Perhaps it’s because of all the cookery programmes on TV; perhaps it’s because of our national obsession with food; or perhaps it’s because it’s such a sociable place to sit and chat – but the kitchen has become the most popular room in the house.
If you’re planning a New Year kitchen overhaul there are a number of things to bear in mind. The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialist Association (KBSA) advises you to only visit a company that has a showroom “so you can inspect the quality of the product and the standard of installation.” You should also ask to speak to the firm’s past customers - and don’t pay in full, upfront. In fact, say the KBSA, your deposit should be no more than 25%, and you should be sure to ask for a written payment schedule “which includes the timings of any interim payment and final retention.”
Plus, get a written quotation. Obviously.
As for choosing the style of your kitchen? Hmm. That’s a little trickier. The main thing to remember is that kitchens can be knee-bucklingly expensive, so opt for a look that won’t date quickly. For instance, those hi-gloss red units look lovely now, but will they still be fashionable in two years’ time? If you’re a landlord, remember the Sarah Beeny maxim: you won’t be living in the house, so choose something functional that will have wide appeal and won’t bust your budget.
Here’s a rather unnerving fact, as highlighted in research from insurance company CPP: a million Britons have moved house because of disputes with their neighbours. Yes, one in 20 of us have opted to sell up because of increasing tensions with — or bad behaviour from — the people who live nearby.