How much for simple kitchen fitting?

Dear all

We're trying to nail down a budget for our future move to 14 – probably Caen itself.

Kitchen fitting will probably be a simple affair – assembling half a dozen cabinets (Ikea), fitting worktops and installing them. No complicated appliance installations (all freestanding), pipework etc.

I've seen various ads from handymen / builders etc, typically quoting €10-20/hour. That's fine, but how many hours? And is €15 a reasonable price for budget purposes?

My guesstimate is 2 days x 7hrs @ €15 = €210, so I have put €250 in the budget.

Not a big item, I realise, but lots of small items do add up – and this will be our retirement home, so we want to keep a close eye on costs!

Speaking of small items, what's a likely budget for having 3–4 electric sockets installed? (We're talking modern apartment building, not a barn being renovated or anything else heroic!)

And of course if anyone knows / can recommend someone suitable in the Caen area, please let me know.



Ah Peter, thanks for name reminder, I think our French kitchen may have been in the Faktum range. I don’t remember now. We made a 1200 deep island unit with angled shelves at open end - other end being again a not wide wall - which we put an angled stain,exs steel,cooker hood so it angled out and across to the induction hob underneath it with a 30cm worktop space to left of hob. We had no wall space that end of room because of a doorway into a small scullery which we also fitted out, it was only 1200 in depth so we put w/m t/d beside each other at one end. Replaced the two existing open shelves other side of wall behind cooker hood. A ceramic butler sink with drainer and base unit immediately slightly to left and right but opposite the doorway - compact and totally practicable all ways round. Sink and all cleaning accessories in there. No dishwasher much to my dismay! OH said we didn’t need one in France - What! I’d had dishwashers AEG or Bosch for more than 25 years. But then that was life with a man I have to admit was a very pernickity specialist in his chosen trade! Something that stood our business reputation in good stead in the UK.

Oh I forgot to mention Ken, you reminded me with mention of plinths, in the Uk we used to fit clear plastic trim on the under/floor side of plinth. This also acted as a dust and immediate spillage barrier to inevitable if tiny gap between plinths and floors. Yes our fitters did as you mentioned When we were doing full preparation/installations for customers - removed all existing fitting and wall tiling. Screeded floors, redid wall plastering where necessary so that worktop so would scribe to flat walls. Level floors make for exact height for worktop so to sit flat on base units which if necessary could also be adjusted using screw on legs for minor height adjustments if or when yep, preparation is everything for that perfect look kitchen. Perfection is not noticed - flaws are by any discerning eye! It only need a bad mitred joint on worktops, plinths and light baffles in the days they were fashionable.

Thanks, Peter

Update from the kitchen fitter: "The big snag with the new Ikea kitchens is that any decent DIY-er can make a good job of the fitting – and they are starting to get wise to the need for proper make-ready." But you seem to have done a great job with your Faktum installation – it looks great.

Here's my flooring experience:

Some years ago I had a large bespoke kitchen installed in a Victorian house. After various walls and doors were moved, with relevant new wiring and plumbing, the entire floor was first of all screeded (IIRC a mix of levelling compound + sharp sand) which was allowed to "set" for 3-4 days before a final application of latex levelling compound.

Then we had the entire floor covered with a hard-wearing sheet vinyl. I emphasise entire, because some people think they can save a few quid by fitting the kitchen and then laying vinyl or whatever on the visible floor only – in other words up to the plinths or kickplates.

That might look ok – but if you have a washing machine or plumbing leak, the water can seep under the vinyl – and suddenly you are having to rip it our and tackle mould and other unpleasantness. False economy.

Ken, my kitchen is the "old" Faktum no wall rail.

Thanks, Shirley, Peter and all

One of the attractions of the new Ikea kitchens is the wall-fixing method. Essentially both the base and upper wall units hang from rails.

According to a kitchen fitter I know, IIUIC:

  1. the rail is fixed horizontally at the appropriate height without reference to the floor level
  2. the unit is attached to the rail
  3. the individual feet adjusted up or down to get a firm fit to the floor.

Is that how yours worked, Peter?

Since this is a budget exercise at this stage I am assuming a single 2.8m straight-line run of base cabinets + dishwasher with a solid wood worktop. (Originally priced for a property we saw some time ago – dishwasher on the end next to the sink for simplicity).

So based on everyone's input, I am now working on a base budget of €400.

Thanks to all who helped


Last year I installed an IKEA kitchen...Shirley is right that the preparation takes much longer than assembling the units. I was very impressed with the IKEA on-line design program, much better than the offerings from Castorama, Conforama etc. I've attached a photo (I'm quite proud of the result!) I think the total cost including the appliances was about 5000€

Any idiot who “thinks” he’s a greAt DIYer can put self assembly units together if they can follow the instructions and use a tape measure. It’s the pre-installation preparation works necessary that take the time and money if you want it to look half decent. The only personnwho will give you an accurate instLlation cost is the one who measures up the room, looks at plumbing,electrics and anything else that needs or you want doing are the walls straight and flat? Is the house stone built, if so drilling through stone walls for plumbing is NOT a 5 minute job!

Also do the units when assembled, have sufficient space for the services to run behind? I mention these o ly because we used have our Kitcgen company back in uk, designing, supplying and installing kitchens. As I said it’s the room,preparation works thT count. And when it comes to cutting worktop a for sinks, jobs, and corner joint, as well as scribing to the walls at the rear

It’s a carpenter you need not a plumber or builder!

I think that € 10 - 20 per hour for an artisan is very low. You get what you pay for !

You could save a lot of time by assembling the cabinets yourself (don't put the doors and drawers on/in until after the carcasses are fitted. As long as you don't need to fit pipes behind the cabinets (I don't think Ikea provide a void behind the back sheet of the carcasses for pipework and cabling) Fitting the cabinets is pretty straightforward as the new Ikea models hang on a rail fitted to the wall so lining them up is very easy.

The tricky part id fitting the worktops to the wall which is unlikely to be square to the floor or straight so they will need to be scribed to match the shape of the wall above the base cabinets. This is tricky and if you make a mistake costly as you will need new worktops. The other tricky part id joining lengths of worktop if you want to do this as indivisibly as possible. This needs special routing jigs to form the edges of the worktop and the slots underneath to fit the connecting bolts and you will be unlikely to be able to do this yourself. Even if you wanted to try the jigs are expensive (a few hundred usually) and not worth buying for a single project.

Why not consider assembling and fitting the carcasses yourself and getting someone skilled to fit the worktops. Allow about 1 hour to assemble the first carcass, you will get faster after doing a few.

Bon courage.

I would allow 150-200€ per day for a decent tradesman, legit of course.

Exactly this...

The basic hourly rate for an artisan with any form of experience is 28 - 35 euros an hour


But factor in insurance, RSI, diesel, & all the rest that goes along with it, & he might just about make the minimum wage

Of course, there's always someone who'll do it cheaper...for cash...who was a postman in UK, but fitted his own kitchen when he moved here...& after all, it's not complicated is it ?

Shop around, get quotes, recommendations, but don't be too hasty

This has been my trade for 30 years & to under estimate is very easy

Hope this helps

1 Like


I don't know about Caen, but having family in the kitchen installation business, ithink you should be looking at 400 euros per day for decent installation (that is for non IKEA type kitchen) and is with fully legit workmen (insurance, charges etc).good luck

Not to a kill joy but do think your estimate is a tad over optimistic. I.e. Very low. For what you want done we spent 1000 euros. We searched around for the best deal as it was. Sorry to be sp pessimistic but I don’t think 250 will get you far. More like add another bought on.