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Magnet

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Enjoying a few days off over Christmas 

Yestterday afternoon we somehow managed to gravitate towards Magnet Kitchens 

To be honest it was a toss up between McDonald s or Magnet

Very few places open without going into the city centre

Its years since ive been in magnet Kitchens 

But we’ve done all the German kitchen showrooms Gone through the usual nonsense at Howdens

So we thought we would give it a wurl  

Amazed they have got back to us so quickly 

I’m guessing there not so busy right now

Any thoughts would be most welcome

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I like the breakfast bar.  Is it stone / quartz?

 

Every kitchen = row of chipboard boxes lashed to the wall.

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Magnet kitchens...very attractive...

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2 minutes ago, Mr Punter said:

I like the breakfast bar.  Is it stone / quartz?

 

Every kitchen = row of chipboard boxes lashed to the wall.

My thoughts exactly

 

The worktops are quarts or granite

Though the German ones we have seen tend to do a mixture of laminate and carndine which seems to work out more exspensive than part granite or quarts 

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Looks good - made me consider giving them a whirl.  According to Wren, they trade on their name and are no longer well made - but they would say that wouldn't they

Wren say they construct with solid backboards whereas none of the others do. (As in Magnet, B&Q. Howdens and one other I can't remember - they had examples of carcasses from each of their comparisons) 

They don't have a wide range of choice though and I wasn't impressed with the salesman who I talked to.  He was all 'come back when you are ready to order' Whilst my thoughts were to get information before it becomes urgent

 

 

 

Edited by Hecateh

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9 minutes ago, Hecateh said:

Looks good - made me consider giving them a whirl.  According to Wren, they trade on their name and are no longer well made - but they would say that wouldn't they

Wren say they construct with solid backboards whereas none of the others do. (As in Magnet, B&Q. Howdens and one other I can't remember - they had examples of carcasses from each of their comparisons) 

They don't have a wide range of choice though and I wasn't impressed with the salesman who I talked to.  He was all 'come back when you are ready to order' Whilst my thoughts were to get information before it becomes urgent

 

 

 

I do take your point with the come back when you are ready to order

i can’t understand sales being so short sighted

We had this with block and beam floor and windows

But as you correctly point out

You need all the info well in advance of actually being ready for the product

 

none solid backs is something I’m getting used to My wife has just reminded me that the reason I had only visited magnet on on previous occasion Was the hardboard backs

All the independent kitchen suplyer that we have visited use between 8 and 18 mil backs But designs seem to be a bit basic

All the German kitchens are hardboard backed

 

we tried Wren But felt like Oak furniture land with sales looking to close a deal NOW

 

The Magnet salesmen has just called me to say he has all the prices for the kitchen picture

So I will hopefully be able to post them tomorrow

 

I recently asked the question had anyone any information on Ballerina kitchens

I was very impressed with there product and design

we have since learned that the Toped a poll of 20 kitchen suppliers In Germany for 2015& 2016 also

Beating Simatic by a long way

We called into Simatic early in our search

Tge salesman laughed at our meager budget of £20000 

 (Suply only) 

A real eye opener 

 

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59 minutes ago, Hecateh said:

[...] According to Wren [...]

 

... who I now believe are the UKs most complained about kitchen company !!

 

I think @Nickfromwales refuses to go near them, as do a lot of people !

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14 minutes ago, PeterW said:

 

... who I now believe are the UKs most complained about kitchen company !!

 

I think @Nickfromwales refuses to go near them, as do a lot of people !

I had a feeling this; or something like it may be the case, that's why I said 'according to Wren' and not 'Wren make the best kitchens' which is what they told me 

:D

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33 minutes ago, PeterW said:

 

... who I now believe are the UKs most complained about kitchen company !!

 

I think @Nickfromwales refuses to go near them, as do a lot of people !

I found the experience from start to finish seamless. Just to add balance! 

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I've used Magnet for Larder, Utility and Kennel and am happy with quality and price.  Really good Service and delivery, including correcting a couple of errors. Had issues with Howdens in the passed with loads missing from the delivery and then taking many trips back to get it corrected, so wasn't going to do that again.

 

A Trade account gives discounts equivalent to their "70% off Sale", and the sales assistants can then generally do a little bit more, if pushed, by throwing a few bits in for free. We ordered via a Magnet Trade store rather than via a retail store.

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32 minutes ago, IanR said:

I've used Magnet for Larder, Utility and Kennel and am happy with quality and price.  Really good Service and delivery, including correcting a couple of errors. Had issues with Howdens in the passed with loads missing from the delivery and then taking many trips back to get it corrected, so wasn't going to do that again.

 

A Trade account gives discounts equivalent to their "70% off Sale", and the sales assistants can then generally do a little bit more, if pushed, by throwing a few bits in for free. We ordered via a Magnet Trade store rather than via a retail store.

I’ve had an account with Howdens for years

doors skirtings etc are excellent 

 But when it comes to kitchens 

There not great 

ive had them price for the last five I’ve fitted Only to get a call a month later after I’d ordered elsewhere To be offered a massive 

reduction

I say the same thing each time

Can we do a deal now

 it don’t call me in a months time with a managers special

They always do

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It is horses for courses - @Mr Punter is correct (and very funny) just a load of chipboard boxes lashed to the wall, and in lashing they probably bugger up your air tightness. Anyway the clear fact is, as he also hints, that its about the doors (painted MDF, book matched obscure veneers or solid gold), the worktop (Melamine, Quartz, Wood, Corrian or whatever), the appliances (double dishwashers, double ovens, Range cookers, AGA, Fridge, Freezer, coffee maker(s) and built in juicer - don't forget to the get brand right, if you cannot afford Gaggeanu - and if you have to ask the price you can't afford it, we won't think the worse of you) and above all the 'usability' of it all so you can entertain your friends while simultaneously producing a gourmet meal that would, had you bothered to enter, have put you at the top of the Master Chef league.

 

All you need to remember is that when you are buying a kitchen you are buying a workplace that has to double as a badge of wealth while exuding your interpretation of effortless style and you had better hope your friends agree otherwise social death, or worse, them sniggering to each other as the leave - 'did you see that kitchen I bet it came straight from ....'! Curiously the super rich don't bother with kitchens because they never go there - only the hired hands do that, and for them IKEA is good enough!

 

 

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1 hour ago, jamiehamy said:

I found the experience from start to finish seamless. Just to add balance! 

 

I think there are too many variables on Wren for them to be consistent - they use subcontract fitters who are on a price to complete, and the showrooms are on targets to sell and upsell kitchens - that is a recipe for disaster..!  Howden's can be just as bad with missing stock - my last kitchen from them was missing a box on delivery and yet even when me, the driver and the rep told the warehouse manager it wasn't there we were told it had to be as it wasn't in the warehouse.... it was on someone elses order....

 

Like you @jamiehamy I know someone locally who had a Wren kitchen and can't fault it and the fitting was perfect, but when they called them back after 3 months to sort 2 doors that the hinges had moved on it took 4 visits and 3 complaints to put it right. When they asked the last team what happened to the ones who fitted it, the answer was "they were sacked as they took too long..!"

 

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Wherever I buy from I intend having it fitted by the lads doing the rest of the work.  ... Unless I fall out with them before that.  I#ve seen some work of theirs and it's excellent

 

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2 hours ago, nod said:

I’ve had an account with Howdens for years

doors skirtings etc are excellent 

 But when it comes to kitchens 

There not great 

ive had them price for the last five I’ve fitted Only to get a call a month later after I’d ordered elsewhere To be offered a massive 

reduction

I say the same thing each time

Can we do a deal now

 it don’t call me in a months time with a managers special

They always do

 

Interesting. I have found my local Howdens pretty good. Very solid units, and factory built saves time and makes it uniform. I find their (room not kitchen cupboard) doors relatively expensive, and I have not tried pricing their skirtings as I have a wood place locally that beats the best online prices.

 

But I am really a customer with a trade account, and I have been doing only one or two kitchens a year rather than a lot.

 

I think we need to clarify what solid backs to units means ... I am used to seeing hardboard backs where the construction is more like chassis plus glued panels rather than glued monocoque, and I have some units from a former Swedish company called Kalmar that date back to the 1970/1980s and are still very sound. Long story!

 

But my current Howden's Kitchen has MDF backs of either 4 or 6mm in 18mm carcasses. Solid backs?

 

Ferdinand

 

Edited by Ferdinand

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My local Howdens has a large turnover of staff

May explain a few things

Though I have a friend who fits three or four each month and rarely uses anyone else

He gets there best price first time

Bit like you I’m one or two pair year Small order to them 

 

we’ve two smaller kitchen company’s near were we live

The cabinets are really sturdy

Both use 18 mil mdf one 10 mil backs other 18 Not much chance of them going out of square

There designs are not cutting edge 

and both seem to have variations of three or four basic designs 

I’m guessing if you were to have one of these smaller company’s fit your kitchen You would get a far superior job to one fitted by the big boys

 

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5 hours ago, PeterW said:

 

... who I now believe are the UKs most complained about kitchen company !!

 

I think @Nickfromwales refuses to go near them, as do a lot of people !

I was only the fitter, but they still cost ME money. Delivery drivers REFUSED point blank to do the first drop ( requested so we weren't all sat arout scratching our arses ), but no chance. Told the stuff had to come off the wagon in perfect harmony, according to the order in which it was loaded onto it. Fair enough, can't argue with that methodology can you? 🤔

Wagon turns up late afternoon and the kitchen was third deep so they basically threw most of the other two kitchens which were in the way out onto the street, then, whist tired and pissed off from this perfectly orchestrated ballet of bullshit, proceeded to bash and unsympathetically wrestle the kitchen I was fitting into the property. Then they slung the others back onto the wagon in no real order. Tidy. 

5 damaged units 

6 damaged doors ( as they're ready fitted to the damaged units ) 

Most decor end panels either wrong or damaged 

Oh, and they gave us two items from another customers order. They must have been right pissed off. I didn't notice until towards the end of the fit as we had to abandon it twice due to duff parts. 

Gloss white decor ends, the tower ones retail at £200+, are full gloss foil on 1 face / 4 sides and the other face is Matt White with open seems where the Matt meets the foil. Utter dogshit. Radius's on the 3 sides and square edged at the junction. They came damaged but I could have wiggled something if the bloody things were reversible. Nope, that would be too easy. 👎

Replacement decor panels arrived either damaged or a different colour white. Weeks and weeks ( 7 iirc ) passed before the manager got involved and told that they'd even stopped putting the wrappers and foam corners on the deliveries. He assured us the next one ( the 900x960 breakfast bar one ) would be delivered super fast, by a unicorn on a bed of cotton wool. It again arrived with no additional wrapping, other than the cardboard, and again smashed on one corner. As it was gloss one side only, again we had to charge for a wasted journey as we couldn't even flip it over, ( which at this stage the customer would have accepted ). 

To summarise. 

Wren. 

1) Showrooms are stunning. If you go in there with cash, you'll leave with a kitchen without a doubt. 

2) That's where the dream ends. 

3) Big wait, and then a load of broken, uncared for stuff arrives which is unfit to install. 

4) Fitters won't hang around so you lose your 1st choice fitters

5) New fitters get pissed off when replacement gear also is a load of 💩 so they leave too

6) Go to Magnet. Everything in the expensive and lovely showroom is available from the trade outlet in the building next door. £13k retail kitchen for change of £7k. Delivered with nothing damaged. Replacement parts turnaround much quicker. ( I dropped my chisel and it fell against a door, damaging it. I told the salesman what had happened and as he couldn't believe I hadn't spun some elaborate story and blamed them for it being damaged replaced it free of charge ). 

If I ever get asked to do a wren kitchen, it'll be with a huge disclaimer which I'll want signing before I start. 

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3 hours ago, PeterW said:

 

I think there are too many variables on Wren for them to be consistent - they use subcontract fitters who are on a price to complete, and the showrooms are on targets to sell and upsell kitchens - that is a recipe for disaster..!  Howden's can be just as bad with missing stock - my last kitchen from them was missing a box on delivery and yet even when me, the driver and the rep told the warehouse manager it wasn't there we were told it had to be as it wasn't in the warehouse.... it was on someone elses order....

 

Like you @jamiehamy I know someone locally who had a Wren kitchen and can't fault it and the fitting was perfect, but when they called them back after 3 months to sort 2 doors that the hinges had moved on it took 4 visits and 3 complaints to put it right. When they asked the last team what happened to the ones who fitted it, the answer was "they were sacked as they took too long..!"

 

After the showroom it just goes south pretty damn quickly. If they gave the same attention to the production line, quality control, wrapping up and caring for of the items before transport, and had staff delivering the stuff who actually gave a shit, they would likely excel. They don't......so they do not. 

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Our kitchen was from Homebase. Couldn't deliver first attempt as the truck couldn't get down the lane. When it did arrive all that was (slightly) damaged was one 3m worktop that I got to keep anyway and made good use of! ;)

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9 hours ago, PeterW said:

 

I think there are too many variables on Wren for them to be consistent - they use subcontract fitters who are on a price to complete, and the showrooms are on targets to sell and upsell kitchens - that is a recipe for disaster..!  Howden's can be just as bad with missing stock - my last kitchen from them was missing a box on delivery and yet even when me, the driver and the rep told the warehouse manager it wasn't there we were told it had to be as it wasn't in the warehouse.... it was on someone elses order....

 

Like you @jamiehamy I know someone locally who had a Wren kitchen and can't fault it and the fitting was perfect, but when they called them back after 3 months to sort 2 doors that the hinges had moved on it took 4 visits and 3 complaints to put it right. When they asked the last team what happened to the ones who fitted it, the answer was "they were sacked as they took too long..!"

 

Maybe that's the common denominator - fitting. I fitted it myself :-) 

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We have a Wren kitchen which I fitted. There was nothing wrong with the build quality of the units, everything I ordered turned up and it was easy to fit. The crappy part was their design. They designed in a 250mm base unit which was too small and would have meant having two large fillets in the corners. I had to buy an extra base unit that was 350mm wide so I now have a spare 250mm wide unit because they wouldn't exchange.

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2 hours ago, jamiehamy said:

Maybe that's the common denominator - fitting. I fitted it myself :-) 

 

I'm certain that the two main problems with kitchens are deliveries and fitting.  Do the fitting yourself and you will almost certainly end up with a much better job than any kitchen fitter will do, but it may well take you a lot longer.  Our joiner was hanging doors whilst I was fitting the kitchen and was chuckling about me taking two weeks to fit a kitchen they would have done in a  day and a half. 

 

Deliveries can be a nightmare from anyone, in my experience.  Sometimes you get a really good delivery firm, often you get a mediocre one.  Our kitchen delivery driver was hopeless, he smashed up the newly laid drive after being told that there was no way he could reverse up it, as his tail hoist bar would bottom out and rip up the pavers (it did).  He flung open the doors and one hit the fascia of the gable roof, putting a big dent in it.  And then we found that around 20% of our (solid oak) kitchen parts were unwrapped and rolling loose around the floor of the truck.................

 

We had the drive and house repaired at their expense and had lost of replacement parts supplied for all the damaged ones.  Then, when I came to fit the kitchen I found they had supplied a 600mm unit when we needed a 500mm unit, so they had to come and replace that too.

 

Had the despatch checking, packaging and delivery been done properly we'd have had no complaints and they would have made a profit on the sale.  Given we billed them well over £2k for damage they caused to the drive and house and that they had to re-supply lots of parts, I'm sure they ended up losing money on the job.

 

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Also I think if you didn’t have to pay upfront 

You would get a much better service and final product 

 

 

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I have to say, we put an Ikea kitchen in our last house and the build quality was amazing (good) - it wasn't their cheapest, but it was nowhere near "designer" money (this was a few years ago, so I can't speak for currently) but we were surprised at how much better quality it was compared to what it replaced. I got a joiner relative to fit it and he decided to recommend them in future to customers, saying it was the most solid of the mass produced ones he'd worked with.  Having said that, like 3 piece suites, 99% of kitchens are basically made out of junk underneath the covers, with a truly staggering markup. I mean if you were designing from scratch, who would choose chipboard as a base material in areas which may get wet? One leak under the sink and with most kitchens you've got a soggy mess.  I do think that like suites, kitchens are a big quality con job (like mass built houses) that everyone just goes along with as A. they don't know any different and B. the price jump to good quality is big.   Early on we'd looked in B&Q and when even their display models were rattly and falling to bits, it kind of told you everything you needed to know!   

 

As JSH says above,  I'll be doing the fitting myself this time, which will take a lot longer, but means a careful job. Our joiner was great last time, but I simply can't afford it.  

 

Interesting to read about delivery and Howdens - my branch simply says they don't deliver anything!  I've not bought a kitchen from them but got doors from there and what a pain it was to get them to book them with a courier.

Edited by curlewhouse

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Just got the supply only quote from Magnet

Quite surprised at the unit prices

hope you can read the photos ok

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