Everyone has a different way of finding a kitchen company. Some will research online and others will depend on word-of-mouth recommendations. Some will fall for appealing advertising and others will base their decision on a showroom visit. But for most it is a combination of factors. If you are buying a kitchen for the first time, here are some things to consider.
What are you buying?
There are kitchen design companies to suit every budget, style and requirement. It’s best to choose someone who specialises in your kind of kitchen. Before you start researching, work out what you can afford, a preferred style and an estimation of size on paper. Why is this important?
- Firstly, if you want a custom designed kitchen, why look at pure flat pack players.
- Secondly, if you want a traditional kitchen, a blended style or are unsure, then you want to look at kitchen designer who have a wide range of styles, not one that is specialised in – say vintage or ultra-contemporary.
- Thirdly, does the kitchen company install the complete kitchen on a project basis, or will you have to organise all the trades including plumbing and electrical yourself?
- Finally, if you are looking at flexibility in choosing the colour, layout, accessories and appliances, then you need a supplier that does not tie you to their products and suppliers.
Now that you have identified the category your kitchen falls into, it’s time to look at the differences between kitchen suppliers in your category. Here are some key differences:
Does the kitchen company have a showroom or do they only have a website and brochure?
There is absolutely no substitute for a showroom when it comes to experiencing what your kitchen will finally look like. Buying a new kitchen involves many decisions – some big, some small. A showroom where different styles, colours and combinations are on display will help refine choices. For instance, you may be considering a French Provincial style kitchen but may change your mind and get a Hampton kitchen instead because you feel that it straddles the contemporary and traditional styles better. Or seeing how layered colour can enhance the contemporary look may sway the choice of an all-white kitchen. We see it happen all the time.
How much design support does the kitchen company offer?
You may know what colour, style and layout you want, but a kitchen design also needs expertise in construction, plumbing and electrical systems. Here are some advantages of using a kitchen company with a strong design team:
- A designer brings a unique design to life by making all the elements work together – visually and practically.
- A designer’s experienced eye can spot a problem and avoid an expensive mistake.
- They can make all the little tweaks necessary to finish your project on time, on budget. They can offer you solutions you weren’t aware of.
Given how important an experienced kitchen designer is, it is crucial that the kitchen company also offers an on-site designer who will guide your choices, incorporate what you want and work with you until the design is finalised.
How long has the company been around?
Experience counts. While newbies will offer the latest in products and technologies, real experience only comes with designing and installing thousands of kitchens. In every fashion, finish and colour. Companies that have been around for decades know what it takes to build great kitchens. The learning curve is behind them. They are on the cutting edge.
They have also built a long-term relationship with suppliers, trades, and installers. They, therefore, have a perfect understanding of the quality and standards that need to be met.
What type of company is it?
Large corporate or a family run business? It is no secret that family-run businesses offer the best service standards. Their pride in what they have created shows in the product and service. They genuinely care about their customers because their reputation rides on it.
It is the best of both worlds. Along with the operational wisdom and experience distilled from the older generation, new blood brings in new materials, designs, technology, and services. The result for the customer is a great experience in building their dream kitchen.
Is the kitchen made in the company’s own factory?
It is the era of global manufacturing. And while raw material has traditionally been sourced from all over the world, having a local manufacturing base is important in meeting quality standards and timelines. A kitchen supplier with a factory offers a seamless process from design to build to installation. Their superior control ensures high-quality raw material, good finishing, and a great end-product.
What sort of guarantee does the kitchen company offer?
You don’t buy a kitchen every day, so it’s got to look good for many years. For a guarantee to be effective a kitchen company must be confident in the quality and know that the company will be around for many years. At Zesta Kitchens, we are so confident of our kitchens, we offer a 10-year guarantee, while most other kitchen companies offer only 7 years. Peace of mind – that’s what our customers have.
Buying a new kitchen is a significant investment in time and money. Take your time, research the company, visit their kitchen showroom and ask all the right questions. That way you will make an informed choice.