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  • Lisa Gardener

Great value for money kitchen ideas

Planning and designing a kitchen that's great value doesn't mean you have to settle for less. Instead it's all about clever planning, smarter shopping, knowing where to cut corners or make sacrifices and deciding what to invest in for maximum benefits. These tips will help you get the best from your budget.

Plan early

When creating a new kitchen, consider extraction, lighting and zoning early in your design scheme to avoid spending your budget on moving things around later in the process. If it's your first major project, involve a specialist from the start to help you think of these practical issues.

Shop around for savings

You don't have to buy the whole kitchen from one place. Many specialists offer a free planning service allowing you to design your dream space. Use this, but then shop at a variety of retailers to find the items you need. Seek out clever bargains, too. Ex-display fitted kitchens and end-of-line appliances can considerably reduce the price tag of more luxurious products.

Fake it till you make it

High end materials instantly make a kitchen feel more grand, but of course are expensive. Select elements that have the look of an opulent finish without the same price tag. One idea is to opt for a granite transformation worktop, which is simply a thin layer of granite placed over your existing surface. Once fitted, it is almost impossible to tell that it's not a solid granite worktop, so you get that high end finish at just a fraction of the cost. Consider the durability of the elements you're buying. For instance, timber-effect surfaces will usually be lower maintenance than solid wood.

Reuse & recycle

If you are extending or renovating, think about how some materials from your previous space can be given a second life, before you hire that skip. Worktops can be resized and shaped to fit a new theme, cupboard doors can be fitted to the kitchen and repainted to look completely different and old appliances can be sold on to help contribute towards buying new ones.

Spend your money where it matters

Work out what's essential for your kitchen and where you might be able to make savings.

Be smart about space

Understand how you can achieve an open plan kitchen for the best price. Extending isn't the only option to get more square footage; consider knocking down partition walls to create a welcoming kitchen-diner, or incorporate other areas of the house into this zone. Making better use of your existing space can also resolve frustrations. For example, knocking down a wall could add extra capacity for storage or a utility room.

Do your homework on tradespeople

Even if you're buying a kitchen from a reputable retailer, it can sometimes be cheaper to find your own workers to fit the units. Bear in mind that fees can vary wildly, and not always for good reason. When hiring an electrician, plumber or kitchen fitter get at least three different quotes to compare.

Be clever with storage

Use integrated solutions to enhance the efficiency of your cabinets - a kitchen island can offer discreet storage and combining cupboards and drawers will help you maximise this. A cross-corner pantry system is a more cost-effective option than carrying base and wall units and a worktop around a corner. The result is a setup with more usable space for storage. Also consider investing in kitchen furniture that doubles up on its function. An island or breakfast bar can work as a storage area as well as a place for dining.

DIY where you can

You don't necessarily need to hire professionals for every aspect of your kitchen build or overhaul. Consider whether you can do some of the jobs yourself. If you're updating an existing kitchen then the tasks might be suitable for you to complete yourself.

Know your appliance options

Look into what appliances offer energy-saving credentials to lower your future bills. Another option is going to online - only retailers for large machines. These often have more competitive prices due to lower overheads. Or, consider purchasing own-label brands.


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