Thought Howdens were supposed to be good value...? Getting disheartened :-(

(38 Posts)
mrsbleasdale Wed 07-Sep-11 18:01:58

I've had 4 quotes for kitchens so far...and Howdens have come out the most expensive WITHOUT fitting, £1000 more than Wickes which incl fitting, £2000 more than 2 independents including fitting and new ceilings, lights and walls. This is using Dad's trade account so i know he's not taking a cut. Am i picking stupidly expensive ranges???? I chose this range

And a painted bone one from wickes, and cream wood shaker from the other companies.

Are the painted wood doors just stupidly expensive? I don;t want vinyl as they can peel/steam off. We don;t have a Benchmarx anywhere near us. which seems to come recommended on here.

Am beginning to loose faith........And we're still being quoted around £2500-£3000 to fit . After advice in here people estimate around £150 a day, so even a 10 day fit which is what wickes amusingly thought would only be £1500.

Getting tempted to stick with the crap kitchen we've got sad

mrsbleasdale Wed 07-Sep-11 18:19:53

Ok ...have looked at my figures again....they're about the same as Wickes without still not what i'd expected...

I haven't gone back to anyone yet to try and get more money off yet.......I have shopped around online for appliances too to try and reduce costs...

Mumsnut Wed 07-Sep-11 18:28:56

We had some Howdens units for the utility room. Persuaded the fitter who did our kitchen to do it in his off time, and he said he could get the units for us - AT A 90% DISCOUNT. What does that tell you about their non-trade prices?

Iggly Wed 07-Sep-11 18:31:00

You need to get the units at trade -
dont bother with retail!

mrsbleasdale Wed 07-Sep-11 19:52:11

That was on a trade account. Do they vary thier trade discount? Has dad got a rubbish discount? He;s not in this area, but still has a trade account in another region.

I was really hoping they'd come in a lot lower than all my other quotes so was stunned to see it was the highest!

Looking at £12k without fitting, worktop, lights, flooring etc.

Even their laminate floor quote was £1000 for just the materials, I have been quoted £900 for Amtico fitted by a local flooring company!!!

caughtintheact Wed 07-Sep-11 21:56:38

I haven't used Howdens but I suspect, as you do, they might have different levels of trade discount. They seem to be pricing on the assumption that you will come back and want some off.
My mum has used them once and the designer showed her how he could shave loads off the quote by removing unecessary endpanels etc, she came away thinking she had got a good deal but perhaps they do this deliberately?
For what its worth, I have just had my kitchen done and the labour was £1800 for a straightforward fit with no building work (in a new extension). It took 2 guys 10 days but they were not flat out and were not both there all the time. It was a local independant kitchen fitter, I am in the NW.

you need to get someone who can get trade prices - proper joiner or builder who has bought from them before. They are definitely on a par with with 'retail' stores for price but with better quality kitchens IME And that kitchen is nice, but their stornoway one is similar and cheaper (I think!).

Caughtintheact...10 days to fit a kitchen???

When our quote came through, the discounts on each item varied from 60% on appliances to 90% on cabinets. Mostly it way 75% discount. I mean their retail price for the pull-out larder fitting was something like £900, but came out at £210 on the quote!!

mrsbleasdale Thu 08-Sep-11 07:26:28

Thanks all. I'm yet to meet a fitter they recommended, so will see what sort of price he can g et to. I may go back and look at other doors, see if i can get the same look but a more reasonable price range, I don't think those doors i chose are solid wood.

Caughtintheact ... we're in the NW - I think £1800 for 2 guys over 2 weeks is ok? Although not if they were doing half days smile

Definitely think Wickes and the others can stick thier £3k fitting quotes! Independent co only priced £600 for walls, ceiling and £2400 for sticking the kitchen in seems excessive.

No wonder we left this room until last in the's giving me a headache just planning!!!!

Paschaelina Thu 08-Sep-11 07:40:04

Ok we have a howdens kitchen, my husband has a trade account. They came out pricey for us too so we went to benchmarx who he also has an account with, priced for a similar kitchen, they came out 2 grand cheaper, took that back to howdens and informed them they could match it - and they did!

Maybe because DH knows them quite well but he didn't take the first answer and pushed for what he knew was achieveable.

Sometime you have to be a bastard to get the right price.

mrsbleasdale Thu 08-Sep-11 13:11:57

Why can there not juts be a 'price' instead of these stupid so called sales, discounts etc. It's a nightmare, might head off to more independents who give you a more honest price (or so it appears anyway). 90% discounts are just ridiculous!

Labradorlover Thu 08-Sep-11 13:28:45

Are Howdens and Benchmarx similar in quality and price?

Paschaelina Thu 08-Sep-11 16:07:54

Howdens are better quality I think, mainly because it's fully assembled not flatpack.

said Thu 08-Sep-11 17:42:35

Completely agree about what a complete PITA it is messing about with prices and "discounts". Just give me a fucking price? Howdens "discount" was 71% and googling this seems a very common figure for such an odd random figure. A 1000 cm 3 drawer base unit, after "discount" was £491.55 plus VAT! You have to be kdding me? We just used some of their ideas and got it from IKEA. Buying kitchens is a very tedious experience.

PinkOlives Fri 09-Sep-11 10:16:58

Benchmarx are good quality and Not flat packed, they are fully assembled (mine has just come through the door as we speak). I much preferred their designs to howdens and they supply cheaper wickes kitchens.
Not sure if it's comparable but a 900 3 drawer base unit of one of their expensive ranges was £260 approx plus vat. Ikea is straightforward if you want straight prices. I didn't like anything is howdens and was put off by their trade faffing about. Very happy with benchmark service. They have many timber kitchens above the wickes range

mrsbleasdale Fri 09-Sep-11 11:24:25

Please stop telling me how good benchmarx is 2hours away sad

Labradorlover Fri 09-Sep-11 11:35:34

So do you not get the trade price faffing with Benchmarx?

Labradorlover Fri 09-Sep-11 11:38:19

PS I have a Howdens and Benchmarx about 10 mins away from my house.
Sorry mrsbleasdale

PinkOlives Fri 09-Sep-11 12:28:24

Me too! Sorry mrsbleasdale.
Mostly you need a account I tried two branches and one didn't let me buy and the other which is a showroom only was happy to sell. I didn't have any faffing they do have a strict pricing system so the sales guy can't fiddle with it anyway. Wth two branches I got the same quote.
Order a catalogue from their website if you like what you see then it's worth the two hours for you go in get a quote and have a plan drawn up, it's worth calling first to make sure they are happy for you to come in (there are a few who are strict about trade only) then order and they have next day delivery. Or get a quote and then have time to mull over then order on the phone. I suppose it would be a 4 hour round trip though depends on how passionate you are grin
Although I think prices have gone up so I would get a wicks quote keep it in your head so you can compare.

mrsbleasdale Fri 09-Sep-11 12:52:20

I'm off to other showrooms i think...these big chains are annoying me smile

mrsbleasdale Fri 09-Sep-11 12:56:31

Ha ha ....Howdens have just emailed me, saying they'll send prices for other ranges of kitchens they do...and the October Sale Price list grin

All because I said they'd been the most expensive quote we'd received....

mrsbleasdale Fri 09-Sep-11 13:00:18

I've just looked at the estimate and was quoted £613 plus VAT for a 1000 3 drawer base unit shock after a 75% discount!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PinkOlives Fri 09-Sep-11 22:50:46

Is it timber? Apparently local small kichen companies are very good value and good service, don't discount them you never know you may be pleasantly surprised.

TheTamingOfTheShrew Sat 10-Sep-11 00:35:05

Our Howden's kitchen was flat packed. Praps it was the cheaper version.

workshy Sat 10-Sep-11 22:35:09


the haworth is one of their premimum kitchens and is venered in the centre panel, not a solid wood door
most fitters will charge you less to fit a preassembled kitchen as the fidly bit is putting together flatpack, downsides are you have to store a full kitchen between delivery and fitting, and if any of the units need adjusting to fit then the first thing the fitter will have to do is dismantle it!

you will pay more for fitting from the big companies, B&Q, Homebase, Wickes etc because they subcontract to fitters so you are not paying the fitter directly, and also they offer a project managed service with guarantees and insurance (most offer 3 year workmanship guarantee). Plus if something is damaged etc during fit, a fitter working for the company will be able to get a replacement part much quicker than an independant will -ther are big benefits to paying the extra to fit the kitchen -usual fit time is 3-5 days

never go with someone who charges by the day -they should charge for the job
always use someone who is willing to give you the name of at least 2 people they have worked for, and go and visit those jobs

all companies will tell you that their kitchen is the best but.....

Ikea don't have service gaps at the back of their units so it there any pipes etc to go along the back then holes have to be cut into the unit
B&Q It range don't have full depth shelves so you lose storage
B&Q Cooke & Lewis have patterned insides of the cracass and this wears off with use
Homebase charge extra for soft close
Howdens cannot be adjusted if your walls aren't square

etc etc

but actually these differences are minimal so my advice is pick a design you like and take notice of the service you recieve instore -good service instore means you are likely to get good aftersales, and don't be pushed by a sales person telling you the offer ends in ten minutes etc etc -they will ALWAYS extend the price to close the sale

hope I haven't put you off totally lol

mrsbleasdale Sun 11-Sep-11 11:49:55

Thanks workshy I'm beginning to change direction now and stay away from these big companies. I'm not confident with any of them, their ranges or sales/pricing.

I've got another independent company coming to price, and a joiner who makes his own kitchens too. They seem more customer focused, on what I want and need, rather than just a sale.

It's such a big job, that I want to last many years, that if I'm not 100% sure, no-ones getting the cash smile. I really, really want a nice new kitchen but i'm niot just throwing money at them!

mrsbleasdale Sun 11-Sep-11 11:51:09

And as you point out, the Haworth isn't all painted wood, but veneered. A local company have quoted me about £2k less for oak painted ...

workshy Sun 11-Sep-11 18:28:32

if you have the option of a joiner making you a kitchen I would definately go with that

a good kitchen should last you 20 years plus and craftsmen take so much more pride in what they do than someone putting in a flat pack kitchen, and they have had to come down in price to stay in business so quality is much more affordable smile

mrsbleasdale Mon 12-Sep-11 11:03:46

That's what i'm hoping! I went to another joinery place yesterday, and they claimed they could make me something for over a third less than someone like wickes would quote. Going to pop along this week with some plans and get a price smile Quicker to install to if i get great big cupboards built etc

JIRkids Wed 14-Sep-11 11:01:54

We are looking at kitchens too but still in the early stages as we need a little bit of building work done first.

Sounds like you want a similar kind of kitchen to me and I looked at Wren and they do a range with Ivory or blue painted oak doors which seems quite reasonable for wood. Of course when everything is added up it may not be that cheap! Their fitting seems reasonable too. Might be worth a try.

The independent builder who has just quoted us for fitting a kitchen is charging £2.5K and that isn't including electrics or plumbing!!! Far too much IMO. He also said he could get Howdens at discount but the example price he gave us didn't look like he is passing on much discount!

mrsbleasdale Wed 14-Sep-11 11:37:23

I asked on here about told to look on moneysavingexpert, some of the reviews and comments put me off.

£2.5 is what we've been quoted and from some companies has included new ceiling, spotlights, walls replastered. As well as the kitchen yes I think perhaps your quote is too much - unless you have a seriously massive kitchen smile

mrsbleasdale Thu 15-Sep-11 18:38:42

Have been to see the Howden Tewkesbury White doors today. I really like them..hmm Love the way you can see the woodgrain but the white seems very hardwearing too. This range has come in much much cheaper than the Haworth.

Still waiting for my joiners price..

Decisions, decisions!!!

bacon Thu 15-Sep-11 22:07:30

£120 - £150 a day is fair for a quality fitter - and 3 days should suffice for a standard fit. I cant understand 10 days????

I went independant but mine was a solid oak and sourced the applainces myself from a specialist. Also sourced my workshop direct from the timbers merchant.

In my experience buy cheap get crap.

mrsbleasdale Fri 16-Sep-11 07:15:25

Not after cheap, just a fair price. I agree cheap will be crap - and that's not the look I'm after grin but some of these places with thier overinflated prices, silly sales and crazy installation costs are having a laugh. Wickes wanted £3000 to install, plus whatever extras the builder saw when he came to the house!!! It's a a good size kitchen, but not a mansion!!!!!

We also need the walls plastering and the ceiling (which is all of 3.5m by 2.5m) doing. Last guy said it could be all done in a week....which sounds much more appealing and realistic!

BerryLellow Fri 16-Sep-11 10:09:24

We had a Howdens kitchen installed earlier this year, and I love it. DP has a trade account, and when they sent us their price it had beaten Wickes by a considerable margin for a better layout. DP still haggled more discount and asked for better fittings for free, which we got. I've been told that if you have more than one Howdens locally it's worth pitting them against each other for a better price.

Definitely shop around for your fitter though, the best can make an average kitchen look awesome, while the cheaper ones can totally ruin an expensive one. I was very lucky that we had ours done for free by a friend who is a rather pricey carpenter.

PinkOlives Fri 16-Sep-11 10:48:09

Mine has taken nearly 4 weeks because of the plastering, it took ages to dry (very cold week) and we couldn't paint until it dried. Prices depends on where you live I suppose, took a lot longer than we thought there was extra days for tiling drying grouting etc.

mrsbleasdale Fri 16-Sep-11 11:02:34

4 weeks! Oh I hope not.....i know there's a huge chance it could take longer than we first think, but not that long. Dad had his kitchen done last year and it took 5 days. He had a lot done an probably the same number of units as us, floors and walls tiled which we're not doing.

Howdens seem to be dropping thier prices so if we chose them will try for some more discount, or as you say some better fittings. They're sending me one of their recommended fitters, will see what he says in comparison to other quotes for the installation.

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