I thought about this post for a while before publishing it. It gives away quite a few secrets from inside the kitchen industry but it is by far the best real advice I can give on ways to actually save money on a new kitchen.
Before you read on, just know that not every piece of advice may apply to you for various reasons and they will all require some extra work and effort on your part. However, if you can roll up your sleeves a little and pick even just a couple of tips from this list, then it will definitely save money on your kitchen project.
It’s important to note that wanting to save money doesn’t always mean you have to choose cheap alternatives that you’ll later regret. This advice is to make sure that every penny of your budget counts and goes towards getting the best kitchen you can, whatever your budget may be.
How to actually save money on a new kitchen:
1. Shop around for cabinets:
Visit a few places, get a few quotes and don’t be afraid to haggle. You’ll be amazed at how much you can push the price down just by asking and/or saying that you have been quoted a lower price elsewhere.
Also, don’t get caught up in big discounts like 50% off this month – in all likelihood, it’s just been inflated so the store can give you that discount. Finally, make sure you shop around at least a few places. Not only will it help you to find the best price, but it can also help give you different ideas for your design.
Secret tip: Try making the purchase at the end of the month. Not all, but many, kitchen showrooms have
2. Shop online for appliances:
Buy your appliances online. Unless it’s something quite specialist, most of the best big brands are available to purchase online and are almost always cheaper than from a kitchen showroom.
You may even have more choice of brands as some showrooms only sell certain brands that they display. Do a bit of research to find what you want and remember to purchase them in good time. You don’t want to get to the point of needing them the next day, only to find they are out of stock.
You could also source your small appliances, such as the sink or tap, online too, but typically there isn’t quite the same amount to be saved here. However, if you’re on a mission to save the most, there’s no harm in shopping around.
Have a look at my Appliance Guide section to see my recommended picks and where to buy them online.
Secret tip: Don’t be fooled by appliance promotions from kitchen showrooms. In
3. Save on appliance brands:
Most of us only notice the appliance brand when we can actually see the appliance. Often times to help people save money on their appliances I will recommend purchasing a more well-known brand for the ovens and hob as these are appliances that are always on display and can be important for resale value.
However, for appliances hidden away behind a cabinet door, such as the dishwasher and possibly fridge/freezer, and cooker hoods, you can get away with slightly lesser-known brands.
These can have the same specification that you want but cost less, just because they don’t have that particular badge on. No one will really know and most of the time they are just as good (and sometimes better) than the big brand names.
4. Get the worktop yourself:
This is a big one and can save you a considerable amount of money sometimes.
If you are having laminate or wooden (timber) worktops, then your best bet is to buy the lengths of worktop yourself online. There are many good online retailers for these types of worktop and it will be considerably cheaper to buy these yourself than through a kitchen showroom.
Most of the time the kitchen showroom is supplying the exact same thing, just with their mark-up on top.
Laminate and wooden worktops come in set sizes, so just work out how much you will need for each run of your worktop. Always allow a little more than needed for cuts and if it’s a bit close, pick the next size up to be safe. If it’s a wooden worktop you can always use the offcuts as chopping boards.
If you are having a granite or quartz style worktop, then instead of shopping online go directly to the stone fabricator or quarry. This will require a bit of research and effort to find a good local stone fabricator, but once you have found one or two, get some quotes for what you want.
It will almost certainly be less expensive than the same thing quoted from your kitchen showroom. Again, it will most likely be the exact same service and guarantee provided, it may even be the same company that the kitchen showroom use, but you are cutting out the middle man.
If you’re not sure what worktop is right for you, have a read of my post What is the Best Kitchen Worktop for your Budget?
5. Use a locally trusted fitter:
The kitchen installation itself can be a major contributor to cost. A good local fitter will most often be cheaper than the in-house kitchen installation service from a kitchen showroom. Ask around for recommendations, see some of their work if you can and get a quote.
The downside is that if they damage anything you will need to negotiate to get a replacement and who is paying for that. If the kitchen company’s in-house installation team damaged something, they will be the ones replacing it. Think about how much peace of mind you want over your kitchen fit and if the savings are worth that little extra risk for you.
It’s very important to make sure whoever is fitting your kitchen is good. A cheap kitchen fitted well can outlast and look much nicer than an expensive kitchen fitted poorly!
6. Buy accessories yourself:
Similar to buying your appliances online yourself, you can save money by buying your kitchen accessories online too. What do I mean by kitchen accessories? I’m talking about some of the smaller items (often upsells) you can have in your kitchen, such as pop-up sockets, wooden cutlery trays, spice racks, and peg boards to organize your pan drawers. These are really useful extra bits that you might want for your kitchen, but it will be much cheaper to source these yourself.
If you are having your kitchen installed by a local fitter or builder, rather than the kitchen company, you could take these savings on accessories one step further and source any storage mechanisms yourself as well.
Things like le-mans corner solutions, pull out wirework, integrated bins and even under cabinet lights can all be sourced online and for a much lower price than if you purchased the cabinets with them already installed from the cabinet company.
Yes, you have to factor in the time it takes your fitter to install these as well, but most often your quote will be for the entire kitchen fit and may already include the time it takes to install these mechanisms. Also, depending on the accessory, they can be quite easy and quick to install, so if you’re a little bit DIY handy, then you could fit these yourself.
For some ideas of great kitchen accessories have a read of my post 11 Accessories You’ll Want For Your Kitchen Renovation.
Top tip: If you are planning on sourcing and fitting mechanisms yourself, make sure you get the right type of cabinet to fit them into, or specify the construction accordingly.
For example, if you want to fit your own pull out mechanism, you don’t want the door to be fixed with a hinge on your cabinet. You want the door separate so you can attach the mechanism to it. If you have a door fixed with hinges, you will need to remove it and this will leave holes in your door and cabinet where the hinges were.
7. Reuse parts of your old kitchen:
If you’ve got a perfectly good and working gas hob, why throw it out or replace it? Keeping certain appliances can be a great way to cut back on cost. Most appliances are set standard sizes as well, so if you did want to upgrade your oven down the line, swapping it out can be really easy. This can help spread the cost a little over time.
If you’ve got a lovely bit of wooden worktop you are removing, why not use part of this to create your breakfast bar and save on buying new timber. Not only can you save some money, but mixing textures in your kitchen can look fantastic.
Similarly with your kitchen cabinets, if they are still in good working order consider reusing them in your utility room or garage if you have one.
8. Sell your old kitchen:
The fact that your old kitchen is no longer suited to your taste doesn’t mean it is destined for the scrapyard. There are companies out there that will buy your old cabinets, worktop and appliances.
Even just trying to get a bit of money for your old appliances can be worthwhile. There are dedicated websites and companies that will buy your old kitchen, or consider putting something up on Gumtree. You’ll be surprised what people are looking for and what they’ll be willing to pay for it.
Full disclosure, I’ve never had any customers use these sites – but they’re out there for you to explore and they could be just what you need!
9. Reduce any structural alterations:
Think long and hard before committing to that extension. Yes, it will look fantastic to have that big open plan space, but do you really need it? How much will it cost? And, if you’re selling soon, is it worth the investment? As soon as architects and planning applications are involved the price of the project can jump up hugely.
Another way to potentially create more space is by knocking down internal walls, especially if they are stud walls and not load bearing. This can cut down hugely on structural costs compared with an extension or anything requiring supportive steelwork and may mean that you avoid the need for architects and planning permission.
You should always check if planning permission is required when making any alteration. Contact your local planning department if at all unsure.
10. Avoid moving utility meters and services:
Similar to the last point, if you don’t have to move all your plumbing, gas and electric to the other side of the house, then that’s also going to save a good chunk of money. While this may be unavoidable, at least consider the new layout of the kitchen and be mindful of these services.
Ideally, you don’t want to have the sink, dishwasher and washing machine all on different sides of the kitchen – think of the plumbing work! Likewise, if you’ve got a fuse box or boiler in your kitchen, consider incorporating these into the design, rather than having them moved elsewhere in the house. This is definitely going to save money.
11. Ex-display kitchens:
Kitchen showrooms are always changing displays as new designs come out, as they want to keep up with trends. Most often, display kitchens are advertised for sale in the showrooms themselves when you look around, but don’t be shy of just asking the manager if they are planning to change the display that you like.
It could be on their list next and a great incentive for them to do it, as they have you as a buyer already lined up.
Just make sure that you can work your desired kitchen layout with the units that are for sale first, or at least make sure you can use most of them and that you can still order any additional cabinets you may need to complete your layout.
12. Choose who to work with wisely:
Some rather general advice here, but none the less still very important;
Making sure you choose the right people to work with will not only make the whole experience far less stressful and hopefully at least a little bit fun, but it could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.
From a good kitchen designer making sure your layout not only looks great but is also functional, to the right tradespeople for all of the various services and fitting, researching and getting the right people for the job can mean you do this just once.
Getting the wrong people, often to try and save just that little bit more, can mean that you end up doing a job twice, or the work doesn’t stand the test of time.
It may sound a bit counterintuitive for this post, but spending a bit more money on these aspects in the beginning could mean that you save much more in the long term.
Should you try to save money on a new kitchen?
The answer is yes and no. It’s great to save a bit of money – who doesn’t want that? However, taking action on all of these tips on a single project will be very difficult, and may not even be possible, depending on what you are doing.
Some of these tips are easier than others, and they all have varying consequences should you attempt them, and that’s what you need to take into consideration and really think about.
How much money is your peace of mind, time and stress worth?
Yes, you can save money by doing a lot of things yourself, but it will take up your time and may cause stress doing it all. Whereas if you paid for a professional to do their job and do this work for you, not only are you freeing up your time, you are also becoming free of the burden of responsibility if anything were to go wrong.
Also, it’s their job, so assuming you’ve done tip 12 correct and picked the right people, they are likely going to be better at this than you.
For instance, if you ordered the wrong length of worktop, that’s going to cost you, but if your kitchen company ordered the wrong thing, guess who’s paying to have that fixed? Not you. And, hopefully, they won’t order the wrong length in the first place!
You cannot underestimate the benefits of having a professional do their job and take the time, stress and responsibility away from you. I’m sure there are already plenty of things for you to be responsible for in your day-to-day life, without all this extra on top.
So, think about yourself and the project, weigh up the pros and cons of the savings, and I wish you the best of luck with your new kitchen project.
And remember, if all else fails, make friends with a kitchen designer!
If you’re just starting your new kitchen project then have a read of my post Top 10 Kitchen Design Tips – from a Kitchen Designer.