Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 55 total)
  • The joys of kitchen buying – buying online
  • DT78
    Free Member

    For the first time we are looking at buying a kitchen. Seems to be a fairly painful process to get a fair price.

    So far – wren, great customer experience in terms of showroom and glitzy software. Not being funny but clear attempts at massive price gouging. Quoted 8k for fitting alone (!) for 25 units. Over 10k for quartz worksurfaces, “price guaranteed” mid range bosch appliances, which a cursory google showed I could save £1.5k on by just buying from the first hit.

    Take said quote to howdens, much more rubbish CX, no biscuits or coffee, small room with lots of noise… was expecting significantly cheaper quote given its trade….nope…nothing itemised, as if they have looked at wrens quote and knocked 5% off.

    So I have spent two days speccing it all out on DIYkitchens planner – a few niggles but have got the hang of it. Really happy with the layout and for the roughly the same ‘unit’ cost we have more units and funky pull outs, mdf painted rather than foil wrap (solid just too dear). Worktops seem suspiciously cheap compared to everything else we’ve been quoted (is quartz really quartz at those prices?) door handles are like £1.50 compared to wrens £7

    Been to a local worktop place, wife has fallen for mistral aria solid surface. Quote was £3.5k. Again first google hit shows me onlineworktops do the same product for roughly 20% saving. Asked about fitting cost, £1.5k to fit – eek!

    Wifey has also decided she would really like NEFF cooker and microwave combi thingy. Pricey and according to guy in JL, sold out and a 16 week lead time (!)

    Next option to look into properly is ikea as there is one nice and local

    So questions –

    Have you used DIY kitchens? Specifically the painted MDF? Did you fit it yourself? How hard can prebuilt boxes fitted to a new extension be??? What was the customer service like? Any issues

    Did you get them to supply your worktops as well?

    Have you sourced worktops online – I’m concerned about the measurements and making an expensive mistake – presume I could just supply the plans from the diykitchen planner

    Oh and anyone recommended a hidden/integrated cooker hood that is super quiet so I will actually use the thing

    Any other websites worth a look and recommended?

    Any other kitchen tips / things you have you love or wish you’d done different

    Thanks 🙂

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    I’m a big fan of ikea kitchens. Fitted 3 now and the quality has been better every time. Current one is 5 yrs old and ageing really well. (Kungsbacka), hardware is all Blum.

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    I self-fitted an IKEA kitchen. Just needs careful planning, but it’s not that hard. If you can screw one of their wardrobes together you can put their kitchen units together. I got a chippy in to fit the worktops.

    bruneep
    Full Member

    none of that with our Howdens kitchen.

    Joiner had a few issues along the line with the 2 NEFF ovens in tall unit popped into howdens came away with required bits and pieces required. Design person came round later to see how it was and if we required anything else. Good luck with that with on line purchase

    jamiemcf
    Full Member

    I fitted an IKEA kitchen.
    Easy as.
    Planning was the hardest bit I opted for some graph paper and a scale rule as their software kept crashing at the time. We got an underglued sink,

    It’s 6 years old now and still fine. We only have 3 cupboards, 2 on the wall one above the microwave and cooker. Everything else is drawers. A much better idea in my mind and you can get at everything.

    dovebiker
    Full Member

    Search on here – there’s been a few previous threads.
    I went DIY Kitchens after Howden’s best attempt at price gouging – DIY were 1/2 Howden’s ‘best price’. I didn’t actually install the kitchen as it was a new build, but the builders were impressed by the quality – even the guy that managed to install the heating cylinder and gubbins in the end cupboard.
    Installation isn’t too tricky when you have flat floors, vertical walls and square corners – unfortunately most houses aren’t built like that – mark-out everything on the walls before you start and leave room for scribe and infill panels. It may be worth templating the worktop.
    I bought a solid surface worktop from Worktop Express – they were a bit rubbish, despite sending them a dimensioned CAD drawing, there were errors on their drawing I had to correct. I’ve bought granite and marble direct before but WE couldn’t manage to finish some edges as their ‘process’ couldn’t do it. Worst though was delivery – they wouldn’t let me collect it myself (3m long) it went AWOL for 2 weeks and when it did arrive on a flimsy pallet it was in 2 pieces and they refused to take responsibility. Fortunately we glued it together and the join is mostly hidden by the hob.
    For cooker hoods we have an AEG one that fits into an overhead cupboard with a retractable hood it’s pretty quiet.

    irc
    Full Member

    Kitchens are the modern of 1980s double glazing selling.

    We got a quote from a shiny showroom for our small kitchen. Started over £30k before immediate discount and swapping for lower range of doors got it to £19k.

    I had already looked at DIY kitchens and knew a ballpark number for units and worktops before fitting was around £6k.

    Ended up spending around £12k including fitting for whole thing including new lighting and flooring and appliances. Howdens units but I think the price for Howdens varies depending on who is buying. High volume fitters may get bigger discount.

    The shiny showroom guy asked why we weren’t going with him. When told it was price he claimed he might be able to do a special deal. No chance. He had his bid and tried to rip us off.

    Only non obvious tip I would mention is our microwave is built in over our double oven. So we save the footprint of having it sitting on a counter. Same brand so it is a visual match. Perhaps only matters in small kitchens.

    stumpy01
    Full Member

    We had a brick-built cupboard/chimney knocked out in our kitchen which left a void and lack of storage space.

    I looked around for a cheap solution to whack some usable units & worktop in.

    Wren’s showroom was great but the price was stupid & their ‘deals’ meant that I would have to buy 5 units, when I only needed 3.

    I ended up using DIY Kitchens – can’t remember the exact style, but it’s the white handleless gloss style.
    Kitchen planner was easy to use & the cost was competitive.
    The units arrived when they were supposed to & are rock solid.
    I’ve never installed a kitchen before & suspect that 3 units on one wall with a worktop is significantly easier than a whole kitchen, but the process was very easy. Took a while as I double & triple checked everything I did.

    I bought one of their laminate worktops. It was decent value & seems good quality.

    When we get round to renewing our entire kitchen I’ll probably use them again.

    dooosuk
    Free Member

    I’ve fitted two DIY Kitchens in the past 5 years. Can’t recommend then enough.

    Both painted, but not MDF.

    Can also couch for their quartz worktops as we’ve got them in the current kitchen. I noticed they were supplied by a company local to me so I phoned them but they said the discount they give to DIYKitchens meant I was better ordering from then instead of direct.

    I bought the cheaper quartz rather than the branded version… however it was stamped as the expensive version when delivered (Silestone) so I assume that’s some sort of con.

    slowol
    Full Member

    My mum got a Neff oven microwave combi as a second oven. After the third time the glass broke and Neff wanted big money for the replacement glass she chucked it and swapped it out for oven only. Jeff’s response was that she wasn’t keeping the glass clean enough. Grease splots on the window plus the microwaves was their diagnosis. Not actually designed for proper cooking. She now has a cheap microwave separately and vowed never again to buy Neff as it’s overpriced and not great (she said that in the 80s too but thought 30+ years may have improved).

    joebristol
    Full Member

    We did ours about 9-10 years ago now with bettaliving- they were dreadful – don’t recommend.

    The kitchen itself seems to be solid enough once fitted – I got a mate who is a carpenter by trade to fit it.

    We went with white quartz tops – I wouldn’t risk ordering online and hoping you get the drawings right. We shopped round 3 local stone / kitchen worktop only suppliers and went with one of those.

    Once the kitchen was built and fitted they came round and templated it all in mdf and checked with us on radiuses of corners / cutouts etc. Took them about 3 weeks from then to come back and fit. Everything was perfect. Even circa 9-10 years ago it was £3.2k from memory. That’s 2 long ish sides and one island. Island with cutouts for a pop up socket and large hob. Both longer sides with a cutout for a sink and inbuilt drainer grooves.

    Just be careful with white surfaces – even though quartz is meant to be non-porous it still stains if you’re not quick to wipe things up.

    timba
    Free Member

    Have you used DIY kitchens?

    Yes

    Specifically the painted MDF?

    Yes, Norton in Cobham Blue lower and white upper units. Doors hardwood frame, trim and end panels MDF (from memory)

    Did you fit it yourself?

    Yes

    How hard can prebuilt boxes fitted to a new extension be???

    If the room is square with straight, flat walls, easy. Victorians are not the great craftsmen that everyone thinks 🙂

    What was the customer service like? Any issues

    Brilliant. Lots of question beforehand, all answered well. Some additional trim needed (change of mind by my design dept) hurried through despite their usual waiting times.
    Delivery was handled well, the only problem was having two kitchens in one room 🙂

    Did you get them to supply your worktops as well?

    Local timber yard

    timmys
    Full Member

    Wifey has also decided she would really like NEFF cooker and microwave combi thingy. Pricey and according to guy in JL, sold out and a 16 week lead time (!)

    Having just fitted out a kitchen with Neff stuff, I’d say the guy in JL is being very optimistic. “Sometime in 2023” seems to be the realistic estimate for the Neff/Bosch/everyone else stuff that uses the chip no one can get hold of. We got very lucky with a combi oven that our local Howdens branch found in their warehouse. For the main oven I had resorted to a dodgy looking place that sold open box returns. They were actually ok to deal with and it only had a tiny mark on a bit of trim that as easy to replace.

    thebunk
    Full Member

    We used DIY-kitchens and brought quartz worktops through them. All good, reckon I could have done a better job of fitting the units than our fitter though – either DIY and give yourself plenty of time to get it right, or find someone you trust.

    The quartz worktops (silestone I think) are great, will miss them when we move. Ours are white, we haven’t managed to stain them and we chuck tumeric, red wine and home made bright green glitter slime all over them regularly. (@joebristol Bar Keepers Friend is your…friend)

    mattbee
    Full Member

    “Victorians are not the great craftsmen that everyone thinks 🙂”

    Victorian craftsmen were great. Victorian builders were just like modern ones, I suspect.

    DT78
    Free Member

    Good feedback, thanks all, really tempted, the saving with diykitchens is significant. Need to price up ikea for a comparison. I’ve read ikea don’t have a service void? Is that right?

    With quartz worktops how are the joins? We have a long stretch and part of the appeal of solid surface is the (supposed) ability to create seamless joins.

    And this could be a dumb question. Any point in getting the wall plaster boarded where the units will be? If it’s going to be covered in units and tiles?

    Kitchen will be going in a brand new extension, so I’m hoping it won’t be wonky. Walls should start going up next week. I,m concerned the dimensions will be slightly smaller than the plans so won’t be ordering until I have the internal walls built

    timba
    Free Member

    Victorian craftsmen were great. Victorian builders were just like modern ones, I suspect.

    🙂

    timba
    Free Member

    With quartz worktops how are the joins? We have a long stretch and part of the appeal of solid surface is the (supposed) ability to create seamless joins.

    I guess that you want quartz? We went for a formica-ish laminated worktop which is easy to handle and is very similar in its care and low-maintenance to quartz. They also look a lot less like laminate than they used to, often cheaper than quartz and can be fitted DIY with tight joins

    Fueled
    Free Member

    At least in the black colour we bought, DIY kitchen’s quartz (innovo? Or something) is identical to silestone. We had samples of each and couldn’t tell them apart, then we noticed that the DIY sample had residue on the back where the silestone sticker had been removed and the smaller DIY one added instead. Worktop fitter confirmed later

    Hint: with some sticky felt pads, worktop samples make great coasters.

    sprootlet
    Free Member

    We went for Corion as we have a long run and weight was an issue as the kitchen is over the garage. It comes in 2 m lengths then they weld them together when they fit it so it is effectively seamless.

    It has been in for about 8-9 years and looks great still despite a lot of use as we love cooking. If you are careless and damage it they can cut that section out and blend another section in. It was not the cheapest option but it has certainly been a very practical option. I would definitely have it again.

    We stayed in a air bnb that had lovely Bosch appliances (ours are Fisher Paykell), the induction hob there was Elina which had a built in extraction system. I was impressed to the point I’d consider it for our next kitchen

    dooosuk
    Free Member

    With quartz worktops how are the joins?

    They’re not totally invisible but not noticeable if that makes sense.

    Our fitters had some sort of electronic leveling machine that suctioned onto each piece and leveled it before holding it till the join compound cured.

    DIYKitchens will only send the worktop templaters around once your kitchens is installed. They then measure and deliver a couple of weeks later.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    I fitted a wren (with none of that nonsense you describe

    16 units Belfast sink -3 lengths of 44mm oak and all appliances -(neff/AEG- dishwasher double oven induction hob and hood + fridge freezer ) for 7500 delivered complete and on the day they said they would deliver it – mid covid (which was good as we were on a 6 week build schedule)

    Fitted an IKEA kitchen to my utility 6 months later and by comparison it might as well have been made of the boxes the wren kitchen came in. Was not impressed. It was also a per unit cost higher cost than the wren. – and you had to build them (which wasn’t hard and not the reason for my poor review. More a quality issue) their online planning tool is great though and the main reason I went with them as it was in the middle of lock down. The other was I needed only 3 units and 5 full lengths of finished board. Worktops came from worktop express (who make the nonsense unique non standard IKEA sized worktop)

    Have fitted several Howdens kitchens with the old man over the years and they are good bits of kit also.

    tall_martin
    Full Member

    I’ve fitted 2 IKEA kitchens in the last 5 years.

    They both still look great despite significant amounts of cooking.

    Neither of the rooms were even slightly straight. They still went up ok and have stayed up.

    ac505
    Free Member

    Purchased from DIY kitchens at the tail end of last year. Quite a few problems with doors, shelves and units, one unit a few mm larger on one side needed to be replaced, shelving cut to the wrong size, door hinge holes not cut deep enough so the hinges would sit squint (the cutter they were using was blunt by the scorching you could see. I got them to replace a few doors but because so many were affected, I just bought a cutter from screwfix for £10. A few other quality issues spotted that required additional steps to resolve. All That said, their customer service was spot on, every problem was fixed quickly, efficiently and in a friendly manner. Mistakes happen and DIT kitchens, like many companies will have been up against it with staff and demand issues at the time.

    connect2
    Full Member

    Purchased a Wren kitchen at the beginning of the year. Quote process was pretty painless and I liked being able to see and touch the various options. Yes, the fitted price was ridiculous but units only wasn’t that bad. I did a like for like comparison with DIY Kitchens and they were cheaper but not by that much and I figured wasn’t it worth it for the potential hassle of trying to sort out any issues at a distance rather than being able to walk into a showroom. Surprised about the comment of gouging on appliances, Wren had a price match guarantee and more importantly could actually supply them where everywhere else was out of stock

    Delivered when they said they would, slight damage to the back of one unit that will never be seen and wasn’t worth complaining about. I suppose I was lucky that a kitchen fitter pal installed it as a favour and I was able to do the services/painting/tiling etc myself. Spoken to a few people since that have Wren kitchens and they all seem pretty happy with them

    DT78
    Free Member

    Well some of the prices you guys are quoting were either great deals or inflation on kitchens is somewhere like 50%

    Wrens quote for us, 25 units of their mid range infinity 2 set of draws no fancy pants pull outs, with the cheapest laminate 3 lengths and an island, and mid range Bosch appliances , wrong side of £14k. Then 8k to fit. Quartz work surfaces instead of laminate another £8k.

    DIY kitchens, more units, (chose more smaller ones to fit the space better) more drawers, 5 fancy pull outs. £8k, laminate is about £1.5k, cheaper quartz is £3.5k.

    I will probably head back into wren and show them the quote and see if magic happens, but, part of me doesn’t want to give them business if they try it on that much. I really don’t like that business practise, everything I’m trying to do for this extension seems to be suffering people trying to price gouge, makes you start not trusting anyone

    DT78
    Free Member

    Obviously need to add appliances to diy kitchens quote, so probably all in similarish budget but would seem for much more, more pullouts, better surface etc..

    Some appliances from wren were similar prices others were not. Biggest difference was on insinkerator tap, 759 from wren, 433 at plumbworld,

    For simplicity I would much rather get it all from one place, and local, however saving seem to be significant

    I also trying to check if wrens Infinity range is foil wrap MDf or painted nothing on the quote tells me, which makes me assume it’s foil

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    Infinity shaker is what I have it’s foil wrapped.

    stumpy01
    Full Member

    Meant to say in my.original post that one.of the advantages of DIY Kitchens & Wren is that they have a great range of widths.

    IKEA and others would have been cheaper but wouldn’t have fitted into the space we had, as well as the DIY Kitchens option.

    The Wren Kitchens showroom in Peterborough is a pretty good place to go for ideas and inspiration even if you are probably gonna buy from somewhere else.
    I dunno if all of their showrooms are that good.

    avdave2
    Full Member

    I have a friend who has moved more times than I can remember. I think he’s fitted at least 6 IKEA kitchens to date. And if he ever moves again he’ll be fitting another

    Blazin-saddles
    Free Member

    Then 8k to fit.

    Is a massive piss take. Most of our fits are £2-4K plus VAT. Unless you’re having loads of plastering and tiling done?

    DT78
    Free Member

    no tiling or plastering included in that quote. kitchen only. in a big empty newly built room. they also tried to charge an undisclosed sum for disposing of waste, the cardboard and foam packaging, by that stage I’d had enough!

    showroom is fantastic though, we are in Southampton and I think it’s one of the biggest ones.

    ikea is tonight’s project

    Blazin-saddles
    Free Member

    Wow! Wish I could get those rates, and we take out the old kitchen and provide a skip for all the waste for the price…

    DT78
    Free Member

    I very much doubt the fitters see anywhere that much. I expect wrens mark up is something like 150%

    DT78
    Free Member

    samples have turned up from diykitchens. doors look great quality. handles, one is really badly chromed, bubbles. whilst cheap it doesn’t bode well for their QC.

    90% I will go with them and just deal with the fact a few bits will need sorting. also 90% I will fit it myself.

    brand new space and brand new kitchen should be doable. plan to order a few of the cabinets dry fitted in case there is a problem with measurements. potentially can cut the cupboard down and only pay for a new door.

    obviously ideally I would get it planned right but I like to worry about the things I’m most likely to mess up!

    now. latest fun seems to be quoted £1.5k to fit solid surface worktops, and there appears to be a massive problem with cookers. 16 weeks wait was the guy in JL estimate….ffs

    Blazin-saddles
    Free Member

    latest fun seems to be quoted £1.5k to fit solid surface worktops, and there appears to be a massive problem with cookers. 16 weeks wait was the guy in JL estimate….ffs

    Seems about right. Our fabricators charge about £500 per linear meter but it’s changing all the time at mo. Appliances from big brands have been a horror show since Covid. we still have a Miele fridge on order from over 12 months ago, every time the delivery date arrives, another month delay!

    timba
    Free Member

    Buy your own handles; DIY kitchens don’t drill their doors for handles (from memory) unless you specify.
    You should get a kitchen-worth of laminate/wood top for less than that fitting charge, you know you want a new router 🙂 One cutter per two ends in 40mm laminate is plenty
    Square-edge is easiest to join, no fancy 45 angles necessary

    DT78
    Free Member

    Wife is sold on mistral, so no chance I can switch to wood. From what I’ve read it’s similar to wood in terms of cutting and then you have to fill and sand the gaps to make it seamless.

    Supply is £3.5k, fit is £1.5k on top. The island would be a single piece and shouldn’t need cutting, so its 3 joins and 2 cutouts along the wall, which should be plumb so no need for scribing (he says…..)

    Big fancy router would be nice though. Have had alerts set up on trend for some time. I have a little makita lxt one which I doubt would

    I have a kreg jig for door handles and hinges already so hoping that will be straight forward.

    I’ll ask diy kitchens to replace the one they sent, will give me a chance to test their customer service :). Have looked at ironmongerydirect for the handles, they seem to be the same but more expensive, but not as expensive as wren

    Blazin-saddles
    Free Member

    You need a meaty old router to sort worktops out. I’ve got the Rolls Royce of routers in the Festool OF2200, hot knife through butter! A used Makita 3612c would be my call.

    Shop the stone price around, someone will be able to beat that price. I’ll find out who were using these days, used to be R.O. Arnold’s but they had a big price rise recently.

    bruneep
    Full Member

    Wife is sold on mistral, so no chance I can switch to wood. From what I’ve read it’s similar to wood in terms of cutting and then you have to fill and sand the gaps to make it seamless.

    Just watch the videos from cutting to finished join  Good luck…. can you do a Tally ho type video for this please

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