Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)
  • DIY Kitchens – Experiences?
  • Premier Icon danjthomas
    Free Member

    As anyone had a DIY kitchens kitchen fitted? Im shopping around and the price is soooo much better than the showrooms around Cardiff. Magnet, wren etc.

    Any advise on this would be great.


    Premier Icon fingerbang
    Free Member

    Perhaps not quite the answer you’re looking for, but we bought our kitchen on gumtree for like £500 ish and it was only previous owner so saved so much money, good quality shaker style. Obviously it needed fitting and my builder FIL helped but I reckon fitting is a lot to do with forward planning

    The granite worktop needed cutting but we had a local stone mason do that, and it’s just meticulous planning. I’d definitely do it again as you’re saving thousands. It was a smallish galley kitchen though to be fair

    Premier Icon thenorthwind
    Full Member

    I’m awaiting delivery of one this week (annoyingly, it could be any day Mon-Sun, and apparently I won’t know til the day before, but that was the deal when I ordered).

    I much preferred the ordering process, choosing individual components, rather than giving someone dimensions and having them produce a design – Doves for example wouldn’t break their quote down any further than furniture/appliances/worktops, so you can’t see where the big costs are.

    I helped a mate fit one so I could see what it was like, and the quality seemed good (IANAKF so not much to compare other than other kitchens I’ve been in). He was impressed with the service, and said they’d included lots of fittings and stuff that he wasn’t expecting.

    I had a couple of special requests to my order (e.g. supplying 3 doors with a unit instead of the default 4) which they’re accommodating of. They did overcharge me for that (they added a unit back on that they hadn’t taken off) but they did refund me when I pointed it out.

    Assuming it’s delivered as promised, I’d definitely do it again. We had a quote from Dove for about £6k and Howdens for about £9k and they both had compromises. With some cost engineering, we got the design we wanted for around £4k from DIY Kitchens. That doesn’t include pelmet/cornice/plinth because I realised that the colour-matched stuff is quite expensive – since we’re having oak workshops, I’ve got all the trim in 25mm solid oak from my local timber merchants for about half the price 😮

    Premier Icon tomparkin
    Full Member

    When I read “DIY Kitchens” I assumed you meant doing the install yourself. We’ve done that a couple of times with second hand units off eBay.

    The concept of the DIY Kitchens approach is a bit of a challenge for me.

    First of all they seem to be comparing turn-key “all in one” suppliers with a service which just delivers units, etc. The latter will obviously be cheaper, but intuitively the major cost in a new kitchen is probably labour. I’d want to get some ballpark quotes from designers and fitters before deciding which way to go myself.

    Secondly, the website claims they save you money by cutting out the expensive designers and showrooms, right under a link to book a visit to their showroom. So it’s a mixed message.

    I guess if you’re happy doing the design work yourself, and want to coordinate the trades yourself (or even do some of the work) then it maybe makes sense and you can save a few quid. But even then it’s not as though you can’t buy units from places like B&Q or Ikea, so I’m struggling to see the DK value-add.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    I made someone an island unit using 3 of their 1000mm drawer unit, units a while back, along with some bespoke bits like drawer fronts and shelving I added to it.

    I was really impressed with the quality actually. Recommend.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Father in law, who’s fitted kitchens for the whole family many times, fitted one last month in his own kitchen, he’s still raving about it.

    Cynical auld bugger, so high praise indeed.

    Premier Icon TheFlyingOx
    Full Member

    I fitted one in my house about 4 years ago. Really impressed with the quality, easily as good as the stuff you see from Howdens, Wren, etc. Still looks like new today and that’s after daily batterings from vacuum cleaner, kids toys and the like.
    They also give you a touch up paint pot if you do manage to chip any of the units but I’ve no idea how hard you’d have to smash them for that to happen.

    Premier Icon hexhamstu
    Free Member

    AFAIK they only have 1 showroom and its at their manufacturing facility, so I think they were referring to having multiple showrooms.

    We ordered a kitchen from them, all units come fully assembled. Quality is really good of both the cabinets and fixtures and fittings supplied. Would definitely recommend.

    Premier Icon b230ftw
    Free Member

    I used to sell kitchens and was about to order one from the place I used to work at but was told about DIY kitchens. It’s not far from me so I went to their showroom. Fantastic help there, I designed it myself as I had expertise in doing it.
    Some damage on one unit when it arrived but this was sorted pretty fast. Quality is fantastic and 5 years later it still looks brand new inside and out. Fitted it myself (apart from the solid wood worktops I got from Worktops Express) and it was really solid and easy to work with.

    After having a lot of experience with all the kitchen manufacturers I would defiantly recommend them 100%. Only issues are that you have to design it yourself and find your own fitter but it saved me so much money it was unreal.

    Designing yourself isn’t as easy as it looks BTW, you have to consider so many things which I picked up over a few years selling them but if you are careful it is possible to do.

    Premier Icon greyspoke
    Free Member

    Yep, had one installed over Christmas, but it wasn’t really a kitchen, more like a built-in sideboard thing for the diner end of a kitchen diner. One of the units was a bit lacking in rigidity, but got installed anyway. Decent quality, looks good, the guy who installed it thought it was OK as well. The reason we went down that route was availability of precisely what we wanted (reduced-depth drawer units, solid wood doors and stuff). But very happy with the outcome, I would definitely do this again (if not with DIY Kitchens, an outfit with a similar business model). Getting the right units and bits and bobs to finish the job with a more complicated installation might be a bit more challenging as @b230ftw indicates. I ended up sketching it all out using FreeCAD.

    ETA price-wise it was ridiculous how much less we we spend than the quotes we got from kitchen companies. I think they make money selling appliances, to be fair they did manage to hint pretty strongly that we might get it done cheaper elsewhere.

    Premier Icon tomparkin
    Full Member

    Well, it seems my cynicism was unfounded 🙂

    I will have to remember DK for future kitchen-related projects. The eBay approach works fine too, but it’s a lot of work collecting and moving cabinets et al and I can see the appeal of spending a bit more to have units delivered.

    Premier Icon hooli
    Free Member

    I’d recommend then. I have fitted 2 (in 2 separate houses) and they are great. Quality is very good, delivery spot on and the ordering process is a lot easier than Wren/Howdens etc as there is no fighting with salespeople.

    The only downside compared to Howdens is they don’t have local shops all over the country so if you mess up the order or damage something then you have to wait for a replacement rather than just popping down the road to swap it out.

    Premier Icon sillysilly
    Full Member

    Used in past, awesome. Especially if you can do some of the work yourself to further cut costs like ripping out old kitchen / unpacking etc. Find now some builders are actually ok with this approach as it avoids them waiting in line at dump for hours / paying fees.

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Free Member

    We’ve got one in our new house.
    We started down the route with Howdens as that was builder’s preference as they’re local. Didn’t consult with us, created the first design without asking and then totally opaque on pricing – told them “I don’t want to spend more than X, so please confirm we’re in budget” after many weeks of wrangling, them came back at 2X. Told them to sling it.
    Went to DIY Kitchens and they came in budget for better quality – heavier carcass, soft close hinges etc. We did have some problems with shortages/missing items due to remote location and builders not checking delivery notes accurately.
    Went for a Solid Surface worktop from Worktop Express – took ages to get here and arrived in 2 pieces as it was only strapped to a flimsy pallet plus they wouldn’t let me collect it myself. Still wrangling over replacement/discount but builder did a good job hiding the crack (either side of hob cut out) after all the hassle of getting it here, I’m living with it. Worktop Express also made errors on their cutting drawing I had to correct – I gave them a detailed, dimensioned drawing and they still cocked it up.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Full Member

    Has anyone got Dekton worktops? I notice they’re available from DIY Kitchens and on paper seem to tick most boxes

    Premier Icon hexhamstu
    Free Member

    RE: Worktops

    Don’t get Oak or any other wood, they’re shit and don’t get a belfast sink, they are also shit.

    If you never use your kitchen and it’s mainly to look nice feel free, but if your worktops see a lot of use then get something harder wearing. Oiling them is a pain in the arse I’d rather be without.

    Premier Icon muddyjames
    Free Member

    Had a couple of kitchens from them. They’re pretty good. They replaced stuff damaged in transit no questions asked albeit there was a delay while it was made.

    The main thing is as others have said is you need to understand all of the different bits such as how many end panels, plinths, handles etc etc. All pretty straight forward but takes a bit of planning.

    This has pros and cons of this are you will get (and pay for) exactly what you want. The downside is this takes a bit more time as 1 you need to choose exactly what sort of unit in terms of height, door config, fancy pull out bits, door opening direction etc and then 2. think about and order all the other bits. Where to put end panels is probably the trickiest bit. We went for an oak effect door and carcass colour they are very similar so we didn’t get as many end panels as you’d have needed with different carcass and door colour.

    They do have a design tool but when I used it, it didn’t translate the result into an order list you could then buy, you have to order the stuff manually as above.

    Premier Icon mcnipper
    Free Member

    We’ve got dekton and a DIY kitchens kitchen… DIY kitchen is quality as others have said, although bespoke paint colour we have on the island isn’t as hard wearing as the standard paint colour on the rest of the kitchen.

    Dekton has been brilliant since it went in last July and have been unable to stain it (yet!). Recommend getting a price from a local kitchen showroom as for us it worked out cheaper than getting it from DIY kitchens.

    Premier Icon tonyf1
    Free Member

    Looked at DIY but went with Better Kitchens in the end due to time to deliver. I’d use either and price wise very similar.

    Quality of the units and hinges is very high and zero complaints. As said spend lots of time on design to work out what works and units needed as lead times means you’ll be waiting if you’ve ordered wrong units.

    Worktops I’d look to getting this done separately if you want something out of the ordinary. We went for aged oak and worked well but needed industrial cutter as the wood was incredibly dense. Lots of places online who offer this service.

    Premier Icon twinw4ll
    Free Member

    I felt sorry for the delivery driver, turned up just before 10pm and it was pissing it down, he’d had a long hard day. Kitchens are pretty good, we’ll be on our second with the latest house if i can get my arse into gear.

    Premier Icon 2bit
    Free Member

    We used DIY kitchens 4 years ago after lots of research & looking at reviews & feedback.

    Mixed opinions here –

    Cheaper than other options we were looking at, like the deliver pre built units & the model designer online tool.

    Less keen on the quality & after care service (I’ve got nothing to compare it to as it’s the first kitchen we’ve bought). We went for a handleless gloss design & have had multiple issues – chips easily (defo not the hard-wearing quality we’d read about but possibly this is down to the handless gloss? Dunno but not great with 2 kids under 7), there were, what looked like to my untrained eye, stress fractures in the handless ‘groove’ of about a quarter of our units after a year or two (they then sent out drawer/door replacements for all the units) & latest we’ve had a tall larder cupboard unit starting to bow out & lose the ability to hold shelves in place (they told us to contact the fitter (we can’t) or could pay for one of their approved fitters to come out & we’d get a refund if it wasn’t manufacturing fault. I’m now going to be taking it out & screwing the shelves into place myself).

    So our experience doesn’t really echo the universal praise I’d read about (& expected) but I suspect its due to the specific model…

    Premier Icon Kahurangi
    Full Member

    We like ours but the painted finish on ours chips very easily. Would use again but only getting the vinyl covered type or a wood finish.

    The 3d builder was good, but only came out of alpha after I’d done the design work.

    You need more filler panels and the like than you think – get someone who has done it before to review your plans.

    We really like our Quartz worktop and the price of the worktop bought through DIYK is incredibly good value.

    Premier Icon espressoal
    Free Member

    Fitted kitchens are naff, the secret to a cool kitchen is unfitted, being a fraction of the cost is a side benefit.

    Don’t know how to upload pics from desktop to prove that though he said reaching for the tin helmet.

    Premier Icon stevemuzzy
    Free Member

    I bought gloss, handleless units for my garage conversion. They are great quality and have stood up really well, plus wipe clean. Will likely use when we replace our kitchen.

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Free Member

    Yes, the DIYK delivery service needs some tweaks – we live on an island, so arranged to have it delivered to a transport business depot in Oban. Call them to ask where they are – we’re planning a drop off at 7pm – err, you do realise it’s a commercial premises that closes at 4pm? Driver then turns around and takes it back to Doncaster. It eventually arrived 2 weeks later.

    Premier Icon qwerty
    Free Member

    Fitted one 10 years ago, it’s still fab. I’d never done anything kitchen related before, spent an age figuring out what we wanted, came fully assembly and I joined all the units together like Lego/IKEA/mechano and had a builder fit the wooden worktops (mistake, get a kitchen fitter!) which we got from Worktop Express.

    Biggest plus for me was the reasonable fixed price, Howdens and all the others are just out to exploit vulnerable people and rip them off. Such a cow boy market place.

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)

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