• This topic has 36 replies, 27 voices, and was last updated 1 day ago by DT78.
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  • DIY kitchens – experiences?
  • submarined
    Free Member

    Has anybody used this lot? Internet reviews seem good. We’ve just had a quote back from Howdens, and it was what we were expecting, but not what we were hoping for…

    Quickly pricing up just a standard base cabinet, and it seems over 30% cheaper from DIY Kitchens. I’ll do some proper plans later, but that’s a substantial saving on our quote!

    muddyjames
    Free Member

    I think there are a few threads on here about them.

    Used them a couple of times and found them pretty good.

    Main “issue” is you need to work out exactly what you need in terms of end panels, filler panels, plinths, pelmets etc which is fairly straight forward but a bit of a faff to do. upside though being that you can select (and only pay for) exactly what you need in terms of cupboard style/size etc.

    stingmered
    Full Member

    I’m in the middle of renovations and pricing up kitchens… had some wildly different prices, but DIY kitchens seem to get great reviews (inc. from people I know!) and seem like good value. My main concern is as above, not planning it properly (and lord I’ve spend a lot of time in their planner!) and missing some vital parts or something costlier, realising that a a corner cupboard doesn’t work etc. Got a few fitters that have quoted and are happy to (and have used them before.) Once I’ve chosen a fitter my plan is to run through the final plan/design with them before pressing go and ordering.

    mogrim
    Full Member

    Main “issue” is you need to work out exactly what you need in terms of end panels, filler panels, plinths, pelmets etc which is fairly straight forward but a bit of a faff to do. upside though being that you can select (and only pay for) exactly what you need in terms of cupboard style/size etc.

    Same as IKEA, except they’ll help you design it. And you can return any extra bits you ordered by mistake.

    muddyjames
    Free Member

    The units all come in standard sizes so would recommend Rather than an online planner the easiest thing to do is a bit of paper, ruler and pencil. The end panels if you need them/want them are probably the trickiest bit in my view as you need to work out where you want themand then allow for their thickness too.

    Edit – I think diy kitchens are the same standard sizing as b&q/magnet etc but ikea May be on a different size strategy, not certain of this though.

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    Another issue is time.

    I fitted my last one, but the whole process took months. And our old oven was on a massive cable and we moved it around the kitchen while we worked!

    stingmered
    Full Member

    Ikea were an option. I’ve had mixed reviews (again from people I know who have actually had them installed.) However what put me off is that 3 independent installers have said that they won’t fit IKEA kitchens because they quality is poor and there is no service void. All but one have said the same about B&Q kitchens too!

    mogrim
    Full Member

    Just had an IKEA kitchen installed last week, and while I don’t have much to compare them to the quality seems fine. Time will tell – ask me again in 5 years’ time!

    dovebiker
    Full Member

    I had a DIY Kitchen fitted about 18 months ago – price-wise it was half the price that Howdens quoted my builder (building multiple houses) plus it was better because there was more choice of heights and widths, so it was a better layout. DIY don’t rip you off for things like soft-close hinges either. Carcasses come ready assembled and made from thicker materials too. We did end up having to order some extra trim and end panels and a replacement door damaged in transit which delayed the final finishing, but no great problem. I think DIY now have an online planner, or just use the IKEA one. Make sure you measure your room accurately including the angles of internal corners – what might be snug into the corner might not be at the front edge of a worktop. I did the detailed layout for mine from the architects drawings before the house was build, I’d left a 100mm working margin for trim panels etc, the only problem was the finished room dimensions came in 150mm under!

    hooli
    Full Member

    I’ve used DIY and they were brilliant. You get exactly what you order and the prices are clear and transparent. Quality is good too, units come pre made with doors fitted so saves time and faff. Can’t remember but doors fitted may have been for a nominal cost but it was well worth it.

    They do call you to walk through the order with you and make sure it makes sense but it’s up to you to order what you need and make sure it fits.

    muddyjames
    Free Member

    “Another issue is time.“

    You’re right DIY kitchens ordering does take longer but not a massive amount, the biggest time in the pre order phase is the design which is the same regardless of who you use.

    The time for fitting a kitchen is largely the same regardless of who supplies it though surely- subject to issues with bits not fitting/falling apart/lack of service voids or having to put the cabinets together ( you can have them supplied assembled by diy kitchens for no extra cost, or at least used to be able to.)

    mert
    Free Member

    Just had an IKEA kitchen installed last week, and while I don’t have much to compare them to the quality seems fine. Time will tell – ask me again in 5 years’ time!

    I did my own IKEA kitchen about 12-13 years ago, it’s handled having me and the ex bouncing around in it for a good chunk of that time, plenty of drunken parties, dinner parties, 3 cats and also two kids, all the way through the crawling, toddling and “swinging on cupboard doors” phase. Starting to show it’s age now, few corners getting a bit worn, but everything still works. And as it was the second cheapest range they did, it certainly didn’t break the bank.

    I’ll probably start putting some cash in the kitty to redo it again in 4 or 5 years. Also need windows and a new roof at some point soon, so it will not be a priority!

    stumpy01
    Full Member

    We had a large brick cupboard (with chimney above) knocked out in our kitchen earlier this year.
    It left a space that we wanted filling, but because we are considering an extension in the near future we just wanted something relatively cheap to fill the space.

    Ended up going with DIY-Kitchens and I fitted it myself – it was only a full height larder unit, bin cupboard & large wall unit with worktop, so not too difficult.
    Everything arrived pre-built which was great.
    I used the online planning tool. It’s pretty good and automatically adds end panels etc which you can adjust and remove as you need.
    They also sanity check your order and suggest changes if things don’t look right, although don’t rely on that
    The planner has a 3D viewer so you should be able to get it just as you need.

    I’d definitely use again.

    schrickvr6
    Free Member

    Thinking about going DIY kitchens for our next one. Our last two were IKEA and we were very happy with the quality, both fitters stated they’d never fitted them before due to all the rumours about them being a PITA to fit but were very impressed with the quality and the way they go together. We created our own service void though and mounted the cabinets on a piece of timber which then also allowed us to use deeper worktops.

    cinnamon_girl
    Full Member

    Q for those who’ve used DIY Kitchens – did you visit the showroom in person? I’ve a kitchen that needs doing and, frankly, the whole process scares me witless. And I have been through it before although used a specific kitchen company who literally took care of everything.

    hooli
    Full Member

    I didn’t visit them but they sent us 2 or 3 sample doors (or part of the door, I don’t recall) so we could see the finish and choose what we wanted.

    muddyjames
    Free Member

    As above we didn’t visit them since For a nominal amount you can get sample doors and cabinet finishes posted to you.

    cinnamon_girl
    Full Member

    Thanks both, that’s helpful.

    jeffl
    Full Member

    Not used DIY kitchens but have heard good things.

    I fitted an IKEA kitchen about 8 years ago. Still looking good with 3 kids and a dog hammering it. Got worktops from Worktop Express though.

    I know some fitters don’t like them due to no service gap. But wasn’t a problem as we’d planned for that. Plus gives you more space in your cupboards. Only downside is the units are fixed sizes. So I had to knock up a wine rack out of some conti board.

    IKEA Kitchen

    failedengineer
    Full Member

    Another vote for DIY Kitchens. The joiner who fitted ours was sceptical because he’d never heard of them, but he was mightily impressed by the quality – “better than Howdens, B&Q and magnet”.

    oldschool
    Full Member

    Heard good thing about them, and in retrospect wish I’d tried them.

    Ikea were an option. I’ve had mixed reviews (again from people I know who have actually had them installed.) However what put me off is that 3 independent installers have said that they won’t fit IKEA kitchens because they quality is poor and there is no service void.

    In contrast to a couple of posters above, I fitted an ikea kitchen about 8 years ago and think the quality is average at best. Not sure who actually manufactures ikea appliances but I’d not buy ikea appliances again either. Hob is shite and replaced as leaked gas, dishwasher replaced as it shat water all over the kitchen and don’t rate the fridge/freezer so that’ll be gone by next year. The fittings are all ikea bespoke so spares/adaptions are a pain in the arse.
    IMHO ikea is shit.

    But YMMV 😀

    daddydave
    Full Member

    I priced up with DIY kitchens last year for my daughters flat along with Howdens, MKM Joinery and another company called better kitchens. DIY kitchens and Better Kitchens were very similar and price but Better Kitchens could deliver quicker. Went with Better Kitchens and was really impresssed with the quality, delivery and the communication.

    allyharp
    Full Member

    We did a lot of research into DIY Kitchens 8-12 months ago and opinions were all extremely positive. We visited and the showroom is good with very helpful staff. The only thing that held us back was the styling. They’ve got loads of variations of shaker or in-frame styles which would look great in an older property. Or for something modern: multiple variations of gloss handle-less designs. Neither of which really floated our boat or matched our 70s house, so in the end we went Ikea, but with custom doors (from a company called Plykea, but there are loads of similar ones).

    That made finding a fitter more difficult as loads didn’t want to touch Ikea (or charged more because of it). But our fitter battened the main run of lower units out from the wall and other than having to notch our under-sink drawer, around the waste pipe, there weren’t any problems.

    It’s only been in since July so far too early to tell on quality, but no issues so far. The heavier wood doors and side panels definitely make ours feel more stable than the showroom ones. With Ikea too you pay for exactly what you need, and as a bonus you’ve got 365 days to easily return anything you don’t want too – so we’ve had a few hundred back for various fittings etc our fitter didn’t use.

    Very happy with our choice, but would happily consider DIY-K if there was something we liked.

    chickenman
    Full Member

    Fitted a lot of kitchens over the years. Did one DIY which was good quality but when things arrive damaged or you want to change something then that holds things up massively. I still really dislike IKEA.

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    Vast majority of kitchen cabinets are manufactured by only a couple of chipboard manufacturers in the UK or from Europe, so its pretty much the same thing you are getting no matter where you buy. One of the important parts that matter are the concealed hinges and the drawer runners. If those are good quality then its unlikely you’ll face issues in the future

    Kahurangi
    Full Member

    1. I did visit the showroom but I wasn’t able to get any help as some one person was hogging all the time from the available staff. I did order my corner unit the wrong way around but the new 3D planner should help with that. I did all the planning in 2D CAD on my laptop as the 3D planner wasn’t available back then.

    2. I missed out filler panels from places where the fitter thought I’d want them – like at either side of the dishwasher. TBF thy would have helped hide that the dishwasher door isn’t perfectly straight but it doesn’t look wrong either.

    3. The massive range of available sizes was great and I got the layout just how I wanted.

    4. The painted finish was not the most durable. I it showing quite a few chips now (3 years on) so will have to get the touch up paint out soon. I would get vinyl covered next time.

    5. Buying through DIYK you get a brilliant price on the Quartz worktop – which we would definitely go for again.

    6. If you have an open order and there is an issue you go straight to the front of the queue for remedial items… there might be a 6 week lead on an order but you might be able to get a new part or replacement dodah much quicker if they can.

    tall_martin
    Full Member

    I’ve fitted two IKEA kitchens.

    One is 6 years old and one is five years old. They are both in rentals. One with 5 people one with 6

    They still look fine. Bear in mind that’s about 25/ 30 years of use as most of the Tennant’s cook their own food each night.

    There was a lot of swearing on the first one, less on the second. Both installed on freshly plasterd walls.

    There is a void underneath them and at the back for cables, these might not be the current units.

    Took me about a week for the first on my own ( first kitchen I’d done) and about half a week with quite a lot of help from a mate for the other one.

    I’d designed both to be as simple to fit as possible. Eg one just uses straight runs of worktop with no joins to avoid cutting and jointing as much as possible. The other has a joint in the worktop.

    kayak23
    Full Member

    I made an island out of units from Diy kitchens with a few bits I made myself.
    I was really impressed with the quality.
    Will defo use again if I do that sort of work again.

    submarined
    Free Member

    Thanks all, opinions on here seem roughly in line with what I’ve found elsewhere. I priced up an equivalent setup to my Howdens quote last night, and the price difference is too big to ignore tbh.
    For foil wrapped MDF, it was 7k cheaper than
    For solid wood doors, nearly 9k cheaper than the Howdens equivalent.

    My main issue is going to be worktops, and double checking everything, as there are several worktop junctions that aren’t 90n degrees.

    FWIW we’ve got an Ikea kitchen at the moment that’s about 20 years old I reckon, it’s worn pretty well. Certainly wouldn’t put me off, it’s just there aren’t the styles and sizes we need for our old hovel.

    kayak23
    Full Member

    My main issue is going to be worktops, and double checking everything, as there are several worktop junctions that aren’t 90n degrees.

    Easiest way to template an odd space I find is to make up a pattern of the space with strips of mdf that you glue gun together in place, lifting it away when finished.

    If the walls undulate you can scribe in each strip as you go to get a perfect fit to transfer onto your piece. Beef it up with some triangulated sections and you’re golden.

    I’ve been doing exactly that this week with alcoves. Would work well for odd-shaped worktops.

    snotrag
    Full Member

    The clue is in the name.

    Be honest with yourself – are you reasonably skilled, technically competent and able to work out, visualize and plan what you need? If the answer is yes, then DIY Kitchens is excellent.

    In our old house we have a couple of the big sheds do a ‘design’ and quote for a full replacement. Fundamentally, their ‘design’ skills extended as far as taking the current layout, and replacing it with new units. Useless.

    I got the pen and paper out, and did it myself, and was able to add in the dishwasher slot they said could not be done.
    DIY Kitchens also have a much bigger range of unit sizes than most too – allowing you to squeeze things in or maximise storage.

    Also – use full height wall units – what the point in having the dead space to collect dust, when you could fit another shelf up there?!

    ETA – the price was good, delivery was good, I had some parts assembled and some parts ‘dry’ so I could customise them, it all fitted together flawlessly.

    jamiemcf
    Full Member

    I’ve got the same IKEA door fronts as jeffl. Ours is a galley kitchen.

    One side has enough of a service gap for a 15mm has pipe. The other side we specced a deeper worktop so we have a pretty big service gap.

    I’ve no issues with an IKEA kitchen 6 years in.

    We did have an issue with a spark pricing a rewire until we said it was an IKEA oven and he kicked up a fuss over wiring it in. He never got the job

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    I see most folk recommending IKEA have older ones.

    I have one I fitted last year 6 months after fitting a wren kitchen…..it was hardly the pinicle of kitchens but **** me was the IKEA shite and made it look god level

    It’s not holding up well either poor quality finish marking easy -2 of the doors turned up with dents and marks so we’re swapped out.

    Wouldn’t do it again. + I found it pricy compared to the wren. ….

    TroutWrestler
    Free Member

    I helped a competent friend install a DIY Kitchens kitchen into my house this summer. I did all the planning on the online planner, which was dead easy. It is literally drag and drop on the screen. If you can competently measure you should be OK. I had a couple of questions about some aspects, like the corner posts, but the DIY Kitchens team always answered quickly. I did all the checking, and queried a couple of things which were sorted.

    It arrived on the day specified, but at 8.30pm. It was all inside in 20 mins, all fully built. There wew no issues with the overall quality. The mega-panel for the back of the units on our peninsular was damaged in transit, and a quick photo off to DIY Kitchens was enough to get a replacement sent out.

    It went in easy, was A LOT cheaper than Wren. I bought all the appliances from AO on eBay when they had 20% off discounts, plus the sink and taps. New floor from UK Flooring Direct.

    Saved a fortune, learned some stuff, sweated a bit, but very happy with it all. Colleague went with Wren, and paid more than twice as much for a near identical style, but smaller kitchen.

    If you are even semi-competent and can use a tape measure you can plan and order it. If you can use a Screwdriver and a level, you can fit it.

    Extras were Tiler £300, Plasterer for ceiling £300 and Plumber to disconnect and cap the gas £60.

    cinnamon_girl
    Full Member

    Just taken delivery of some DIY Kitchen samples but wasn’t expecting them to be so big and heavy! Each measured approx 14″ x 11″, all for £6.

    Well impressed with both the sample service and the quality of them.

    poolman
    Free Member

    I fitted an ikea kitchen 10 years ago still going strong. Spent ages planning, changing mind…did the installation myself.

    Just sold some old ikea kitchen cabinets on fb marketplace, was going to skip them but sold really quickly.

    DT78
    Free Member

    Recently fitted a diy kitchen, waiting for the utility to arrive in a few weeks.

    Very happy. Had a few problems with the delivery, new parts were sent out and delivered inside a week. Worked okay for us as we had fitters booked in for 2 consecutive weekends. If we hadn’t it would have cost us a bunch more and delay to get the fitters back. It took 2 guys 5 days to fit 27 units and about 6m of wortktop

    We have a few small 150 pullouts, which I really like, but they do feel flimsy, not sure they will last

    Oh design tip. If you are having a boiling water tape and a bowl and a half sink, it is a super super tight fit for a sink drawer unit. I ended up haveing to cut a bit of a drawer for clearance. Narrow worktop compounded the issue

    Does look nice.

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