Let’s state a simple and obvious truth. Home renovations, of any size, cost money. Some are relatively inexpensive, for example a lick of paint or some new furniture. But for those bigger tasks on your to-do list, there may be times when you need to borrow extra money. 0% Finance. Buy Now Pay Later. Interest Free Kitchens. These kinds of catchy slogans are all around the big kitchen brands. They are very tempting; I mean, who doesn’t love the idea of a brand new kitchen that you can afford in nice reasonable chunks rather than saving up for?
We have said before that the kitchen is the heart of the home and that it is certainly worthy of investment.
It’s estimated that a new kitchen will improve the value of your property by around 6%. This is often a good reason to purchase a new kitchen, however, are you getting value for money?
You may actually be paying much more for a kitchen than its true value, especially on a 0% interest plan. Nearly all of the major kitchen outfitters and high street chains offer 0% finance deals. If you take this interest-free option, it means you can pay for the cost of the kitchen without having to pay interest, something that taking out a loan won’t offer you. It sounds like a great deal. Sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not.
Like so much that seems too good to be true, there is usually a catch with these offers. More often than not it means that the kitchen’s mark-up price is a lot higher than its value, meaning that the interest (or lack thereof) is in reality hidden in the overall price.
Kitchens are notorious for a whole host of optional extras that you can add to your design. All of these cost extra and with these extra expenses can mean even greater hikes in price than negotiating for exactly what you want and getting a good quote on pieces like the appliances when bought separately from the design.
So how should I pay?
Saving up first is the ideal option, the kitchen is usually cheaper if you buy it outright than if you use one of these plans. It pays to shop around for a good price.
The current estimate is that the average price of a new kitchen installation in the UK costs around £5,000 to £6,000. At the high end, the price can be limitless depending on your specifications, but a top of the range kitchen may cost around £14,000+.
That’s a significant amount of money to try and save! So, it’s understandable that the offer of an affordable no-interest payment plan is very tempting.
But even consumer champion Which? agrees that spending more doesn’t guarantee better quality when it comes to kitchens and recommends that you should shop around for top-rated low-cost appliances, meaning that the sum of the individual parts may turn out cheaper than the whole.
Retailers know a lot of people can’t afford to shell out £5000 and above for a new kitchen. But they also need to make a profit. What often happens is the price of the kitchen in the interest free deal is overvalued, so that it incorporates the potential lost profit of a 0% plan.
Going back to what Which? found out however was that “standard” kitchen prices often fluctuated throughout the year. The most significant changes? They happened just before a big sale with a large splashy offer – which meant that the ‘sale’ price was often the same as the standard price had been before the price change.
They also found that a lot of these kitchen companies ran offers constantly, some lasting a full 365 days. To add more confusion these would be linked with other offers simultaneously and they used large advertisements to get you to focus on a single offer rather than stacking them to your benefit.
The final cherry on top of this cake is that they sent in mystery shoppers to get a quote for a mid-range kitchen with a fixed layout. Exactly what a “normal consumer” would do. They found that the way staff priced up the same kitchen and applied discounts varied widely with differences of up to 21% between the cheapest and most expensive kitchen quote.
Same request, wildly different prices.
We’re not here to scare you off, we’re here to make sure you understand that these offers aren’t always what they are cracked up to be. Taking your time, saving your money and shopping around for the best deal will help you save money in the long run.
If you’re thinking about upgrading your kitchen, and would like advice on how best to spend your money then you should speak with us today. Click for contact >