There are so many drumkits on the market nowdays that it can be a bit of a confusing minefield for the beginner. If you have a good drum teacher, you could ask them for a bit of guidance, and hopefully reading this this article will put you on the right path.
Firstly, I would definitely suggest buying a kit made by a named brand.... there are many cheaper kits out there that get imported from China..they are fine until you need a spare part etc and then its difficult to track them down. Buy a kit from a company such as Mapex, Pearl etc and you know you will get backup if and when you need it. The starter drum set that I usually recommend is the Mapex Tornado, a well made kit that comes in at under £300 and comes with pretty much all you need to get drumming. Like most of the kits at this price, the tornado is a 5 piece drum set comprising of 5 drums (bass drum, snare drum, 3x tom toms) plus a set of fairly sturdy hardware, a crash cymbal and a pair of hihats...theres even a stool and a set of drumsticks! So, once you get this out of the box, theres a little bit of assembly to do, putting on a few drum heads and tuning... if you arent confident about this, drum stores such as Nottingham Drum Centre offer a build service for a small fee... then you can be sure that your kit has been built correctly, checked and tuned. Then its just a case of finding a corner of your house, putting the drums into position, and then having a good bash... might be worth warning your neighbours in advance (flowers/chocolate/wine often helps here!!).
Noise isnt usually a problem...no-one drumming at home should be hitting the drums so hard as if they are playing to a full house at wembley stadium, so hopefully neighbours wont have an issue. If however the volume does cause difficulties, you can buy Silencer Pads, neoprene rubber mats that come in sets and simply sit over the drums and cymbals, reducing the volume massively yet still retaining the feel of the drums etc.
So you are now all set up and ready to go.....do you need anything else?? Initially no, but in time you may want to add another cymbal, ideally a 20" ride and stand. By this point you will have an industry standard 5 piece drumkit, complete with all the drums and cymbals you would need. Such a set up would be more than adequate for a few gigs, as well as seeing you through your drum exams etc.
There are other options of course...slightly more expensive kits, but here Im trying to show you how to get started on a minimum outlay. The other option of course is the secondhand market via ebay etc... Yes, there are some bargains to be had, but be a little wary especially if you are new to all this. You need to ensure that the kit is in full working order and does in fact come with all the relevant bits...Ive known many people buy such kits on ebay only to discover for example that it didnt have a bass drum pedal and stool, or that the drum heads (skins) were very beaten up and needed replacing. In cases like these, what looked like a bargain soon becomes a bit more expensive, so be careful!
Should you have any questions on this post please feel free to post a comment and i'll get straight back to you! Thanks for reading!