How long should your kitchen lifespan be?

How long is a piece of string? Very short according to some people’s version of their previous kitchen. Some people are so infuriated about the length of time that their previous kitchen lasted for; they’re willing to pay a stupid amount for their new kitchen. This, according to their mindset will make sure that they won’t suffer from the same tragedy this time.

The problem with this mindset is that it ignores value. A customer can pay £20,000 for a kitchen and still get value for money. A customer can pay £2,000 for a kitchen and get ‘ripped-off’.

The number one reason why a customer doesn’t receive good value for money is their willingness to make a reactive decision about most things in their kitchen. The number one reason why a customer doesn’t receive the quality they are looking for in a kitchen is that they don’t take the time to search for good value for money.

Quality might mean the difference between a kitchen lasting for either 2 or 20 years.

Quality is available at all pricing levels within the kitchen market. You just have to look for it. Quality within a fitted kitchen can easily be identified into two separate areas:

1) All the materials that are put into a kitchen

2) The way that the materials are put together

Materials that go into the kitchen include the kitchen cupboard doors, the carcasses, the handles, hinges and any product that may aid the snug fit of the kitchen such as glues, silicon sealants and screws. These are small yet significant changes that a kitchen company may make in order to save a little bit of money. If they save just £50 on each kitchen they fit, in their eyes it would certainly make it worth their while. For the customer it’s difficult to establish whether the right product and the right quantity is being used. Just as tricky to establish is the quality of furniture and appliance fitting.

Ask your kitchen designer about the proposed quality of fitting though. Make sure that worktops will be scribed together. Make sure that all new electrical supplies aren’t simply spurs taken from an existing socket.

This is where it becomes significant as to whether the kitchen fitters used by the company are either employed or self-employed. Unfortunately kitchen fitters are often self-employed as well – contrary to what you might have been told by the kitchen designer. The major disadvantage to the customer here is the fact that the kitchen fitter will be paid by the amount of kitchens that he fits and not the length of time that he works on your kitchen. Although not rocket science, one of the most significant quality enhancing decisions that a customer can make is to treat the kitchen fitter very well. Give the kitchen fitter a tip before he starts the work. Make him a bacon sandwich in the morning. Keep him supplied with a never-ending cup of coffee. Tell him that you’re looking for the best fitted kitchen in the world. It’ll be the best investment you’ll have every made.

With regards to choosing the quality of the product itself, you will be told many stories by the kitchen designer. Some kitchen companies offer an 18mm carcass, some are 15mm. A lot of companies make a great deal out of this. The reality is that it’s more down to the quality of material within that 18mm or 15mm. What’s the point in having a thicker carcass if half of it is made of air? Pick at the samples of material offered for you to look at by the kitchen designer. Run your finger along the end of the material – how good are the joins – how thick is the laminate – how well is it sealed.

If the quality of the material is approved by any third party then that’s good – take their contact details – but don’t rely on them. When reviewing the proposed quality in your kitchen you really need to rely on yourself.

Be sensible in the choice of your kitchen. If you do have small children and pets, then there really should be no misconception that a solid fruit tree wood kitchen door will look the same in 10 years time. A decent laminate might. Take your time. Cover all bases. Then your new kitchen will last for as long as you want it to. Perhaps 20 years instead of 2.

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