How Much Should I Budget for Kitchen Appliances?

When considering a new kitchen, homeowners frequently think about cabinetry, flooring and other aspects, but ignore perhaps the most important thing – the appliances.

They can be almost an afterthought but once this mistake is remedied, then almost immediately the question is asked about how much they should budget for a full set of kitchen appliances?

This article will help you figure out how much kitchen appliances cost and how you can make the most out of your budget.

Should You Search for Kitchen Appliances or Set a Budget First?

There are appliances in every sub-category within the kitchen which runs the gamut from affordable right up to outright extravagant.

Certainly, it’s possible to pick the best of everything in each appliance category without thinking too much about the total cost of all these purchases. Either you’ll get big sticker shock when totalling it all up, or if you go beyond that and start making purchases, the money quickly runs out before you’ve bought everything that’s required. That’s a terrible mistake!

Hopefully, the example above should indicate what the correct answer is.

You should set a total budget for your kitchen appliances first and then go shopping for the individual appliances that you require (cooker/oven, dishwasher, microwave, etc.).

The 3 Options: Best of Everything, the Middle Ground or Picking Favourites

Budget image

When you have a budget set – we’ll come to ideas on that shortly – you’ll want to decide on whether you can afford the best of everything, will find a middle ground for all items or pick your favourites.

Let us explain:

#1 The “Best of Everything” Option

The “Best of Everything” option means exactly as it sounds. Your budget extends as far as you need it to go to purchase the best cooker, fridge/freezer, dishwasher, microwave, washer/dryer, sink and more.

If you’re in this luxurious position, then you’re just looking for the best products in each appliance category. We can certainly help you there.

#2 The “Middle Ground” Option

The “Middle Ground” is an acknowledgement that within a certain budget, you prefer to shoot for the middle price point to get a reasonable balance of features.

The appliances won’t be the most expansive (or compact, depending on the preference) but they’ll be reasonable, durable and offer good value.

#3 “Pick Your Favourites” Option

The “Pick Your Favourites” option is about either picking your favourites or the appliances that you’ll get the most use out of over the full ownership period.

For example, if you wish to store many chilled and frozen items, but a smaller cooker and a basic sink are fine with you, then paying up for an American-style fridge and cutting back on the cost of other appliances will deliver the best value. This applies even if the total budget comes to roughly the same as the “Middle Ground” option – it’s about purchasing what will serve your life better.

What Should You Budget for a Standard Kitchen Appliance Setup?

Vector diagram of kitchen appliances

First, let’s think about the list of basic appliances in a standard setup.

Here are a few of them that come to mind:

  1. Fridge/Freezer (or Fridge and Freezer, separately)
  2. Oven
  3. Hob
  4. Hood/Extractor fan
  5. Washing Machine
  6. Dryer
  7. Dishwasher
  8. Microwave oven
  9. Sink (or Double sink)
  10. Kettle

There’s also a number of other small appliances that aren’t essential, but can make a great addition to your kitchen:

  1. Toaster
  2. Blender
  3. Rice cooker
  4. Coffee maker/French Press
  5. Bread maker

Here, we’re excluding cookware and other kitchen-related items outside of pure appliances large and small.

For a reasonable standard setup, you should be budgeting at least £2,000 to £2,500 at a minimum.

There will also be some trade-off between the little extras (rice cooker, coffee maker, blender and bread maker) to find more in the budget to stretch specific larger appliances that you have your eye on.

How Do Costs Breakdown on a Standard Kitchen Appliance Setup?

It’s possible to look at individual kitchen appliances to get a range of prices. Then it’s up to you to decide what features vs your budget get the most importance.

Fridges, Fridge/Freezers, and Freezers

French style fridge

An integrated fridge that it reasonably tall (but not overly so) and fits inside a kitchen cabinet will typically cost £350-450 including delivery but excluding installation.

If you wish to separate the fridge from the freezer appliance (to get more refrigeration and frozen food space in total), then a chest-style freezer may cost £200-300 depending on the net litre capacity that you’re wanting.

When wishing to combine the two, a fridge-freezer can cost anywhere from £350 to £650+ depending on how tall and what capacity it has. It’s also possible to choose between units that devote greater space to cold storage and less to the freezer or have a more even split.

By comparison, the large American-style or French-style fridge/freezers run from £480 to several thousand pounds depending on expansiveness, capacity and added features.

Cookers, Ranges, Hobs and More

Cookers, range cookers, hobs and a hood/extraction fan is an area where you can either be economical or go crazy on your choices and the price tag for it.

For instance, a basic electric double oven with an induction hob surrounded by stainless steel will easily top £600.

However, a full range cooker which is something you might have once seen in a farmhouse setting is far wider and expansive inside. Subsequently, these start at over £1,050 and easily rise to £2,000+ with some models tipping the scales over £4,000.

A hood that is used to extract cooking vapours, oils and other contaminants in the air is over £100 and will need to be fitted properly too.

Dishwashers

Miele full size dishwasher

Another example is dishwashers which come in various integrated or freestanding styles suitable for most kitchen sizes.

Their cost starts at around £210 and rises to £600/700 for full-size dishwashers which can accommodate 13-14 place settings. The top of the range dishwashers (Miele for example) which have all the possible bells and whistles such as child lock features, variable speeds, multiple temperature settings, and more, can cost just over £1,000.

Microwaves

Solo microwave

A basic microwave can be affordable at £65 to £80.

There are also fancier models which get into the £150-200 range, but it’s difficult to spend much more than this without wasting your money.

Washing Machine and Dryer

Washing Machine

A washer/dryer is sometimes included in a kitchen off to the side and not in a separate laundry room (it depends on the home configuration and available rooms).

Just for completeness, we’ll advise that a decent washer/dryer with a 5-7 kilo load capacity starts at around £290 and can easily get into the £600—£800s when wanting a larger wash capacity (10kg+), greater programming options, faster spin cycles, and other capabilities.

One consideration here is that bigger families or larger households will find investing in a large machine reduces how many cycles they need to run each week. It also avoids wearing out a smaller model because it’s being used too frequently each week due to the restrictive load size.

Other Small Kitchen Appliances

Smaller kitchen appliances like a kettle, coffee maker, toaster, and so on aren’t overly expensive.

Usually, £50-£150 per item is reasonable depending on what features you require of them. Several small appliances still add a few hundred pounds to a budget, so if you still want them in a standard setup, they need to be included in the anticipated costs.

How would you recommend prioritising appliances as you stretch from necessary to ‘nice to haves’?

The cost of different appliances usually comes down to size/capacity and extra features when paying for dearer models.

It’s certainly possible to purchase a basic model for every type of kitchen appliance required to get the budget down as small as is practicable.

If that’s your starting point, then build up from there until you reach your total budget for all kitchen appliances, then we’d suggest starting this way:

  1. Make a list of must-have features for each appliance.
  2. Connect these features to the price range for models that match it, i.e. when wanting a 10kg per load washer/dryer, then the budget models won’t cut it. Look for models that offer at least this level.
  3. Size is also a factor. With extra size brings more hobs, a less cramped cooking layout, or a washing machine with a greater capacity. Connect size to what it personally offers you in desired extra functionality.
  4. Consider what you’ll possibly regret buying if you purchase something too small and have buyer’s remorse later. When you’re worried an appliance will be too small, this is a clear sign that bigger is better for you with this appliance type.
  5. Do you have a brand preference?
  6. Do you have an aesthetic preference where you’ve looking to match the colour of all appliances to either the current or new kitchen design? This could make them all more expensive.

Understand that there will be a clear trade-off between going more expensive in one appliance category versus another, e.g. buying a fancy microwave is much less costly than picking a cooking range instead of a standard gas or electric cooker.

Should You Budget for Maintenance?

Dishwasher being repaired

New appliances are automatically covered with a limited warranty for parts and labour for a specific period. There is the option to purchase an extended warranty to cover them for longer. Usually, there are cheaper ways to go than picking these.

If you choose to not take up the typical offer of an extended warranty, then you can choose to pay out of pocket for repairs and maintenance costs, get a home warranty contract or take out an insurance policy.

Paying Out of Pocket

When paying out of pocket, you take the costs of a call-out fee, and any parts and labour required to get your faulty appliance back up and running (when it’s outside of its original warranty period). This means you need ready access to a decent amount of cash/credit to cover any surprises along the way.

It’s not unusual for a homeowner to get hit with a fridge/freezer playing up, a dishwasher leaking water excessively and the boiler going on the blink all in the space of a few months!

To handle this, it’s sensible to save a set amount every month to both cover repairs & maintenance expenses, and replacement costs for the appliances themselves. It’s a bumpier expense track, but it tends to be cheaper than other alternatives.

The cost of paying out of pocket includes £30-50 call-out fees, parts and labour time. It’s easy to get a bill that is over £100 and could be more. Sometimes, the cost of repairs is the same or more than the residual value or replacement cost of the appliance itself. Therefore, sometimes covering the call-out fee, and once it’s confirmed how bad the appliance is, replacing it is best. After all, the older they get, the more they go wrong.

Home Warranty Contracts

The home warranty contracts have become more popular with homeowners worried about finding a reliable repair person to attend and fix the appliance. Instead, they prefer to pay a fixed monthly fee. This way, they may call up the service and get assigned someone from a nationwide list of approved workmen to come and fix the problem.

There’s an element of insurance combined with handyman assistance built into these contracts. Certainly, there’s a profit component for the company which indicates that you can arrange it for a lower cost yourself. However, some homeowners find it the worry-free option.

These maintenance contracts will typically choose the least expensive route, which is usually a repair, even if common sense suggests replacing the appliance because it’s so old that it’ll always be faulty now. It’s also possible that they’ll use the cheaper, less reliable parts as the replacement because this means more profit on the warranty. Finding a reputable home warranty company becomes a priority.

A warranty might cost between £12-23 per month for multiple appliances, with a £95 excess per claim. There are sometimes no excess options, but this pushes premiums up to £19-34 per month.

Insurance Policies

Insurance policies are available for kitchen appliances that breakdown due to faulty parts, call-out costs and necessary repairs.

Most policies will not cover appliances that are too old, have general wear and tear (or cosmetic blemishes), or accidental or pre-existing damage.

It’s worth noting that accidental damage along with other issues such as theft is usually covered under a contents insurance policy for your home.

Appliance insurance policies are often only £80-120 a year, per appliance. Again, there will be an excess on most policies.

How Long Should Kitchen Appliances Typically Last?

Kitchen appliances last a different length of time, on average, depending on what they are.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that inferior brands or economy models will usually come with a shorter manufacturer’s warranty which may (or may not) imply indirectly that they’re less reliable. Certainly, it’s been our experience that the cheapest models won’t last as long as mid-range or premium ones.

Here’s a list of a few appliances and their expected lifespans:

  • Microwave oven – 9 years
  • Dishwasher – 9 years
  • Compactor – 6 years
  • Washer/Dryer – 13 years
  • Fridge/Freezer – 13 years
  • Cooker/Oven/Range – 15 years

These estimates vary considerably and should be only used as a rough guide. They also include cleaning and maintaining the appliance during its lifetime. Doing so won’t extend its useful life, but it will avoid it becoming shortened through neglect.

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