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3 hours ago, Vee6 dan said:

I’ve had one from them, no problems apart from delivered a day later than planned. Kitchen units were equal to that of Howdens according to my fitter. Somethings they liked such as sink unit brace was the other way up so didn’t have to be cut out and some bits they didn’t. Howdens legs can be adjusted from inside the unit rather than twisting the leg underneath.
I recommend them to other people of which 4 have been purchased without any trouble. 

 

Thanks for the info, much appreciated and is useful to know. I'm trying to (probably) do the impossible and get something meaningfully cheaper than a German kitchen but that is better than Howdens or wicks etc. I'm happy to pay a bit more than a Wickes or Howdens, I'd like to avoid the latter, our last kitchen was Howdens. I wasn't very impressed with it at all and they're difficult to deal with insisting on dealing via your fitters account not to mention all the discount bullshit. The discount nonsense alone is enough to put me off, all the doubling glazing bullshittery should have stopped years ago imo.

 

As above, I'm looking at DIY kitchens but might given John Lewis a look too, any experiences on either gratefully received.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Matt60 said:

 

Thanks for the info, much appreciated and is useful to know. I'm trying to (probably) do the impossible and get something meaningfully cheaper than a German kitchen but that is better than Howdens or wicks etc. I'm happy to pay a bit more than a Wickes or Howdens, I'd like to avoid the latter, our last kitchen was Howdens. I wasn't very impressed with it at all and they're difficult to deal with insisting on dealing via your fitters account not to mention all the discount bullshit. The discount nonsense alone is enough to put me off, all the doubling glazing bullshittery should have stopped years ago imo.

 

As above, I'm looking at DIY kitchens but might given John Lewis a look too, any experiences on either gratefully received.

 

Same situation. I suspect there is some core truth to that "at list price" the german kitchens of well known manufacturers are better than the UK ones, but once you get into the actual prices you can achieve with UK discounts, crappy sales tactics and buy 2 for 1, get somewhat lucky with the actual installer team and etc etc, you will be able to reach a similar, perhaps even better value for money. And German installers don't stray too far from list prices I don't think.

 

German kitchens seem a 'safer bet', but if you know what you want, and the particular 'thing' you want is somewhat straightforward you can save some on going UK.

 

Current gut feel, take it for what you will.

Edited by puntloos

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Matt60 said:

As above, I'm looking at DIY kitchens but might given John Lewis a look too, any experiences on either gratefully received.

About a year ago I went for a kitchen design consultation with John Lewis. Complete waste of time. The context of my visit was that I had installed DIY Kitchens in the last two places we'd lived and members of my family and friends of ours had done the same so we were quite familiar with their product and fairly satisfied, but I was starting to tire of the DIY Kitchens aesthetic. It's probably one of only two criticisms I have of them. They have 9 or 10 different ranges, with the additional option of colour matching any RAL or Farrow and Ball colour on their painted range, but in terms of more interesting contemporary designs, they are quite limited. John Lewis on the other hand had a very attractive looking kitchen on their website which was a blend between an in frame and a more contemporary look which was exactly what I was looking for. But when I turned up at the consultation with my DIY Kitchens plan that I'd generated myself on the planner, and asked JL to recreate that in the look of the kitchen they had that I liked, many aspects of my layout was just not possible for JL. They are incredibly limited in terms of the unit offering versus DIY Kitchens.

 

DIY Kitchens' other issue is that there is no official option to make simple adjustments to the units. For example, in all (or at least all the ranges I've looked at) their wall units come in a 300mm depth only. This might be a new development because they definitely used to sell a deeper wall unit. I don't particularly like deep wall units unless they are pull outs, but in certain situations a slightly deeper unit would be helpful. Unofficially, one can sometimes request bespoke fabrication. I'm not sure how they determine whether or not they want to make it, the website just says they decide on a case by case basis. I've actually just emailed to ask them if they will make a set of 6 wall units for me that are 330mm in depth. That's a non standard size, but I would have accepted 350mm or possibly even 360mm.

 

But stay clear of John Lewis - they are even more limited than DIY!

Edited by Adsibob
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Moving on a bit to worktops. I seem to remember being told that Granite is not all it cracks up to be (excuse the pun). Does it stain or chip or something? There was a long running thread where one contributor owned up to buying cheap laminate and changing it when necessary.

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1 hour ago, patp said:

Moving on a bit to worktops. I seem to remember being told that Granite is not all it cracks up to be (excuse the pun). Does it stain or chip or something? There was a long running thread where one contributor owned up to buying cheap laminate and changing it when necessary.

Granite and marble are natural materials so although they look beautiful they do absorb liquids, which mean they do stain. Vendors will tell you that it has been sealed blah blah blah, but in my experience those seals rarely last, and even if it's possible to reseal, by the time you've noticed it's usually already stained.

Wood is the only other natural material (apart from maybe slate) which is worth considering. That will also stain, but it is easier to care for if you have the discipline of regularly treating it with boiled linseed oil (a gentle sand and a coat of the oil once every 6 months should do it). I would still never lay a wooden worktop around a sink though.

Worktops are really an example of you get what you pay for. If you are prepared to invest the £££ the man made composites like Dekton and Silestone are really incredible products that can almost look natural but have the benefits of man made products. Dekton in particularly is virtually bomb proof.

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14 minutes ago, Adsibob said:

Granite and marble are natural materials so although they look beautiful they do absorb liquids, which mean they do stain. Vendors will tell you that it has been sealed blah blah blah, but in my experience those seals rarely last, and even if it's possible to reseal, by the time you've noticed it's usually already stained.

Wood is the only other natural material (apart from maybe slate) which is worth considering. That will also stain, but it is easier to care for if you have the discipline of regularly treating it with boiled linseed oil (a gentle sand and a coat of the oil once every 6 months should do it). I would still never lay a wooden worktop around a sink though.

Worktops are really an example of you get what you pay for. If you are prepared to invest the £££ the man made composites like Dekton and Silestone are really incredible products that can almost look natural but have the benefits of man made products. Dekton in particularly is virtually bomb proof.

Have to agree with this. If you can stretch to it solid surfaces such as Dekton, DuPont, Silestone, etc are the way to go but even in these you've different price points like Corian, HiMac, Dekton, etc. Corian and HiMac can get scratches which can be buffed out but Dekton is more durable again. I'd specify these products a lot for hospital reception desks, university canteens, etc where they need to last and be easily cleaned. The abuse they can stand up to is incredible.

 

Going back to the kitchens I've Ikea carcass (all joints glued giving the solid feel) under an expensive solid surface worktop so the whole kitchen feels and looks good. We 'Ikea Hacked' some of the kitchen units to provide custom designs and purchased handles ourselves. 

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On 07/04/2021 at 14:30, Matt60 said:

I'm in a similar position to a few other posts on here, I'dlike something better than your average Howdens, but I am not willing to spend 10 of thousands on a kitchen.

 

I've been looking at these; Better Kitchens and like what I see on their site. Is there anyone on here who has experience of fitting a kitchen from them and can give some insight on how it measures up against the competition? 

 

Interesting to hear about the Better Kitchens experience of Vee6 dan - and this thread is a really helpful discussion generally as I've just been casting around (including the Wren £20k buy-now-to-lock-in-the-discount experience). I costed up like for like true handleless base/wall/tall units and inserts/trim (but exc worktops) between BK and Wren and BK came out at £3800 vs Wren £8000. Still not sure about BK though as it looks like around an 80% satisfied customer rate - and bits of their website are somewhat poorly maintained - but maybe that's because there isn't a massive marketing mark-up.....

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I wouldn't cross the road to piss over Wren. Showroom is drop dead gorgeous, killer salespeople, "buy now or your children and the planet will die before you get back in your car".....etc......and then nothing after you have left and have paid, other than two fingers when the order all arrives smashed to bits  by an over-worked angry delivery driver and huge turn-around times to get replacements 'when they can fit you in'. I lost a lot of money on 2 of their installs, when replacement panels and cabinets etc kept on getting redelivered by the same angry driver in the same state. The builder had to threaten the driver with a slap around the face due to just how badly he was treating the clients order whilst getting it out of the wagon and lobbed onto the pavement. 7 damaged deliveries of key decor panels which halted the whole install,  and when the client went to the showroom to protest the showroom manager took over and got the transport manager to deliver the new white gloss decor ends, and proudly opened it up, removing all the 34 layers of bubble-wrap, to reveal the new hand delivered panel, damage free, in fcuking grey.

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On 14/04/2021 at 14:52, Dudda said:

Going back to the kitchens I've Ikea carcass (all joints glued giving the solid feel) under an expensive solid surface worktop so the whole kitchen feels and looks good. We 'Ikea Hacked' some of the kitchen units to provide custom designs and purchased handles ourselves. 

I did this in a previous house . IKEA units ; granite worktop . Estate agents would all “ wow ! “ then state “ That’s a 30 grand kitchen “ . I wasn’t of course . But I may of mentioned the estate agents “ view” to every prospective buyer .... 😁

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