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Howdens or DIYKitchens?

(21 Posts)
TooMuchRain Fri 18-Jul-14 15:11:51

We need to fit a new kitchen but don't have much to spend and would prefer to avoid flatpack, so we have narrowed it down to these so far - and good or bad experiences with either?


mabelbabel Fri 18-Jul-14 16:09:53

Howdens will do a basic plan for you, and figure out all the bits you need. Our experience of this was that they got a few measurements wrong (our kitchen is not completely square), and that the pricing was not very transparent.
We had a look at the Howdens depot and everything looked OK but not anything much more special than a well-assembled flat pack would be. Hence we decided not to go ahead for the quoted price.
We used the Howdens plan, together with the Ikea kitchen planner to put together a shopping list for DIY Kitchens, which is what we went with in the end. Similar end result to Howdens I guess, but easier to tailor the shopping list to fit the budget, and to make multiple changes to the plan without pestering a rep to do it for you. The final price was less than Howdens but more than the equivalent in Ikea.
Everything went smoothly with our DIY Kitchens order. We put one incorrect thing in our basket and they noticed it didn't match the rest of our order and phoned us to check before shipping it.

RaisingSteam Fri 18-Jul-14 18:22:55

DIY-kitchens will have a lot more choice, and better quality for the price - but you will have to work out your own design and exactly what to order. If you can measure accurately, work out an efficient layout, draw it out on paper and count up numbers of doors/drawers/knobs etc you should be OK. I am a detail freak so this was fine for me! Not everyone is confident to do this, depends on you.

Agree that the Ikea planner is good for working out your basic layout and visualising, although when it comes down to centimetres do check your dimensions - they aren't the same.

If you have a fitter lined up I would talk through your plan/order with them first to check you have allowed correctly for all the ends/corners/trims.

InsertUsernameHere Sun 20-Jul-14 11:41:45

Used DIY kitchens and pleased with the kitchen. Agree with raising it requires skills in being a detail freak. Was all fine but must confess to a sleepless night before delivery as if it didn't fit it was my responsibility. You need to know about minimum measurement between say hob and wall/tall unit etc. Perfectly do-able but not if you need your hand held. Didn't get a howdens price for comparison - but was v good value (did classic tart up with expensive handles - worked a treat IMHO)

TooMuchRain Sun 20-Jul-14 17:17:27

That's really helpful thanks! We have now done a plan for DIY kitchens and are going to run it by the fitter to check it looks ok.

I think we will still need Howdens for the splashback though as it no-one else seems to do them in such big pieces and i would prefer to avoid joins.

mandy214 Sun 20-Jul-14 18:13:08

I measured everything quite accurately, done a plan and did a very basic plan (in a Word document - I.e. squares for cupboards etc) then did a mock up of a very similar design on the IKEA website to 'visualise' it. Then I spoke to them, they suggested I email my plan to them (which I did) and they converted my design into all the items I needed in my basket. I've also been to the showroom to see the kitchen and spoke to the designer too. Just my opinion but didnt see anything I liked in Howdens and more expensive than DIY.

mandy214 Sun 20-Jul-14 18:14:34

Meant had done a plan in my head - apologies !

TooMuchRain Mon 21-Jul-14 11:58:51

That's really good to know, I hadn't even thought of asking them for help directly

TooMuchRain Fri 12-Sep-14 09:50:43

Just an update in case anyone comes across this, wondering the same thing - we went with DIY Kitchens and it was a huge mistake!

I had no problems with the planning, but the company is unreliable - they totally failed to deliver the kitchen on the agreed date or even let us know there was a problem and then refused to take responsibility for the problems that caused. Very poor communications and customer service.

Ratracerunner Fri 12-Sep-14 09:56:34

I've got a Howden's kitchen but I bought custom built work tops to finish them off. The quality is good, with the exception of the soft closer sets on the cupboard doors - they have slowly failed one by one over the last 7 years and are difficult to get back on.
Cupboards and drawer fronts look good as new though.

msmorgan Fri 12-Sep-14 22:55:13

TooMuchRain are you happy with the quality of your kitchen? Which one did you get?

We are almost definitely getting our kitchen from there, we have visited the showroom and have decided on the Milton in frame. The quality seems as good or better than a similar kitchen from Magnet, Howdens, Wicks etc but slightly worried now re the delivery and customer services.

TooMuchRain Sat 13-Sep-14 16:41:47

Yes, the quality looks ok - I don't remember the name but it was about the only flat-fronted painted on that they had.

For me personally I wouldn't use them again because the stress wasn't worth it, the delay means we have no kitchen this weekend and they really didn't give a shit.

msmorgan Sat 13-Sep-14 16:47:34

Have they said why it wasn't delivered on time? Which delivery option did you go for? I think the delivery prices (£75 minimum if I remember right) are quite expensive, I hope they are reimbursing you the delivery cost!

TooMuchRain Sat 13-Sep-14 17:43:32

I went for the Gold option because I wanted to plan in advance. They just weren't interested in the fact that it was delayed, I mean really didn't care at all, when I finally spoke to someone all they said was that the driver was delayed - which I had kind of already noticed! So far they have only agreed to repay £75 which was the extra for the 'gold' service. Urgh, horrible people...

msmorgan Sat 13-Sep-14 19:00:33

I'd be fuming too, I think they should have offered to reimburse the full delivery cost, at least.

I'm going to ring them next week with a few queries, hopefully they're a bit more helpful before you have ordered and paid for the kitchen.

mandy214 Sat 13-Sep-14 20:19:49

Msmorgan just be careful with the delivery. £75 is literally for one man and the van. If you have a burly H and a helper that might work but because the units are already built they are massively heavy. We have some of the full height units and H would have struggled if it had been him and 1 person from DIY. We paid £150 for the 2 man team and they brought it into the house and properly stacked it etc. We have got 2 doors that are damaged and obviously we cant be held responsible because it was the DIY guys who did all the unloading.

msmorgan Sat 13-Sep-14 20:27:11

I was just going to go for the £75 delivery as there will be DH and other workmen on site to help.

I better check who would be held responsible for any damage if we do go for the basic delivery (obviously not damage caused by DH or whoever dropping something, but if they try to say we have damaged something that must already have been done).

It is starting to sound like more hassle than ordering from Howdens but I really like the kitchen we've picked, and the fact that the pricing is so much simpler and is what it is.

msmorgan Sat 13-Sep-14 20:31:35

Mandy214 which kitchen did you get? We were going with the Milton but I've noticed the Harewood comes in slightly cheaper and looks the same and is the same spec. Did you get your woktops from Diy as well?

mandy214 Sat 13-Sep-14 20:38:18

No I think you'll be fine. They are well packaged, its really just the weight. And they deliver upto 10pm at the moment as they're so busy. Ours came about 8.30pm on a Friday night and took about 45mins to unload. We knew it was coming that day but you get a call a few hrs before to tell you the time, we got a call about 2pm saying it would be 6.30-8.30. If you're relying on workmen you need to be aware of that.

The kitchen isnt in yet but looks great, you just need to factor all these additional bits into your decision.

mandy214 Sat 13-Sep-14 20:42:33

We've got the Luca Matt White. We didnt get the worktop from there, having part quartz / part laminate but only because I hadnt made mind up when we ordered the kitchen. The Durapol worktops (if thats what you're going for) are cheaper than anywhere I've found by quite a chunk.

msmorgan Sat 13-Sep-14 20:52:00

We're going with oak worktops, probably from Diy but have also looked at Worktop Express and a couple of other places. I love the Silestone Lagoon quartz but DH doesn't like it and we'd have to have darker coloured units for a contrast. I love the look and feel of oak but the quartz would have been harder wearing.

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