Barney12

DIY-Kitchens - The Alternative View (And its FAR from positive)

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What really annoyed me with them is that they delivered my kitchen (gold delivery) with around 4 cabinet doors missing. Within a couple of weeks the cabinet doors were delivered by a third party courier, however 2 of the doors were damaged. I was in no rush for the kitchen, if they had contacted me and asked if I wanted to delay the delivery until the complete order was ready to be delivered professionally by their own delivery van I would have opted for this.

 

I should also note that even in the original delivery 1 door and 2 plinths were scratched and needed to be replaced. 

 

Also the top corner of the integrated dishwasher door is starting to show signs of degradation, presumably caused by steam when dishwasher door is opened. 

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I must confess I used Howdens kitchens mostly when I was a fitter, nearly all stuff in stock and never a problem swapping damaged stuff, one customer insisted on Wickes but it took weeks to get replacements fir damaged or wrongly delivered bits which meant endless returns to site which cocked up my diary for other work!

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1 hour ago, ultramods said:

Also the top corner of the integrated dishwasher door is starting to show signs of degradation, presumably caused by steam when dishwasher door is opened. 

 

This is an interesting one. We never had an integrated dishwasher but are hoping to install one. Has anybody else had a similar problem? I suspect the shelf or worktop above could be affected as well? @ryder72, could you possibly comment please? 

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8 minutes ago, oldkettle said:

 

This is an interesting one. We never had an integrated dishwasher but are hoping to install one. Has anybody else had a similar problem? I suspect the shelf or worktop above could be affected as well? @ryder72, could you possibly comment please? 

 

Mine has been in for a year now and the dishwasher installed and working for about 10 months. No sign of any problems with the outer door.

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23 minutes ago, oldkettle said:

 

This is an interesting one. We never had an integrated dishwasher but are hoping to install one. Has anybody else had a similar problem? I suspect the shelf or worktop above could be affected as well? @ryder72, could you possibly comment please? 

Most likely steam/water ingress.

 

What type of door is it? A foil wrapped or laminate door will show this with foil wrapped doors very susceptible.


It could be due to a couple of reasons. A Dishwasher is usually next to the sink so check that there isn't any water splashing on the door. If not, this eliminated water and makes the most likely cause the dishwasher.

Check that the dishwasher seals correctly. A dishwasher that is out of level sideways and front to back can cause this. If its a BSH dishwasher, this could be a particular problem as they make them with 3 legs and more susceptible to movement. If the problem isnt an out of level item then the problem is likely to be a damaged or perished seal.

 

Posting photos may help.

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26 minutes ago, oldkettle said:

 

This is an interesting one. We never had an integrated dishwasher but are hoping to install one. Has anybody else had a similar problem? I suspect the shelf or worktop above could be affected as well? @ryder72, could you possibly comment please? 

 

You are supposed to install a vapour shield onto the bottom of worksurfaces - usually comes with the dishwasher. I've seen this happen on doors and tend to use dishwashers with visible control panels

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DIY delivered our utility units fine - one came 3 days later but all good.  Added a few screws to the back panels - just my pet hate is to see the come loose and a screw beats a staple every time.  Main kitchen on order now for delivery next month - they must be under some staffing challenges since communicating with them was more difficult (phone or online) but everything did get sorted.

 

Delivery drivers were a pain - ended up carrying most of the units far too far - I will not be doing that again.  Thats the only thing that annoyed me.  Howdens are worth a shout as long as you get 70%+ off their list prices.

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45 minutes ago, vivienz said:

 

Mine has been in for a year now and the dishwasher installed and working for about 10 months. No sign of any problems with the outer door.

Mine too but probably only used 15 times max

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45 minutes ago, PeterW said:

 

You are supposed to install a vapour shield onto the bottom of worksurfaces - usually comes with the dishwasher. I've seen this happen on doors and tend to use dishwashers with visible control panels

This is only relevant for laminate, wood or corian worktops. More importantly it doesnt do anything to stop water ingress into doors if there is a steam escape. Semi Integrated may be a solution but they are pretty ugly IMO.

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I have bought a door ready for integrated, but will be using existing standalone dishwasher for now, as its almost brand new, save a bit of money, so won't find out if this is an issue or not for some time.

Edited by MikeGrahamT21

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I now have all of my units and doors.

 

Alas I still have no quartz worktop as the subcontractors they use (natural stone surfaces) was closed due to Covid-19 until a little over a week ago.

 

It’s  now 5 months since a placed my order and handed over my cash. Granted 2 months of that are Covid related. 

 

An interesting snippet or two:

 

The final missing items were delivered by one of their own delivery guys in a swanky branded van. Friendly and helpful chap and thus I engaged him in a little conversation. He proceeded to tell me that the entire production lines, packing and shipping team had been shut since the lockdown. He and one other driver were the first couple of staff back and it was only his second day. So why is this interesting......well the message on their website said (and I wish I’d taken a screen grab) “we are open selling, making and delivering kitchens” throughout the lockdown. I suppose I can’t blame them, they were taking steps to protect their business. But equally honesty goes a long way with me. 
 

Secondly a little chat with the templater from the worktop company who arrived last week. He said “feedback from customers I visit are a bit 50/50 about DIY Kitchens”. To which I asked; are you saying half the people you see are unhappy? “Yes. It seems they have a lot of issues with shortages and damages and when they do they’re not geared up to deal with replacements”.

 

 

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not sure that delivery chap is correct - I've had discussions with them through lockdown and our units were delivered over a month ago.

 

I've always found them helpful.  Must be a challenging time for them at the minute so I'd expect a few hickups.  our deligvery is coming soon - will see what happens then.

 

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15 minutes ago, CC45 said:

not sure that delivery chap is correct - I've had discussions with them through lockdown and our units were delivered over a month ago.

 

I've always found them helpful.  Must be a challenging time for them at the minute so I'd expect a few hickups.  our deligvery is coming soon - will see what happens then.

 


Correct. Their customer service/sales teams have been fully operational working from home. 
I too have spoken to them a number of times. 
 

I certainly agree it’s been a challenging time for many. 
 

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It seems that it would be a fairly easy fix to wrap the materials better than they are presently doing which would eliminate 50% of the issues discussed here. 

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I have had 7 kitchens from DIY kitchens.  They are OK quality and good price.  4 damaged units.  They do the annoying you have x days to report, which is not great when you are held up by other trades.

 

The delivery times are pretty random.  I have been phoned at home at 6:00PM to hear they will be there at 8:00PM or the following (weekend) morning.  I normally keep the site hours at 7:30AM to 5:00PM and it is annoying to have to drive back when I am about to have dinner.

 

I rate them 7 out of 10 mainly because they are cheap, ready assembled and average quality.

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14 hours ago, Barney12 said:

I now have all of my units and doors.

 

Alas I still have no quartz worktop as the subcontractors they use (natural stone surfaces) was closed due to Covid-19 until a little over a week ago.

 

It’s  now 5 months since a placed my order and handed over my cash. Granted 2 months of that are Covid related. 

 

An interesting snippet or two:

 

The final missing items were delivered by one of their own delivery guys in a swanky branded van. Friendly and helpful chap and thus I engaged him in a little conversation. He proceeded to tell me that the entire production lines, packing and shipping team had been shut since the lockdown. He and one other driver were the first couple of staff back and it was only his second day. So why is this interesting......well the message on their website said (and I wish I’d taken a screen grab) “we are open selling, making and delivering kitchens” throughout the lockdown. I suppose I can’t blame them, they were taking steps to protect their business. But equally honesty goes a long way with me. 
 

Secondly a little chat with the templater from the worktop company who arrived last week. He said “feedback from customers I visit are a bit 50/50 about DIY Kitchens”. To which I asked; are you saying half the people you see are unhappy? “Yes. It seems they have a lot of issues with shortages and damages and when they do they’re not geared up to deal with replacements”.

 

 

 

I've used Sheffield Solid Surfaces for the worktop, be warned about Natural Stone Surfaces, if you aren't buying a branded product (i.e. Silestone) its likely a cheap chinese import you are buying, and apparently they are on the verge of going out of business

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11 hours ago, Declan52 said:

It seems that it would be a fairly easy fix to wrap the materials better than they are presently doing which would eliminate 50% of the issues discussed here. 

 

In my case, the damaged unit was wrapped perfectly, I suspect it was wrapped damaged, I think the problem here is lack of quality control, but that will be to 'save costs' though likely costs them more in the long run. I wonder how many 100% perfect deliveries they actually make

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40 minutes ago, MikeGrahamT21 said:

 

I've used Sheffield Solid Surfaces for the worktop, be warned about Natural Stone Surfaces, if you aren't buying a branded product (i.e. Silestone) its likely a cheap chinese import you are buying, and apparently they are on the verge of going out of business

 

Oh thats encouraging 😮 :( 

The more positive news is my contract is with DIY Kitchens and I paid by credit card.

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As someone from the kitchens business I have read several posts here with interest and some point I would like to add to put in a counter reality.

 

1. Expecting furniture delivery without damages is frankly unrealistic. Bear in mind that made up units are mostly air, transported on road surfaces where the quality varies vastly and even a sudden braking incident a real cause for damage. Damages always occur and its a bit underhanded for retailers/suppliers to not set a realistic expectation for what may happen during deliver, consequences and realistic timescales for remedials.

2. Furniture doesn't always handle well. Most kitchen furniture will be handled onto a truck at the factory, off at a warehouse, back on at a warehouse and off at the clients house. Each event of handling brings potential risk of damage. Customers who aren't provided a realistic picture of the facts end up with unrealistic expectations and disappointment.

3. Furniture supply chains are often lengthy and much more complicated than what one imagines. There is no such thing as a kitchen made in Britain with doors usually arriving from Ireland, france or Italy, hardware from Germany, Austria or Italy, Chipboard sometimes locally sourced but from timber originating in Nordic or Baltic countries and the list goes on. The weakest link in this chain is usually the doors.

4. Packing kitchens better is definitely a solution but most manufacturers find a balance between the need to be eco-friendly (the best packing materials are not easily recycled and the most recyclable materials not the most robust to prevent damages) and cost sensitive. Often the view is that its cheaper to change a couple of doors on a kitchen than to spend an extra £75 on packaging which still doesn't guarantee anything.

5. Notification of damages - while yes typical period is 2-5 working days there is a good reason for this. Seldom does a fitter own up to dropping a door or panel or nicking it or incorrectly drilling something with the onus of paying for the replacement put firmly in the fitters court. So why would it be fair for the supplier to deliver a kitchen when requested by the customer and then allowing them weeks to report any damages that weren't a fault of the supplier. Our own kitchen manufacturers allow us a fair amount of time and our understanding with out fitters is to honestly tell us if they damage anything - we do not charge them for it but that gives us a real picture of how good our suppliers are with deliveries.

6. Poorly paid delivery teams. Fact. A lot of delivery drivers earn a pittance and cant be bothered if the goods on the load bed are lumps of cast iron or finely crafted furniture. The best deliveries are from companies that own their truck fleets and employ their delivery staff and this can be very expensive. The typical cost of a 12 ton truck to deliver a kitchen from Kent to Manchester with 2 man crew will be c £750 taking into account capital cost, running cost, wages & overtime and diesel. So on a high end bespoke kitchen this cost adds maybe 5% just to deliver the kitchen. Some companies go down the palletised route  but it does not work for kitchens.

7. 100% perfect deliveries - Errors happens. A kitchen is typically a collection of components, units, panels etc that come together in the clients kitchen for the first time and have to be technically thought through correctly, ordered correctly, interpreted correctly by the order processors, manufactured correctly in the factory, picked and loaded correctly and unloaded correctly. It sounds more complicated than it it but the level of automation in British factories particularly is very very low making the process far more error prone than it ought to be. Just a reality.

 

I dont want to be seen as defending some very poor practises but thats the reality. About 90% of our business is German kitchens and the rest British. We find that one in 3 kitchens has a remedial. The type and severity varies but none that are show stoppers. We put this down to be very technically sound, thorough with our processes, realistic with our customers and are probably at the upper end of the scale for correctness and completeness of our orders. I personally know of very many companies that are just shambolic.

 

Hope this helps 

 

 

Edited by ryder72
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48 minutes ago, Barney12 said:

 

Oh thats encouraging 😮 :( 

The more positive news is my contract is with DIY Kitchens and I paid by credit card.

Thats good. It was the guy at SSS who told me that, so who knows whether it is true or not, didn't seem like a sales strategy to me, as he wasn't bothered either way whether i bought from them or not.

 

@ryder72 I don't think anyone is expecting perfection, indeed i would have been more surprised if there hadn't have been any issues, but for an already damaged unit to be wrapped and shipped with 2 doors clearly missing is totally avoidable. And at the end of the day, we all accept problems, and just want them sorting out swiftly so we can carry on with our lives.

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7 minutes ago, MikeGrahamT21 said:

Thats good. It was the guy at SSS who told me that, so who knows whether it is true or not, didn't seem like a sales strategy to me, as he wasn't bothered either way whether i bought from them or not.

 

@ryder72 I don't think anyone is expecting perfection, indeed i would have been more surprised if there hadn't have been any issues, but for an already damaged unit to be wrapped and shipped with 2 doors clearly missing is totally avoidable. And at the end of the day, we all accept problems, and just want them sorting out swiftly so we can carry on with our lives.

I am absolutely not having a go at anyone here. Honestly.

I just took a summary of opinions and responded as these are surprisingly common in the industry.

What you say is right, but thats where the quality and attitude of a supplier comes into the picture. So I know our supplier might find a door not worth of QC at the final packing stage but the unit is otherwise alright and will ship the unit regardless and send a 'missing item notification' to us so we know whats missing at least 10 days before installation and can notify our client as well as make plans accordingly. Why they would ship a damaged unit is beyond me, but maybe they're incentivised on what ships first time ? Who knows.

 

The more you work in this industry the more your mind boggles and the more I realise personally why German manufacturing is so efficient. 


 

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Just had a delivery by DPD Local with two doors which were missing, well packed but one had the corner snapped off, so need another replacement! Apparently they are coming with replacement unit today so why they couldn’t just attach them to the new unit and bring it all together I’ll never know 

 

edit: the replacement unit never turned up! Sent them another message but doubt I’ll get a reply til Monday at earliest

Edited by MikeGrahamT21

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On 12/06/2020 at 08:38, MikeGrahamT21 said:

 

[...] be warned about Natural Stone Surfaces, if you aren't buying a branded product (i.e. Silestone) its likely a cheap chinese import you are buying, and apparently they are on the verge of going out of business

 

Are you able to elaborate on any of that @MikeGrahamT21? We paid for a kitchen from DIY Kitchens a couple of months ago but have yet to specify a manufacturer/delivery date. The worktop was the 'Innova Unique Marble' which, when visiting the showroom, I do recall they said it was exclusively to them (perhaps just by name though?!), but presumably still supplied via Natural Stone Surfaces?

 

I'm wondering it we might be best cancelling the worktop bit of the order (it might end up being done for us when we hit the 'go' button anyway!) and making sure we go for a branded product that has wider availability...

Edited by MJNewton

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2 hours ago, MJNewton said:

 

Are you able to elaborate on any of that @MikeGrahamT21? We paid for a kitchen from DIY Kitchens a couple of months ago but have yet to specify a manufacturer/delivery date. The worktop was the 'Innova Unique Marble' which, when visiting the showroom, I do recall they said it was exclusively to them (perhaps just by name though?!), but presumably still supplied via Natural Stone Surfaces?

 

I'm wondering it we might be best cancelling the worktop bit of the order (it might end up being done for us when we hit the 'go' button anyway!) and making sure we go for a branded product that has wider availability...


The Innova branded product is what I ordered. It was fitted this week. Unless they print fake labels I can confirm it’s a Spanish product and I have to say I’m impressed with the finished article. The two guys that fitted the worktops were efficient and courteous. 
 

 

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Okay, that sounds reassuring. Do you happen to recall any other info on the label eg branding?

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