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Buying kitchen units-Howdens versus Ikea, Wickes and B&Q?

(59 Posts)
ArcticRoll Sun 19-Feb-12 15:41:47

Have been waiting to update my hideous country kitchen for ten years and now want to make sure don't muck it all up. Am planning to buy simple white units and spend more on Corian work surface, taps and flooring . Just trying to weigh up the pros and cons of the above companies. Would be grateful for any tips, thanks.

zipzap Sun 19-Feb-12 17:06:19

Nothing to add but will be watching with interest as hope to be buying some myself in the not too distant future...

My dsis bought some howdens units recently although they haven't fitted them yet. They got a good deal (bil quite a hard deal driver) - there was an offer on that finished on jan 31 so they had had a quote and worked it all out the week before then went on the 31st. When he was there they already had the notices up for the next deal (free dishwasher if you spent over £xx) so bil asked for that too and got it as there wasn't anything to say you couldn't have both offers, they only had the other offer because they already had the quote and ascertained that it would still be valid on 31st if they returned then. Plus he then got them to round it down to nearest £100.

On another thread on here somebody gave the name of the trade suppliers for wickes kitchens that they reckoned were half the price of wickes ones for the same thing so worth doing a search for (sorry on phone so can't do it now)

Plus look at homebase - if you know you are going to get them there are often vouchers around for an extra ten or fifteen percent off the price even if they already have an offer or two taking money off the price already.

SwedishEdith Sun 19-Feb-12 17:38:41

What I found frustrating about Howdens was that you just couldn't get a simple price. I wanted to work it out for myself. Howdens did do a design which included a huge amount of units (lots of wall units when I'd specifically said I didn't want any, a "breakfast bar" type thing that would have been less than a foot away from the dining table hmm) And, of course, their magic "discount" (which always seems to be 71%) I found this tedious to deal with so didn't.

Wickes again require you to sit and design it with them before you get a price. If you like their kitchens, look at Bemchmarx which is their trade arm or supplier, I believe.

I think IKEA are great for the price. We could get all the inner pull-out and twirly things we liked as it was affordable. We got our worktops and appliances elsewhere. And if you get bored in 5-10 years time, you can just change the doosr. Howdens and Wickes need you to buy the whole unit plus the doors together.

Have no experience of B&Q Cooke & Lewis range but their lower-price range is not great and I'd only recommend it as a quick fix when needing to sell a house which is what we did

notatigermother Sun 19-Feb-12 18:02:51

we've been talking to all our friends and neighbours and after mcuh deliberation and discussion with our builder, who is going to fit the kitchen, have opted for IKEA. There wasn't too much between Howdens and IKEA but the range of options and internal fittings and knickknacks that IKEA offers, won it for us.

The builder told us that as he was fitting into a new room, ie not replacing an existing kitchen, then IKEA would be fine. Apparently they are not so easy to fit into existing ones as theres very little space behind the units for the plumbing - this is the reason he said many builders don't like IKEA even though the quality is apparently better than the others that are in the same price range.

We're going for their gloss white range but are putting in our own iroko wood worktop. Will look gorgeous (fingers crossed)

ArcticRoll Sun 19-Feb-12 18:05:23

Thanks for such quick replies-looks like Ikea in the lead. Now I just have to steel myself to go to the store in Croydon-I swore never to go there again!

notatigermother Sun 19-Feb-12 18:12:10

you'll have to go at least twice I'm afraid, once to get the kitchen brochure - which you really need and will spend far too much time having to look through, check, check and triple check. and then again to check out the things you werent sure about.
Its a nightmare but tbh its a nightmare which ever one you choose. Just make sure you don't pick up 6,000 tea lights and other rubbish that looks good in the market section but you really don't need grin

nocluenoclueatall Sun 19-Feb-12 20:32:56

We had same dilemma and have opted for... Ikea. We'd narrowed it down to Howdens and Ikea and after going right round the houses the Ikea one looked better (we wanted plain white slab doors - surprisingly difficult to find), was more functional (had all the pullouty bits we fancied after years in rubbish 80s kitchens) and was actually cheaper.

I have a friend who's a high end property developer, he puts Ikea kitchens into all his flats / houses (including the ones he lives in himself) so felt they were quite tried and tested, but what clinched it for me was going to a friends house where they had a mixture of Howdens and Ikea units. You could totally tell the difference - the Ikea ones just seemed to hang better somehow.

Pannacotta Mon 20-Feb-12 11:22:50

I think IKEA generally have the best reputation at that price level. The interior fittings are also very good and well priced - these can bump the up the price hugely I think.

Not so good if you dont live near IKEA though. I am tempted myself as we are researching a new kitchen but cant face the 2 hour journey to get there...

Have any of you used the IKEA planning service where they come up and measure up and then plan it for you?

MaryJane40 Wed 22-Feb-12 19:25:21

We had a planner visit yesterday and expected a bloke from Ikea with a tape measure. But he was an independent architect and came up with some fab ideas. Well worth the £100 fee. We'll get £50 of that back when we order the kitchen but would get the full amount back if we were to use Ikea's fitting service. Highly recommended.

woollyjo Wed 22-Feb-12 19:38:05

DH is a carpenter and regularly fits kitchens, he has just fitted us an IKEA one and was impressed with the quality, above that of Howdens and B&Q only snag is they have no cavity behind the units for cables and pipes so services need to be run below or above the units.

Their design service was great and we got some really good deals on appliances and cash back which we than used to buy other kitchen components (handles, extra shelves etc.) and anything we didn't use that was still in its packaging and had a part number could be returned for a refund.

I also like the way they assume you have loads of stuff and not much room.

We didn't have their worktops though (all their nice ones were made to measure and we just wanted lengths) you'll need to hunt to find them from anywhere else as they need to be 620mm not a standard 600mm deep.

shockers Wed 22-Feb-12 19:48:37

Our last kitchen was the freestanding Ikea one... I loved it. I thought it would be a bit odd to buy exactly the same kitchen for my new house so we fitted a Howden's kitchen, it's ok, but I wish I'd got the other one again.

shockers Wed 22-Feb-12 19:49:23

We did buy Ikea oak worktops though, and they are nice on the kitchen we've got.

CutItOutAndRestart Wed 22-Feb-12 20:49:52

we are going through this exact problem at the moment. I love ikea kitchens (never had one myself but love playing around in store blush ) We have a wickes planner and an independent fitter coming out this week.

the fitter does howdens and wasn't keen on ikea.

both offer a free design / quote service so I was going to see what they come up with and then visit benchmarx before putting my hand in my pocket for an ikea planner to come out.

my head is spinning though, I have spent hours looking at different designs and different combinations i.e. Pull out larder versus baskets, wizzy corner carousels etc and I am wondering how on earth you make a final decision?

TalkinPeace2 Wed 22-Feb-12 22:53:39

we did Ikea
designed the whole thing with the online tool
bought worktops and appliances separately

workshy Wed 22-Feb-12 22:58:26

Homebase sell Corian work tops and they have 15% off at the minute -they were also offering 10% discount cards at the weekend too so I'm sure if you explained that you have 'missplaced' your 10% card they would sort it out for you ;-)

NoMoreMarbles Wed 22-Feb-12 23:27:13

i have done a plan on the ikea online tool and up to now they are the cheapest for what we need, the quirkiest colours, and the best reviewssmile

we will be getting our kitchen from lkea and most likely the worktops too but i have found the worktops i like/want in B&Q! we are going for the grey slab units from ikea and the white stone worktops (the B&Q ones are £200 more expensive and very similar but has sparkly flecks in itsmile)

i REALLY like talking about re-doing our kitchen...DH is bored of it nowgrin

MerryMarigold Wed 22-Feb-12 23:34:24

We had Ikea done in the summer and I love it. So practical and CHEAP. If you're going basic white, I would do Ikea as they all look the same so why spend more on someone else. Spend a bit more on handles (get them elsewhere, online is good). Also you need to watch for pipes as the Ikea cupboards go flush to the wall so pipes have to be on the floor. If you have wall pipes, holes need to be cut in the cupboard which is a pain for fitter and doesn't look as nice for you either (tho prob still worth the money). Appliances, I bought own cooker though got their dishwasher/ fridge/ freezer as wanted them built in. You have to watch Ikea stuff as it's not always possible to fit other people's brands into the space. I have a freestanding cooker so this was fine.

CutItOutAndRestart Thu 23-Feb-12 13:12:13

lol my dh is bored with it too and says just do want you think is best hmm

it may not be to everyone's mn taste but I want white units and a black sparkly worktop. I already have my handles grin

does anyone have any for /against points for integral hob & oven versus freestanding? I keep shivering.

I think I have decided against the pull out larder (unless we get Ikea) I want two big tall units with the pull out baskets.

first fitter hasn't arrived yet. He better hurry up as I spent the entire night dreaming kitchens blush

if I get some sort of plan today shall I post it for suggestions?

hermionestranger Thu 23-Feb-12 13:13:57

We had an okra one in our old house. Brilliant brilliant brilliant. I would have another one in a minute. (next house) sad

hermionestranger Thu 23-Feb-12 13:14:17

Ikea. Stupid phone. grin

ifitsnotanarse Thu 23-Feb-12 13:28:25

I had an independant fitter come out to plan my new kitchen. The drawings, which we got back last week, look lovely but we were quoted £3800 shock for a "Posh Kitchen".
I had a go at the Ikea on-line planner but lost the will to live trying to make everything fit. The white slab doors look lovely with the oak worktop though (really want a new kitchen now!!!!!!!).

CutItOutAndRestart Thu 23-Feb-12 13:34:10

lol my dh is bored with it too and says just do want you think is best hmm

it may not be to everyone's mn taste but I want white units and a black sparkly worktop. I already have my handles grin

does anyone have any for /against points for integral hob & oven versus freestanding? I keep shivering.

I think I have decided against the pull out larder (unless we get Ikea) I want two big tall units with the pull out baskets.

first fitter hasn't arrived yet. He better hurry up as I spent the entire night dreaming kitchens blush

if I get some sort of plan today shall I post it for suggestions?

lambethlil Thu 23-Feb-12 13:37:35

We've done IKEA twice. So long as you're prepared to go back to pick up stuff its ace, so much cheaper than anywhere else.

Howdens are designed for the fitter -it is much much easier and quicker to fit one of their kitchens- so your builder will always beg you to go with Howdens.

BeckyBrandonNeeBloomwood Thu 23-Feb-12 13:38:54

also going to watch this thread with interest as we are currently undecided between IKEA and Wickes kitchens.
I love all the jazzy carousels, pull out cupboards, fridge in a massive drawer etc from IKEA, but the only finishes we like are the black gloss ones which I feel wont seem right in our victorian cottage we are buying hmm
There are one or two wooden style finishes we like in Wickes but the interior options seem a bit boring in comparison!

I need masses of storage for all of my useless kitchen gadgets stuff so lots of cupboards and drawers! grin

Yorky Thu 23-Feb-12 13:44:35

Keep talking all those who know about these - I am finding lots of useful ammunition against DH info for my kitchen planning ideas fest. Does anyone know anything about the relative price/quality of homebase kitchens?

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