Fitted kitchens, where to buy?

(63 Posts)
Notnowcato Sun 24-Feb-13 11:25:44

Finally, we have a house which comes complete with an original 1970s kitchen. Even the surveyor says it needs to go, pronto. Yipee, I get my first new kitchen. But, having never done this before, I need advice as I am quickly getting confused. I have had recommendations for IKEA and Howdens, but am also thinking about Magnet, John Lewis (plc, not of Hungerford)? We have about 5k to spend (including appliances) so I can't go for the top end, much as I'd love to. I'd like some thing modern and minimal with the idea that we can then add three children's worth of clutter and still come up smiling? grin. Does anyone have experience of any of the above? Or any other recommendations? Or just any hard-earned advice as I start on this process. Thank you for any words of wisdom thanks

ILikeBirds Sun 24-Feb-13 11:32:27

Does the 5k budget include fitting or are you expecting to fit yourself?

Notnowcato Sun 24-Feb-13 11:35:17

My husband is strangely keen to fit it himself! (He is the sort of man who loves IKEA flatpacks. Odd.) He entirely refurbished our current house so is very handy and loves a challenge. Chalk and cheese, we are.

Tizwozliz Sun 24-Feb-13 11:47:25

We fitted our kitchen ourselves, it was one of the most straightforward things we did DIY wise.

Howdens only technically deal with trade so if you want to fit it yourself you might need to find someone who can get the units for you. Units from Howdens come preassembled.

Our kitchen budget was a little bit less than yours and we went with Ikea as the units were half the price of our next nearest quote (Homebase). This meant we could afford to upgrade some of the appliances we got. Ikea also do tall wall cupboards across their entire range, many others don't have these as options in the budget ranges.

Units, including dishwasher and fridge from Ikea came to 2k, another 200 for the worktop which we sourced elsewhere and we spent a further 1000 on oven, hob and extractor.

Kitchen being fitted

Pannacotta Sun 24-Feb-13 11:51:06

I think for your budget you may be best going to IKEA for the units and maybe the worktops and spending a bit on the appliances, source them on-line.
They have lots of good storage ideas such as pull out recycling bins, drawer dividers, racks/rails etc which will help conrol family clutter.
There is a kitchen planner on the IKEA website and lots of advice on IKEA kitchens on here if you do an archive search.
Does your 5K include flooring as well? Something to bear in mind at the start.

Sunnyshores Sun 24-Feb-13 11:55:51

When you deduct the cost of the appliances, wall tiles, flooring, lighting, any other extras, what is your budget purely for units and worktops?

I am amazed that we just spent £1100 on Howdens units for a rental house. It was the cheapest plain white units and worktop, no tall units or wall units, nothing fancy - just a sink unit, an oven unit, 2 corner units, a drawer unit and a double unit.

Another £1k for removal of old and fitting of new, £100 tiles, £100 lino,
£1k appliances, £300 sink, taps and a really small, low spec kitchen has cost £3600.

Notnowcato Sun 24-Feb-13 12:30:42

The 5k would ideally cover flooring and fridge/freezer and possibly oven and hob. (We are taking our relatively new washing machine and dishwasher.) Our current plan is to leave our range-style cooker because I am undecided about going for integrated ovens with a separate hob, or having a new freestanding oven. If we decide on the latter, we could take our Smeg with us and then save up for a new oven later on. The flooring would not be tiles but might be wood if we can afford it, or marmoleum/lino if not.

Tizwozliz: love the look of your kitchen smile. Good tip about the units from IKEA and then upgrading the appliances. It also means we could add them as and well we can afford them. So, maybe, get two tall units with spaces for integrated ovens, but start with just one?

Sunnyshores: that is really useful to know … yes, maybe I need to go back and see if I can persuade my husband to put a bit more in the kitchen budget. (The 'new' house, as a whole, has been neglected for about 20 years, so there is lots to be done!)

IKEA does seem to be my best bet, and I do like the style of their kitchens.

Can I slightly change the question and ask, if you had more to spend (20k), which brand would you go for? (Our other option is to patch and mend the 70s kitchen, save for four or five years, and then put in a more expensive kitchen. But we'd have to closely inspect the existing one to see if it can be made to last for five years.)

Pannacotta Sun 24-Feb-13 13:24:25

If I had more to spend I would get a kitchen made by a joiner so you could have units made to fit your space.
But IKEA is great for well priced units and accessories.
I will dig out some links I have saved on how to beef up their kitchen to make them look even better.
BAck in a mo...

Pannacotta Sun 24-Feb-13 13:28:25
mercibucket Sun 24-Feb-13 13:31:18

do you live down south? here, oop north, you can get a perfectly decent kitchen for a couple of grand, (local, independent, or ikea, wren, b and q) fitting for 500 if straightforward, leaving plenty over for flooring. the big companies often screw you on fitting. on a 70s kitchen you need to factor in the hidden stuff - might turn out the electrics or plumbing are dodgy for instance.

MrsJREwing Sun 24-Feb-13 13:35:15

How much would a joiner work out per average unit? How much does wood over mdf/chipboard cost per unit compared?

I am fed up of mass produced units and quite fancy my new kitchen being made of wood and painted.

How do you find joiners?

Notnowcato Sun 24-Feb-13 13:43:17

We live in 'the most expensive city' in the country [sad[. But I am from the north and I mourn, on a daily basis, for my homeland …

Pannacotta Sun 24-Feb-13 13:48:32

Ask around for joiners. What they charge depends on where you live and their overheads but often minimum of £150 per day.
Not sure re price of wood versus mdf etc, but joiners will work with both to keep costs down, ie mdf inserts within a wooden panelled door.

You can paint IKEA units to make them look less mass produced, see the first link I posted above.

MrsJREwing Sun 24-Feb-13 13:52:05

Ask who about joiners, moving to a new area.

Sunnyshores Sun 24-Feb-13 13:55:13

for my example of the kitchen units above, Wren kitchens were slightly more expensive, BenchMarx were a few hundred cheaper and looked as good as Howdens (longer lead times was prob for us).

£20k, now you're talking! I've spent a couple of years looking for our new kitchen and am spending that sort of money with
Unit wise, it will be 3 door larder unit, single oven unit, double sink unit, Aga hood, 2* drawer units, 2* corner units, 2* double units,

Sunnyshores Sun 24-Feb-13 13:57:57

not sure what happened there.....

worktops, island unit. No new appliances.

Pannacotta Sun 24-Feb-13 14:28:19

MrsJRE feel free to ask who you like, I'm not a yellow pages service!

Uppermid Sun 24-Feb-13 14:40:17

I don't know why but I thought howdens were expensive. Am also looming to replace a kitchen, so watching with interest. I thought we'd be looking more towards a£10k budget, but pleased to see we could hopefully do it for less

MrsJREwing Sun 24-Feb-13 14:42:24

grin I think we had a misunderstandi ng there. I am sorry if I came across as rude. Was just wondering where to ask around if you can't get word of mouth, would it be worth asking in local building suppliers gor example?

Tizwozliz Sun 24-Feb-13 15:04:38

"Can I slightly change the question and ask, if you had more to spend (20k), which brand would you go for?"

I'd spend 3k on an Ikea kitchen and go on a very expensive holiday grin

More seriously if my overall budget was 20k in 5 years time I'd spend 5k on the kitchen now and 17k later on. Don't underestimate the effect of living with a kitchen that you hate/is falling apart/is badly designed for 5 years.

Pannacotta Sun 24-Feb-13 15:33:22

No worries MRSJ, yes builders merchants a good place to ask (or timber merchants ), any neighbours having work etc.

Iz I agree re the IKEA kitchen and expensive holiday! Also the advice about changing it now even if you plan to upgrade it later.

Notnowcato Sun 24-Feb-13 15:36:10

Pannacotta: Fantastic links … I am inspired smile

Sunnyshores: Also loved the link to Kitstone.

Tizwozliz: I love the idea of the expensive holiday too. Possibly to research new recipes?!! But it's a good point about living with a wreck for 5 years. That's how I feel too. My husband is of the view that it is good to wait and get the best you can possibly afford but my point is that in five years time, one of my three children will be on the verge of leaving home (or maybe not) and it's a long time to be coping with horrible, ancient stuff.

I think I am convinced by the IKEA votes but any further comments welcome. I just knew Mumsnet would guide me well.

ILikeBirds Sun 24-Feb-13 15:43:58

The second of Pannacotta's links (this one) uses the same doors as our kitchen. I think it illustrates nicely how you can get quite a different look to a kitchen by choosing different handles, worktop, tiles etc.

ILikeBirds Sun 24-Feb-13 15:54:32

Oops, I thought I had a kitchen photo on my profile but I don't. Ignore me, it doesn't illustrate anything!

Chihuahuas Sun 24-Feb-13 16:54:36


I've just ordered my kitchen from this chap.

I initially got a quote for 5k for the wicks heritage kitchen not including appliances or fitting!!

Began to look around and get other quotes and found Paul at Evo. He has been brilliant! Found me my dream kitchen (painted wood shaker style in a beautiful pale blue) azure the colour is called.

My qoute came in on budget and includes fitting and appliances and oak worktop.

I haven't got tons of money and thought that I would be wasting his time by getting a quote from him but I was really surprised to get the price.

He also put up with my endless questions and worries and provided loads of visuals. He also gives honest feedback too. Wicks included stuff in my quote that wasn't physically possible and would have actually looked stupid if I had gone ahead with them.

He has a really good rep on here and although based in Manchester has fitters all over the country.

I can't wait to see the finished article in a couple of weeks!

Just tiles to decide on now. It's so blinking stressful

Notnowcato Sun 24-Feb-13 19:19:33

Chihuahuas: some of those kitchens are gorgeous. Thank you for that link too.

Chihuahuas Sun 24-Feb-13 19:25:04

Mine is the one that's in painted collection group 4. I never thought I would be able to afford a nice kitchen and properly designed. smile

Ginformation Sun 24-Feb-13 22:40:55

One word of caution about ikea kitchens, they can be a right bastard to fit if you don't have immaculately straight and plumb walls. The units go right to the back of the work top, unlike a lot of other standard carcasses which have a gap at the back for electrics, plumbing, bumpy walls etc. fitting an ikea kitchen yourself will make you very sweary unless you are a great diyer.

We got fantastic quality and service from a local kitchen showroom and fitter, dh's negotiation skills came into play too!

Notnowcato Mon 25-Feb-13 17:07:52

Now my inclination would be to go for a local fitter for the kitchen. But I know my husband and he really hates paying for things that he could do himself. (Being a proper Yorkshire man.) (Writing this as a Yorkshire woman.) I do think it will be several days of swearyness. And so my plan would be to take the children to stay with my mother for a long weekend and leave him (and his best mate, who similarly likes a challenge) to it. With enough beers in the fridge (once it's installed) it might even make a super-bonding experience for them.

More seriously, thanks for the warning Ginformation. I will raise the issue with him and give him due warning …

Just back from a fact-finding mission from Ikea today, actually. Am very impressed with the quality and the choice. Quite excited, actually. But can see I will need more than my 5k, although possibly not a great deal more.

Jiansh Mon 25-Feb-13 22:42:43
Try them they are really good.

Notnowcato Wed 27-Feb-13 22:53:39

Jiansh: Those are BEAUTIFUL kitchens. Thank you for the link!

DIddled Wed 27-Feb-13 23:10:30

Chihuahuas- wow that's a fab site!! I am looking at kitchens and live near you!!! Can I ask how much it cost you in total please( if you don't mind) or think I am being cheeky- I had a Howdens kitchen fitted not that many years ago and though the carcasses are good and sturdy I am not that fussed on the door qualitysad

Thanks so much for the link, can we see the finished article please ? smile

Chihuahuas Thu 28-Feb-13 06:48:44

Hiya it was just over 7.5k. On the wicks qoute I didn't have any appliances or an oak worktop, fitting or a nice sink.

And the kitchen is not flat packed and made to order. It's the ridgley in azure.

I'm having intergrated fridge and freezer, microwave, good quality extractor, oven and hob, and a lush graphite sink and an water filter tap.

I've also had an sort of an island come breakfast bar made from the oak worktop with shelves and drawers and a hideous boiler covered up too with cupboard and oak worktop.

Well defo post pics. smile

Bunbaker Thu 28-Feb-13 06:54:27

When we had a new kitchen fitted two houses ago we got it from Magnet. They were brilliant and did everything, including the electrics and plumbing. A workmate of mine was a cabinet maker by trade and also rated Magnet.

DIddled Thu 28-Feb-13 13:00:14

That's a good price!!! Will wait to see pics x

Chihuahuas Thu 28-Feb-13 19:21:15

Forgot to say plumbing electrics etc all included. I'm getting my own tiles but the fitter is doing them for me too. smile

DIddled Thu 28-Feb-13 22:56:07

Fab! You are inspiring me!! I will be keeping tabs!!! Did you need building work- we are having a knock through - I am a bit scared. X

Chihuahuas Fri 01-Mar-13 07:42:19

No building work here but don't be scared. You wil be so happy When It's done!

HalleLouja Fri 01-Mar-13 08:34:14

Have a look at Schueller kitchens. This is what I am coveting at the moment. There is a website called pricemykitchen which sells them for good value. I haven't bought one but we will probably go ahead with a Schueller one. They are good quality and not too expensive.

fussychica Fri 08-Mar-13 15:03:29

Just want to say I was also very impressed by Paul of Evo Kitchens (mentioned above)- he asked loads of questions and produced lovely plans and mock ups for us to see in various colours, nothing was too much trouble.

Unfortunately, for a number of reasons we aren't going ahead with the kitchen refit at the moment but when we do I'll be going back to Paul.

nondomesticgoddess Fri 08-Mar-13 19:05:24

The evo kitchens look lovely! Do they charge for their consultations?

annalouiseh Sat 09-Mar-13 15:38:41

Just email them and let them know what your wanting.
its my dh

Bluegirl77 Thu 21-Mar-13 14:18:41

Just wanted to share my experience of Magnet. I went for the big name as 2 friends left out of pocket when their builders disappeared or went bust. I have small kitchen, about 12 units and spent £12k inc fitting. Lots of problems from design, delivery thru to fitting and product quality. 4 day fit took 7 weeks and only completed when i wrote to MD in head office. Now completed but less than year old and have had 3 sets of fridge freezer doors and lots of issues .... i am going back into battle next week when i have the energy. All my doors are bowing and i know other customers must be having same issue but i have been told that i am too precise!!! My fitter, who was supposedly the best, has left them and gone to wren!!!. Say no more!!!

dimsum123 Thu 21-Mar-13 14:43:59

I've ordered a schueller kitchen. I have a big kitchen, around 5.5m x 4m. It was quite expensive 29k.

That includes units quartz workshops 2 sinks 2 ovens huge fridge huge freezer large induction hob fancy extractor fan dishwasher and fitting. I'll have a 3m island and another 5.5m run of units.

Chihuahuas Thu 21-Mar-13 22:32:34

No Paul doesn't charge for consults and provides full visuals. Mine is starting in ten days!! Hes been more than helpful in helping me choose my tiles too smile

Chihuahuas Sat 06-Apr-13 15:03:11

My Evo kitchen is nearly finished and oh my god it's looking beautiful!!! I'm dreading using it and have decided to only make sandwiches in it for ever as I'm scared of ruining it ha ha!

DIddled Sun 07-Apr-13 22:33:57

Oooooh pictures pictures please CIhuahuas!!!!!

JustJes Mon 08-Apr-13 12:58:41

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Chihuahuas Tue 09-Apr-13 15:53:00

Sorry have been busy enjoying new kitchen and pottering. Just figuring out how to put pictures on and I will be back!

Chihuahuas Tue 09-Apr-13 16:18:39

New kitchen. Going to decorate this weekend so ignore the white scruffy walls and sticker on the oven!

Yorky Tue 09-Apr-13 20:58:06

Diddled - we have ordered an evo kitchen too, the Ridgley again, but in cream smile They are building the extension to put it in and I am loving watching it all coming together

doglover Tue 09-Apr-13 21:15:52

Gorgeous photos! smile If our move (ever) happens, I'll be looking for something very similar.

racmun Tue 09-Apr-13 21:23:39

We went to Magnet and it came to £5k including appliances during the sale which seems to always be on.

The service was amazing - much better than anywhere else we found and really competitively priced. You get the same service even though you're only buying a cheap kitchen. also the main carcass of the units come Pre assembled which saves loads of time and they were really sturdy.

Chihuahuas Tue 09-Apr-13 21:33:44

You won't be disappointed the ridgley Is lovely!

Chihuahuas Tue 09-Apr-13 21:36:22

Thanks doglover!

armagh Tue 09-Apr-13 21:37:07

Even now, 12 years on the thought of Magnet makes me hyperventilate. The service was so awful. It is no longer available here( not in U.K.) i am not surprised. But the kitchen was lovely and is still going strong. Months and months I waited, calls to head office in U. K. ( overseas rate) to get two cupboards fixed. Eventually 2 men came and they were fixed in 5 minutes. Grrr. A woman ran the branch badly.

armagh Tue 09-Apr-13 21:39:21

Magnet wasn't cheap then. About 12000 pounds, 12,years ago.

Chihuahuas Tue 09-Apr-13 21:56:55

That's what put me off wicks really. I wanted just one person to deal with who had a vested interest In getting it right. I got the Impression from wicks the bloke just wanted a sale and I would just get passed on to another person after that. When I got the kitchen measured up by Paul and visuals done he found that I couldn't have had the cupboards wicks wanted to put in as there simply wasn't the room plus they wanted to put the pull out metal shelves in which would've lasted about 6 months with the le creuset pans I have. I had some of the cupboards custom made and they have hidden hidey holes! No longer are saucepans crammed in. I even have a dedicated cupboard for spices. Luxury smile

ILikeBirds Wed 10-Apr-13 10:39:02

Kitchen looks good, can i just ask what's going on with the cupboard above the washing machine? Looks like it's floating in mid air and i'm puzzled smile

PastaBeeandCheese Wed 10-Apr-13 13:41:06

Thanks for posting your pics and full price Chichuhaus. They look really good and are in our area. I'm moving at the moment and if I move to a house that needs a new kitchen I will defining give them a call.

I'd have been a bit put off calling if I hadn't seen what you paid as they look a lot more expensive!

Chihuahuas Wed 10-Apr-13 16:42:29

Ha ha it's hiding a huge ugly boiler. Couldn't afford to have it moved so Paul made a nice cupboard with door to hide it. As the colour is pale and has panelled sides and door it blends well.

Try Simon Benjamin...

That's where we got our from and I love it! Its all real wood, handmade, handpainted... they do bespoke and semi bespoke too which helps bring the price down but you can still make sure it fits neatly in any awkward spaces (we live in a wonky cottage so it was a must!) They were really freindly too... I'd highly recommend.

Manchesterhistorygirl Wed 04-Sep-13 13:19:17

We had an ikea kitchen in our old house and I would have one again in a shot. I've even picked which one for if our move ever happens.

Magnet wouldn't even speak to us because our budget was unrealistic. Between 5-7k. Ikea were brilliant.

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