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Any good/bad reviews or opinions about Cooke & Lewis kitchens from B&Q??

(43 Posts)
Imps7 Sun 27-Mar-11 12:48:38


OH and I are going to be re-doing our kitchen in the near future. We don't want to get something that will only last about 5 minutes so we hadn't anticipated getting Homebase or B&Q standard stuff following bad experiences in the past with Homebase kitchen stuff and B&Q bathroom stuff.

However, I've seen units from the B&Q Cooke and Lewis range which I LOVE - they are exactly what I am looking for. They are about twice the price of the standard B&Q kitchens and I'm very sceptical about whether or not they are actually better quality and will last longer, or if they are just more expensive.

Has anyone had either good or bad experiences with Cooke and Lewis? Would you recommend it to friends or tell them to run a mile and don't look back??

Many thanks!

Aworryingtrend Mon 28-Mar-11 08:45:44

I will be able to answer your question in about a week's time- we are having our C&L kitchen fitted this week! To help us decide what kitchen to go for, we went to a number of show rooms and were quite rough with the units/drawers/worktops etc- we found C&l to be much sturdier than magnet and B&Q's own brand. Definitely don't take the first price they give you though- ours came down in price from £13k to £8k! It was a big job- total re-design and a lot of units- but word on the street is that B&Q are losing market share on kitchens to Magnet et al so will come down on price just to get the order.

Imps7 Mon 28-Mar-11 08:47:55

Useful info - thanks worrying!

Good luck with your kitchen - are you planning on surviving with just a microwave and kettle in the living room for the duration or are you moving out?

LankyLegs Mon 28-Mar-11 09:06:50

Hi Imps I was in the same position as you a few months ago when chosing a kitchen and we did look at C&L however we decided against them as my sister had a huge kitchen fitted by them and the quality is not what it is cracked up to be a few months on. The handles and doors etc are not as strong - she has teenage kids so they are not the most considerate! However, she herself said that they were reasonably priced and for a large space all they could afford at the time. If you do go for C&L maybe have better appliances than what B&Q Offer? Her hotpoint stuff looks the part but it scratches easily etc. SHe went for solid granite too which looks great.

We went for a Hacker Systemat Kitchen and are having it installed as we speak so have been with a microwave kettle in the lounge etc for 4 weeks in total!! It's really hard but we are coming out the other end now! (Even though the worksurface still will take 2 weeks to template, cut and install) If you can move out do, but then I think it took us longer as we were knocking through the kitchen diner to make a larger space so had to have a steel put in etc. From start of finish of a kitchen installation alone shouldn't be more that 1-2 weeks if you are having a normal worktop and 2-4 weeks if you are having solide stone/granite worktop that has to be cut.

Good luck!

Imps7 Mon 28-Mar-11 09:26:10

Thanks Lanky! Our kitchen is really quite small ( 11'9" x 7'9") so we're prepared to spend more on units because we don't have too many to buy. The C&L kitchen I've seen (Appleby White) is just what I'm looking for. It doesn't have any handles, so I guess we just need to worry about the doors/hinges/unit carcasses etc. We also don't have any children so I'm guessing that by the time we have a gallumphing teen we will need to re-do the kitchen!

I think I will spend more on worktops as they take the brunt of stuff. I quite like the idea of recycled glass ones - but they cost a fortune!

Bet you can't wait to get back into a proper kitchen! There's only so creative you can be with a microwave!

Plumm Mon 28-Mar-11 09:36:01

The ILs recently sent back a load of C&L kitchen stuff, but they were planning to fit it themselves and I think it was an issue with things not being cut properly, rather than the finish/durability.

LankyLegs Mon 28-Mar-11 09:39:17

Hi Imps I would just go for it then! At the end of the day if it looks good and you like that is the most important thing and like you said by the time your kids are teenagers im sure you will fancy a newer one or might have even moved! My sister's one looks really nice and she is dead happy! We just moved into our house and are doing big renovations and DH keeps telling me this is our forever home and are not moving for 20 years! I think its because of all the money being spent he is having small heart attacks at the expense!

God - am SO sick of microwave meals I can not tell you! DH and I and keen cooks so are suffering! However, if its only a few weeks its worth the pain and just get lots of invites to friends/family if you can to get your homecooking in! Or eat out....! I really can't wait and now its all installed (but not connectd as the worktop man is coming around to template it this morning) its there teasing me but cant use it!

The recycled glass tops are lovely! I know what you mean about expense... everything costs ££££££ when you start works!

Happy kitchen shopping!

AMML Mon 28-Mar-11 14:47:46


We've just had C&L kitchen fitted - gloss cream and we're absolutely delighted with the kitchen, it looks fab. The units seem sturdy & robust enough, but only time will tell.

As mentioned earlier, don't except the first couple of prices, we managed to save ££££ and our C&L kitchen ended up being £800 cheaper than the equivalent kitchen from Howdens (and our joiner wasn't marking the Howdens price up).

We bought all our intigrated appliances on-line. As well as saving money we also had a far better choice on-line than going with B&Q.

One word of caution with B&Q, our designer was totally incompetent (measured up wrong, had to ask several times for floor plan, missed out a curved wall cupboard to name a few). However, between by OH (aka the Clerk of Works) and excellent joiners, they managed to sort out designers errors. We also had a couple of damaged units that had to be replaced which kind of held back the joiners, but to be fair to B&Q, once you managed to speak to the organ grinder, their customer service was very good.

It was a fairly stressful time, but so so so worth it.

Good luck with your kitchen.

Aworryingtrend Mon 28-Mar-11 15:32:41

Yes we are surviving with a kettle and microwave- lots of boil in bag fish and couscous chez Worrying at the moment! Also visiting lotsof family and friends- normally its me who does all the hosting so its nice to have a break for a bit. Some of the unitd should be in when i get home from work, eek! Can't wait to have it all finished.

AimingForSerenity Mon 28-Mar-11 17:54:48

I have no personal experience but some friends of ours recently took B&Q to court over one of these kitchens. Some stuff was measured wrong and fitted badly, some bits didn't arrive and months later they were still waiting.

I don't know the full story but I do know it was a nightmare and did end up in the hands of solicitors.

I will try to contact her to ask and post back later.

maryjane71 Mon 28-Mar-11 21:26:19

Magnet kitchens are often compared to B&Q, are they similar? I thought Magnet were wildly expensive which is why we didn't even consider them.

We had a look at Cooke & Lewis in B&Q and they do look far superior to the 'basic' range.

ElsieMc Tue 29-Mar-11 15:01:33

I used to work for a firm of solicitors and at one stage had two court cases on the go with B & Q and certainly not from what would be described as unreasonable or demanding clients. Poor fitting, bad customer service, unreliable delivery etc, etc.

You did ask and this is just a word of warning...

scaryteacher Tue 29-Mar-11 16:08:48

I've had a Magnet kitchen since about 1999, and it has stood up to ds since 1999 and tenants since 2006 and still looks good.

Ask Magnet what their best deal for cash price is, I got loads off for that.

maryjane71 Tue 29-Mar-11 21:27:42

Exactly what I thought. B&Q is nowhere near the quality of Magnet so don't know why they are compared. I have a 11 year old B&Q kitchen and I am ashamed of the state it is in. Steam from the kettle has 'melted' the laminate doors, as has the heat from the toaster and oven. So wouldn't touch them with a bargepole.
However, we were in B&Q recently and the Cooke & Lewis range did look superior.

CointreauVersial Wed 30-Mar-11 00:34:04

We fitted a C&L kitchen 18 months ago (white gloss) and have been very pleased with it. It is very sturdy and we got a good deal, booking the consultation on 15% Off Day meant the discount applied to the whole kitchen, even though we didn't actually place the order for a couple of weeks.

The B&Q designer came to the house, measured up and gave us a "shopping list" of items, but we had our own joiner install it, mainly because we wanted specific granite tops, and they would only install their own-brand tops.

There were a couple of issues, though. As with AMML, the designer made a couple of errors with the plan; only our joiner's ingenuity saved the day. Also, one of the cupboards was on the point of being discontinued, and the doors were missing from the initial delivery, so we had an anxious wait as B&Q scoured the country for the last remaining stock. It was very difficult to get hold of anyone to complain too; aftercare was non-existent (I imagine this was mainly because we decided to install our own).

Also, I have to say, the B&Q appliances are not great. We bought a bottom-of-the-range fitted microwave, and it has already stopped working! The induction hob is a little temperamental. So I'd echo what AMML said - buy appliances online, and you'll get a better deal.

But no complaints at all about the C&L kitchen itself.

Imps7 Wed 30-Mar-11 07:20:14

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

We would definitely get our appliances from somewhere else - there's a Neff oven that I definitely would like and you can't get it at B&Q - plus having had appliance issues with B&Q before I've already learned my lesson in that respect!

We'd also get our own builder to install - he's done a kitchen and bathroom for us before and is excellent - I'm not sure I'd trust someone who I haven't used before, given some horror stories that I have heard from friends about tradespeople.

I have heard stories about people having to take B&Q to court about kitchens and this is quite off-putting - however, that said friends of ours spent £20k on their kitchen through a very reputable local kitchen designer and had a total nightmare with them - that nearly ended in litigation too. I think total f*ck-ups are a possibility whoever you go with, although I do seem to have heard more stories about B&Q than anyone else, which is worrying!

One thing in particular that I am really keen with the C&L kitchen is a double oven and microwave unit which is all in one - we don't have much work surface space and I really want to put the microwave into a unit and I haven't seen any other kitchens which have a double-oven and microwave unit (I can't find a picture of it to add a link to - it's quite hard to describe!)

I think we will go to a showroom at the weekend and be quite rough with the show-kitchen before making our minds up. In the meantime, if anyone has any idea where else we can get a kitchen which is similar to, or the same as, this one then please let me know!

Thanks all.

CointreauVersial Wed 30-Mar-11 18:13:14

We have a double oven and microwave unit as part of our C&L kitchen too! We put the microwave at the bottom so the DCs could use it more easily, which means the grill is a bit high up, but as you say, it frees up loads of space.

Of course the microwave stopped working but that's another story. angry

myredcardigan Wed 30-Mar-11 18:33:37

We have a house which we rent out. Initially, we put a magnet kitchen in, then 2yrs ago, a C&L one. Both the quality and the service was far, far better at B&Q. We bought the oak kitchen from each so changed like for like but the B&Q one is so much nicer. Magnet may charge more but in our experience it wasn't as good.

Just be careful with appleby and others like that. The fitting needs to be perfect otherwise you immediately notice if the lines aren't lined up exactly. Even if it is well fitted, as the doors loosen, the lines don't stay perfect. When you next go in, have a close look at how the display one is fitted.

Oh and all the bad reports I hear are on the fitting. B&Q are notorious for fitting. Much better to hire some kitchen fitters at half the cost who will do a better job.

Particles Wed 30-Mar-11 19:01:47

We've just had one, looks lovely and the quality is fine but we fitted it ourselves and had endless issues with B n Q forgetting parts of the deliveries, measuring up wrong, not turning up when they said they would to collect the ill-fitting pieces, plus a wait of a few weeks between originally discovering the wrong fit and actually getting a new, correctly fitting piece! Didn't expect it from a company of that size who must measure, fit and deliver kitchens fairly regularly tbh!

maryjane71 Wed 30-Mar-11 20:40:59

Neff or Bosch? Which is better overall?

Imps7 Wed 30-Mar-11 20:58:17

I adored my Neff oven in my last house - we spent a bloody fortune on it and 6 months later decided to move! I really wanted to take it with me, but the kitchen in our current house (which is dire need of re-doing) doesn't currently have a fitted oven so we couldn't have put our Neff anywhere. It was a great great oven, and sadly missed

Ponks Wed 30-Mar-11 21:07:23

maryjane think Neff and Bosch are part of the same group so essentially the same thing .. I prefer the look and feel of Bosch though, the Neff handles & switches annoy me.
Having said that we have gone for an AEG oven this time, when we moved in to our new house there was an ancient AEG oven and it is great (albeit dowdy & chipped). So here's hoping the new one will be as good!

I am surprised at people thinking Magnet is so much better than B&Q - looking at the units in our local showroom they don't seem very substantial or good quality. Certainly not markedly different from B&Q.

maryjane71 Wed 30-Mar-11 21:53:34

I believe they are Ponks, so will go with whatever looks better. Did you have one with a fold away oven door Imps? Miele is recommended apparently. For the very rich grin

Imps7 Wed 30-Mar-11 21:59:23

I did have fold away doors - only because for some reason it was cheaper than getting the same model but without fold-away doors. I didn't really need them in my last kitchen as it was quite wide, but my new one is much narrower and I can definitely see the advantage in having them.

Yes...Miele...maybe one day! grin

maryjane71 Wed 30-Mar-11 22:05:00

Was it a pyrolitic one Imps?

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