For many of us, the kitchen is the most important room in the house. It’s the focal point of a home and, ideally, somewhere you’ll spend many happy hours.
It’s not surprising that updating an old kitchen is one of the most common home improvements in the UK, particularly when you consider that it’s actually possible to make a huge change without a big budget.
In this article, we’ll cover two things:
How much a new kitchen is likely to cost you.
How you can pay for it – including credit cards and home improvement loans.
If you’ve already costed out your kitchen and just want to get a quote for a loan, you can probably skip this article: take a look at our loan calculator to look at flexible loans of £1,500-7,500 or make an application at www.koyoloans.com. Representative APR 27%.
If not, read on!
How much does a new kitchen cost in the UK?
Unsurprisingly, the cost of a new kitchen varies significantly.
The cost of a kitchen renovation can be split into:
Fitting: someone to come and fit the new kitchen - and possibly remove the old one. Kitchen installation can require specialist tradespeople too (not just a kitchen fitter) particularly if you’re having bespoke work done.
Kitchen appliances: dishwashers, fridge freezers, ovens and the like.
Units: cupboards, kitchen cabinets, worktops and other storage.
The average cost of a new kitchen, according to trade website Price Your Job (1), starts at around £5,000. That’s for a basic kitchen, with no bells and whistles, and homeowners can easily spend double or even triple that by opting for more expensive options.
To give you more detail, the four factors that will make the biggest difference are:
The size of the kitchen.
The quality that you have in mind.
Whether you do any of it yourself.
Where in the UK you’re based.
Let’s take a look at each of those in turn.
The size of your kitchen
No surprises here: a big kitchen will cost you more to renovate than a small one, simply because you’ll need more to fill it with. Worktops will need to be longer, floors will need to cover more ground, and there’s a good chance you’ll want more expensive equipment too, such as a tall fridge.
There’s something else to bear in mind: if your kitchen is an unusual shape, or has tight corners, irregular gaps and hard to reach spaces, you’ll probably want to get some custom joinery to make optimal use of that space. Unsurprisingly, that’ll be more expensive, while a regular space with parallel walls will be much cheaper to furnish.
The quality of the kitchen
It’s possible to spend a lot more on a fitted kitchen by choosing expensive materials (such as granite or marble countertops) or high-end appliances (from premium brands, or with high-end technical specifications).
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that these days, there are lots of materials available which have a premium look without the price tag.
For example, a high-quality quartz countertop can look just as good as marble, and as an even cheaper option, you could look at a laminate or wood countertop - they may even prove to be more hard-wearing than more expensive options. Meanwhile, it’s also possible to get huge savings on appliances by shopping around, buying second hand or considering less-known brands. If you pay attention to product reviews, you might well find a bargain that performs just as well as something from a big brand, at a fraction of the price.
You can also spend more or less depending on the contractors you bring in to fit the kitchen. Here, it’s generally better not to skimp - you’ll want people you can trust, with a track record of good quality work, the right insurance in place and ideally a guarantee. But independent tradespeople are often cheaper than larger firms - just make sure you’re able to check them out properly first.
Doing it yourself
Depending on your experience, you might be able to fit some of a kitchen yourself, rather than hiring professional installers, particularly if you’re not making large changes. For example, if you’re just planning on fitting new appliances and repainting the kitchen units (this alone can make a huge difference), you might be able to do some or all of that work yourself.
However, DIY is not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced - do lots of research first, and really consider whether you have the skills to complete the job, and what you would do if you hit an obstacle on the way. And consider the complexity of the job: you’re unlikely to do much damage repainting the cabinets, but wiring in an oven is a complicated (and regulated!) job, that you won’t want to mess up.
Where in the UK you’re based
No surprises here: expect to pay more for your dream kitchen if you’re in London, or another big metropolitan area, where contractors such as plumbers and electricians can charge more.
How do you pay for a new kitchen?
The cheapest way to pay for a new kitchen is using savings - i.e. money you already have. That’s because you don’t have to pay any interest or fees, so you’ll be able to save some money.
However, not all of us are lucky enough to have several thousand pounds just sitting around to cover the total cost, so below, we’ll also take a look at some other options.
Here, we focus on kitchens, but for more general options, take a look at our guide on how to pay for home improvements.
Can I finance a new kitchen?
You can - and there are several ways to do so, each of which carries its own pros and cons. In this section, we’ll look at the main options, assuming a roughly average kitchen cost of £5,000-8,000.
Using a personal loan to pay for a new kitchen
A personal loan - in this case, a home improvement loan - is one of the simplest forms of credit. You borrow a fixed amount and repay it in instalments (usually monthly payments) over a period of a few months or years.
There are two types of personal loan:
Secured personal loans require the lender to take security over an asset (usually your house), meaning that your house is at risk if you fail to make repayments.
Unsecured personal loans don’t have this protection for lenders, meaning that your house is not at risk (however there are still serious consequences to failing to make repayments, such as lasting, long-term marks on your credit score).
In general, an unsecured personal loan is a safer option, and depending on your credit history and personal circumstances, it’s usually possible to borrow enough to fund a kitchen in this way.
For a larger loan, secured personal loans can be worth considering, but keep in mind that your house is at risk if you fail to keep up repayments.
A credit card can be an excellent way to pay for a new kitchen: rather than taking out a loan, you pay for the goods and services using a credit card.
This approach has some pros and cons. For some borrowers with a good credit history, it’s possible to get a low - or even zero - interest period, which can make it relatively cheap to borrow. However, when that period ends, that rate is likely to shoot up very quickly, meaning that it becomes much more expensive. As a result, you’ll want to pay off the balance quickly.
Borrowers with a weaker credit history will find it harder to borrow large amounts, and won’t have access to the same deals, meaning that you might have to pay more.
It’s also worth noting that some stores and tradesmen don’t like to accept payment via a credit card, since the card issuer charges a fee.
Lastly, making a purchase via a credit card does give you some extra protections, known as Section 75. To summarise, if something goes wrong with your purchase, your credit card provider will often be responsible for putting it right.
Related post: Personal Loans Vs. Credit Cards – Which Is Best For You?
Using store finance options
Many large kitchen companies, such as Ikea and Wren offer store credit, where they allow you to spread the payments over a period of time.
In some cases, this is offered at 0%, making it a cost-effective option. Generally, you’ll be required to put down a deposit, which might be 10% of the value of the kitchen, and you’ll make the remaining payments in instalments.
If you’re able to access a 0% deal and can afford the repayments, this can be a good option, although - as with any form of credit - you’ll need to read the small print.
In other cases, store credit is available but carries a higher interest rate - in this case, it’s worth weighing it up against other forms of credit described above.
One potential drawback of store financing is that you’re tied to the providers that offer it, who are generally large firms, giving you less choice. Unlike a personal loan or credit card, you may not have the flexibility to mix and match, for example by purchasing units from one supplier and getting a bargain on appliances from somewhere else.
Hopefully, the guide above gives you the information you need to get started. If you’re beginning from scratch, the first thing to do is to cost out your kitchen and speak to some specialists about what might work for you.
If you’re ready to get started though, you might want to take a look at some of the options available to you. Our loan calculator is a great place to start.