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choosing a new kitchen

(40 Posts)
3littlefrogs Sat 17-May-08 15:26:22

I have saved up for a seriously long time and have the plans for new kitchen.

I can have the fairly expensive kitchen that is included in the plan, or I can purchase a kitchen elsewhere and fitter will still fit it for me. (The kitchen is a bit too expensive, but I could stretch/borrow a bit).

I like a wickes kitchen that has 40% off in their sale, but am nervous.

Are Wickes Kitchens any good, or will half not be delivered and the remaining half drop to bits?

I was told, years ago, that most kitchens are made by the same manufacturers, and one is generally paying for the name/brand.

Does anyone know anything about kitchens?

I have waited 15 years to be able to afford this and don't want to get it wrong.

Thank you in advance - all advice gratefully received.

NotABanana Sat 17-May-08 15:28:53

We have had 2 new kitchens fitted from Magnet. Initially we went to MFI but they cocked up our quote and weren't willing to negotiate so we said no thank you.

First time we paid their fitters to do it. The second time it was a lot bigger kitchen and was going to cost the same to fit it as to buy it, so DH did it.

If I was doing it again I would get cupboards up to the ceilings and as many drawers, cupboards as I couldfit in. Get pan drawers as well as cupboards. We have 4 and they are fab.

tessieb Sat 17-May-08 15:29:00

Will be watching this thread with interest, cos I'm wanting a new kitchen, too.

dizzydixies Sat 17-May-08 15:29:38

MaureenMLove has just had one put in - will go and get her for you smile

I had our done last year but by an independent kitchen company as MFI/Moben/B&Q/Wickes were all charging me through the roof for something I didn't want

always worth a check and the smaller local ones, not always more expensive, mine certainly wasn't

3littlefrogs Sat 17-May-08 15:36:06

The fitter is highly recommended by a good friend. Her kitchen is beautiful, but she is richer than me.

I expect he gets commission if he fits one of "his" kitchens, but they are pricey.

I am confident he will do a good job - there is some building work to be done, hence the expense, but I wonder if it is false economy to fit a cheaper kitchen (ie Wickes) or if i should go the whole hog and have the expensive one - that i can't really afford, but I know that i will never again have a new kitchen, so this will have to last.

I am fearful of making a mistake.

3littlefrogs Sat 17-May-08 15:38:52

There is absolutely no mileage in expecting DH to do anything. He doesn't do DIY. Neither does he see any reason why anyone would want to replace a kitchen until it had all fallen to pieces and crumbled to dust. Sigh.

He does work very hard and long hours though, so I should not complain.

dizzydixies Sat 17-May-08 15:44:36

mine is from the schuller range and it was £4.5k (I had all my appliances though) and I have been thrilled with it
was £1k to fit it but we took the cost down by removing the existing kitchen ourselves, dh is terrible at diy and also works horrendous hours but I have no problem at demolishing things smile


3littlefrogs Sat 17-May-08 15:44:37


MaureenMLove Sat 17-May-08 15:46:10

You rang! grin

First of all. Howdens is no longer the trade company of MFI, so anyone who tells you it is, is wrong! grin(U>S company bought MFI, but didn't want the Howdens bit!) Some of the designs that are at Howdens are the same still, but any new ranges at MFI are purely MFI. They now have a huge manufacturing place somewhere in the North of England and there's are exclusive.

We looked at all the kitchen places, like you, we've waited a long time for this and we're throwing money at it, so don't want to get it wrong! Personally, I didn't think the Wickes kitchens were nearly as good a quality as MFI. In fact, I didn't find any of them as good.

I think reputation is a bit tricky on something like this tbh. People have said to me not to touch MFI with a barge pole, but we've had no problems what-so-ever. That may of course be, because they have new management, who knows.

So, not a lot of help at all really, am I? grin We did barter with the guy in MFI though! We managed to get nearly £2,000 off the cost, just by being cheeky!

3littlefrogs Sat 17-May-08 15:52:11

Thanks maureen. I haven't looked at mfi. will do that now.

Thanks dizzydixies. Actually the schuller range looks very like the ones he provided - I think they are German.

I have made an appointment to see the design consultant at Wickes, but i just wonder if i am being silly trying to save a few hundred pounds, if it isn't going to last. I am certain I will never have another new kitchen.

Thanks also to everyone else.

Am hoping that someone who has had a wickes kitchen will come along soon.

Piffle Sat 17-May-08 15:53:11

ok...have seen wickes b&q and homebase. Not great.
howdens step up as are ikea.
john lewis have fabby starter kitchen range. Get local fitter, worth asking local flooring suppliers as to who is known locally as good fitter. Our fitter charges £1500 max fitting for large kitchen incl plumbing.
no decorating though.
I seriously think john lewis kitchens are really nice.

mejon Sat 17-May-08 16:01:19

We've recently had some quotes for kitchens. The Wickes one was more than double the other two even with the discount for fewer cupboards. We also had a quote from Grahams (who are part of Jewsons I think) which was pretty reasonable and B&Q - though I'm slightly put off by them because of their reputation. Not too impressed with either Homebase or MFI as all their cupboards seemed to be laminate rather than wood. Magnet had some nice ones but we didn't get as far as getting quotes off them.

MaureenMLove Sat 17-May-08 16:04:08

mine Looks white there, but its much more buttery in rl! They do fantastic work surfaces too. That's want costs the money these days tbh. We have something called Maia, which is like a resin and has all smooth edges and no joins.

MargaretMountford Sat 17-May-08 16:05:08

just had ours done, fitted by friend of parents but the units all came from Howdens...will attach picture to profile later as dh is still painting the walls !

3littlefrogs Sat 17-May-08 16:06:19

Dss will be demolishing the old kitchen for me. They will also do some of the painting and decorating, and ds1 will do the flooring. So can save a bit that way.

3littlefrogs Sat 17-May-08 16:08:54

Ooh - Maureen, that is beautiful. envy

dizzydixies Sat 17-May-08 16:28:39

3littlefrogs if it was schuller then mine is absolutely wonderful, brilliant pull out corner shelves/ pan drawers/ bi-fold top cupboards and hidden cutlery drawer - all highly recommended smile

NEXT and Habitat both do kitchens too smile

3littlefrogs Sat 17-May-08 16:58:48

The brochure I have does not have a brand name on it - but some of the ranges are identical to the Schuller ranges and the brochure is german, so I suspect it is the same manufacturer.

So maybe I should pay the extra for the quality.

Also - I am sure that this chap would not fit poor quality, as he has a very good reputation.

I have only found one review of a Wickes kitchen on-line and it was bad.

3littlefrogs Sat 17-May-08 17:02:09

I hate having to make decisions about spending money on the house. Dh is not interested, but if it goes pear shaped it will be all my fault. OTOH it is my savings (gleaned from my wages over the last 8 years and squirrelled away into savings account) that I will be spending.

Oh dear - it is hard.

MaureenMLove Sat 17-May-08 17:16:52

I think, as long as you go into it, with whoever you choose, knowing that you are the cient and you are giving them money, you'll be fine. Remember, they want your custom and the more knowledge you have about their products and your customer rights, the better off you'll be. We struck up a rapor with our guy at MFI and he was really helpful. It helped that DH is a tradesman, so we know an awful lot of plumbers, builders, electricians etc, so each time he gave us a price for something, we were able to say, 'well, we know we can get cheaper.' grin

I also think, that just because someone has had a bad experience from one branch, doesn't mean its the same in every branch iyswim! I believe in telling them like it is - this is what I want, you want the commission, so this is how its gonna be! grin

Best of luck! Let us know, when you make a decision!

dizzydixies Sat 17-May-08 20:55:17

go with the good reputation and word of mouth, if its a small company they have to rely on that for repeat business

am THRILLED with my schuller and will drag out some photos if you like smile

3littlefrogs Thu 22-May-08 15:40:19

Have discovered they are "Hacker" Kitchens. German.

Any experience?

brrrrmmmm Thu 22-May-08 16:17:03

Check around all the suppliers and do lots of reading on the net before committing or starting.

My SIL gave me her old cabinets (3 years old!!) to put in our kitchen, it's a Burbidge kitchen, terribly expensive by my standards - and after shopping around, I found that Caple do EXACTLY the same units (they even use the same photos in their brochure) for half the price!!

Saying that, Homebase do almost exactly the same units appearance-wise, for about a tenth!!

When you do a bit of reading around and looking at all the brochures, you will suddenly realise similarities and ways to save money all over the place.

Have fun!

podglet Thu 22-May-08 16:34:36

OK, I work for a fabbo Kitchen and Bathroom company but they are expensive (40K for a Kitchen +) However, I have now had 2 B&Q kitchens and I love them. The first one DP fitted and was fine, this one was fitted by an independant installer and is fab. The trick is, to try and get someone to design it who has fitted kitchens before. They will have a much better idea of use of space etc, rather than just because it looks pretty!

Also, independant installers are usually pretty good at doing the whole job i.e flooring, plumbing, gas etc.

B&Q do home visits to design too.

podglet Thu 22-May-08 16:37:19

Nicholas Anthony where I worked, have some good ideas you could use

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