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Achieve Luxury at the Right Price- Architects’ Buying Tips for Your New Kitchen

In the last number of months we have seen enormous differences in the quality, price-transparency and service offered by kitchen suppliers in the Dublin area. Many use 3D kitchen design sessions as part of the sales process. A design consultation should be focused on achieving your needs with the space and budget available; design should never be used as an “up-selling opportunity”!

Value is hard to achieve as suppliers often make quality, price and the scope of what\s included unclear. This article will help you look past the slick graphics and find the right price for the kitchen you want.For most domestic design projects, the kitchen is both a highly considered design element, and a major cost which accounts for a massive proportion of the budget. Some clients want kitchens of the very highest sculptural quality while others want to achieve a functional solution at the lowest possible price. We provide design services to both.

We Now Use these Drawings and Rules for Suppliers When Seeking Prices for Kitchens

  1. All prices should be fully itemized. All units identified in legends and schedules should be individually priced to allow the client to determine their value in terms of the overall budget.
  2. Components, materials, fitting, delivery costs and VAT should be shown in the price.
  3. The client\s overall budget for the project shall not be disclosed to any tender. The target budget for the kitchen shall not be disclosed. Tenders shall note that we provide designs to a range of clients of varying means and we expect all clients to receive consistent and transparent pricing.
  4. The project address may or may not be disclosed, as it may infer a high or low property value thereby adversely affecting tender prices, or the level of service given to our clients. For the purpose of the tender, delivery costs may be based on a milage rate from the tender\s premises to the delivery location.
  5. Tenders are encouraged to provide prices for high, medium and low levels of specification and to describe the value added by higher quality materials and components.
  6. Where sample images of desired finishes have been shown, these should be matched to your own range of materials and components and images/ brochures of the proposed finishes should be provided with the price.
  7. All tenders should provide material specifications to show that all major elements are fit for purpose, such as: hinges & ironmongery, laminating processes, lighting fixtures adhesives and work surface materials.
  8. All prices should be returned as soon as possible.

How the Process Should Work

In an ideal scenario, the architect for your home will prepare an indicative design for your kitchen; you will bring the plans to kitchen supplier and they will use an in-house design service to refine the design. This will result in an itemised price, 3D graphics, plans and internal elevations to clearly define what youre paying for it.Problems arise for clients when suppliers use their excellent sales and marketing skills to sell low quality, badly assembled modular systems at premium prices. To combat this risk, we provide a kitchen design service as part of our home design work which allows our clients to shop around kitchen suppliers with confidence that they will achieve a proper and transparent value comparison.

4 Goals When Selecting a Kitchen Supplier

There are many kitchen suppliers, and it is an extremely competitive market. Companies range in size from large bespoke joinery workshops and multinational franchises to local fitters working out of vans and sourcing generic modular kitchen units from catalogs. At DKAD we are open to working with suppliers of any size but we always encourage clients to seek an honest assessment of quality and price, and to go for a well made kitchen which is:

  1. In keeping with their overall house design
  2. Has all their required functions, with a suitable ergonomic layout
  3. Is within their budget
  4. Has a guaranteed minimum level of quality.

How Should we Compare Suppliers- What Info Should We Ask them for?

Like any procurement process the goal is to fairly compare the value offered by each company; a kitchen tender must include the following:

  • An assessment of supplier competence and experience
  • A statement of the scope of work and parts to be supplied for accurate price comparison
  • A statement of the level of specification and quality of materials.
  • An itemized price breakdown to assess the price quality and value of each part objectively.

Our Recommended Suppliers:

Many suppliers have failed to meet these standards, and we have been most disappointed by the overall standard of service and price transparency among kitchen suppliers in the Dublin area.Only two suppliers have met these criteria and have provided excellent value and service to our customers.

We would like to recommend them:O’Connors of Drumleck, Castlebellingham, Co. Louth and IKEA Dublin.

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