Advanced search

Handmade Kitchens Direct or DIY Kitchens?

(33 Posts)
silversixpence Sun 15-Nov-15 09:01:50

I'm looking at both of these for our new kitchen but not sure which one to go for - we are interested in the Milton painted from DIY kitchens but don't want that plasticky paint finish I see in showrooms. Does anyone have one and is the finish good? Is HKD better quality even if more expensive?

ylimintin Sun 15-Nov-15 11:31:24

Have you also considered IKEA?
Cheaper, similar quality I'd guess. The Bodbyn is similar enough to the Milton?


Mydearchild Sun 15-Nov-15 11:45:05

Hi op, we are planning an extension next year and have been searching for something similar. I have found shaker kitchen co which are very competitively priced (compared to others), I like that you can have them painted or unpainted. Check out their fb page too for more pictures. I haven't visited the showroom but will do next year.

Mydearchild Sun 15-Nov-15 11:47:19

Link fail - try shaker kitchen co I have never seen them recommended on here so not sure if a relatively new company.

Mydearchild Sun 15-Nov-15 11:50:50

This is my favourite colour combo, not sure I'm brave enough for the red island grin

Loumate666 Sun 15-Nov-15 20:56:07

I don't know anything about Handmade Kitchens Direct but we're 6 weeks into our first DIY Kitchens (we went for a Broadoak painted in F&B Purbeck Stone which is a shaker style). We've been impressed with build quality and the painted finish. Service was also very good but I do have to say that you have to know what you want and to have designed your kitchen before you embark on the DIY kitchens journey as it's all down to you. It is however c=very straightforward and there's plenty of help from them if you need it.

silversixpence Mon 16-Nov-15 09:21:52

Thanks mydearchild the Shaker Kitchen co seems good, I will try and visit the Clapham showroom.

Loumate666 how did you design your kitchen? Did you get a designer to help or are there example layouts available anywhere?

Loumate666 Mon 16-Nov-15 10:27:42

Silver - I went around the likes of Howdens, Wickes etc and got them to draw up plans (at the time I was going to use one of them) and then ended up using that plan to input the units into the DIY kitchens site. It's pretty straightforward and sounds more daunting than it really is.

I meant to do it on my first reply to you but here's a close up of a unit so you can see the finish

Twittwattwoo2 Mon 16-Nov-15 10:59:30

We have the Harewood kitchen from DIY Kitchens in Cornforth White.

The Harewood and Milton kitchens are pretty much exactly the same except the Harewood is DIY's own and Milton is made by Second Nature. If you look on Second Nature's website it lists all the stockists, you could go to a showroom and have a look at the finish.

I've attached a pic of one of my cupboards, you can see the grain of the wood, the paint is quite mat looking.

silversixpence Mon 16-Nov-15 11:15:59

Thanks both, the finish looks nice, I like that you can see the woodgrain. I've seen Second Nature in a showroom and it seemed good. I think I will visit the Shaker Kitchen Co before deciding but it looks like it will be a lot more expensive so may just go for DIY Kitchens in the end.

silversixpence Mon 16-Nov-15 11:17:11

I forgot to ask, are the DIY kitchens carcasses and drawers painted inside and do you find the carcases solid/good quality?

Twittwattwoo2 Mon 16-Nov-15 11:41:10

Our joiner commented on the quality of the units, they come pre assembled and seem to be well made. You chose which colour you want but I'm not sure if you can have it colour matched to the doors if you've gone for a bespoke colour.

We have an oak finish carcase with grey doors. I'm happy with our kitchen for the budget we had, but if I'd had a bigger budget I would have definitely gone for a hand made kitchen.

Loumate666 Mon 16-Nov-15 12:11:16

Same here - both the kitchen and granite fitters commented on the quality of the carcasses and were gob-smacked when I told them how much it cost (in a positive way!)

I don't know about the others but the Broadoak range is actually an Ultima Kitchen (you get all the hinge covers that say Ultima!) and you can look at the carcass quality here. You get a choice of cabinet finishes but not the same as the doors (unless course your doors happen to be the same as one of the carcass finishes).

I also looked at hand-made but discounted it based on cost and although the quality was excellent (better than DIYK) to then get everything painted in a colour of my choice (which is what you end up with for DIYK) was adding mega-bucks.

To give you some comparisons for basically the same set of units in each case:

- Handmade inc painting - £21k
- Howdens / Wickes - not bespoke colour and poorer quality - £11k
- Magnet - £17k (!!!)
- Local kitchen shop - Ultima kitchen but not bespoke colour - £12k (bespoke colour £15k)
- DIYK same Broadoak (Ultima) kitchen with my F&B colour choice - £7k and that included their Platinum delivery service (£250) and an extra £50 for a small van as I live down a single track lane.

OnePlanOnHouzz Mon 16-Nov-15 12:29:07

Wow !

silversixpence Mon 16-Nov-15 12:51:12

The difference in price is amazing, DIYK definitely great value! I am just nervous about trying to design a kitchen myself as I wouldn't know how to design an island etc. we definitely can't afford 20k on units though! Trying to keep the entire kitchen budget under 15k smile

OnePlanOnHouzz Mon 16-Nov-15 13:19:55

You do know there are independent designers out there ! You don't have to design it yourself ! But if you want to design it yourself - get it safety checked by a pro before you order anything .
(I've offered to safety check any MN own plans FOC in the past - as still will ! )

Loumate666 Mon 16-Nov-15 13:23:27

£15k is a decent budget and to give some context to my £7k of units, for £16k total (units £7k, appliances £5k (excl dishwasher), granite £4k, dog £free) each to their own but we've ended up with this lot (almost finished!).

Floor tiling and kitchen fitting not included in the £16k but the units took 2 days to install (they go in really quick as they're ready made) so that's probably £400 cost. Tiling was also a couple of days so say £400 with the tiles themselves whatever you wanted to spend - ours were £30sqm. Installation, plumbing etc was all part of some larger renovations so I don't have a specific cost but I do know how long the workmen took and their rough daily rate (we're in sussex).

To give you some comfort, we took absolutely aaaaaaages to decide on design, colour supplier etc and were very worried about buying direct without seeing the product (even after ordering it and reading the product reviews) but now that we're almost done we're very happy with the outcome.

Madblondedog Mon 16-Nov-15 14:51:36

Loumate How hard was getting the island right on DIYK?

I would love to use them but I am just so nervous of cocking it up and wasting money

Madblondedog Mon 16-Nov-15 14:52:40

Kitchen (and dog) are gorgeous by the way!

Loumate666 Mon 16-Nov-15 15:23:48

Madblondedog - it was fine especially as we used a design that (I think) Magnet came up with!

I think it's all about symmetry - we had 2m to play with so on the side that people see (the first photo) side it's a 1000 3xDrawer flanked by 2x500 cupboards. On the other side (which is the more functional side and is less immediately visible) it's a 450 cupboard, a 300 wine cooler, an 800 3 drawer and another 450 cupboard. The 450s and the 500s on the ends are what give it symmetry.

When you input it to DIYK, its asks you to select the the door hanging side for all units so they come with the door already in the right place. You can also input a unit name so for instance, I input Island Unit 1, Island Unit 2 etc. That made it easier when everything arrived as I gave a plan to the fitter with the unit number on it. Another thing with islands is to include some sort of end panel and we went for 4 tongue and groove end panels (two for each end) to give it some interest.

Having an appliance in there can make it slightly more difficult as you should really have an end panel either side of it to give the kick boards something to but up against but that adds 2 x 18mm to the island length that you'd have to add into the other side by inserting an 18mm end panel at either end of the run. I didn't bother and you don't notice it and the kick board stays in place via the supplied clips anyway.

You have to be a bit careful with the island in terms of the aisle width when it's opposite something like an oven or a dish-washer as you need to allow for the door to open and stay in front of it. Ours in 1200m which feels huge - I think the minimum guide is 900mm.

As I say - I didn't come up with any of this lot - TBH, it was an amalgam of many visits to several retailers and homing in on a design over a period of months that I then got one of them to produce me a plan for. You have to put up with the retailers calling you up for a bit to ask whether you've made your decision yet but they get the message after a while and leave you alone (embarrassing I know!)

Thanks for the compliment by the way, the dog was chuffed smile smile smile

Madblondedog Mon 16-Nov-15 15:37:40

I am going to pop into a few stores to see about getting designs done so that will help smile

Did DIYK check your order over or any thing to make sure there were no glaringly obvious mistakes?

namechangedtoday15 Mon 16-Nov-15 15:50:39

We've also used DIY Kitchens and the quality was great. I did visit the showroom initially though and saw it in situ. Also, one of the staff will usually have a look over your order to let you know whether you've missed anything.

The other thing which can be quite comforting is that usually, if you have a good fitter/s, they can usually suggest solutions. I would agree with having someone look over your plans - for instance, I had the hob needed to be fastened underneath the worktop on a join between cabinets, fitter sorted it for me but initially said, you can't have the hob there (and there was nowhere else for it to go).

Our fitter (used to installing German kitchens) was very impressed with the quality too.

Loumate666 Mon 16-Nov-15 16:04:12

Madblondedog - yes they did, they rung me up within a few hours to run through it although it was really to go through the basics to make sure that I had the right number of end panels and that there was nothing obvious missing. They also have a helpline before you order and they're pretty good at the pre-sales stuff.

I've heard that some people input their order and them send DIYK plan to walk through make sure t's right. Whatever though, the order is down to you and not DIYK and as an example, I got the number of kick boards wrong as I just measured the length whereas you need to think about how each 2.77mm kick board is used in practice to ensure that you don't end up with a short run made up with off-cuts (as I did) but not a problem, I just ordered another one which took a couple of weeks to come as it was a bespoke painted item whereas I suspect that they'd get an off the shelf colour item to you in a few days.

Madblondedog Mon 16-Nov-15 16:31:16

Did you get your appliances from there or elsewhere?

I can imagine DP taking the piss forever if I cock this up

Butterbean123 Mon 16-Nov-15 17:00:28

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

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: