Kitchen Buying Guide

Useful information for when you are buying a kitchen.

A new kitchen is something we only do once or twice in our lives and is a large investment, so it makes sense to take your time to consider what you want from your kitchen, both now and in the future. What style of kitchen do you want? Check out our kitchen styles for inspiration. What shape and design of kitchen do you want? Take a look at our kitchen design ideas to help you. Of course it is very important to set a budget when planning a new kitchen. Lots of useful information can be found by looking at our guide - How much does a kitchen cost?


When you are planning a new kitchen it is important to get out and visit a kitchen showroom, like the new Academy Home Improvements stores in Chineham (Basingstoke), Reading, West Byfleet, Frimley or Maidenhead. This way you can ask our experts about ranges, fitting and customer service. At the same time you’ll gain real informed inspiration from seeing the kitchens themselves. By visiting our showrooms you’ll have a chance to see the huge range of different styles and finishes up close, and it gives you the opportunity to look at the many colours and material options available to you.

Consider the advantages of having a fitted kitchen to you and your family. For example, a new fitted kitchen will make more use of the space available and storage solutions are much cleverer nowadays, hiding away all those objects you don’t use every day.

Your new kitchen has to work for you. If you often eat out then introducing a large dining area may not be worth your while and you may want to opt for a breakfast bar. If you are a growing family you’ll want to future-proof the design to be adaptable as the children get older.  You may want a separate dining area or, if you are looking to use all available space, you might want to consider a built in corner or bench-style dining area. Make these decisions in your planning stage so they don’t become a costly after-thought.


Some top tips to consider when buying a fitted kitchen are to ensure you buy good quality doors and cabinets.

Doors which are one colour on outside and another on the inside can look cheap (for example oak on the outside and white on the inside).

We recommend you always opt for soft close doors & drawers. These will slow down and slowly close meaning they can’t be slammed shut.

Save money and hassle by getting a ‘rigid’ kitchen delivered to your door. Ready-built kitchen cabinets are stronger and longer lasting than flat pack assembled.

Make sure you allow for the little things like doorhandles, drawer boxes, hinges, drawer runners, legs and doors where appropriate.

An integrated appliance can cost 25-30% more than a freestanding one but, in our opinion, it is worth the extra cost for the beautiful sleek finish it gives to your kitchen and shows attention to detail.

A small tip if you already have a free-standing appliance that is only 1 or 2 years old (and you don’t want to buy another so soon) is to purchase the integrated door when you order the kitchen. Then, when you are ready for a new integrated appliance to be installed, you already have the door and everything will match perfectly.

At Academy, we have a huge range of quality doors and worktops and will gladly bring samples to you at home so you can get a feel for how they will look in your new kitchen.

Cheap kitchens, units and appliances are a false economy as they will break with wear and tear more easily and quickly. You can end up paying out again to replace them. Opting for quality makes your money go further as you are investing it in a kitchen built to last.

We hope this guide has helped outline some points to bear in mind when shopping for your new fitted kitchen.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch, even if it’s just for an initial chat.  We will always do our very best to make your dream kitchen an affordable reality.


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Over 30 years experience providing home owners a quality service


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