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New Kitchen - Best quality / value

(17 Posts)
toptoptopper Wed 27-Jan-16 21:34:05

Hi all,

We're planning a kitchen extension in the next year or so and I'm rather perplexed at the amount of suppliers to choose from. I'd really appreciate any thoughts you have on quality and value based on personal experience. Ideally we don't want to spend more than about £10-15k on the kitchen (including granite surfaces/island unit) but might be prepared to spend more if the quality/longevity is significantly improved.

So far, my thoughts are:

Ikea - love some of their stuff but all builders I've spoken to have advised against because of lack of cavity at the back for pipes etc and non-standard sizes. A shame because value wise they're great and quality ain't bad (in most people's opinions)

Homebase/B&Q - next... really not interested in taking this route

Wren - builder said he's only ever had problems with them so couldn't recommend. Prepared to be swayed though...

Howdens - originally was absolutely set on them, but lately have read lots online that ultimately they're fairly cheap / average quality and builders like them because of the potential for mark-up. I really don't like their discounting system either as it just seems bizarre.

Magnet - not keen on their flimsy backboards and the only kitchen I like of theirs is ridiculously expensive. Plus my parents had issues with panels warping over time which puts me off

Omega/Chippendale/Mackintosh - the current frontrunner for me in terms of quality, but I fear when we actually get a quote from them I might need picking up off the floor! The sales guys in my local showroom (Ebberns in Hemel) were very quick to be negative about Howdens etc - although it kind of worked as I seriously started doubting them after my visit! That said, they seem to be knowledgable if slightly snobby.

Benchmarx - after viewing a small kitchen display in a local builders merchants I won't touch them with a bargepole. Quality was seriously questionable, drawers came out on an angle and weren't rigid, drawers squeaked when pulled out etc etc. Definitely decided against.

Masterclass - only found out about this supplier today. Again, can't really find anything online about how much their kitchens cost but a 'home' magazine suggested they were at the cheaper end. Really interested in any experiences people have had with them.

Parlour Farm - similar to above. Know nothing about them but their kitchens look nice and some positive comments online - was initially very excited about the supposed high quality and amazing value, but despite lots of great reviews there's a big questionmark over aftersales and not being particularly quick to remedy damaged items. My builder was quite nervous about me going down this route - plus they're up north so not local at all

Any advice / personal experiences with suppliers would be greatly received!


thisisbloodyridiculous Thu 28-Jan-16 00:36:46

We're going with diy kitchens after having a similar shortlist to you. Visited the showroom on Monday and the range and quality is remarkable. Priced our kitchen up and it's coming back as about 4k with lots of quirky features etc

Mughalswife Thu 28-Jan-16 01:25:45

We're also considering DIY Kitchens, due to combination of price and choice. Although I'm a bit nervous about ordering online.

Toptop your list of kitchen companies and thoughts on them was really useful - I conveyed the gist of it to my husband.

You don't have Wickes on your list. We have been considering them, but having done a bit more research, I'm not sure that the quality is very good. Also, I think they are supplied flat-packed, which I'm not very keen on.

toptoptopper Thu 28-Jan-16 07:09:35

From what I've heard, Wickes stuff is basically marked-up Benchmarx kit. I really didn't like the quality of the stuff in their showroom - really cheap feeling and shabby.

toptoptopper Thu 28-Jan-16 07:10:39

I'd love to know how you get on if you do go with diy kitchens. They're such great value I almost think it's worth any potential after sales agro!!

mumsnit Thu 28-Jan-16 09:58:10

We have an Omega kitchen - got a great deal on end of range style - under 3k for all the units. I was really surprised at the cost as expected it to be much more. We could then afford good quality appliances. Local kitchen fitter put it in and couldn't be happier with it!

firesidechat Thu 28-Jan-16 10:04:45

We went to the DIY Kitchens showroom last year and we will be using them for our kitchen this year.

Mughalswife Thu 28-Jan-16 10:44:45

I was also thinking DIY might be worth any agro! We are such ditherers that it'll probably be ages before we actually make a decision.

Am off to google Omega...

Jumperooathon Thu 28-Jan-16 10:52:01

I think ikea, the quality is great, prices are great with no bloody haggling. The builders just don't like it because of no mark up. I don't see how the pipes thing can be a problem. Surely the people with ikea kitchens still have pipes? And you would just replace it with ikea later, they're so good with modularity.

filigree2015 Thu 28-Jan-16 11:25:00

We went with DIY last year. I would recommend them based on quality, cost and range of options. Our kitchen fitter had never fitted one before, but was actually quite keen to do it so then he'd be able to advise future customers.

Agree that the post-sales service is where it can get tricky. None of our stuff was damaged on arrival, but we were missing a couple of bits (our fault - we didn't realise all the end panels we'd need and we picked an appliance door that looked wrong in situ). These bits took a couple of weeks to arrive but that didn't end up being a problem.

I think it depends on your priorities - we were willing to put in the leg work and be responsible for overseeing the delivery (admittedly that was a very stressful day) in order to get a decent quality kitchen at a reasonable price. However, my parents are looking to replace their kitchen, and there's no way I'd recommend DIY to them because they wouldn't want the responsibility of it.

You could also look at local independents if you haven't done so.

Pipistrella Thu 28-Jan-16 11:35:46


I am a competent DIYer and looked at various systems to build myself, though I had previously built a small kitchen from timber, including Victorian doors and so on (basic stuff - framing it out, plywood floors etc).

Our kitchen is a funny shape and using standard sized units just would not have worked. Plus I hate chipboard as I don't think it's very strong.

I was all set to build it to fit the room, and then things got busy on other fronts so I found a local chippy, who is a young guy of about 30 who did me a quote to build it and it was just over £700.

It was a no brainer; it took him about five days, he framed it all out, made all the doors himself to fit...I bought the worktop and he cut it.

It's beautiful and very solid and best of all it makes the most of the space available.

Considering the absolutely dreadful 'planning service' we had from B&Q (yes I thought I'd give it a try - it was ridiculous) and the amount they would have charged me, we paid very little indeed for a far higher quality product.

The only issue I have to deal with is painting the cupboards, and if you prime and use a nice quality washable paint then it's fine - and it isn't susceptible to damp, and you can repaint as often as you like.

Just an idea. You would get a lot more for your money if you ditched these expensive companies and used real wood and a real carpenter.

VeryPunny Thu 28-Jan-16 11:44:43

Your builder needs a kick up the arse if he's whining about the IKEA pipes issue - it's trivial!

We have an IKEA kitchen. It's fab, excellent value for money and a 25 year guarantee. I couldn't abide the pricing shenanigans of all the other places we looked at.

LadyPeterWimsey Thu 28-Jan-16 11:47:40

Don't listen to your builder - Ikea kitchens are great and the pipes issue is pretty easily overcome, I think - our builders had no problems in fitting the units.

Madblondedog Thu 28-Jan-16 11:50:38

Has anyone used Units Online? Look like they've got great reviews and will help with the planning too so perks of DIY kitchens but with some reassurance

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Thu 28-Jan-16 12:20:48

Anyone used magnet recently? I'm about to go with them I think.

Loumate666 Thu 28-Jan-16 14:30:51

We've done a DIY Kitchen recently. No problems with quality / delivery and we're extremely pleased with it and the price we paid.

DIY got the order spot on and there was no damage (it was very well packed and delivered with care )but we missed a couple of items out (an extra kick board because I didn't want a join and my carpenter buggered a cornice) and they took a couple of weeks for replacement. The delay was mainly because I chose a bespoke F&B colour that presumably need painting whereas I think bits for a stock colour kitchen will come out in a few days. To be fair, you'll also encounter the same delay with any kitchen supplier although some like Howdens / Benchmark may have some items to hand so you can get them on the day.

DIYK are brill if you don't mind doing a bit of leg-work yourself to save a few quid.

Shoot me down but I'm always wary of a builder not wanting you to go down a particular route for no good reason, especially if they direct you to a Howdens / Benchmark / Magnet type offer as they will get a cut and the pricing will be extremely opaque to you (well, it was with us anyway!).

Anyway, HTH and good luck with whatever you choose.


toptoptopper Fri 29-Jan-16 07:57:31

Thanks for your input everyone - much appreciated! Any further views welcome. I have to say I can't ignore the quality/value combination that DIY Kitchens seem to offer - I might try and get to their showroom soon.

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