We know that your new kitchen is absolutely going to be THE most important room in your house. Be it a renovation, an extension or a new build – the kitchen is where people spend most time in their home. So – you don’t want to get it wrong. But – what are the common pitfalls and mistakes when it comes to a new kitchen?
We had a chat amongst ourselves and we’ve put together a guide on the common problems, mistakes and hardships – just so you can avoid them!!!
Mistake: Thinking that Cheap is best.
You’ve bought it from a fella you heard of or you’ve bought it on a selling website – you’ve done a deal. You’ve got it from a huge store that is well known for cheap kitchens.
It’s great. But is it?? It might be great on day one – because you have a few bob left in the pocket – but revisit that after a year of usage.
The bin has broken. A few of the drawers are broken. The doors have sagged and can’t be adjusted. The units feel a bit shaky and some of the shelves have broken. The edgings on the units have fallen off. The corner mechanism has failed. The worktop didn’t fit exactly to your kitchen – so it’s patched and joined badly. The design doesn’t work for you. The storage isn’t as it should be. The doors failed. The lad you got for €100 to fit it didn’t do a great job and it’s all off kilter and one of the wall units fell off the wall.
There’s a saying:
Good Cheap Fast – but you can only pick two.
Good & Cheap won’t be Fast
Fast & Good won’t be Cheap
Cheap & Fast won’t be Good
You drive the budget with your kitchen. Be realistic – if you buy cheap you’ll buy again sooner.
If you’ve been dreaming of a particular kitchen you saw on Insta or a magazine you can be pretty sure the buying experience was not as described above!
Mistake: Leaving it too late
We’ve had people walk in to our showroom looking for a kitchen fitted the following week. Getting your dream kitchen is a process. You start by telling us what the dream is and what the budget is. We design accordingly. You view the design – maybe some changes are made. After a deposit is paid we get to working. We finalise every single unit, every single finish with you. We survey at your house. We order up all the components and get the kitchen manufactured in our workshop. We then get it fitted. This all takes time. This is one way that you can be too late! There’s a saying “marry in haste – repent at leisure” – choose your kitchen design and provider carefully – not when you’re in a rush…
But – then there’s leaving it too late to finalise a design:
If you leave your kitchen design and spec until your walls are built and you are ready for the kitchen then you’ll be missing a trick – the opportunity to tweak the room if required. Sometimes moving a door or a window in a room can make a huge difference for the overall design possibilities.
We recommend that you get in touch with a kitchen designer as soon as you have draft plans for the room that the kitchen is going into. A good time to get in touch might be just before breaking ground. Prior to planning is just a bit premature.
Mistake: Thinking that the design isn’t important
Sometimes your focus might be more drawn to the aesthetics of your kitchen – the colour, the finishes. Sometimes your focus might be more taken with the financials – maybe the budget is tight and you just want a kitchen – any kitchen.
BUT – if you lose focus on the design then you will end up with a kitchen not fit for your purpose.
Your kitchen must be designed around:
- The room/space that you have
- Your budget
- Your current needs – e.g. if you have a vast collection of baking utensils right now then the design must factor in where these will go.
- Your future needs – e.g. if you’re starting out with your new home and intend to have a family then there is not much point in getting a tiny sink, a 45cm dishwasher and an under counter fridge – particularly if your room allows for larger. Your future needs for the next 10 years should be considered.
So – your kitchen specialist should be discussing your brief and designing around all 4 of the above. If they don’t do that you will end up with a kitchen the right colour or the right budget – but not covering your design needs.
Mistake: Unrealistic Budget Expectations
We have a few really popular blogs covering kitchen costs – check these out.
But – just a few points to note:
- Wow costs Wow
- Kitchens published on magazines are definitely €20,000 plus.
- Costs of materials have gone through the roof since the start of 2020 – and there is no sign of this changing in 2022. If you’re waiting for it to get cheaper that isn’t likely soon… (sorry….)
Having said all this – we have fitted kitchens this year from €6000 to many multiples of that!!! You must be honest with your kitchen provider from the get-go. There are many solutions in the marketplace – but you won’t get premium quartz for the price of a budget laminate…and this logic applies for every element of your kitchen.
Mistake: “Some fella I know will design the kitchen”
You wouldn’t get a window cleaner to change the brakes on your family car, would you?
So – don’t take chances with your kitchen design.
Go to people who design kitchens all the time. Kitchen specialists will ensure you get the best bang for your buck, will give you the optimal design, will point you towards the best quality for your budget. We have a full range of product – and we often reject suppliers and products because we’re not happy with them. We also have favourite products – because we know their value and worth.
We WANT our customers to get the best that they can and that we can provide. That keeps our clients happy. Maybe other companies have other philosophies – but a good quality proposition from start to finish means that we are not inundated with service issues or unhappy customers – so we’re all happy!!!
Mistake:This kitchen cost a fortune – it’ll last no matter what
Your new kitchen is no different to a new car or a new handbag. You must care for it. Regular maintenance, cleaning and servicing will keep the kitchen pristine. Conversely – if you don’t care for your kitchen it will look ragged, jaded and worn.
Mistake: I don’t need to think about lighting.
The absolute BEST time to think about task lighting and ambient lighting is at the design stage. Trying to add in lighting in already fitted units or underneath them is time consuming and sometimes impossible without major works.
Lighting is hugely important particularly task lighting where you will be working to chop and prep or cook.
Mistake: The extractor doesn’t matter – sure the one my friend has doesn’t work
Ten years ago, extraction options weren’t great. Twenty years ago, the extraction options were absolutely rubbish.
However – the kitchen landscape has changed, and extractor options have blossomed. Rightly so. There are sleek feature extractors, integrated extractors, ceiling extractors, hob extractors, downdraft extractors, pendant extractors – you name it we’ve provided it.
BUT – the single most important thing about your extractor is that it must be FIT FOR PURPOSE.
There is no point in having a massive open plan kitchen, dining, sitting room with a single motor, cheap and nasty extractor. It will be noisy and completely useless at extraction.
There are formulas to calculate your extraction requirements – so ask your kitchen specialist and get an extractor that will work for your room.
Mistake: Not thinking of the practicalities
Make sure that your kitchen design is practical – have drawers for your cutlery, utensils, plates, pots. Use every available part of your room – maximise your storage options. Our designers chat through your design and make sure that every cupboard is used to the best advantage.
Mistake: Not considering where things will go…
When you have come to an almost finalised design try to visualise yourself in your new kitchen and think about things like:.
- Figure out where you will prep food. See where that is in relation to your hob. See how close your sink is to your hob.
- Keep your dishwasher close to your sink.
- Visualise where your tea/coffee making will happen – where is your fridge, your cup, your coffee, your cutlery?
- Imagine where your pots and pans and plates will go.
- Where is the rubbish is going to go to?
Mistake: Not prioritising your needs
Often clients come to our designers with an extensive wish list. Sometimes all the wish list cannot be fitted into the space. Sometimes the wish list can be fitted in – but the final figure is frightening.
So – prioritise your wish list.
If the budget tightens as your build goes along – then ask yourself what MUST be in the kitchen.
e.g. would you prefer a pyrolytic (self-cleaning oven) or a boiling water tap?
Getting your new kitchen might seem like a daunting chore – but we can assure you that it really should not be! There are such wonderful options available to clients now. The industry has been so progressive in the past decade – and this has led to so many fabulous doors, colours, finishes and gadgets.
If you work with the right kitchen specialist for you then you will end up with the design that works for you. Your finished kitchen will then be the culmination of your dreams.
At Newhaven Kitchens we just adore kitchens. We work with clients and guide them through every step of the journey. We ensure our clients get the kitchen they always wanted.
Get in touch with our team and book your design appointment today.