In this article, we will show you how you can save a fortune and get a better quality kitchen by buying your next kitchen online.
By taking care of a few simple steps yourself, which we will explain clearly, you can end up with a far better kitchen at a far lower price. Win-win.
Ready to get a better kitchen for less?
- Why buy your kitchen online?
- Buying a kitchen online
- Benefits of buying a kitchen online
- Step 1 – Measure up
- Step 2 – Order your kitchen online
- Step 3 – Fit your kitchen
- Common concerns
At Lark & Lark’s we have been selling kitchens online, direct to the consumer for over 18 years and we love to help. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please get in touch.
1. Why buy your kitchen online?
The Internet has revolutionised many business models. From how we do our weekly shop to the way we purchase music or call a taxi. The disruptive power of the Internet has cut out the middleman in many industries, making products and services more affordable. Yet, when it comes to kitchens, the majority of people will still visit the local DIY store or kitchen retailer and buy an overpriced flat-packed kitchen.
If you want something a little more high-end you may opt to visit a specialist kitchen showroom. Either way, you will likely be paying for an inferior product and an overpriced fitting service (and the smarmy salesman’s sports car). This need not be the case. In 2022, you can now confidently buy a kitchen online. This will typically be direct from the manufacturer. This cuts out the middleman (or middlemen) and allows you to buy a higher quality product at a lower price.
In fact, many of the showrooms that sell high-quality, rigid-built kitchens will actually buy them directly from a manufacturer like Lark & Larks, and now you can too.
2. Buying a kitchen online
There are three steps to buying any new kitchen.
1. Measure up – clearly define the space you have to work with.
2. Design your kitchen – choose the units and style of your new kitchen and think abut what apliances you want included in your kitchen space.
3. Fit your kitchen – use a kitchen fitter or do it yourself.
Buying a kitchen online is not too dissimilar. You will still need to measure up and you will also design your kitchen layout. You will also use a fitter or install the kitchen units yourself.
Where this process varies is that you will choose your units and design your kitchen with the help of an expert online retailer rather than handing this stage over to the local kitchen showroom.
In fact, when buying a kitchen online, you can still go and get a quote from your local kitchen showroom or the big DIY stores. You can then upload that quote to an online kitchen retailer like Lark & Larks and get a like-for-like quote that will typically save you money and offer a higher quality product.
3. Benefits of buying a kitchen online
There are three key benefits to buying your new kitchen online.
1. Price – you will pay less as you are buying your kitchen directly from the manufacturer.
2. Quality – you will be buying higher quality rigid kitchen units rather than flat-pack.
3. Choice – far more size options and radically more choice in terms of styles and colours.
Online kitchen retailers like Lark & Larks will have a huge range of styles and colours, and as everything is made-to-measure, almost anything is possible.
4. Inspiration for your new kitchen
There are many different kitchen styles, finishes, and colours available. You can happily browse almost any website or kitchen showroom confident that once you understand the style of kitchen you want an online kitchen retailer will likely be able to offer the same style, colour, and finish.
You can also browse your local kitchen retailer to get an idea of the kind of styles, colours, and worktops you want for your new kitchen and then let us know.
5. Three steps to buying your next kitchen online
There are three simple steps to take when buying your kitchen online. By following these three steps you can unlock huge savings.
Step 1 – Measure up
The first step with any new kitchen is to measure up your space. You want this to be comprehensive but remember it does not need to be a work of art.
To measure up you will need:
- Measuring tape
- Graph paper (Download here)
- A ruler
- Sharp pencil
- Small step ladder
You will then need to:
- Draw an outline of your kitchen layout
- Add details to your drawing
- Draw the walls
- Measure your space
- Take supporting photos
- Book a design consultation online
To help you with this we have a comprehensive guide on how to measure your kitchen and some kitchen measuring graph paper on the links below:
Once you have your measurements you can start to plan the units you will want in your kitchen.
Step 2 – Order your kitchen online
Your goal here is to create a plan for your new kitchen. You want to visualise your dream kitchens and map out the physical units and layout for the kitchen.
If you already have a plan from a showroom send this over to us for us to give you a comparison quote. That way, we could mock up a design of your kitchen at a fraction of the price that a showroom would quote.
Once you have detailed the units you require, any online kitchen retailer worth their salt will comprehensively review your order. It is important to ensure that everything you need is included. Units, hinges, doors, internal storage, accessories such as plinth, cornice and end panels and don’t forget the finishing touches, the handles!
Only when you are happy and the kitchen design has been signed off by you will the order go through and you can excitedly await delivery of your new kitchen.
Step 3 – Fit your kitchen
In addition to the savings made by buying your kitchen online, fitting it yourself or finding your own local fitter will typically save you money. Often, you can save £1000s by using a local kitchen installer rather than having it done by the local showroom’s own fitters.
The first step here is to decide if you will fit it yourself or find a local fitter.
Fitting your own kitchen
Fitting costs can range between £1,000 to £5,000 and upwards still of that for larger kitchens. Fitting the kitchen yourself will always be the most cost-effective installation approach for those that are capable and happy to do so.
As a general rule of thumb, if you are fitting your own kitchen you will follow these steps:
1. Remove the old kitchen – pulling out the old kitchen and disposing of the kitchen units is your first job.
2. Measure the space – ensure your measurement and design all match up.
3. Install the floor units – start at a corner and position your units, making sure that everything lines up and is perfectly level.
4. Join the units – the units will all need to be fixed together to ensure you have good integrity across all the kitchen units, you can do this by levelling the units and screwing them or clamp screwing them all together.
5. Fix the units to the wall – with the units together you can now secure them to the wall using the appropriate fittings.
6. Attach wall units – with floor units secured in place you can now attach any wall units and secure them together.
7. Install the doors for all units – attach your hinges and doors. Lark & Larks kitchens usually come with the hinges pre-fitted to the kitchen units.
8. Add the worktops – the final job is to attach your worktops.
9. Finishing touches – Depending on the project there may also be other aspects here including fitting appliances, ensuring they meet all standards, tiling, and finishing. Be sure you are confident in all aspects of the project.
Installing your kitchen yourself is possible, but this will depend upon how comfortable you are with DIY in general. You must also ensure that you have the time, tools, and desire to do what can be a large and challenging task yourself.
Finding a local kitchen fitter
Whilst fitting the kitchen yourself is something a confident DIYer could tackle, the majority of people will opt to use a professional kitchen fitter.
For this step, we would typically recommend you turn to Google and social media to find a local fitter who has completed similar projects.
The following tips will help you find a local, competent, and trustworthy fitter.
- Check reviews & ratings
By looking at sites such as TrustATrader and Checkatrade you can find a shortlist of kitchen fitters for your projects. You can also check reviews but be mindful that almost every fitter will seem to have good reviews on these portals.
Once you have a shortlist, always check their website, check Google reviews, review their social media, and make sure that they have happy customers.
There are many professional accreditations and endorsements that help you ensure the fitter you select is up to the job.
One such organisation is the BiKBBI – British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installations. By finding a fitter on the BiKBBI site you know that they have been accredited and have to maintain high standards.
- Get at least 3 quotes
You will learn a great deal as you talk to various fitters so you will want to get at least three quotes. This does add a little more legwork but by cross-referencing the quotes you can ensure you get the best service at the best price.
- Questions for your fitter
Once you have your ideal fitter (or shortlist) the following steps will help ensure you get a top-class fitter who can deliver your project on time and on budget.
Insurance – ask your fitter regarding what insurance they have and ask to see certificates. You should see public liability and employee insurance.
Fitter – ask who exactly will be fitting your kitchen as you want to ensure you don’t end up with the apprentice lad on his second job.
Subcontracts – ask if they will be subcontracting any of the work and if so who to.
Contract – ask for a contract that clearly details the scope of work, cost, payment plan and completion schedule.
- Payment Plan
Any credible fitter will have a staged payment plan that leaves a sizable amount of the fee to be paid on completion. This is important and if the fitter wants full payment upfront, alarm bells should start ringing.
Whilst this may seem a little daunting, doing the work here to find the right fitter and show them you have clear expectations will prevent many of the common issues that crop up.
Buying a kitchen online and arranging your own fit can save you a fortune on a better quality kitchen. You will have to do a bit more legwork but by really investing in the project you will not only save money, but you will end up with a kitchen that is truly yours.
Or, as we like to say at Lark & Larks, Better Quality Kitchens for Less.