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Howdens kitchen pricing

(55 Posts)
swillows Mon 20-Jul-15 17:02:21

Been lurking on here for ages and picked up loads of useful info for the new kitchen! But I was hoping someone could enlighten me....

We are having our Edwardian terrace extended and knocked through at the back to give a large kitchen with seating area at the patio end. Kitchen will be galley style down two walls probably 18ft each side. We had 3 builders give us quotes for the building work etc and they ALL said 'allow £5k for a Howdens kitchen'. The builder we eventually settled on does not have a Howdens account but we thought by then we had a good idea of cost.

We went to Howdens and had a design drawn up - this was actually incomplete as we could not decide what to do around the boiler so they left that corner 'blank'. When the quote came through it was £9k!!! For standard units and laminate worktops including a breakfast bar. We were staggered.

Subsequently we went to Wickes who drew up a fab design, sorted out the 'boiler corner' issue and came out at £8k for solid wood units and worktops and said they'd throw in an integrated washing machine too!! This was when they were having their 50% off sale. We didn't go with them as they didn't actually have units that we liked.

We then went to Benchmarx, threw the Wickes design at them and said 'copy that'. They did and also came up with their own suggestions and we've ended up with what looks like a great design. For their Turin Cashmere units plus solid oak worktops they have come in at just under £8k.

So Wickes AND Benchmarx have come in cheaper than Howdens. A colleague recently had a Howdens kitchen and got all units, appliances AND flooring from them for £8k!! I am wondering if this is because she had a builder who does a lot of business with Howdens - do they give greater discounts for loyalty? Our builder opened a new account with them so we could get our design done so he has never done any business through them. I just find it frustrating that the 3 other builders all said £5k and it is way above that. It threw our budgeting out quite a bit....

Howdens left a voicemail for me today asking what is happening with the kitchen so I am planning on going back to them to say 'you're far more expensive than we expected'. Any other experiences welcomed gladly....

Viviennemary Mon 20-Jul-15 17:15:21

I read on here a while ago that Howdens have different prices for different joiners. And their appliances are very expensive so people usually get the appliances elsewhere. But the quality seems quite good from what I've read. I think Magnet trade kitchens are nice and good value for money and nicer than Howdens.

PigletJohn Mon 20-Jul-15 18:52:31

Don't get appliancez from a kitchen shed.

If they tell you the appliances are worth a thousand, ask for a thousand discount instead.


swillows Mon 20-Jul-15 19:21:57

We are getting the appliances separately - the prices that I have given above are just for the units, worktops, sink and tap. And the Howdens quote was for less units that Wickes and Benchmarx.

ThunderboltKid Mon 20-Jul-15 19:24:05

Yep different builders have different discounts.

My dad, who uses them maybe once a year, gets 30%. Our builder, who uses them for everything all the time, gets 75%.

But id never buy appliances from a kitchen company; better to source them seperately.

yomellamoHelly Mon 20-Jul-15 19:32:42

We have a medium sized kitchen from them incl sink, taps, handles, all appliances and (admittedly) laminate worktops with breakfast bar for £7,500 incl VAT for the Tewkesbury design.

They have a price-matching deal with Magnet, so if your builder hasn't got previous form with Howden's I'd go get a price from them then ping it back to Howdens (and repeat a few times).

Also hate their lack of transparency.

Mrbrowncanmoo Mon 20-Jul-15 19:51:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

corachcymraeg Mon 20-Jul-15 19:55:12

Benchmarx are part of Travis Perkins, as are Wickes. They both sell the same kitchens however Benchmarx are trade only. Benchmarx come ready assembled whereas Wickes need to be assembled.
I've recently had a quote for high gloss Scandinavian style kitchen that will run along the wall (about 4m), plus a kitchen island. Quote came back at around £9k but that includes a Rangemaster, hood and integrated dishwasher and microwave, plus a quartz composite worktop as well as wooden worktop in the island. The quality of their stuff is good and they don't have those flimsy backs that you get with Howdens. I also liked the steel pull out larders and accessories they have.
I've also been looking at IKEA ranges (which my builders don't really like working with!) as they seem to be pretty good quality, although I don't think their carousels look very sturdy. I think it will probably cost a little less, however you need to weigh up overall quality v's budget.
Howdens I don't think that highly of as their customer service has been atrocious and I'm still waiting for a design, even though I contacted them 2+ weeks ago. They are franchises and don't seem to work with other branches to help their customers out (my local branch is different to the one my builder uses and where he has an account, so to get the discount, I have to go to a branch that's miles away from us!). Howdens have too much "office politics" going on and their staff are used to dealing with builders so the ultimate customer doesn't seem to matter too much to them.
We will probably end up going with Benchmarx as they are much more professional and attentive. Hope this helps!

AnnaLP Tue 21-Jul-15 14:04:27

I have seen 2 Howdens kitchens in-situ recently and, personally, I think they look cheap - so if they are not...

Don't just go for the easy option (which is what builders tend to do) as you will have to live with it for years.

What else do people recommend - there must me more reasonably priced kitchens around - anyone?

MaudLebowski Tue 21-Jul-15 14:11:53

Builders all get different discounts from Howdens, it can go up to 80% if they use howdens a lot.
As a punter their customer service is awful, they really pissed me off as I was asking for prices as a specifier for social housing and they still wouldn't tell me. I took my hundred plus kitchens elsewhere.
I now work for a builder who gets a big discount, but I still put ikea in my own house!

lighteningirl Tue 21-Jul-15 14:12:24

Get a local kitchen company in then use your own fitter. Our Howdens quote was £7,000 just for the unit's we paid £9,000 for a German made solid amazing quality kitchen via a local company and it included all the lighting Howdens wanted extra for. We got the best possible discount at Howdens (family of builders)

swillows Wed 22-Jul-15 09:00:14

Thank you all for your replies - so helpful and ThunderboltKid and MaudLebowski, thank you for confirming what I suspected.

Had a very odd conversation with Howdens yesterday - the designer would not confirm it but basically gave the distinct impression that £9k was NOT the price for our design. Unfortunately our builder cannot find the email with the prices and Howdens have deleted the original design from their records now. They told me that they will not be beaten on price and would match the Benchmarx quote - I have to send it to them so they can go through and make sure they are comparing like for like. I told her it was ridiculous to expect me to send in a competitor's quote when she won't talk to me about their own prices.

As others have said, their lack of transparency is just crazy - all too cloak and daggers. Plus I have been more impressed by Benchmarx throughout anyway. But I am going to see if we can end up getting a lower price with Benchmarx - our budget has already been blown anyway as we were expecting around £5k for the units so anything saved can go towards all the little extras.......(building contingency also blown due to floor problems - old houses eh.....!)

busjs79 Wed 22-Jul-15 15:25:14

OP I'm feeling this could be me writing this.

My builder (family member who I trust completely) told me exactly the same - allow £5k. I also found it very frustrating that Howdens wouldn't give me prices, but told me to "pick my dream kitchen then we can juggle to fit budget". My kitchen is a decent size but not huge - no island unit or anything like that. Quote was £8500 inc VAT. Thing is, they won't tell me the individual line item prices so paring it back down has been somewhat painful!

Interesting my worktop is also laminate but I was given the impression that was the "standard" worktop?

Now beginning to doubt my decision - I went with it because I loved the design but don't like the thought I may have been "done"!

Belleview Wed 22-Jul-15 15:49:17

I was very confused in Habitat recently, looking at their kitchens. There are no prices anywhere, not even in the catalogue. The man working there told me just to bring in my measurements and together we'd design my ideal kitchen, then if it wasn't my budget, we'd juggle things and work it to fit my budget.
Incomprehensible to me, really.

swillows Wed 22-Jul-15 21:41:37

How lovely to hear the same thing from you busjs79 although it doesn't really help you out.....

So Howdens have come back to us - well, to our builder and he has just emailed their quote on to us (a full breakdown which shows a delivery charge of £80!) They have beaten Benchmarx!!! By TWELVE POUNDS. What a faff for so little result.

So we will just stick with Benchmarx but like busjs79 we have the distinct feeling we are being 'done' and that's it just our bad luck that we happened to choose a builder who has no history with Howdens.

busjs79 Wed 22-Jul-15 22:06:50

That's the thing swillows - my builder does use Howdens. A lot.

Never mind. I'm hoping in a month or two we will both be able to add pics to the thread showing them all off! Good luck with it!

acatcalledjohn Wed 22-Jul-15 22:13:15

Howdens are expensive, but no builder pays close to the list price (I have seen their actual price list which should only be in the hands of builders, and it really is extortionate). Our solid oak kitchen came from Howdens, but you have to remember that we got it at sale, trade & employee discount, approx 17 units, at about £3.5K. Most builders would pay about 5k for that, then plus their own mark up and labour costs...

swillows Wed 22-Jul-15 22:44:41

busjs79 have you actually bought your kitchen from Howdens already then? If not I would definitely recommend having a look at Benchmarx - the units we are getting there are virtually identical to those we picked in Howdens. Plus the designer we got had just moved there from Magnet and she was very good (we're in Bristol). And I was extremely impressed by the Wickes designer we saw - surprisingly impressed.

K4DIY Thu 23-Jul-15 16:40:18

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

MakeItACider Thu 23-Jul-15 18:23:33

The other thing that Howdens do, is they will issue builders with 2 invoices, with a percentage mark up of the builders choice on the 2nd invoice to give to the client.

This means that your builder can make a profit on any product purchased by Howdens.

A REALLY shady practice IMO.

OnePlanOnHouzz Thu 23-Jul-15 19:02:57

I have to say that I always suggest people shop around comparing like for like - ie with the one specific plan . Otherwise it's so difficult to truly compare . The differences can be enormous !
( if you were spending this on a car you'd go the garage to ask for a price on for example a red 1.1l hatch back - then compare three or four garages - you don't go in and say choose a vehicle you think might suit me - then compare a 1.1l hatch back, a 4x4 , a coupe and a scooter with a side car do you ?! )

morethanpotatoprints Thu 23-Jul-15 19:11:14

We had a brand new Howdens kitchen in our Edwardian semi, it cost 2.5k as we have a builder friend who would do it for free, so this was the cost.
We have 10 double cupboards, worktop, and sink.

Janetlondon Wed 08-Feb-17 22:03:49

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

OhIfIMust Fri 10-Feb-17 05:11:22

I've just spent a week going from Howdens to Benchmarx knocking the cost down for our new kitchen and utility. Tell your builder you know about the mark up and you won't stand for it. Then get them on speakerphone to tell both companies it's ok to discuss prices direct with you. Howdens initially told me £40k list price. Hah! For our shaker style kitchen units with island, an additional run of utility units, two sinks inc one Belfast, solid oak surface in utility (sourcing our own granite for kitchen), all appliances including dishwasher, double oven, built in microwave, fridge freezer and separate under the counter freezer - we are paying Benchmarx £6300 inc VAT. Appliances are all branded not own brand too. We were happy with that. Have the confidence to haggle and you can save £££.

wowfudge Fri 10-Feb-17 10:20:35

I can't be doing with these big companies who treat the public as mugs or idiots or both. After receiving a ludicrous quote from Magnet we have taken our business and our hard earned cash to DIY Kitchens instead.

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