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(19 Posts)
PandoNoPants Mon 18-Jan-16 17:05:14

Starting to look at getting the kitchen done and will be knocking a wall through to expand the kitchen and dining room into one. So far I've had B&Q round, I have Wickes coming tomorrow and will ask Homebase to quote on the design (I'm a bit reluctant to use Magnet as had a previous bad experience a few years ago).

A builder my neighbour uses has arranged to quote me for the work but said he only uses Howdens.

I have heard of them before but had a quick Google and noticed mostly negative reviews from the one site I looked at.

Does anyone have any experience in respect of Howdens? How do they come up price wise? I know they are trade only so assume the price will be released to the builder. Are they expensive/good quality etc?

Thanks in advance smile

PixieGio Mon 18-Jan-16 22:50:22

I've only heard good things. We are purchasing one soon - burford Tongue and groove in cream with oak worktops. Is there a showroom nearby you can go to?

citychick Tue 19-Jan-16 03:19:47

Hello there.
We had a Howdens kitchen put in June 2015.
It's a cream Burford.
It was the first time I used them, but my parents have rental flats and always replace with a howdens kitchen.

We looked at wickes and B&Q (never used Magnet). After discount I didn't see much of a difference price wise. Due to parents always using Howdens we went with them. The quality did seem better. We were lucky with tradesmen and the Howdens showroom and storeroom is very close by.
Its a lovely kitchen. Plenty of storage. We chose storage over fancy wine coolers and cupboard lighting etc. Kitchen refurb is never cheap. I am glad we used Howdens and would repeat.

I have heard great things about IKEA kitchens though.

HTH Good luck!

PettsWoodParadise Tue 19-Jan-16 08:28:13

We've had a Howdens kitchen in for 7 years. It has stood the test of time. If you have plinths at the bottom do get the clear strips that keep it away from the floor and protect it so when you mop you don't get water on the plinths. They will crumble like weetabix otherwise which sometimes gives them a bad reputation. Each builder gets different discounts and will also pass on a different amount of that discount so builders like using it as it can be a way to make money without the owner knowing. We knew a manager at Howdens and knew we got the top discount of 85% - I seriously wouldn't have paid top price though, I've never heard of anyone getting less than 50% discount. For us we bought it thinking if it lasts ten years we will be in a position financially to get a 'nice' kitchen but I still like our kitchen and can see us keeping it for far longer than first planned as it hasn't fallen apart, still looks good and frankly I can't be bothered with all the upheaval.

notapizzaeater Tue 19-Jan-16 08:53:02

I've a Howdens oak kitchen - about 10 years old and still looks in perfect nick, not dated at all, cleans really well and (touch wood) nothing Is broken or damaged. We had one problem (wrong cupboard ) when it was being installed and they brought a new one straight out.

VeryPunny Tue 19-Jan-16 08:56:44

I couldn't be doing with their total lack of transparency with regards to costing. Your builder will get a cut too so you never know what the real cost is. I don't think their kitchens are anything special either - some look good, some look a bit naff after a few years. They must be doing something right as I know a few people who use them - i suspect their builders have leaned heavily on them.

We went with IKEA in the end because a) they have a 25 year guarentee, and b) the pricing is so straightforward.

BarbaraofSeville Tue 19-Jan-16 09:33:49

I also chose Ikea over Howdens. My joiner/kitchen fitter uses both and suggested Howdens first but I found them really obstructive and unhelpful and in the end I gave up because anyone who tries that hard not to sell you something obviously doesn't want or deserve your business.

It took ages to get an appointment that I could make to talk to a kitchen designer.

When I arrived for my appointment, they totally ignored me and after a few minutes I had to interrupt someone to get them to take me to the designer.

The designer was a man in his early 20s who had obviously never actually used a kitchen for cooking in his entire life, offered no advice at all, ignored all my requests and suggestions and spent ages incorporating stupid design features into the design so that cabinets at the opposite side of the room lined up with each other even though I repeated said it didn't matter. I left after 90 minutes having got nowhere.

I wanted a big wall of tall cupboards on one wall and no other wall units and he basically said that I couldn't have it hmm.

I didn't really like any of the units and they couldn't do me a piece of worktop big enough for my island anyway.

I am lucky that Ikea is only a couple of miles away so can just pop in all the time, which I have - I must have been 10-15 times in the last couple of months and didn't buy meatballs or candles ever.

I now have my big island and wall of cupboards and it works brilliantly. All the units were about £4.5k including custom sized laminate* worktops but there is a lot (about 17 and all the fancy interior fittings). I have no idea how much Howdens would have been because we didn't get that far but I can't see them being signigicantly cheaper. *We were also looking at quartz, which is admittedly nicer but we'rent sure if we had the budget - these would have cost about £4k alone - I'm thinking quartz is something we can upgrade to in a few years time.

ChoclolateOrange Tue 19-Jan-16 09:38:57

I suppose every Howden's is different. Last time I had a kitchen replaced the lady who came round from Howden's did a brilliant design and came up with things I hadnt thought of. I didnt go with them in the end but basically used their design. I would just see how you get on with everyone.

WishICouldThinkOfACoolUsername Tue 19-Jan-16 11:19:49

My Howdens kitchen is getting delivered this week...

The design process was fab and I love the units/combinations we've come up with - BUT the pricing thing is a nightmare. Also, beware - the final plan we received had an extra unit appearing on it that I'd never seen before, and my builder says that they are well known for this - trying to add on an extra sale at the last minute. hmm

Will update once it's fitted!

Titsywoo Tue 19-Jan-16 11:24:56

Howdens are good. I wouldn't use Wickes though - not great quality.

You really should look at DIY kitchens. They are brilliant. We got ours there and they were a lot cheaper than even Howdens with our trade discount. I think the quality is better too. Cheaper to have installed as they come as a solid carcass and the doors and prehung/drawers already in.

I heard about them on here and would recommend them highly!

PandoNoPants Tue 19-Jan-16 12:13:24

Thanks for the comments! It's such a big thing to plan, argh.

I've booked Howdens just to see but yes, the whole pricing thing doesn't sit well with me. I'm also going to have a look at Wren? A few fb friends recommended them to me.

I've also got DH to take a day off work next week and will have a look at Ikea whilst the DC are at school.

I used Wickes to fit my kitchen in 2009. Was happy with the result but agree the quality could have been better. Just had a lady round from there this morning and she was desperately trying to see if I would agree to blocking an external door up (I have two)! ..No!

Decisions, decisions..

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 19-Jan-16 15:35:51

Our builder put in Howdens in our last house, and we were very happy with it for the further 2-3 years we were there. We took his advice and put one in from Benchmarx this time and the door fronts are falling apart very quickly in under 2 years.

Caveat: our most recent installation was deliberately supposed to be a cheap and cheerful job so we bought the most basic doors available. I assume the base units are standard and they've been fine so far.

loresho Thu 21-Jan-16 15:26:29

Our Howdens kitchen is arriving tomorrow! Gone for the Burford white, with oak worktops. The whole process was fine - I was initially concerned about the lack of transparency re costs - but my builder made Howdens give me the quote directly so I could see exactly what the costs were (incl the discount he got) and there was no "cut" for the builder.

I was also tempted to go with Ikea at the start of the project, but ultimately I liked the style of the Howdens one better.

sparklingsky Sat 23-Jan-16 22:11:56

Howdens have one sale a year in Oct. Worth waiting if you can. I've just installed their top of the range kitchen and it's far superior to anything at Ikea, Wickes or B and Q. Be prepared to haggle. See what reductions the manager is prepared to make. There were lots of design errors but when I pointed them out they were quick to resolve them.

I would always source a worktops and handles separately. Go direct to specialists as the mark up at any kitchen showroom. is generally ridiculous. If you want granite or quartz speak to your local stonemason. We got £2k off the eg Homebase quote (which was also only granite veneer, rather than 3cm thick slap the stonemasons quoted for!!)

WonderingAspie Sat 23-Jan-16 22:44:50

We have a Homebase kitchen. It is the essentials range (the cheapest) but the solid oak option. My builder had a Howdens account and I went to see them, they told me they would match my Homebase price (which was very cheap, they had a good sale and I haggled on appliances and got a free integrated dishwasher thrown in too) but the Howdens one wasn't sold oak but the veneered doors, plus was carcasses came ready made whereas Homebase was flat pack. I stuck with the Homebase one and the builder thought they had accidently sent the wrong doors because he was very impressed with the quality and didn't think it could have come from their essentials range.

sleepyhead Sun 24-Jan-16 00:06:27

I hate the pricing structure. I want to know what my joiner is paying and what I'm paying, and if the joiner is taking a bigger cut than another would.

We've had a lot of problems with our Howdens kitchen, but as it wasn't us who put it in (was new when we bought our place though), I suspect most of the blame is down to a lazy fitter.

I think most kitchens are much of a muchness and it'll be down to your joiner how good it eventually is.

Decanter Sun 24-Jan-16 00:17:50

We have Burford white high gloss but sourced our own oak worktops and all our own appliances. It's been in 2 years almost and really is like new. I do think our builder/joiner was fantastic though so that will be in part down to his workmanship. I would recommend them. Once we knew the discount we had through our builder, the pricing was very transparent.

coribeth Sun 24-Jan-16 00:36:31

I've heard good things about wren also they will beat any like for like quote unfortunately we went with betta living. (Who also do next kitchens although we went direct) who where appalling and expensive kitchen still not finished how it should of been still fighting with them two years down the line have pretty much given up would never ever use them again!

Woodchiponthewall Sun 24-Jan-16 20:26:14

We also knocked through to make a big space and went for Burford Grey with chunky oak worktops. It is FIT! The design process was a sort of hard work because we wanted an island and on the computer generated plans it looked like a space shuttle. We then realised we just needed to decide and plan everything ourselves, and the result is a pretty bespoke looking kitchen (for example we went for a big island and no wall units). The quality is good, lasted 3 years so far with no issues other than a few loose screws on drawer fronts which are easily fixed. Our builder got a price and then kept knocking them down; because he uses them a lot he could haggle. A big advantage is that apparently the fitting is much easier and quicker (and therefore cheaper) as they are delivered already made up rather than flat packed.

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