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What do you do when your Howdens kitchen starts to fall apart?

(15 Posts)
sleepyhead Fri 21-Aug-15 14:18:52

I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and put it down to shoddy fitting (although I'd personally never buy a kitchen from them), but is it possible to buy bits of Howdens units to replace the ones that are falling apart?


- one drawer front on our 3 drawer unit has detached, the fixing that was keeping it on the drawer has split, and the drawer front itself is damaged in such a way that it'll be tricky to reattach it securely even if I can replace the fixing.
- the matching panel on the extractor hood has also come away from its fixing, the fixing has bent. This one might be able to be reattached using a wider screw since although the screw has ripped out of the front it's cleaner than the drawer front.

The kitchen can't be more than 2 or 3 years old. No paperwork as it was fitted before we moved in, presumably by some cowboy fitter who knew he could be as slapdash as he liked because the person paying was never going to use it angry.

If it were Ikea or B&Q then I'd go in and buy a replacement, but Howdens have that stupid discount markup built into their prices so presumably that's not an option.

So cross. It's a nice enough kitchen and it shouldn't be coming to bits like this.

SugarPlumTree Fri 21-Aug-15 19:27:19

I apologise but I'm posting as want to see hat people say. We have the same drawer problem and some of the coatings on the doors at the top are peeling away.

PettsWoodParadise Sat 22-Aug-15 19:07:09

Most handy person, decorator will have an account with Howdens, one idea may be to get them to do another small job and put the drawers and parts in as part of the quote too. We have a Howdens kitchen and it is now 7 years old and very robust.

akkakk Sat 22-Aug-15 19:24:25

you can walk in and buy any bits... but they will charge you 'retail' prices rather than trade discount and the difference is phenomenal...

anyone with a company can open an account, so either something you can do if appropriate, or as above, find a tradesman who can do it for you... buy the bits just before the end of the month (their sales target figures) and push hard for a discount - the price keeps coming down...

My Howdens kitchen is over 10 years old - I have just bought more worktop to match, and extend it and all is in good condition.

NorbertDentressangle Sat 22-Aug-15 19:33:02

I'm surprised that it's a Howdens kitchen. If you'd said B&Q I would have expected it but not Howdens. Ours has been in 12 years and has only needed one small adjustment in that time.

i would just get recommendations of carpenters/builders from friends and find one that will do a small job like yours and who has a Howdens account.

marshmallowpies Sat 22-Aug-15 19:46:02

Mine was showing a bit of wear and tear after 4 years though nothing as serious as this (although the person I sold to contacted me after about 6 months saying a cupboard door had broken and where could she get a replacement). Some of the less-than-perfect finishes, a few cracks in units here and there, and badly fitted doors, I put down to slightly shonky builders rather than the fittings themselves. The doors we fixed by getting them rehung with better screws.

However one really poor quality thing was the under cupboard lighting - really hot halogen bulbs which popped within months, and you couldn't replace the bulb, Howdens had to sell you the entire bloody light fitting.

And in some cases the lights had been wired in in such a way that you couldn't replace the fitting without removing an entire cupboard. That was really bad short term planning by my builders and really grabby of Howdens to make light fittings which broke so easily and had to be entirely replaced. Still cross about that.

Also had repeated (and seemingly unfixable) problems with washing machine but that was not Howdens own brand, I insisted on having a named brand (Electrolux I think) at a higher price, and it caused problems almost from day 1.

Wigeon Sat 22-Aug-15 23:04:54

Sounds like bad fitting - my Howdens kitchen is about 3 or 4 years old and good as new!

Lucy61 Tue 25-Aug-15 21:10:26

We used to have a Howdens kitchen, rubbish. There were chips on several units and on the laminate worktop within a couple of years. Builders love to fit Howdens because the units come preassembled and they are easier kitchens to fit than say IKEA.

Op, if you go into Howdens and explain to them, they might take your details and just treat you as a trade client. When I had a similar problem, a nice guy at the desk set an account up for me and sold me a couple of things at trade prices.

StephanieBeacham Wed 26-Aug-15 12:51:13

There was a Howdens kitchen here when we bought it. Looked nice enough in the photos. It was a piece of sh*t.

I took the whole thing out and started again. Badly fitted, though probably not too badly made.

I just loathe chipboard kitchens. They are easy to clean while they last but once something works loos or goes wrong, they are pretty much irreparable.

We had a wooden one built by hand by a local chippy, it's beautiful, simple, strong and cost about £700.

sleepyhead Wed 26-Aug-15 15:04:27

Thanks all. I'd love to start again, but not an option in the short to medium term unfortunately.

I'll try going into Howdens and see what the score it. Currently the kitchen is a really dreadful advert for their products and I'm loath to pay someone professional to come and change a couple of doors, which is an easy job, just because the last person to do it was such a bodge (plus it's difficult round here to get anyone decent to do small jobs).

ElsieMc Fri 28-Aug-15 14:52:30

I have a howdens kitchen, three years old. It was the top of the range painted oak and was well fitted. I was aware from other companies pricier ranges that paint could chip off from various bumps and knocks from children, but this has been very minimal indeed and I do have a touch up paint if necessary.

I think the problem with howdens is that quality of their ranges varies enormously; for example a local homeless charity owns a number of properties in the area and always fits their basic range which is just okay.

Another issue is that their units are not bespoke, ie do not fit cleverly round corners in your kitchen. I wanted a streamlined run of units so this did not bother me. The kitchen has had very good comments particularly that the fitting was better than more upmarket companies' work. The fitter was self employed, but was on Howdens recommended fitter's list. He came back to adjust some of the doors as they tend to "drop" free of charge.

He wanted me to be happy with his work and told me to hold off paying for a few weeks to ensure there were no issues.

I had one or two teething issues with a hinge or two and I just went back in and got some more as do bear in mind that their kitchens come with a twenty year guarantee. You could go down this route. They tend to have a sale around the end of October.

VintageGill Mon 11-Sep-17 18:35:16

I know this is an old thread but I just had to post this as I am feeling so p****d off with Howdens. I had Howdens Burford Cream Shaker cupboard doors fitted in my kitchen 3 years ago and after 18 months I noticed that the cream finish on one of the doors was starting to peel. I tried to ignore it, but it is really disappointing when you have attempted to give your kitchen a new look and after such a short time the finish starts to deteriorate.

I used Howdens as we needed to buy a lot of doors and our kitchen fitter recommended them as being value for money. I have done up quite a lot of houses over the years and have used B&Q fairly inexpensive doors in the past but never had a problem with them. The difference in the quality of the finish on these Howden doors was evident from the outset really, but I still wouldn't have expected the foil to peel off so easily after such a short time and with light use. We are a couple and my kids are now not living at home and we have no pets in the house. I don't even have my washing machine or drier in the kitchen, so there isn't a lot of moisture in the air either.

Now, 3 years after fitting, most of the doors have some lifting of the foil. It is happening mostly on the lower edges on both the base cupboard doors and the wall unit doors, so it isn't anything to do with wear and tear (since we hardly ever actually touch the bottom edge of the base unit doors apart from when I clean them). My last kitchen looked practically good as new after 10 years of use and I had three kids in the house too back then.

I dislike the fact that Howdens list their products at silly prices for the non-trade customer. If someone has Howden doors and wants to replace one for ANY reason, it is a rigmarole to contact your kitchen fitter and get him to do it. Most tradesmen can't be bothered to do small jobs, so that leaves the home-owner out on a limb if they just want to buy one or two doors.

I checked on their site and they say that their cupboard doors are supposed to have a 5 year guarantee. These Burford doors are just not constructed well and the materials are not robust enough to stand up to even light use in a normal family home.

I have contacted the company and they say that they are going to "send out a rep" to look at the doors. I wouldn't want to replace them with like for like and I am expecting that they will find a way of explaining the peeling as "wear and tear" (which it definitely is NOT. I am very careful with my things and it is reasonable to expect your kitchen doors not to start obviously deteriorating after just 3 years). I will wait and see what the outcome is but I am not too hopeful. Luckily, I kept the receipt that the builder gave me when we bought them, so I can prove when they were purchased.

So disappointing - I would never buy anything from Howdens again.

DustyMaiden Mon 11-Sep-17 18:41:13

You often see them on eBay.

I am just removing my Howdens kitchen after 16 years because I'm bored of it but still in good condition.

lmun Sun 03-Dec-17 14:29:09

I would just like to add I have a Greenwich shaker cream kitchen and the bottom of most units are blistering and splitting at the bottom the kitchen is only 2 years old and I thought if I bought at howdens kitchen it would last forever. (should have bought something cheaper and if it started to fall apart then it would have been expected). They are trying to say its water damage from me cleaning units, the guy was really patronising. Waiting on decision from manager about what they are going to do, probably nothing.

Titsywoo Mon 04-Dec-17 20:29:41

This is why I went for DIY Kitchens in the end. Much cheaper and the quality is better.

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