Day 201: The hidden costs

Now the other episode which is going on in my life atm is the home makeover. I’m excited to announce that for the first time in my life I am one of those people who is ‘getting a new kitchen’! I never though this day would come but it actually have – and yes – though the debt is not cleared there is a budget for that and a plan for that and a different budget for a kitchen. We started with an image in my head… I know what I like and pretty much knew the kitchen we need. We have a dark room, small and cluttered. Our life is cluttered and full of photos and bits of feathers, glitter and paint stuck to bits of paper to display all over the kitchen – so there is no room for spindly handles and textured looking duck egg blue worktops. We need a plain kitchen, bright and light catching and neutral enough to be a blank canvas for the childrens hard work at school and my random painting and accessorising urges. So basically white or cream… and simple… and my added big want… a real oak worktop. Homebase offered us a nice kitchen – they pointed us towards their new Portland one, which is ‘extremely popular and a really low price’ and we booked in for the planning and designing meeting. This kitchen was advertised at £740 for the basic 8 unit package. Funnily the end of our 2 and a half hour meeting where we planned out our 9 unit kitchen (no appliances) we were quoted over £6000 for the £740 Portland kitchen… now that quite a leap in price is it not?! No thanks Homebase. So on the way home I made some calls and we had Wren kitchens recommended and later on the same day (New Years day as well) – actually within 3 hours they planned us out a much better kitchen, gave us some really good advice, seemed to really know what they were talking about and within 24 hours had also been out to the house to measure to check and amend the plans… and a much nicer kitchen is going to come in at £1800… including my beautiful oak worktop! And not that I want to create a war between them but its also worth mentioning our kids sat in Homebase with us for 2.5 hours colouring print outs saying GIRL POWER that the Homebase team had made in Word art… and then got to go to Nanny and Pappy’s house instead of another kitchen shop…and missed out on Wrens choice of playstation room or CBeebies room with mega beanbags for children… 😦 gutted we got that the wrong way round!

What surprised us though were the things that we later found hiding in our Homebase quote – a couple of hundred quid for them to move our washer while they fit it and plug it back in… £400 for a ‘magic corner’ so that you can get stuff out of your cupboard without having to stretch! We realised we would never sit and discuss spending £400 on a contraption for a cupboard – not an option! Its amazing what things go hidden when surrounded by what appear to be big necessary costs…while at the same time I’m wondering and debating for hours on end whether to add another £20 onto what I’m willing to bid for a Smeg fridge on ebay! I couldn’t care less about a magic corner if I can get a better fridge or a whole oven for that money really could I!

But I did win my Smeg fridge! Joel collected it today and its very beautiful and I’m also feeling satisfied we paid a good price to a lovely family who have looked after it really well and we have a great fridge that aesthetically pleases me and has already been planned into our lovely kitchen design. The only issue is that Joel is cross I want to put magnets and pictures on it to add to its charm and he thinks it should be ‘left pure’. Decisions decisions.



  1. might be too late not sure if you have ordered/deposit etc but there is a symphony kitchen outlet in rotherham, symphony stuff is expensive but its all just a factory shop where you can walk in and get returned stuff for a fraction of the price, my kitchen is symphony cos of being new build but when we extended i went there to get extra bits and was playing £30/£40 for double units. a friend went there a few weeks ago and bought a whole kitchen for £500. you then have to find a fitter, but i guess that wouldn't cost that much. let me know if you want to go look and i can give you details


  2. Thanks Char – we did put the deposit down already though… plus its a bit of a tricky shape with weird boxed in bits cutting into units and corners… and has been a bit of a mare to plan out – I wouldn't want to have chosen the units ourselves – we would have got a load of things that don't fit in right :S


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