‘’And what is your budget for the project?’’
This is the most frequent question you will be asked when you are thinking of renovating or redesigning your new kitchen. It can also sometimes be the hardest question to answer, especially when you want a kitchen that is completely bespoke.
For any client, when it comes to this point of conversation, it can be quite tricky to be concise on how much you want to spend. Obviously, it all starts with the lowest possible budget but this budget can easily spiral and it becomes rare for a project to actually finish within the initial projection of costs.
So, how can this process be made easier for you? Apart from it being dependent on the areas that need to be designed and the building work costs (if it is a new project, renovation or extension), there are 5 main factors that matter when budgeting your project:
Let’s have a look at each of them separately.
The Design Process
When reaching out to a company or design studio, start by doing a quick research online on how they charge. Usually, you can get information on the general budget of their projects and the various design stages on platforms like Houzz or the studio’s website. It might seem like the logical first step, but we hear ‘’what sort of budget would this project be?’’ on almost every initial call with a prospective client, which usually leads to a not very helpful answer of ‘’it will depend on a number of factors.’’
Consider whether you want a Bespoke Project or a Standard Kitchen. A bespoke kitchen will involve more costs but will be truly adapted to your needs and your lifestyle, giving you an increase of functionality and use of the space. A standard kitchen will have less costs, but will not be adapted to the way you want to live in it.
Our design process at Ian Dunn
To give a clearer example, here is how our bespoke design process at IDW&D works:
Initial consultation and quote
We start by discussing the project with our potential clients. After the consultation so that we have a clear idea on what the project will involve, our in-house Project Manager and CAD Designers are allocated 2 hours to develop initial drawings. We are happy to provide the first couple of drawings and a rough estimate without charge.
Then further collaboration takes place with the clients to finalise the design and specified appliances, worktops or other fittings.
Once you have decided to proceed with the enquiry, additional design time will then be allocated and at this point, we require a design deposit.
The value of this design deposit is then taken off the final quote cost and should you decide not to commission us to manufacture the work, you are entitled to keep the initial designs for your own reference. The design deposit is a flat rate of 5% of the guide price.
Once the design specifications are agreed, a quote finalising the costs is issued with drawings to be signed off by the client. A project deposit will be due at this point as confirmation of the order and production time allocated in the workshop.
It is not standard in the industry to work like this, some companies start charging the moment a client reaches out to them whilst others only charge for the actual labor. However, it is a must to discuss this process with the designer and to fully understand how they operate. Take into consideration that the more changes you make on initial drawings and estimates, the higher the chance that the designer will charge you a design fee. So it is all down to clear and good communication.
Cabinets, Worktops and their Materials
Moving onto the second stage of budgeting, it is important to take into consideration the style you want for your cabinets and worktops, as well as the type of materials that you would love to have in your dream kitchen.
Starting with cabinets, the prices will vary as there are many optional details such as internal drawers, pull out storage or integrated bins, cutlery drawers or adjustable shelves. Then it will also vary with the finishing you want on the external surfaces, whether spray finished, hand painted or veneered. For worktops, the prices will vary on material depending on dimensions and the finishing details (edge profiles and texture finishes).
The variety is huge - no surprise there - which can be quite overwhelming in terms of pricing. For example, a kitchen island, depending on the material, size and type of finishes can range anywhere from £2000 to £9000.
Our advice is to start by comparing different materials’ durability and features, to understand what is the priority for you. Chances are, you will be combining at least 2 different materials within your kitchen (for example, wooden cabinets with quartz worktop surfaces), so choose materials that compliment each other the most both practically and aesthetically.
Here is an example from one of our partners Silestone where they compare quartz with granite. You can see more on https://www.silestone.co.uk/quartz-vs-granite-worktops/.
Once you have narrowed down your top 3 preferences, take into consideration the size of the surfaces required for your kitchen and the quantity of material you will use for each (surface area and thickness). Then you can roughly price your top 3 and discuss with your designer for the best option.
You can usually get information about your designers’ partners on their website. It is always good to browse through these options to understand where you want to place yourself. However, to make this process easier for our clients, we are always happy to indicate the best options on styles, materials and finishings that fit within the budget allocated for their kitchen project.
Once you have the materials aligned, you will need to start thinking about appliances. The appliances will give life to your kitchen and allow you to fully use your space, so it is important to do quite a bit of research to make sure they will align with your lifestyle. We are talking hobs, ovens, fridge/freezers, dishwashers, sinks, microwaves, all the way to compact wine coolers.
It all depends on how much life you want to bring to your kitchen. Here are a couple of appliances budgets we have recently compiled:
Example 1 - We recently designed a kitchen for a client with 8 appliances: Dishwasher, Fridge/Freezer, Extractor, Gas Hob, Oven, Sink, Tap and Washing Machine, with a mix of brands from Miele to Neff. With dry fit installation added to our service, the appliances came up to £4,000 (Ex. VAT).
Example 2 - On another project that we are currently designing, our client asked for 10 appliances: Coffee Machine, Dishwasher, Fridge/Freezer, Hob, Microwave Oven, Multifunction Oven, Steam Oven, Sink, Tap and Wine Cooler, mixing brands like BORA, Miele and Siemens. Adding dry fit installation rates, this budget came up to £18,000 (Ex. VAT).
Bora X Pure cooktop. More at https://www.iandunn.com/bora.html
Next, we go onto the finishings. Here we include textures, edges and formats.
How do you envision your kitchen? Let’s think worktops. Do you want a polished finish that feels radiant and smooth or a textured surface to give it a rustic feel? Once that is clear, what sort of edges appeal to you? Do you want something simple and safe if you have kids or pets or do you want a more intricate edge? And what about the thickness of the material?
Examples of different edges provided by our partner Silestone. You can see more here: https://www.silestone.co.uk/silestone-edges/
All these factors, aligned with the proportions of the kitchen surfaces will dictate how much your budget will vary.
Bear in mind that you do not have to choose the finishes at the point of the first estimate. Some clients have a clear idea from the beginning, while others will only make the final choices as the project moves along. Just discuss options with your designer and take into consideration how much it can add to your price table at the end of the project.
This is a more specific topic to take into consideration but have you noticed how much a good handle changes the entire final composition of a kitchen?
We are talking cabinet knobs, T-bars and pull handles. The options are unlimited.
If this is an important finish you want to add to your kitchen, take into consideration the price of each individual handle, which typically ranges from £10 to £50 multiplied by the number of handles needed (which is completely dependent on the kitchen size), plus the installation commission added on top of each handle.
We have been involved in projects whereby the handles are an important aspect of the kitchen design but we have also designed numerous projects that do not include any handles at all for a more minimal style so that is always an option.
Bringing it all back together, there are quite a few topics to take into consideration if you are budgeting your kitchen design or renovation.
You will always be guided by your designer on the best choices to accommodate to an initial budget you might have in mind. However, the more you research around your initial consultation to figure out your options, the better to allow a clear picture on costs and choices. Just make sure you always take into consideration VAT, and installation fees, side by side with design charges specific to the company you choose to work with.
There’s no right or wrong method of budgeting as it will always depend on your kitchen size and specifications, as well as your personal taste and required aesthetic, but these 5 topics will definitely guide you on making the right decisions.
Kitchen Design, Interior Design, BORA, Kitchen Appliances, Appliances, Kitchen Renovation, Budget, Budgeting, Renovation, Interior Design Renovation, Design Process, Materials, Finishings, Handles, Kitchen Design Ideas, Modern Kitchen Design, Kitchen Worktop, Kitchen Island, Cabinet Making, Bespoke Kitchen