hob and dishwasher in the same place. “This means a kitchen fitter can carry out all or most of the work,” says Craig.
Sometimes a kitchen can be completely transformed with only a change of kitchen unit doors and worktop. This can reduce the overall cost by as much as 50%.
“Make sure all of the units and other parts are delivered before the kitchen installer arrives,” recommends Craig. This avoids having to repeatedly call out the kitchen fitter to fit missing items.”
“Big stores often charge a lot to install the kitchens they sell,” says Craig. Use Which? Trusted Traders to find a local, independent kitchen installation business or tradesperson for a better deal. Always get at least three quotes.
Try to get a total price for the job including all fittings and fixtures, rather than a per day rate. Traders who charge by the day might drag their feet to boost the value of the job. With a fixed cost, there are no nasty surprises. As a guide, it should take around a week to completely remove and refit a kitchen, or two weeks if there is building work or lots of tiling.
Removal of the old kitchen worktop and refitting with a granite worktop.
“Complications such as under mount sinks and lots of joins lead to a much longer installation time,” says Craig. This can’t necessarily be avoided if your heart is set on the granite surface, but you could think about choosing another material.
Ask your kitchen designer or retailer about alternative worktop materials. “Bushboard M-Stone or Acrylic worktops are attractive and cost less because they can be fabricated on site,” says Craig.
Always use a kitchen fitter who has training and experience in these specialist materials to achieve the desired luxury finish.
Changing kitchen unit doors and/or worktops while retaining existing kitchen units.
"Choosing a gloss door rather than a matt finish door can add a lot to the price,” says Craig. “Also, handleless doors are often not compatible with existing units – this could be costly if discovered once work has begun. J-profile handleless doors (with a recess into the door rather than an outward handle) should be compatible, however.”
“Ask your kitchen showroom or designer about whether you could update or improve the layout by rearranging the kitchen units you already have,” says Craig. “Alternatively, perhaps you could re-use the existing handles.”
Lots of things, such as the plinth and panels, can be replaced on their own. A dramatic change can be achieved without necessarily having to change the whole kitchen. You’ll save installation time and money, and won’t even need to empty the kitchen cupboards!
Removing an old appliance, such as an oven, and installing a new one.
“Changing fuel for an appliance, such as swapping an electric hob for a gas one, involves lots of work and expense,” says Craig.
“Most kitchen installation companies will charge for disposal of kitchen appliances such as cookers and dishwashers,” says Craig. Avoid this cost by contacting your council to see if they operate a free or cost effective bulky rubbish collection service.
Craig says: “Be careful if you choose someone else to dispose of old kitchen appliances. You could be fined if they’re not licensed.”
Tiling of walls between the kitchen worktop and overhead units and tiling the floor.
“Porcelain or mosaic tiles are more time consuming to cut and lay,” says Craig.
You can reduce the cost by choosing a an upstand or splashback to finish the edge of worktop,” says Craig. “This creates a lovely finish and can save a lots of money on installation time.”
His final tip is "Vinyl flooring is very popular at the moment, and much cheaper than a tiled floor. Other benefits are that it’s less slippery when damp and not as cold in the winter."