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By Ream Kitchen Team

An Honest Guide To Buying A Kitchen

An honest guide to buying a kitchen

The kitchen market is booming, it is no longer just for cooking in. It has now become the ‘need to have’ show off accessory to your home.

Unfortunately due to the ‘flat pack’ boom and ‘Do it yourself’ trend the quality of kitchens has rapidly decreased and customers are often sold the dream from big franchises of a designer kitchen from a flashy showroom from as little as £895. Sounds great doesn’t it?

The reality is this price is completely unrealistic and you will often be left disappointed or end up with a huge bill of compulsory extras that you hadn’t budgeted for. Buying a new kitchen or even updating the room is a huge decision and expense that shouldn’t be considered lightly. People often over look the work that goes into a new fitted kitchen and can become confused and misled by competitive pricing, TV adverts and the 50% off kitchens sale.

Let’s start with the basics…There is no such thing as ‘50%’ off. You WILL pay for it somewhere down the line. Despite what is now being widely promoted, when it comes to kitchens  ‘One size NEVER fits all’

Black and White high Gloss Ream Contemporary Fitted Kitchen installed in Rochester

Ream Clients Kitchen in Rochester


When budgeting for a kitchen you need to figure out what is a reasonable amount to spend on your kitchen. If Spending £50,000  on a kitchen in a house that cost £140,000 then it is safe to say your over doing it. A good rule of thumb is around 20% of a homes value for a kitchen budget which will help you significantly add value to your property and its sell ability, any more and you are likely to lose money. When you break down the costs you need to think about all the areas that come into play, the trick is to not be short sighted as there is lots to consider.

20% Appliances, 2%   Paint/Drywall, 4%   Plumbing, 20% Counter tops, 5%   Electrical, 15% Back splash/Flooring, 45% Cabinets.

The hidden costs…

Supply only

You’ve seen the signs, the TV adverts, THIS Kitchen at £999, THIS kitchen at £1,770… what does that even mean? What do you get for that? The pricing is to lure you in to thinking a kitchen isn’t really that expensive but these prices are normally supply only and only include about 8 units, which really isn’t that much. Suddenly some hidden costs will pop up, like extra units or fitting the kitchen, unless of course you can do that yourself?The key is to know your kitchen needs…Bare in mind the average cost of a fitter is around £350-£400 a day. So if it’s a big job, it will be a big price. A lot of the big franchises will contract this work out to a carpenter or joiner. Very few of them will actually use a fully qualified ‘Kitchen Fitter’ with a full ‘Kitchen Fitter Apprentice certificate’. Depending on the fit, what is moved around, rewired, new plumbing, etc, the fit can significantly bump up the price of your new kitchen by thousands.


One of the biggest costs with a kitchen is the fitting, consider your requirements and take them into consideration. If you need your kitchen ripped out, you are already looking at over a hundred pounds before you start. Do you need appliances moved? If you do then you will likely need a plumber or electrician on site which again is going to bump your price up by a fair few hundred pounds per day. Need a new floor and tiling? That’s another day for a builder. Need your skirting re-done? That’s possibly in excess of a hundred pounds.

So you see this price quickly starts to rise and the £995 that drew you in is now a bit of a distant memory.

Ream Fitted Kitchen Walderslade Kent

Ream Client Kitchen Walderslade

What you need to check

When you’ve been quoted for a ‘fit’ at a ‘special price’ at some of the bigger franchises one of the huge issues that isn’t mentioned is they will hardly ever fix their own mess. Make sure you check every detail of the fit and confirm the finish.


If it’s not highlighted, it’s more than likely NOT going to happen and you are more than likely to end up feeling ripped off and disappointed. If you have any additional work done such as lights and electrics, the fit often doesn’t include re-plastering and you can end up with a big hole where your nice wall or ceiling used to be.


Worktops can be a key contributor to price with laminate on the bottom end costing in at around £375 all the way up to Granite and Corian which will bump your price up by a minimum of £4,000. The finish on a work top is really important and can off set your whole kitchen so make sure you go for something durable and suited to your usage as well visually appealing. We tend to advise steering clear of wood unless you have the time to properly maintain it. A lot of new build kitchens will have wood in for the visual finish but will fail  to  explain to the customer that these regularly need to be well oiled and the maintenance is high or they will bow and scratch.


Due to the booming kitchen market a lot of franchises are becoming more and more competitive in price to churn out factory built kitchens and send a shipload of unqualified designers off to ‘training’ school to learn about kitchens. Brands that have never sold kitchens before like Next and John Lewis seem to have jumped on the bandwagon. It appears everyone wants a piece of the pie. The training is normally a week long crash course on CAD design to help them learn how to use the design software and create your beautiful kitchen. These training courses hardly ever include the actual ‘building’ of a kitchen.The issue is, a lot of these ‘Designers’, whilst potentially talented at interior design haven’t a clue on how a kitchen is fitted and can design things that aren’t even possible to build. If a proper site measure and survey is not done then minor and major issues can start to arise. This can be anything from pipes, radiators in the way, issues with cutting, the units not fitting. Which means the fit can end up looking very cheap due to a lack of understanding in carpentry, electrics and plumbing.

KBSA Approved

Always check that a kitchen company is KBSA approved. This means that you as the consumer are completely covered should the company go bust during the build or design process and you will get your deposit back.Ream are KBSA Approved

Have you fallen out of love with your kitchen, come and visit your local specialists to help you once again fall in love with your home.

Kitchen Designer Rainham Kent

Ream Kitchen Designer in a Ream designed Kitchen