Project Management - From beginning to end we manage the entire process to ensure faster installation, continuity and quality of installation so that your kitchen is just as you imagined and we promised to deliverSurvey - No other retailer undertakes a more rigorous initial survey - and not just of the room but of the client's wishes for how they use their kitchen.Design - Good design that understands a client's wishes and marries the beautiful and the practical to create their perfect dream kitchen Fitting - We use only experienced kitchen fitters who only fit kitchens for a living and who use specialist tools which are set up just for installing kitchensA well planned kitchen means you shouldn't notice the plumbing, so we use only experienced plumbers that do the job right Gas Safety - Nothing's more important than a gas safe kitchen so we use only fully qualified 'Gas Safe Register' engineers and provide all the legally required certificates Nothing's more important than a safe kitchen which is why we use only fully qualified electricians and provide all the legally required electrical certificates Lighting - Properly integrated lighting can create a subtle, visually stunning  look and feel that's designed to improve your kitchen's look and feel  Plastering - The invisible foundation on which every beautiful new kitchen is built.   It is essential to have clean smooth walls for painting, upstands or splashbacks Tiling - Floor or wall, tiling done well goes unnoticed except for the beauty it presents Flooring - Whether you want tiles, wood, Amtico, vinyl or any other type, we'll ensure your floor perfectly complements the rest of your kitchen Decorating - Decorating is the finishing touch that really shows off a new kitchen in its best light and can arranged if required Waste Removal - Removing and replacing your kitchen creates a lot of waste! We remove and recycle what we can

Nicholas Hythe premier kitchen design studio in St.ives is a NEFF Master Partner Kitchen cabinet quality video    Our work    Book a FREE design visit    Contact our showroom     Request a call back    Customer reviews

Are you dying to save a few quid on your new kitchen?

Watching the BBC’s ‘Newsnight’ earlier this week one of the politicians being interviewed advocated the reduction of VAT to 5% on home improvements as an immediate way of boosting the rather lacklustre GDP growth figures that had been announced that day.

As you can imagine my ears pricked up immediately! The opportunity to reduce the VAT element of a kitchen installation by 75% (the idea proposed is to reduce VAT from 20% to 5%) would, no doubt, be a great help to householders wanting to improve their homes and stimulate demand for all home renovation contractors.

Clearly, with something to gain from such a proposal being implemented (however unlikely!) I started researching the subject.  In its excellent 2010 report (  the ‘Cut the VAT’ coalition, a group of 21 organisations with a vested interest in the housing repair, maintenance and improvement sector,  make some compelling arguments about the economic, environmental and social benefits a reduction in the VAT would bring.

And, you’ll be glad to know, I have no intention of repeating all of their arguments here!  But one did strike me as worth discussing further – what the Cut the VAT coalition call the ‘informal’ economy or, as the rest of us know it, the black market! Their report suggests that the black market is worth approximately 35% – or £6.4bn – of the formal one.

It may be my naivety but…£6.4bn!

Don’t get me wrong, we at Nicholas Hythe understand the current economic situation and its impact on consumer confidence and we work hard with our suppliers to provide customers with the best value for money possible.  But what puts the fear into me more than anything is the potential danger consumers who use this ‘informal market’ of largely non qualified fitters, are putting themselves in in order to save money.

Using somebody who’s not an experienced kitchen fitter and ends up providing a poor fitting service is one thing – you pays your money, you takes your choice.  But a kitchen that is unsafe and doesn’t meet UK legislation and regulation is potentially dangerous.  Dealing with gas, electrical, water or waste requires plenty of care, attention and specialist knowledge, so really mustn’t be skimped on just to save a few quid.

When you are inviting any contractor in to your home to work on any of the utilities please ask for certification before they begin any work on your new kitchen. Gas engineers should be ‘Gas Safe’ registered and electricians be fully or ‘Part P’ qualified. Electricians should also produce you with a completion certificate after the work done, but don’t accept this unless the installation and work is fully completed to your satisfaction. You can then feel safe in the knowledge that all of your kitchen  utilities are legal and follow regulations.

But, in the end, why compromise?  Your new kitchen – whatever you’re spending on renovating it – is a decent investment.  Spend a little more on legitimate suppliers and be certain that the result in both look, practicality and, above all, safety is not being compromised.

For more information about Nicholas Hythe Kitchen Design Studio please go to or telephone 01480 468598 or email us at

For hundreds of pictures of kitchens we’ve installed for delighted clients please go to


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