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Buying kitchen furniture - your contract with the supplier

Buying a kitchen is a major home improvement contract.  There are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that things go smoothly:

  • Does the supplier have a showroom where you can see the kitchen you are interested in?  You can see the quality of the kitchen you want, as well as the range of colours and finishes available.  Does the kitchen show wear and tear – this may give you an indication as to how it will wear in your home. kitchen cabinets
  • Whether the kitchen is supply only or supply and fit, make sure that the contract includes a technical visit to your home before fitting actually starts. If your contract is for supply only, this may incur an extra charge. However, a site visit may reveal issues that affect the plan of the kitchen, and it is better to identify those issues before you go ahead.
  • Make sure you get a full quote for your kitchen, showing what is to be supplied, when, and all the costs involved. 
  • When thinking about quotes, also remember to get information about the things you need to do – when will you have to make any payments?  When will the furniture be delivered and what access arrangements will you have to make?  When will fitting start and finish?
  • Be clear about what work the supplier will be doing.  The contract may not include certain works like electrical installation, tiling, plastering or redecorating. 

A typical kitchen installation will often be what is called a ‘dry fit’ which includes the following:

- Delivery of all units and accessories purchased
- Assembly of all units and fixing to the wall(s), plus alignment of doors and
  drawer fronts
- Fitting of worktops, cornices, plinths
- Fitting of sink within a certain distance of its current location (moving it
  extensively may mean the additional cost of plumbing work)
- Removal and disposal of the existing kitchen

  • Where additional works are required (such as additional plumbing, tiling or decorating), be clear about whether the supplier has agreed to do these for you and their cost.  Sometimes the fitter will undertake this extra work but it is important to be clear whether this forms a separate contract with the fitter and what costs are involved.
  • Make sure you read the terms and conditions before signing – some will contain expensive cancellation clauses if you change your mind.
  • Check whether the supplier offers an after-sales service/inspection to ensure the kitchen is fitted to your satisfaction.
  • Check whether the supplier is a member of a reputable trade association such as The Furniture Ombudsman.  Independence and impartiality are the cornerstones of The Furniture Ombudsman ensuring that better standards of service are promoted and consumers can buy with confidence.  Buying from a member of The Furniture Ombudsman gives the reassurance that the retailer is following the Code of Practice.  Furthermore, in the unlikely event of an unresolved dispute the retailer will accept the decision of the The Furniture Ombudsman service.

How can I find out more?

Call us on 08701 620 690 or email info@thefurnitureombudsman.org