I was quoted £5,000 to have a new kitchen but did it myself using local bargains – saved a lot and people love the results
BUYING a new kitchen is often the most expensive thing you can do for your home – and the high price puts many of us off.
But a mum-of-two from Manchester decided it was time to revamp the important room – especially as she used a bedroom chest of drawers for her kettle and toaster.
Alija Sarac-Ashworth, 43, managed to save a fortune on her new kitchen after deciding to use local bargains to bring it together.
Speaking to money saving community LatestDeals.co.uk, the social worker said: ‘I needed a new kitchen but was on a really tight budget so I scoured the internet looking for affordable but strong wooden units.
“At the time, my aunt was cooking and said she wanted freestanding units instead of built-in MDF, so that got me thinking.
“I decided to make the project work within my budget and started looking for professional quotes.
“I sent pictures of the units and waited to hear back, but got no response – except for one who said he just didn’t want the job!
“I continued my search and found the best value for money at an affordable price online.
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“A company called Furniture Nation, a small family business in the Midlands, said they would deliver to Manchester for £75 regardless of the size of the items.
“It was the best deal I had found, so I started negotiating with them.
“There were lots of emails back and forth to the supplier where I gave them the measurements and described how I wanted it.
“I kept cutting and modifying the design to fit my budget. From what I had seen online while researching, a full kitchen would cost £10,000 and a half kitchen – what I wanted – would be £5,000 which was way more than I wanted to pay.
“Eventually I made a deal with the supplier where I got a double wardrobe, a single wardrobe and a drawer/cupboard unit.
“They sent me a design and a quote, but I reduced some features to save money.
“For example, I didn’t buy end cabinets, nor opt for hanging cupboards. I knew I wanted shelves above my furniture for storage, but decided to find another solution for these.
“I ended up paying £1500 for the units and delivery which could have easily cost me £5000 if I had bought a complete setup, I’m quite proud I saved £3500.
“I decided to do the painting myself once the units arrived as it was much cheaper to spend £50 on painting than ordering the units pre-painted or having a professional painter.
“Completing the paint job took me a few weeks as I was working full time and my kids – if I did it again I would take a week off to finish this project properly.
“While I was doing the paint job, I emailed local tradesmen asking if they would be available to mount the units to the wall, but I kept getting knocks or silences from them.
“I figured I’d better fix them myself! I watched YouTube videos on how to carve the wooden units into uneven wall and floor using pliers, staffs, sandpaper and a jigsaw.
“I was very happy with the result and the next step was to sort out the shelves. I went to my local lumber yard for a thick length of pine and some brackets, saving some money before placing my order.
“A lovely couple delivered them and after affixing them the job was almost done.
“The last step was to sort out the worktops. I didn’t have the money to buy them, so I decided to use plywood until I saved enough.
“Then I remembered that I had leftover laminate flooring from a previous job, and it was waterproof, so it would work well for my new units.
“I basically laid floorboards over the plywood to create a worktop and now I have a smart set of blue kitchen units with matching wooden shelves.
“Even though I was basically forced to do the work myself as I kept getting knocked down by local artisans, I’m very happy with the end result and learned a lot in the process.”
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: “Alija has done a great job transforming her kitchen workspace. Now she has plenty of space and the area is much more functional than it was before.
“I always recommend negotiating with sellers to get a better deal, and impressively Alija saved £1000 by making sure she only got the exact units she needed. Great job!”