We had £5,000 budget for our kitchen as this was the amount of money we had left over after buying the house. At the beginning of our journey we had several design consultations, looking at a shaker style foil wrapped kitchen with a wooden worktop and integrated appliances. All of the quotes form the High Street were coming in at over £10,000 and that didn’t include wall tiles, flooring or any accessories. These shops were trying to encourage us to change our wooden worktops for cheap laminate and get lower cost appliances to reduce the price. I understood that some compromises on the design would need to be made but I wanted good quality products that would last.
How & why DIY-Kitchen
We went away and started researching online to see what we could get for our money. At one point we thought about just changing the cupboard doors which would have saved a lot of time and money but the kitchen had been fitted for over ten years and the cupboards just weren’t good enough.
During the research we came across DIY-Kitchens. The prices were a fraction of the cost of the High Street stores, they had very good reviews online and people seemed to speak highly about the quality of the kitchens on Instagram. Affordability and quality played a big role in the decision-making process so it was clear that DIY-Kitchens were a no-brainer.
Designing the Kitchen
It’s all in the name, it really is DIY kitchens! You design your own kitchen and layouts using the online tools and add all the units and appliances to your basket to work out the cost. We printed off the downloadable kitchen planner and worked out exactly which cabinets we needed including service voids etc to make sure we were ordering the correct sizes. We originally had several free design consultations from the high street so we used the best ideas to come up with our own design. The layout of the kitchen was not drastically changed. We just made a few tweaks to our old kitchen design to make it function better for our family life.
It seems you can order pretty much anything you can think of on the website. They have different styles, colours, every type and shape cupboard and also bespoke options if needed. There is a large selection of colours to choose from and if these don’t suit, they have a bespoke painting option as well. Basically, I don’t think there is a customisation option that you won’t find on the website. I also found there is really helpful technical advice on the website to help you choose every aspect of your kitchen and if you can’t find the answers to your query in the guides the technical advisors are super helpful and will answer any questions you may have.
Choosing the Kitchen
My husband is in the military so our future and how long we will remain here is uncertain, this isn’t our forever home so we needed to design a kitchen that will make the house sellable for when we move. We wanted it to be stylish, I loved really industrial kitchens but we agreed to not make any crazy design statements. We decided to go for a classic traditional shaker style but in the darker colour and to add some industrial bar stools and accessories.
After hours of deliberation we ordered some samples (if you go on to order a kitchen from the company you get your money back for these). We were so impressed with the quality we ended up ordering the kitchen immediately, even though we’d not heard of the DIY-Kitchens before our research began, after seeing and feeling the product it no longer felt like a gamble.
In the end, due to the price being so affordable we managed to upgrade from the foil wrapped kitchens we had been quoted for on the high street to more expensive solid wood doors. So, we ended up with a superior product and made a great saving in the process.
The Kitchen arrival
When the kitchen arrived, we could see immediately that the units had been carefully packaged. Once opened, we were astonished by the quality of the cabinets. They come assembled with doors and hinges already drilled and set up at the factory and the units really did feel like a premium product. We fitted the kitchen ourselves but if that seems like too much of a project finding an independent kitchen fitter to install it would be simple enough and would still work out considerably cheaper than the installation fees from the high street stores. I’ve previously written about my top tips & hacks for surviving a kitchen renovation.
We did our homework so had an idea what we were in for but the kitchen came with clear instructions on how to install and as the units were pre-assembled it was pretty much a case of laying them out, levelling them up and securing them to each other and the walls.
Its been fitted a while now and we absolutely love it, we still need some more accessories and to hang some shelving but we couldn’t be happier with DIY-Kitchens or our design choices.
We went slightly over budget but that is to be expected, as we fitted the kitchen ourselves the cost for extras such as tiles and accessories was spread over several pay cheques to help spread out the cost.
Kitchen cabinets: £3376 DIY-Kitchen Norton Painted in colour Carbon
Wooden worktops: £679 DIY-Kitchens Oak worktops
Cooker & Hob – £359 Homebase
Extractor fan: £150 Appliances Direct
Fridge: £200 Very – Beko Undercounter fridge
Freezer: £200 Very – Beko Built in freezer
Washing Machine: Very – Hoover £359
Sink: £158 Homebase – Mondella BlackGranite sink
Tap: £50 – Screwfix Divine Dual-Lever mixertap
Stool: £60 each Ebay: Retro Vintage industrial bar stool
Lights: £15 each Iconic lights – 3 way spot light
Floor Tiles: £425 (for kitchen & dining room) B&Q – Konkrete Grey Matt Tiles
Wall Tiles: £136.50 Walls & floors – Blanco Matt tiles
Our Highstreet quotes were all over £10,000 for foil wrapped Kitchen cabinets, worktops and integrated appliances. We paid £4,964 buying the solid wood kitchen and worktops from DIY-Kitchens and shopping around for our appliances. To be honest, our kitchen isn’t that small. It’s not absolutely massive either, but there are a lot of cupboards so I really do think the price is amazing. How do you get a kitchen on a 5K budget? DIY-Kitchens is the answer.
Now I just need to persuade my husband to do the bathroom!
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