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Yet another thread about painted in-frame kitchens

(31 Posts)
Brugmansia Mon 23-Sep-13 19:03:26

I know this subject has been covered loads before, but there are so many options and I was getting confused so thought I'd start one of my own to draw on the collective knowledge and ideas of MN.

We're in the process of renovating the whole house and should be ready to put the new kitchen in by the end of the year. We want a painted in-frame kitchen. I'd like something like Harvey Jones Linear but DP wants a more traditional shaker style. As it's part of a bigger project we potentially have enough money to spend a reasonable amount on the kitchen but this may lead to us having to compromise too much elsewhere so I'm looking at cheaper options. We are already doing a lot of the work ourselves and DP is both good at lots of DIY stuff and enjoys it. The new kitchen will also be in a different location to the existing one so we don't need to make sure it is installed quickly as we won't be without a kitchen while the work goes on.

Anyway, the options I've come up with so far are the following:

1) Get a quote from Harvey Jones and see if we can stretch to this. Pros - I can definitely get a linear type kitchen if that is what we decide our first choice is. Cons - probably the most expensive option and we don't need the whole project managed/installation etc. side of things to be taken care of.

2) One of the cheaper online kitchen manufacturers. The ones I've looked that have in-frame shaker kitchens are Handmade Kitchens, DIY Kitchens and Pineland. Pros - The process seems relatively straightforward and cabinets come assembled. It looks affordable and there's quite a lot of scope for designing the kitchen to fit exactly. Cons - it seems that styles are more limited and it would probably have to be shaker style. The cabinets themselves seem to have less finesse, eg. with pan drawers having bars between them reducing internal space.

3) Find a good local joiner to build a kitchen to our spec. This seems to be recomeended regularly but I have no idea how to find a good joiner nearby (we're in S London) who will be reasonable. I also suspect good ones are very booked up so may take longer.

4) One thing I had originally been thinking about was getting Ikea units and fitting them ourselves then trying to get bespoke doors done. I'm not sure if this would be possible to recreate an in-frame look, eg. create both frames and doors to be attached to the units. My parents had new doors put on their old units about 15 years ago and it is in-frame even though the original kitchen was not, but they only have cupboards and no drawers whereas we would want a couple of sets of big pan drawers. This idea has the same issue of finding a good joiner. I'm happy though with Ikea units as I know that if fitted well they are good quality, I just want the final look to be more bespoke and I don't really like any of the Ikea doors. I also like the idea of being more in control of the set up of the units and fittings and just having the joiner do the aesthetic on show aspect.

Anyway, apologies for the long rambling post. I'm kind of trying to get my thoughts in order, but was wondering what others thought. At the moment I think option 2 looks like it may suit our needs best, as the budget would probably fit and it would bethe right level of DIY. I'm just a bit wary about buying something that may still be pretty expensive and prove a bit of a false economy or not quite right, particularly as I doubt we'd be able to get to any of these companies' showrooms. Also, if we go for that option not sure which one to go with.

WhatWillSantaBring Mon 23-Sep-13 19:34:38

I have spent hours trawling through the various threads on HJ, Handmade Kitchens, Kit stone, Plain English etc etc but hat has (just today) decided it for us is budget. I was hoping to have enough go for HJ or Kit Stone, and then it would last 25 years, but our other costs are now so high (see my other thread) that we would rather get the look we are after now, accepting the fact we may be having to replace it in 10 years -- shaker units Belfast sinks and black granite are up there with avocado suites according to half the people on here--

So today we paid a deposit for Handmade Kitxhens direct, as the total cabinetry cost are less than half that of HJ. There is a sale on at the mo, and we didnt want to lose that chance. Also, HJ have been shit - so disinterested in us. At one point they phoned to cancel our appt "because we are really busy this month as there is a sale on"!

I would have loved to get a local joiner to make them for me, but I wasn't brave enough.

I will report back in January when we finally get our kitchen!

lightningstrikes Mon 23-Sep-13 20:21:15

I had a joiner do mine. Found him on ebay and recommend him to anyone. I sent him pics from pinterest of what I wanted and it is exactly as I wanted. Link here to his ebay stuff:

OnePlanOnHouzz Wed 25-Sep-13 01:30:17

Mereway do an in frame range called English Revival that's really quite good ! If you find their website I'm pretty sure you will be able to locate a studio local to you who could quote . It's more conventional sizing than the neptune and kit stone, and has some really rather fab colours to choose from too ! Well worth a look IMO !! :-)

Sushiqueen Wed 25-Sep-13 04:46:18

We gave just had an in frame kitchen from Wickes fitted. Yes it is Shaker style but no bars in the pan drawers etc. it looks great and we are really pleased with it. Your fitter does have to assemble all the units though.

pickles184 Wed 25-Sep-13 09:48:16

Try Benchmarx if you want rigid pre-built cabinets with an in-frame painted wood door. They are the trade side of Travis Perkins, same doors as Wickes but better cabinets I believe.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 25-Sep-13 09:58:13

I'm trying not to get dragged back into thinking about the kitchen at the moment as every room in the house has been turned upside down and I need to get some of them completed - gah - but I'm going to lurk about to see what everyone says!

It's a painful process - IMO. Good luck!

CiderwithBuda Wed 25-Sep-13 10:28:43

We had a similar decision when we renovated a few years ago. We went with Handmade Kitchens in the end. DH is very logical and planned the whole thing with military precision! It worked well and we are still happy with it. My only regret is th black granite. I hate it. Sucks all the light out. I wanted the units paints pale grey which I still like and I wanted pale worktops but DH thought we needed contrast so I was persuaded to go for the black. I'm about into investigate selling it somehow and getting what I wanted in the first place.

Not sure what you mean about bars in the pan drawers - we don't have any. Just normal deep drawers. I'll try and put a photo on my profile of our kitchen.

WhatWillSantaBring Wed 25-Sep-13 11:53:04

interesting cider - look forward to seeing your photos. We are going for honed black granite too but now I'm starting to panic it will be too dark. Not having had the extension built yet, I have no idea how much lighter the room will be - its west facing, so currently gloomy till lunch then glorious in the afternoon, but we're getting a south facing french door and skylights. I worry that light units plus light floor plus a light work top would be too pale!

I didn't realise that Wickes / Benchmarkx did an in-frame style. Do you know if the doors are painted or foil wrapped? Just looked at the Wickes prices (40% "sale") and it looks cheaper than HMK.

Sushiqueen Wed 25-Sep-13 13:19:48

The Wickes website says they are painted - couldn't say for sure but looks fine in real life.
We have the Heritage Grey kitchen as we wanted a contrast. Have a pale (basically beige) quartz worktop, red splashback and cream tiles. Our room is pretty dark as it is north facing but it still looks great and can take the colour in the units.
We were advised not to get a black worktop

britishbakeoff Wed 25-Sep-13 23:07:30

We also have Wickes Heritage Grey, bought from Benchmarx (where it's called 'Borrowdale') and it looks like one from a very posh kitchen place but at a fraction of the cost. I'll send you pics if you PM me.

Crowler Thu 26-Sep-13 07:21:58

We had our house renovated four years ago. Our kitchen is a kind of updated shaker from John Lewis of Hungerford - this is more than say, Magnet but less than Plain English. Middle of the road.

I cannot foresee this kitchen lasting more than 10 years. There are signs of wear and tear. I wish I had spent more on it, but you know how it goes with a major renovation.

If I had this to do over again, I would definitely go the carpenter route. I had great luck finding excellent tradespeople on the gumtree website. If time is not of the essence, you could really have a great time using reclaimed wood etc and make your kitchen far more interesting & great quality at a relatively low cost.

Brugmansia Thu 26-Sep-13 16:39:29

Thanks for all the replies.

At the moment I'm still drawn towards the HKD type option. Seeing as we're doing a lot of the work ourselves and I have a pretty clear idea of what I want in terms of layout it would suit us. I also like being able to plan it all myself and then just order what I want. I need to weigh up the different companies however, as there seem pros and cons with each one. HKD seems to have the most flexibility in terms of size of units and variety and in the future we could probably get them to make matching cupboards and a window seat for the dining area part of the kitchen.

CiderwithBuda, I'd be interested in seeing your pictures. The bars I am talking about are horizontal and between each drawer. On the HKD site it looks like the frame goes around each drawer separating them, whereas with some other similar kitchens the frame just goes round the outside of the unit. It looks better in my view with less frame and gives more space.

Plain English type without bars between the drawers

I've had a quick look at the Wickes/Benchmarx online. Looks a possibility if it's very good value. We'd be happy to put together flat pack and would be installing ourselves anyway. The range of colours is very limited though, but if it's cheap enough and it is painted I guess we could repaint. Does anyone know if Benchmarx is still only trade? We'd be installing it ourselves and it really annoys me when companies won't sell direct.

I'm intrigued by the comments that people only expect kitchens to last 10 years just because they aren't the really expensive ones (although I'd count John Lewis of Hungerford as one of the more expensive ones anyway). I'd expect a well installed and reasonably well cared for kitchen to potentially last more than that irrespective of the initial price. The kitchen in my parents' house is over 35 years old and the carcasses are still fine. It was a pretty basic kitchen when they installed it, definitely not solid wood, and it's just the look they have updated with an in-frame wood facade and doors. They also have a holiday home with an Ikea kitchen which is still in very good condition and is over 20 years old. My concern with the cheaper options is that the aesthetic details will not be as good, eg. the doors will not fit within the frames as precisely. The advantage of any painted kitchen is that the look could be updated by repainting and changing details, eg. handles.

Brugmansia Thu 26-Sep-13 16:40:39

links hopefully working

Plain English type without bars between the drawers

CiderwithBuda Thu 26-Sep-13 17:25:52

Well I failed miserably at putting pics on my profile for some reason but I can email them to you if you pm me your email address.

I see what you mean about those bars and we have them too. They are the actual frame of the unit.

Crowler Thu 26-Sep-13 18:07:53

RE: John Lewis of Hungerford. There are some chips on the island sideboarding (there's stools there, so fair enough), and some bubbling on the inside of the trashcan door. Not sure why that would be. Wear and tear underway, kitchen will be 4 years old at Christmas.

I hadn't considered repainting, to be honest. Is that what you're supposed to do?

Brugmansia Fri 27-Sep-13 10:29:15

Crowler, I've always assumed that painted kitchens can be repainted and probably need it after a while in the same way as any painted wood in the house, eg. doors, skirting boards. I may be wrong, but I'd have thought that this type of maintenance would be necessary irrespective of the initial cost, although more care may have been taken over the prep on the high end brands so the initial paint job may be a bit more hard wearing. I have noticed lots of the brands advertise using F&B (probably because it is the best known of the heritage type paints). From other threads on here it seems there are quality issues with the eggshell anyway.

CiderwithBuda Fri 27-Sep-13 10:38:47

We are assuming we will repaint at some stage. We used a Dulux paint as I couldn't find the shade I wanted in F&B - I wanted a soft grey and used Dulux Found Fossil. Our builder installed our kitchen and got someone he knew to paint it - he took some of it away and spray painted it. We were living overseas while it was all going on. I know the painting cost over £2,000 but we do have a big kitchen. I'm assuming next time we will be doing it ourselves!

We almost went for the Wickes heritage grey kitchen but I thought it was too green rathe than the grey I wanted.

OnePlanOnHouzz Fri 27-Sep-13 11:17:37

My painter, Steve, comes over every 3years ( ish ) to do the kitchen cabinetry - it's usually under £300 to repaint the fronts - he uses Johnsons trade eggshell - works beautifully ! Takes a couple of days ! Looks brand new again when he's gone !!

WhatWillSantaBring Fri 27-Sep-13 11:23:34

Crowler - I don't think you can repaint John Lewis of Hungerford but I am sure they told me their cabintery comes with a ten year guarantee. So I would go back to them and ask them to rectify. No need to admit that the stools caused the chips on the sideboard.

In fact, their website says this:
All John Lewis of Hungerford beautifully installed kitchens come with a combined 10 year product and workmanship guarantee, providing our clients with total peace of mind. Of course this guarantee is supplied with our standard terms and conditions and fair usage policy, but our clients can be assured of both a quality product and installation experience.

Our unique Fusion worktop option also comes with a 10 year product & workmanship guarantee, excluding the solid surface element itself, which like most solid surface material has its own guarantee of 2 years."

Brugmansia Fri 27-Sep-13 12:13:17

I'd be surprised if they couldn't be repainted, but it may then affect the guarantee if you were do it.

Back to HKD, does anyone know if they would be willing to vary their designs at all? Their pan drawers have a recessed panel, but some other designs (eg. the Plain English one I linked to and there's a Neptune one I've looked at) have just simple slabs for all the drawers. Does anyone know if they'd do that for me seeing as they're all made to order?

Crowler Fri 27-Sep-13 16:27:56

They do have a ten year warranty. I exercised it when several of my cupboards began bubbling and peeling within a few months of my kitchen being installed (!). They replaced them with not much effort on my end, told me they had a problem in the factory that day, and that there was a ten year warranty.

The inside of my garbage cupboard is a total mess. I should get it replaced.

I can't see them lasting much beyond the ten year warranty. They seem a bit delicate.

JaneFabulousJane Wed 26-Feb-14 15:12:01

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Alwayscheerful Thu 27-Feb-14 07:51:49

Marking place for research.

blackice Thu 27-Feb-14 19:26:52

Did you know that Plain English have a much cheaper range called British Standard Cupboards? they are beautiful! !! if you Google the name you'll come across the website.

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