New kitchen - feels like I'm buying double galzing

(38 Posts)
WetAugust Thu 29-Aug-13 17:30:34

I'm becoming increasingly annoyed at some of the very obscure tactics that some companies are used to ensure as little transparency as possible over the cost of a kitchen!

I've been (very grudgingly) given a price list for one kitchen I liked. Their assumption seemed to be that I just chose what I like regardless of having seen any costs per cabinet and they would give me a price.

Sorry - I like to pock cabinets based on my budget.

Then we come to installation!! There's 'basic' installation. It's half price this week. Then there's additional installation which is full price and for some companies does actually include the kitchen sink.

Why does the quotation to install the same kitchen vary by almost £2K.

Why do I have to pay a substantial 'deposit' which they all tell me is returnable just to get their installer to give me a quote?

Why is there always at least one item or activity missing from the quote as it 'will depend' on <whatever>

Have been dealing with 2 companies so far - both have the same vague attitude. I am feeling a bit conned.

I just want to know - all inclusive - how much to transform my old kitchen into the new kitchen that they are so keen to draw for me on their computers.

Can I get a straight answer - No!

Where am I going wrong?

Mrsladybirdface Thu 29-Aug-13 17:47:22

go to ikea?

WetAugust Thu 29-Aug-13 17:49:26

Don't like any of the Ikea kitchens - even if it is sacrilege to say that on here grin

myron Thu 29-Aug-13 19:09:09

I felt like this too - in the end, I went to Ikea for the units and splurged elsewhere on the worktop and high end appliances. Pan drawers and larder units are expensive so I went OTT at Ikea just because I could!

chickensaladagain Thu 29-Aug-13 19:23:19

It's very difficult to price compare one company to another on a cabinet list

Some price for whole cabinet, some as separate components, end panels, plinths & trim are all planned differently depending on the company

It's much better to look at the cost of the whole and decide if you think it's worth that price

It will always be the most expensive option to get the company that sells you a kitchen to fit it but you have the advantage that its all in house any problems are more easily resolved and the overall time to fit is quicker

A basic fit is fit of the units and work tops (some call a dry fit) a full fit includes the electrics and plumbing, a decorative fit includes tiling and plastering

Wickes quote usually for a dry fit as standard
Wren will quote for a full fit but won't quote for things like under cabinet lighting, wall mounted sockets etc
B&q & homebase will quote for either a full or decorative fit

If the company won't give you a print out of exactly what work is involved at quote stage then steer clear

There are always things that can't be priced from a showroom -condition of ring main/ consumer unit/ earth bonding etc are assessed on site -some companies will assume they need doing and include them in the initial quote do the price doesn't shoot up

Companies charge for technical surveys to stop people eating time getting them to check plans etc then getting someone else to fit them

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 29-Aug-13 19:41:39

I was going through this - I was at my wits end.

I am having a bit of a break from it.

I will continue to look on eBay for ex-display etc at least then you know what you are getting and how much it is.

What is really boiling my blood right now is the fact that it is impossible to get corner cupboards that go around a corner and have a door that opens up the whole corner, in a kitchen that isn't tailor made. Grrrr.

WetAugust Thu 29-Aug-13 20:28:19

Actually Chipping my proposed corner cabinet has one handle - pull it and both doors of the right angle open (as they will be piano hinged).

Alternatively you have 2 x 300 doors with a middle post attached to one and both open.

At the mo I have a carousel - what a waste of space that is. In new kitchen I shall have fixed shelves.

I think a little more transparency on pricing would suit buyer and seller. It would save 'technical visits'. They tried to arrange a technical visit this afternoon just 4 hours after giving me the quote for cabinets plus full installation.

I'm not stupid. I can design a kitchen in rough terms. I just want the pick list of prices so I know the cost of the items I am choosing is affordable.

One company gave me a quotation in their showroom based on my measurements and some photographs I had taken of the existing kitchen - so basically he had most of the info he needed. They then came down to see my kitchen and before he's even stepped into the house he'd knocked £700 off the cost! To me, that destroyed that company's credibility.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 29-Aug-13 20:42:05

wet - I am unable to find a corner unit like that in one of the budget ranges (B&Q, Homebase, Wicks etc). I am probably going to have to rent this place out next year and I don't want to spend a lot of money on the kitchen incase it gets ruined.

I know - getting hold of the price lists is like pulling gold teeth out of chickens.

Yes - the other thing that was pissing me off was 'get a quote off of x and we will beat it' - well no, why should I have to waste other people's time doing a quote just so you can give me a better price. Just give me a decent & fair price FFS.

WetAugust Thu 29-Aug-13 22:23:20


They told me that it would be an adaptation that the installer would make as it's not standard. It's something to do with handles knocking against handles otherwise confused. Perhaps you could discuss it with the installer?

Yes, this beat the other person's quote is a PITA all round. I just want a fair price that's transparent. I just want a good job done. I don't want to have to haggle.

I look back fondly to 23 years ago when I went to MFI, loaded up my mini with kitchen cabinets and built the thing myself.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 29-Aug-13 22:30:07

wet - Perhaphs I'm 23 years behind you - I'm installing it myself grin Part of the problem is that the only corner cupboard (the ones that go around the corner, not what they call corner cupboard which I would call 'end' cupboards) is that the only base I could find was 925x925 and they wont fit. I need an L shape really.

I'm going to end up handcrafting the bastard things grin

MousyMouse Thu 29-Aug-13 22:33:14

you are doing it the wrong way round.

tell them you have 1234£ (your budget minus 25%) and ask them to give you designs in that price range.

WetAugust Thu 29-Aug-13 22:58:21


You should start with the corner and work outwards deciding what else you can fit in.

I was also told that you can actually shave a bit off the backs of the corner cabinet as every cabinet has a 'service duct' area of a few cms depth at the back.

WetAugust Thu 29-Aug-13 23:00:15

Actually chipping

Could you buy the cabinet you want from the cheapest non-budget range and just put budget doors on it?

Would that work?

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 29-Aug-13 23:39:58

Wet - I'm not totally stupid grin If I had the luxury of starting with the corner cupboards I would! Unfortunately there are things that can't be moved (ie gas meter etc) & they just have to be worked around. The 'working' part of the kitchen is a very small u shape.

I did look at doing just that, but of course because there isn't a unit that size, there aren't any doors that size in the 'cheap' range.

WetAugust Fri 30-Aug-13 00:39:12

A 925 x 925 or even a 903 x 903 will take 2 x 300 cupboard doors.

page 599 pg Wickes catalogue has 925 x 925 in cream for £140. A 300 base unit with cupboard door from say Miami which is an Essential kitchen is only £35. Others are up to £58 for a 300 base unit. So for between £210 and £258 plus centre post and possibly a coat of paint you can achieve what you want. That's cheapo in my book.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 30-Aug-13 01:11:31

Wet as I said earlier, a 925x925 wont fit (nor a 903x903) sad I need an L the 'short' part of the L of about 150/200.

Bloody gas meter. Bloody walls. Bloody small kitchen. Grrr

WetAugust Fri 30-Aug-13 13:40:50

Could you compromise and have the long side of the L as one unit which has a door (not ideal I agree as stuff at the back of the cupboard difficult to reach, while the short 150 - 200 side of the L is a wine rack or spice drawers - a different colour /design from a kitchen that has those items for those items would look OK. You can actually get 200 units in one design I'm looking at.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 30-Aug-13 16:14:14

Wet thank you for all your suggestions, I do appreciate it thanks and I'm 'all ears' for any others!

^^ That is what I have now and what I am trying to improve on sad It's such a small kitchen - well, it's not a small kitchen but I have just opened up a walkway through it so 'lost' one wall of bench/cabinets and am left with a smallish u shape. I am trying to claim back those 'lost' corners.

WetAugust Fri 30-Aug-13 16:30:16

Good luck. Mine's a small U-shaped too. I sympathise! I've gone a bit 'up market' to get a much bigger range of cabinet possibilities. Wickes was discounted pretty early on - but I can see you don't want to spend a fortune when it's going to be rented.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 30-Aug-13 16:43:33

Yes, if I was putting it in for me I'd spend more and be able to get more choice.

It hasn't helped that I wasn't actually going to be doing the kitchen yet, it was 'ok' to rent out, but due to some plumbing needing sorting for the bathroom some of the kitchen cabinets had to come out and I decide to 'open up the walkway' while I was about it.

But having taken them all out, they just looked so tired that I wanted to replace them. I lived overseas for years and proper corner cupboards are a given, I didn't imagine for a minute I'd have this much hassle!

For now I have rearranged the cabinets and put them back in to see if I can live with this u shape and have the benefit of the walkway. If not I can brick up the 'door' and use the other wall as well.

I'm sorting out the windows, the bathroom, a full repaint/new skirtings/replastered ceilings etc as well as working etc - the kitchen is having to take a back seat for a bit, other than looking for ex-display kitchens on eBay when I get a minute, just in case I can get one with corner cupboards! grin

WetAugust Fri 30-Aug-13 17:28:02

Bricking up doors ! That's hard core grin

fossil971 Fri 30-Aug-13 17:40:14

This is what I did with my L shape corner unit. (sorry if this is boring I have mentioned it on other threads). Ordered one with a fixed shelf but asked them to leave the shelf out of it. (Otherwise the fitter can take it out somehow). Ordered two extra 900mm straight shelves about £10 each. The fitter then cut these shelves to about 400mm front to back and fitted them on the 2 sides of the L, one about 2/3, the other about 1/3 height. (So they only overlap in the corner IYSWIM). This gives you a cupboard where you can see and reach everything and pile up lots of big things like baking trays and woks. To piano hinge the door, buy some piano hinge from B&Q. Attach with screws. Leave the handle off one of the doors.

The kitchen fitters are basically carpenters, units are just made out of chipboard and timber, there's nothing to stop you customising them.

Chip, could you buy just a corner unit carcase from an online supplier and as long as your exdisplay kitchen has a couple of 300 doors, you can match it in. (Our last kitchen went through a couple of mix and match incarnations like this).

fossil971 Fri 30-Aug-13 17:44:52

Or would reduced depth base units like these give you more options? The corner unit (if shelved) could probably be cut down to a shallower depth in one of its directions.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 30-Aug-13 21:28:24

wet - I'm a girl on a mission... it's only a doorway, how hard can it be grin but it wont come to that if I can live with the small u kitchen, which I hope I can as the walkway through there solves other issues in the house <sigh> LOL.

Fossil - I am the kitchen fitter grin Well, that's not strictly true, I am a diy'er on a serious budget for this unexpected project so I am attempting to fitting the kitchen. I don't have room for a 900x900 base unit and yes, I could cut the units down, but then I need to find a kitchen that has a smaller door. I might be able to find one that has a spice pull out or something that I can use to hinge but frankly, I'm praying I find a more expensive range that has an L unit already and can get it at a knock down price. Fingers crossed.

Jellylorum Fri 30-Aug-13 21:29:07

Try diy kitchens. You can design it yourself and see the cost of everything separately

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 30-Aug-13 21:36:51

Just had a look at that web site, why oh why, do they all only do 900x900 why not L shaped?? They say L shaped but they aren't they are - half an x shaped. Grrr

Fossil I don't understand how a shallower depth would help confused

WetAugust Fri 30-Aug-13 21:44:37

Omega Classic Shaker has a 200cm door unit.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 30-Aug-13 21:48:18

Who is that by wet?

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 30-Aug-13 21:48:50

Sorry - just found it smile

WetAugust Fri 30-Aug-13 22:02:35

Omega kitchens Price Group 1 has

15cm base unit with door £86 various carcass colours and gloss, shaker or walnut door styles. At that width I'd just paint it to match if necessary.

Omega kitchens Price Group 2 has15cm base unit with door in gloss, white, black, ivory, blue, green etc etc

or you can take a narrow horizontal bridging unit 600 x 288 and use it vertically?

or 15cm pull out base unit

How about a 26cm curved base end unit?

Appreciate some of the above may be barking but finding it hard to visualise

WetAugust Fri 30-Aug-13 22:06:16

They are the purveyors of Mrs WetAugust's new kitchen. grin

fossil971 Fri 30-Aug-13 22:28:54

I meant make the whole run of units on one side of the corner, reduced depth. It is only 100mm shallower than standard. I suppose you can't then put sink or hob on that run though. Then you would need say a 900x800 corner unit, which still has 300 (normal) doors. Somewhere like DIY kitchens might make you that for a small surcharge or you could take the unit apart, cut a bit off the back and screw it back together. Sorry this is probably making no sense without knowing your layout.

I have diy-installed kitchens too, honestly I know where you are coming from. But in some ways that gives you more scope to be creative rather than shove standard boxes in a row along a wall.

fossil971 Fri 30-Aug-13 22:32:21

I would agree with Jellylorum, DIY kitchens are a trade-price supplier with a massive choice of unit sizes. They make your kitchen to order so you can request (some) changes to the standard unit like leaving out a shelf or having it not glued so it can be taken apart and modified.

annalouiseh Fri 30-Aug-13 22:37:47

a 900 x 900 corner base needs 2 x 313 wide doors

my dh has done many bespoke 'L' shaped units at different sizes.
he said if you want a little bit of a smaller one...?
use 2 x 256 doors and the carcass size will be 840 x 840 if that fits
as used on this kitchen

treesntrees Sat 31-Aug-13 20:28:15

I went to a local builders/plumbers merchants who offered a fitting service for their kitchen units. This was for a corner base unit, pan drawer, wall unit and narrow base unit. Stainless steel sink unit and taps and very attractive granite effect worktops. All matched the existing units very well and the fitter had no trouble cutting down the corner unit to fit. What I am saying is maybe investigate somewhere similar.

WetAugust Sat 31-Aug-13 21:30:48

Thanks Trees

I got my deposit back from large high st retailer as they decided they wanted £4500 to install. That's a lot more than the units cost. Plus they've just started yet another special offer - having told me last week that there were no special offers running! I was so annoyed at their slipperiness I decided to ditch them.

That was when I discovered that my fallback option had been costed on the wrong kitchen! They've costed for a wood effect painted while I wanted a flat panel painted.

Goodness knows how much extra the re-quote will be.

So I may have tp go back to high st retailer again and get a requite at the new special offer. This is crazy.

Rang Wickes to see if I could get a price list for their order only kitchens. No. They have to design it for me. No available appointments as they are booked solid for 2 weeks!

And I had already started to remove the kitchen tiles so the whole thing looks totally shite and no replacement kitchen in sight!

I could scream

OhRetro1 Mon 13-Jan-14 12:18:05

Hi I don't know if you are still looking (we were for years before we finally bit the bullet) We found that too. DH came across this add for solidwoodkitchen Liked the Idea of solid Oak cabinets so decided to check them out (financially) Then In the end we went to solid wood kitchen cabinets showroom Brearley Court, Baird Road, Waterwells, Quedgeley, Gloucestershire GL2 2AF

OhRetro1 Mon 13-Jan-14 13:03:21

Sorry I'm not used to threads and hit the enter key.
Anyway we looked at their site online and decided to go have a look at their showroom (living up north this was a long drive but we weren't about to get ripped off) They do two styles traditional and shaker, we chose the traditional painted(there are plenty of colours to choose and you could even go natural). Everything is sold flat pack the cabinet bases are made of short stave solid oak (lacquered). We built our kitchen ourselves, It looks stunning! Far cheaper than the chipboard Rubbish you get at wren (one of their ladies wouldn't tell us how much things cost either they wanted to know how much we had to spend. so we walked) many other places do this too, it is really infuriating I don't spend at places like this. You don't have to have a set price to spend at solid wood kitchen ; you design your kitchen, you choose, you buy what you need whether it be a single base unit or a whole kitchen it's like a b&q but quality workmanship. I seriously can't big them up enough.
We costed a B&Q one up and there was only £300 difference between off the shelf cabinets (base units i think they are called) and off the shelf solid oak with veneer inserted doors for us. (we have a small kitchen though) when you compare the quality and the fact there is no veneer (apart from the slide in back panel at the back of the cabinets, this is to allow movement of the wood). All doors are made of solid oak, No veneer it is chunky solid Oak too and even the draw bases and backs are made from short stave solid oak the same as the cabinets. I was and am really pleased with the quality and the service as we were able to look thoroughly playing about with doors oh and the soft close blum hinges without being pounced on. (We were offered beverages these were free but apart from offering us a drink and biscuit no one bothered us until we were ready to speak to someone) We Saw, we chatted to the lady at the desk and we bought there and then.

The only downside I had was Delivery (We had to organise someone (Two strong blokes needed)) to help us unload the truck and I couldn't manage to lift the big stuff like work tops and large cabinet packs as they were far too heavy for me so left that to DH and the driver! But over all I would definitely recommend!

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