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Howden's kitchens – colluding with builder to rip off the customer?

(43 Posts)
tuliptoes Fri 20-Feb-15 21:40:06

Anyone else had experience of buying a kitchen with Howdens? Their pricing is v smoke and mirrors & frankly I was a little gobsmacked by the quote I've just received for their framed Tewkesbury kitchen. Apparently, we've been given a 75 per cent trade discount on every item which means that a corner unit (£586.50) at full price costs a whopping £2346.
Actually feel quite insulted that they think I'm stupid enough to believe it and have decided not to buy anything from them ever.

Lazaretto Fri 20-Feb-15 21:41:45

Almost certainly trying to rip you off. Go and source your own kitchen. Much cheaper.

SwedishEdith Fri 20-Feb-15 21:43:29

I came to exactly the same conclusion with them.

thenightsky Fri 20-Feb-15 21:44:32

Thick end of £600 for a corner unit is rip off enough. £2.4k is laughable.

We did well going to a small local kitchen company. Paid the approx £2.4 k for the whole kitchen.

PartyFops Fri 20-Feb-15 21:45:36

I agree! How on earth do they get away with it!!! Made me really cross.

We have a new (mostly) howdens kitchen. We needed a couple of extra units when I changed my mind on a few things. The howdens wall unit was approx £90, with apparently 75% discount. In the end I bought one from B&Q for about £30. It was flat packed, but didn't take long to make.

Thieves! angry

Lazaretto Fri 20-Feb-15 21:48:35

They assume you're lazy and stupid. You can design your own kitchen. Larger units are usually cheaper than customised and smaller units. Sod them.

Lazaretto Fri 20-Feb-15 21:49:28

I got a decent sized magnet kitchen for 1300. I choose the larger units and it worked out cheaper per Sq foot. Don't trust them.

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Fri 20-Feb-15 21:53:44

I wouldn't even contemplate buying from somewhere like that, having been ripped off a few years back by Magnet's 'sale' prices!

Last couple of kitchens - inframe - we've got from a small(ish) independent manufacturer and this time we're doing the same, albeit a different one. First one we got a quote from B&Q (why???) and for something of inferior quality and design they wanted 50% more than the independent.....

tellmemore1982 Fri 20-Feb-15 21:58:00

I've just put in the howden's Tewkesbury kitchen and love it. I'm happy with the price, I took the same design to Benchmarx and Howden's were cheaper, faster and more flexible with better choice of ranges and colours. Magnet Trade were a whole other league of over priced.

I agree Howdens depend on only giving prices out to trades people, but they also gladly give out details of any tradesman who has worked with them and I would rather have someone who is familiar with a kitchen brand fitting my kitchen, than someone who just builds flat packs. I think Howdens just don't want to get involved in the whole design faff - so many people waste a lot of time with designs that they never follow through on or change continuously, so you can see how as a joinery business they just want to do the joinery (and expect that the tradesman will do the intermediary work).

I'm very happy with the quality of finish, it's strong and well built.

A good piece of advice I was given was that most kitchen companies make their mark up on appliances and work surfaces so they can discount the joinery. For that reason I bought my appliances from a local retailer and my work surface from Mr Marble.

annalouiseh Fri 20-Feb-15 21:59:34

All prices from high street and DIY's are inflated to be knocked down to get to the real cost for the kitchen. It is a bum on seat operation.
People like to feel they have a deal (makes you feel good)
look at the final price, anything before is just rubbish but it makes people go to these place for a quote.
Would you rather know you got a 75% saving or a real price for an item, although the same? many rather to feel they had a bargain.
My dh could increase prices by 55% to reduce them by 50%, What is the point? it creates alot of uncertanity for customers.
It all costs what it costs.
If your happy with the price then thats fine dont over think the discounts as they mean nothing.
In-frame kitchens are the most expensive to an extent on the kitchen market.

TheOddity Fri 20-Feb-15 22:02:18

I agree. Try Wren kitchens. We couldn't believe the quality (solid wood) at a much lower price and you can design it yourself online and give the plan to your fitter. It worked for us and looks really good. Nice company, all arrived on time and well packed. Our Howdens bathroom was cheap and swelled within a year on the under sink cupboards.

EggInABap Fri 20-Feb-15 22:07:31

The lack of transparency with Howdens pricing drove me INSANE not to mention the 2 different but equally pushy fitters putting the pressure on.

I went with Ikea, cost £3k for a large kitchen and a year later I am still over the moon with it, I can highly recommend Ikea and their fitters.

Kahlua4me Fri 20-Feb-15 22:09:17

We have a Howdens kitchen and I am really pleased with it. It was installed 9 years ago and is still immaculate, no signs of wear and tear at all.

I only looked at how much they were charging, not the "original price" as that doesn't mean much to me. I was only interested in the quality of the kitchen and the end price.

ToBeeOrNot Sat 21-Feb-15 11:25:55

One of the deciding factors in going with Ikea for us was being able to see exactly what price everything was and how different combinations altered the overall price.

VioletMoon4683 Sat 21-Feb-15 17:11:59

Ikea hands down for quality and transparency

houseofstark Sat 21-Feb-15 17:44:52

I found Wren worse than Howden's for transparency. It was all double glazing type negotiations, of discounts if you order today and speaking to the manager to get a bit extra. I hated it.

We had quotes from both Howden's and Benchmarx which I found very transparent. Went with Benchmarx in the end, but it's not installed yet!

ValenciaOrange Sat 21-Feb-15 19:23:10

I wouldn't get a Wren kitchen after reading this thread

Duckdeamon Sat 21-Feb-15 19:27:22

I dislike non transparent pricing and pressure to buy then and there to get a price, but understood from friends with their kitchens that howdens is cheaper than lots of other retailers.

StillProcrastinating Sat 21-Feb-15 19:28:49

One branch of Howdens quoted me three times as much as another local branch of howdens for a tap... Franchises all competing. Bonkers, that they think you won't check.

Their October sale is good though.

TheOddity Sun 22-Feb-15 21:51:46

Surprised by that Wren kitchens thread. A lot seems to be about the. Bad fitters. We had our own fitter who we trusted and who'd done work for us before. The Wren carcasses are way better quality than Howden's. I think it's all fairly hit and miss isn't it?!

TheOddity Sun 22-Feb-15 21:52:40

Ooh and for fittings like taps etc screwfix was cheap but be careful not to assume everything will be cheaper there!

Chchchchanging Sun 22-Feb-15 23:27:04

We were set to have a how dens kitchen
Our builder was narked at discount level vs their usual rate
We got a better quality one (engineer vs laminate) still solid built not flat pack for £1k less including branded sink unit and dishwasher,
Really think it depends on the targets they have and how close they are too deadline day
Previously had ikea kitchen it was fab, cost effective and only didn't get from them this time as didn't like the designs as much and appliances have significantly risen in price

bilbodog Mon 23-Feb-15 17:16:37

If you are after an 'in frame' kitchen try 'unfitted kitchens'. They hand build and do a lot of freestanding furniture. Some items arrive ready to put into place and others, such as sink units, will need fitting and plumbing in by your local builder/plumber etc. They have an excellent website where you can cost up etc., and they will design the layout for you as well. I have a country look kitchen and also use antique/vintage pine units which you can pick up from junk/antique shops for a lot less than custom made units and the mix looks really good.

tuliptoes Mon 23-Feb-15 20:14:29

"We have a Howdens kitchen and I am really pleased with it. It was installed 9 years ago and is still immaculate, no signs of wear and tear at all.

I only looked at how much they were charging, not the "original price" as that doesn't mean much to me. I was only interested in the quality of the kitchen and the end price."

I agree Howdens is good quality, but the point is they pluck the figures from thin air depending probably on how stupid they think you are and in our case they have quoted prices that are very ambitious for the quality. The style is actually very similar to B&Q and the end quality probably not that much difference (tho B&Q comes flat pack).

But for the price that Howdens were quoting us, we realized we might as well just pay a bit more for handmade shaker style units from a company in the north of England. Plus they will paint in the colour that you want. I want a particular shade of pale grey (which no one seems to be doing) and was planning to paint the Howden units; but as I say I'm completely put off by the lack of transparency; and the insult to my intelligence re the '75% discounts'.

gallicgirl Mon 23-Feb-15 20:19:08

We've recently moved into a refurbished house which has a new Howden's kitchen. Admittedly we don't know who fitted it but I'm not impressed.

The sink leaks.
One cupboard is wonky.
Doors are askew.
Ceramic hob cracked and had to be replaced.
Integrated washer appears to have moved and is very noisy.

Although these could be fitting problems , it puts me off.

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