UKE Customer Stories: Andrea and Andrews Dream Barn Conversion
Andrea and Andrew planned to take on the daunting task of converting their barn into an open plan kitchen/living space. They spotted their dream approved used kitchen early on in the process and snapped it up! Buying pre-owned allowed them to choose a high-quality hand-built kitchen that was well within their budget.
“The large quality kitchen, appliances AND professional delivery services came to a total of just £5000!”
This meant that the couple could put the rest of their money towards completing their dream renovation, and the finished results are staggering! We gave them a call to find out more about their Approved Used Kitchen journey.
What attracted you to this kitchen?
The curly, twirly bits! I loved the look and quality of the handmade units and the granite tops, and the curly twirly bits (pilasters) were the icing on the cake for me. Everything about the kitchen just fitted perfectly for what I have been looking for for so long.
How did you work out that it would fit in your space?
We own a farm and the kitchen is actually in a barn that we have converted into a living space. The barn is attached to the farmhouse, so this meant that we just needed to knock through a wall to make a doorway into the kitchen area. We had to keep the original barn arch and doorway, so we have adapted these to be windows to let plenty of natural light into the kitchen. We were able to make the space fit the kitchen rather than the other way around, and this worked very well for us. Our builder is very good and we were able to trust that he was going to install it to our specification, even when we first told him about it 8 months before the install was happening. Finding a good builder was definitely something that was very important to us.
Had you had quotes for a brand-new kitchen, and what made you buy an Approved Used Kitchen from Used Kitchen Exchange?
We couldn’t necessarily afford to spend a massive amount of money on a brand-new kitchen, as buying a kitchen brand new (and of the same quality) would have taken up a substantial proportion of the overall budget for the complete renovations of the farm and barn.
“This Approved Used Kitchen complete with appliances and the professional delivery service fell well within our budget, which meant that we didn’t have to scrimp on quality!”
We have noticed you have re-configured the kitchen slightly. How did you do this?
We were able to use all of the units supplied with the kitchen at point of sale, and due to the space we had, it was really easy to do. We purchased the kitchen 8 months prior to it being installed, as I just loved it too much to let it go. We had a new end panel made to match as the previous end of the run which was against a wall. We purchased two very small cabinets and doors to go either side of the Aga, and painted them using Farrow and Ball paint to match the Aga. We even reused the decorative pieces above the windows (in the original kitchen images) as a filler panel at the end of the run because we had a 2-inch gap!
“It’s definitely worth keeping EVERYTHING that comes with the kitchen, as you never know where you might need something once the installation starts”
What challenges did you face, if any?
The dishwasher that came with the kitchen was too wide for where we wanted it in our kitchen plan, unfortunately. This meant that we had to purchase a slimmer dishwasher for the space, and our builder was able to adjust one of the doors so that we could make it an integrated dishwasher with the right sized door.
There was a service pillar in the island originally, which meant that the granite had a hole in it. Don’t let something like this put you off! We were able to find a local joiner who made our chopping board out of a reclaimed tree stump round. He was able to cut a square on the underside of the chopping board so that it fits snugly into the service pillar hole, therefore filling the hole and giving us a resolution to the problem.
What feedback did you receive from your kitchen installer/builder about the kitchen?
Our builder is a perfectionist, which is perfect for us! This meant that if he wasn’t 100% happy with something, he would re-do it until it was right. It took Steve around 2-3 days to install the kitchen, and he was able to install the granite himself for the most part. The only bit he didn’t do was the granite that we had to have cut to fit a space, as the company that cut the granite do this themselves as part of the package. Steve had to provide the template to the granite company; the template is a piece of wood that you have to cut to the size that you want. You then provide this to the company along with the granite and they do the rest for you. Our seller had provided some spare pieces of granite that matched the kitchen from their utility that was being ripped out. This was fabulous for us as the pieces next to the Aga now match the rest of the kitchen exactly.
Your Approved Used Kitchen looks amazing, tell me more about the additional re-use items!
The light fitting is a home-made gem! We purchased the globe lights, and reused an oxen yoke to make this light feature above the island. My husband did the handy work himself, and it definitely fits within our setting. The large butcher’s block is another wonderful find; we found this on eBay and had the cabinets underneath made so that it was functional as well as a feature in the kitchen.
What other parts of the experience would you like to tell me about?
We feel like we found our perfect kitchen along with appliances and delivery for an amazing price. We chose to use UKE’s recommended team for the delivery of the kitchen, as it was quite a journey for the collection, and they had really good reviews about the service. We definitely weren’t disappointed here! The team handled the kitchen with such care, and it was clear that they had so much pride in the work that they did. Nothing was too much trouble, and I can’t recommend them enough. They are more expensive than your standard “man in a van” outfit, however this really does shine through when you watch them unloading your Approved Used Kitchen from their specially kitted out vans.
At first it can be a little overwhelming to hear the delivery price, but when you consider that I got a large quality kitchen, appliances AND a professional delivery service all for £5000, it’s a steal!
“I would not have been able to get exactly what I wanted for my home for this price by buying brand new. I’m over the moon!”
Andrea and Andrew have proved that a little bit of imagination goes a long way. Not only have they created their dream dining/kitchen area – but have done so ethically and saved money in the process.
Interested in purchasing an approved used or ex-display kitchen? Simply visit our website, Used Kitchen Exchange