Most of us spend a lot of time enjoying meals with friends and family and, for all the claims that families no longer sit down to an evening meal together, the typical British family spends a lot of time in the kitchen exchanging the news of the day, working at a laptop and of course cooking and eating!
Whether you’re extending your home or refurbishing a tired kitchen, it’s so important to get this part of your home right, both to protect the re-sale value of your home, and also to ensure that it becomes the heart of your home. As kitchen experts we know you have a choice. The big DIY shops do offer keen prices at first glance, but be sure your head is not being turned by apparently cheap displays that exclude key items or cut corners. Here are a few things to watch out for:
- Shallow cupboards and drawers – the supplier saves on materials, but you lose out on storage space
- Melamine facings on shelves – cheaper for the supplier, much less durable than ABS
- Shop displays that don’t include end panels, plinth, handles, cornice and pelmet, and charge disproportionately high prices for these items at quote time
- Inferior wirework, drawer runners and hinges
- Inferior appliance brands with a poor service organisation
- And remember: Most DIY shops will not remove and dispose of your old kitchen, nor will they dispose of all the packaging from your new kitchen
As an independent studio, we work on large and small projects. The common thread is that our clients want a kitchen that will last for decades and become part of the house, not just look good in the short term. We offer a lot of ‘extras’ as standard and, because these go without saying, we sometimes forget to list them for new clients who have never ordered a bespoke kitchen before. Here are some of the benefits of using kitchen specialists like Design Matters:
- Experienced team, who have been working in bespoke kitchens for over 20 years
- Photo-realistic CAD service
- Bespoke designs that make proper use of all available space, and really ‘fit’ your kitchen and lifestyle
- Testimonials from real clients, available to view in our showroom
- Full project management, and site visits to check progress
- Technical packs for your architect and builder
- Removal and legal disposal of your old kitchen
- Easy access to other vetted and recommended tradesmen
- Highly experienced DBS-checked installers
- Optional kitchen wrap to protect kitchens during second-fix
- Optional professional clean to leave your new kitchen gleaming
- Choice of high quality appliances that meet our high standards
- All products selected for their reliability
- Full Health & Safety legal compliance*
- Full CDM 2015 legal compliance**
- Kbsa (trade association) registered to protect your rights and payment terms
- Kbsa consumer protection insurance for every private client
- Work regularly vetted by the Kbsa and Trustmark
- All materials and workmanship guaranteed
- Full printed care instructions and warranty information
- After-sales helpline
- Customer files retained indefinitely in case of query
Check: do other kitchen suppliers meet these criteria?
In short, when you work with a specialist studio like Design Matters, which has been supplying quality kitchens in the Home Counties since 1992, you have selected a team that is working continually in the background to ensure that your project runs smoothly. Because our business depends on satisfied customers and repeat business, we ensure that your new kitchen will improve the value of your home and give you pleasure for years to come.
Convinced? Watch out for part 2 of this series as we tell you how to locate a kitchen design studio, and see whether they are right for you.
For a free Kitchen Buyers download, scroll down to the bottom of this page.
*Full Health & Safety legal compliance: All building works come under the remit of the Health and Safety Executive who can perform spot-checks on any refurbishment work in a domestic or commercial setting without advance notice. This includes kitchen installations. The HSE is increasing the number of spot checks in 2016, and all principal contractors and subcontractors can be required to demonstrate that they are working to a Health & Safety Policy, and have produced a Risk Assessment and Method Statement for the works being carried out. Design Matters works to the most stringent Health and Safety standards in the construction industry. We vet all our subcontractors and ensure that their work equipment is regularly tested. We also provide them with Health and Safety training and produce site-specific Risk Assessments and Method Statements for every project.
**Full CDM legal compliance: Since April 2015, all domestic refurbishment projects have come under the scope of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015. The major change affecting our work is that these regulations now apply to domestic clients having work carried out on their own home or the home of a family member. This means that clients now assume all health and safety responsibilities for the work being carried out, unless they have appointed an architect or other responsible person to undertake this role. If a kitchen studio is the only contractor, they can take on the duties of the client under CDM as well as their own. This involves creating a Construction Phase Plan, controlling access to site and ensuring that everyone that comes to site is properly trained and experienced/qualified as appropriate. At the end of the job a Health and Safety file is passed to the client as evidence that CDM Regulations have been met.
Are your other suppliers talking to you about Health & Safety and CDM 2015? If not, ask them about it …