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 Post subject: advice/opinions please
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:55 am 
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Hi Peeps

I've got a quote from diy kitchens for the Luca Handleless Kitchen
Code:
http://www.diy-kitchens.com/kitchens/handleless/allcolours/galley/


I'm awaiting a quote from Howdens for the Gloss Integrated Handle Kitchen
Code:
https://www.howdens.com/kitchen-collection/kitchen-families/gloss-integrated-handle/gloss-white-integrated-handle/


In the event that both quotes are similar which kitchen would you advise purchasing ?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:49 pm 
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Everyone I know seems to like Howdens Kitchens. They're pre built and if you have anything missing they're normally quick to replace.

I've never heard of diy Kitchens so can't comment on them.



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:00 pm 
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The carcases from DIY-Kitchens are far superiour to that of Howden. Better board used, better edging, better hinges, drawers, feet and are gluded together perfectly square as opposed to some twisted units you can get from Howdens.

In all honesty DIY beat Howdens in every department except one and that is time scale. All DIY kitchens are made to order so can have lead times from 2-5 weeks depending on how busy they are, Howdens can normally supply within a day or so or at most a week but the reduction in quality isn't worth the time saving.

One thing though. I presume you have done the quote from DIY yourself? Just ensure you have all the items needed like end panels, plinths, cornice etc etc so you know you are comparing a like for like quote

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:08 pm 
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I've never seen a diy but we use Howden. There pretty straight forward but what ever you do don't buy the white goods the lamona range



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:45 pm 
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Colour Republic wrote:
The carcases from DIY-Kitchens are far superiour to that of Howden. Better board used, better edging, better hinges, drawers, feet and are gluded together perfectly square as opposed to some twisted units you can get from Howdens.

In all honesty DIY beat Howdens in every department except one and that is time scale. All DIY kitchens are made to order so can have lead times from 2-5 weeks depending on how busy they are, Howdens can normally supply within a day or so or at most a week but the reduction in quality isn't worth the time saving.

One thing though. I presume you have done the quote from DIY yourself? Just ensure you have all the items needed like end panels, plinths, cornice etc etc so you know you are comparing a like for like quote


After much googling and reading the excellent advice offered from yourself from this post

http://www.ultimatehandyman.co.uk/forum1/kitchen-supplier-recommendations-t69832.html

I had come to realise the that DIY Kitchens are better, but I live in Scotland and just couldn't wait the 2 - 4 weeks delivery. I'm just hoping that the actual doors I'm getting are as good as or better than the ones supplies with DIY kitchens, howdens ones are MDF glazed DIY kitchens are MDF laquered, can you tell me what the difference is please ? the actual thickness of the MDF doesn't bother me to much.

Thanks

Edit, I sent DIY Kitchens the plan that I had to ensure everything was included.
There was only £250 price difference with both quotes, DIY K being the cheapest.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:45 pm 
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Hi Shanamat,

MDF Lacquered doors are basically a door which has had numerous coats of paint applied. Doors produced in this way offer a highly durable finish in general. Some are better than others depending on the thickness of the paint and a;so the quality of the paint used in the first place. Although in general most are of good quality and to a certain standard.

MDF glazed doors isn't really a recognised term, I think that could be smoke and mirrors by the salesman. Looking at Howdens spec the doors are in fact PET Gloss doors. Which is similar to a foil wrap all PET is a type of resin (you may find some of your shampoo bottles made of a similar compostition). Foil wraps have a much wider range of quality, from extremly poor to half decent quality (PET being in the higher scale), although it is rare for any of them to be considered on par with a lacquered finish as .

I know you say you're not worried about door thickness but given the style you've gone for, you should. 'J' profile handleless doors have the handle routed out from the door, the thinner the door, the smaller the gap. This has 2 problems 1) It means the grip can be very thin and so allows only the tip of your fingers to grab the door and make opporation clumbersome 2) It means the back rail of the 'J' profile is mch thinner and most susceptible to damage.

The Luca doors are 22mm and therefore the minimum you should look for with a 'J' profile, unsure of Howdens, they could well be 22m too but double check.

To be honest, the carcases are better frome DIY, the hinges are and so are the doors. If you can wait those extra few weeks it really would make a big difference on the over quality and longevity of your kitchen.

If you really can't wait then can I suggest you look at Benchmarx instead of Howdens. Where their doors are lacquered.

Benchmarx units are cam and dowel which isn't as strong as glued, however Howdens whilst use glued units, it isn't done very well. Neither Howdens or Benchmarx can touch DIY's unit quality but given the choice for an other the shelf product I would tend to lean towards Benchmarxs becuase of the improved quality doors.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:52 pm 
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Haggle with howdens,you'll be able to knock a huge amount of the price. Also as others have said don't go near the Lamont appliances,they are crap.
If you look at the breakdown on your howdens quote the discounts will be anything from 50 to 80 percent off rrp. The prices of course are massively inflated and nobody pays full whack,those prices don't exist. 70-80 percent discount is about the maximum they will go to unless you are buying massive amounts.
They usually throw in some freebies as well,router cutters,mitre bond and a screw trade case every now and then. I've even had a unika worktop jig chucked in for nowt.
As for diy kitchens,never used them but rest assured they will be better quality all round if colour Republic reccomends them,he knows his stuff on kitchens.
If there ain't much in price I'd go with diy kitchens. If you need it now then try howdens but haggle!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:05 pm 
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Thank you all for the replies, especially the in depth reply from Colour Republic.

It's safe to say I'm now in a complete quandary. If anyone read my intro post it says I'm getting a kitchen put in while my hubby is away, I am determined to get this right and thought I was on the right tracks, how wrong was I (please be gentle with the replies lol)

First off Howdens doors only come in 2 thicknesses, 16 and 18mm ! I did ask the salesman the difference and he did say it was only the grip, I suppose common sense should have told me that the j style doors weakest point would be at the top, and as you've correctly pointed out, the thickness of the doors does indeed matter - a lot !!

I'm at the stage where my ceiling has been taken back to the rafters, a new one went up today. All my tiles are off with a plasterer coming tomorrow, all wall and base units are stripped out, so I've already had almost a week of living with just one very small worktop between my hob and sink. The joiner is booked to start work on Monday as I had "almost" settled on the howdens kitchen (before I read the replies) to this post, however I have not signed anything yet, I'm led to believe that howdens have everything in stock but I'm not sure if cancelling a verbal contract with the joiner would create any problems ie will the joiner have put my order in for me already ?

There's no question of me cancelling the joiner so as far as I can see it would just mean he's not doing the job for approx a month, or am I missing anything obvious?

1 last question, which could save the day for me (time wise) as I really don't fancy living in the conditions I'm in at the minute - I got a quote from B&Q for the glossy white Cooke and Lewis units. (Appleby) B&Q assured me that the carcass on this range is not the Cheaper IT carcasses, I have a complete breakdown of prices and I have been quoted for the "uniclic" carcass. I was told these door are solid wood base and lacquered, they went to great lengths as to the quality, and I must admit out of all the places I've looked at these did appear glossier, but for the life of me I can't remember how thick they were, can anyone enlighten me ? The price for this is £200 cheaper than howdens, so it's coming in at the same price as DIY K, as I'm typing this out I think I'm answering my own question, does it look like im paying more to howdens but getting less quality doors?
The only reason I had against B&Q was simply they're reputation when compared against howdens, plus I would say the joiner swayed me a bit by pointing out how easily it is to chop and change things with howdens should they be damaged, which I appreciate is a massive advantage both for the joiner and customer for completion.

I think what I'm now asking is howdens versus B&Q as it's pretty obvious that I should be patient and wait a month or so and order online and hope nothing comes damaged.

Soz for such a long winded post but I have a lot of decision making to do between now and tomorrow.

Edit, Soz although I haven't acknowledged your explanation about lacquer and PEP doors, I think I've understood it in (blondeness terms lol) PEP and foil wrap doors are basically just a kind of covering and glossed over ? And lacquered is superior as its painted first ? - I did warn in my intro post I'd ask a lot of stupid Q's ::b


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:50 pm 
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First re foil/vinyl wrap doors and lacquared doors. Vinyl/foil wrap doors are basically mdf with a plastic film wrapped round them and that's it, no gloss over it, the plastic or resin it self is glossy.

Lacquered are MDF doors with multiple coats of paint and then a lacquer coat over the top which produces a flatter finish with a higher gloss value.

Vinyl/foil wrap doors scratch easier than lacquered doors. Have you every seen kitchen doors which have a slight swirly patten on them? these are most likely wrapped doors and is caused by microscratching when cleaning.


Now on to B&Q. Firstly i'm surprised they have come in cheaper than howdens and even more surprised they have come in anywhere near DIY. Have you got the actual range name they have quoted on.

Regards to the click together units. I can't comment too much as I have never tried them and don't know who makes them for them. The only people who I know manufactures clic together units is BA Components. From some of the video I saw when they brought them out a few years back they did look quite strong but again not having seen them first hand I can't comment as something can look quite different in a video, especially a promo video! Keep in mind your fitter may charge extra to assemple the units.

If you haven't given the order to anybody and agreed it, then yes you shouldn't be liable for anything to the supplier. You also shouldn't be 'liable' to the kitchen fitter if you haven't signed anything, however keep in mind most are self employed and last minute cancellations can hit a tradesmen hard as it is unlikely he would be able to fill that time he had booked in for you, it's also a possibility he may not be available in a months time.

All of the above isn't really a reason to compromise on the quality of the kitchen as they are always a big outlay. Although if you wanted a halfway measure with only a compromise on the quality of the units and not the doors. You could get just the carcases from Howdens and then the doors from another supplier. It complicates matters and isn't quite how you kitchen fitter would have priced it up, so he may re-quote at a slightly higher price, so that needs to be taken in to consideration.

Sorry I didn't realise you were quite so far in to the re-fit. Your choices are limited, you either wait 2 - 3 weeks and beg you kitchen fitter for forgiveness. Or you go with an off the shelf product from Howdens, B&Q or Benchmarx. To be honest they all have their downsides with regards to quality, be it the units or the doors. Out of the 3 I would personally go with Benchmarx because of the quality of the doors. (Benchmarx are the same kitchens as Wickes as they are both owned by travis perkins, also the units are pre-built like howdens so shouldn't make much difference to the kitchen fitter)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:45 am 
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Thanks once again for your reply :thumbright:

When I've spoken with the joiner this morning, he's been understanding and said it isn't a problem to wait, I tried explaining about the reason for cancelling was down to the quality of the doors but he didn't seem to understand and just told me he's fitted loads of the units I was going to order and they looked nice !?! Which I have no doubt they will have done, but given your excellent advice - its not the quality or finish that I want.

I'm sorry I never acknowledged your advice regarding Benchmarx kitchens, I think I panicked a bit and jumped onto B&Q purely because I had a breakdown quote from them, I've double checked the email I have from B&Q and it does state that the quote is for the C & L High Gloss White, B&Q do have a book with they're prices in it but you need to add prices of hinges etc, hence the reason for asking for a breakdown quote.

Back to Benchmarx, I'd never heard of them before but there is a store approx 15 miles from me, they have a lovely Kitchen in there called Holburn Gloss White, so I'm hoping to visit they're showroom either today or tomorrow to see it. Again I dont know the thickness of either B&Q or Benchmarx doors but if it transpires they are not the 22mm that you advised for J doors then I'll change to doors with handles. I note what you say about keeping in mind my fitter may charge extra to build the click carcass, would there be a massive difference for 16 units ?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:11 am 
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Have a read of this thread I started a while back, I looked at both Howdens and DIY and there was some brilliant advice form this forum, especially Colour Republic.

kitchen-supplier-recommendations-t69832.html

In the end I went with DIY, the quality is fantastic and I wouldn't hesitate to use them again. This is how it turned out:

new-kitchen-t70907.html

Shout if there are any specific questions I can answer.

Edit - must learn to read, I see you found the thread above already :oops:



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:50 am 
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Hi dandan, that thread comes up great in google rankings :thumbright: The reason I registered on here was as a result of it and the great advice within it.

I've only been regged on here for a week, the advice is outstanding from all the members but especially from Colour Republic.

Update on where I am regarding buying, my joiner has got a quote from Benchmarx which is £300 more expensive than DIY K, they can deliver within 48 hours, I've asked the joiner to see if he can get the quote down a few hundred quid and if he can to tell them that I'll place the order today once I've been over and seen it.

Forgot to say I did look at your kitchen dandan, it's beautiful.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:32 am 
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Hi Shanamat,

Most builders and joiners will say that they've fitted loads of Howdens, Benchmarx, Magnet kitchens and they all look nice and never had a problem. But that is because that's all they've ever fitted. If all you've ever eaten is battery hen eggs then you can't really compare it to an organic free range one.

There is nothing wrong with Howdens, Benchmarx, Magnet etc kitchens. They serve a purpose as they are quick and easy to get hold of. Howdens had sales of £1.07 billion pounds last year over 589 stores, clearly they sell a lot of kitchens in the UK! But they are a 'builders' kitchen. There are quick to source and readily accessable, that's why builders love them. But if you can get a far superior kitchen for the same price, it makes sense to do so. The only time you should really consider them is when time is a factor and you need it NOW.

If push comes to shove and a customer really can't wait then I would still install one.

The last time I installed one was just 4 years ago. I posted it on here at the time - white-and-aubergine-kitchen-t45348.html

It looks nice and to most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference by just looking at it. But it's also what's under the hood which counts that determines how it lasts.

Here is another kitchen we finished just recently - grey-and-anthractie-hanleless-kitchen-t76970.html

Clearly the second kitchen cost more but in fact the the units themselves didn't, despite being in a whole different bracket of quality. (The kitchen wasn't from DIY Kitchens but the units are of very similar quality)

If your kitchen fitter is happy to wait, then i'd go with DIY-Kitchens. There are plenty of other jobs you can get on with in the kitchen so it doesn't slow your overall project down to much, like the decorating, the flooring etc. I promise you once your fitter has fitted one he'll see the difference himself.

As I said given the choice of Howdens or Benchmarx, i'd go with Benchmarx for the improved quality doors. The carcases from Benchmarx aren't any better than the ones from howdens, technically speaking you could say they are worse because they use cam and dowel, not glued and doweled. However the amount of Howdens units i've seen glued out of square is unreal so in hindsight i'd rather Benchmarx cam and dowel units which have a bit of play in them so the units can be squared up.

So please don't think I'm highly recommending Benchmarx, i'm not, i'm just saying they are the best of a bad bunch. Others may disagree and prefer Howdens.

One last thing if you do wait and go with DIY. Make sure you click the little box on each unit which adds soft-close hings and soft-close runners for the drawers. It adds £2.50 to the cost of each unit. In addition when you go through check-out also click the box that says "do you want us to have the doors?". The units will then come with all the doors drilled and pre-hung, your fitter will love you for it! There is an extra charge for doing all that but depending on the size of your kitchen it shouldn't be any more than the £200 difference in price you're currently looking at :salute:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:20 pm 
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Once again thank you for such a lengthy detailed reply, it really is appreciated that you take time out to explain things so clearly.

I've ordered the benchmarxs kitchen, purely because its local'ish to me. I know without a doubt that DIY K came tops out of the 3 places. Time really was a factor it wasn't so much working with only one worktop space, it was more the fact that the contents of all my units are in boxes in the living room, it's been tiresome in the few days that I've been living like this having to come into my living room for pots, pans, tins of things, sauces, etc. I know technically it was do-able to live like this but it wasn't something I chose to do.

Your advice has been duly noted, I have 3 daughters all with they're own houses, and loads of family and friends so if any of them are contemplating putting in a new kitchen then I'll advise them to read this thread and get prices from DIY K first.

One last thing I had asked for everything to be soft closing when I sent DIY K the plan of my kitchen and I'd also asked for the doors to be put on, so at least I got something right when I got the quote lol

Thank you once again, I feel a lot happier now than I did last night before I went to sleep.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:28 pm 
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Colour Republic wrote:
Hi Shanamat,

The last time I installed one was just 4 years ago. I posted it on here at the time - http://www.ultimatehandyman.co.uk/forum1/white-and-aubergine-kitchen-t45348.html

It looks nice and to most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference by just looking at it. But it's also what's under the hood which counts that determines how it lasts.

Here is another kitchen we finished just recently - http://www.ultimatehandyman.co.uk/forum1/grey-and-anthractie-hanleless-kitchen-t76970.html

Clearly the second kitchen cost more but in fact the the units themselves didn't, despite being in a whole different bracket of quality. (The kitchen wasn't from DIY Kitchens but the units are of very similar quality)



WOW this deserves a post of it's own, such different contrasts but both absolutely beautiful. I've chosen the white handless holburn kitchen with black glass oven, hob and chimney and finishing off with grey splash backs and work tops so hopefully my finished result will look as good, although I doubt it as I have a galley kitchen which is a lot smaller, but hey such is life and the main things is I'm happy now and no price can be put on that. :huray:


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