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How much for good quality alcove units (London)

(25 Posts)
FourOnTheHill Sun 31-Jul-16 20:11:10

I've just been quoted £1450 for one. Wood mainly not MDF. Is this a lot? We were a bit shocked 😮

We need to get more quotes obviously but wondered if this seems normal?

HollyMaingate Sun 31-Jul-16 20:17:26

Seems reasonable for wood. I assume you're not painting them (if you are there's no sense in wood over MDF)?

MDF I would expect to come on around 1000 each fitted etc in London.

mummysmellsofsick Sun 31-Jul-16 20:31:14

Ok thanks. I was thinking more like £800 but I guess that was wishful thinking!

FourOnTheHill Sun 31-Jul-16 20:34:55

HollyMaingate ok I'm kind of glad if it's reasonable because I liked the carpenter and his work

HollyMaingate Sun 31-Jul-16 20:46:53

When I say reasonable I do of course mean about right for decent tradesmen for that sort of work in London. I do think it's a huge amount of money for what it is but that's the way things are (at the moment!) so don't think you're being ripped off

FourOnTheHill Sun 31-Jul-16 20:55:57

We are painting them but have been advised they'll be better in wood, the shelves and top won't bow, and they'll last longer generally.

Yes prices for decent tradespeople in London! Makes me want to retrain as a plumber...

Marmitelover55 Sun 31-Jul-16 21:02:21

Ours were £1100 per side (painted MDF - definitely no bowing), so sounds like a good price. Can post pic if you would like to see.

HollyMaingate Mon 01-Aug-16 09:15:04

MDF is used for this sort of thing specifically because it's not prone to warping/instability that you get with real wood. If it's well designed and made then there won't be any shelf sag - it's a waste of money going with real wood just to paint over it.

FourOnTheHill Mon 01-Aug-16 13:44:26

Really Holly? That's strange because this is the opposite if what we have been told be two different sets of friends with MDF units that have sagged... Don't know what to think now!

Yoghurty Mon 01-Aug-16 13:56:45

I'm in SE London and we were quoted just over £2k for 2 custom alcove bookcases/cupboards. This was mainly as we have a circa 1900's property and the dimensions have shifted over the years! (Wonky walls and floors).

We had guesstimated that it would be half that- and couldn't bring ourselves to pay it when our new kitchen was going to be only a little more than that!

So, yeah, sounds about right in London

Marmitelover55 Mon 01-Aug-16 14:11:15

Definitely no sag in our MDF...

BendydickCuminsnatch Mon 01-Aug-16 15:43:14

Oh Marmite those are beautiful. I just have no idea how to find a trustworthy tradesman, I have been let down at the last minute so many times that just the thought of attempting it is draining 😰

Gotheftosleep Mon 01-Aug-16 15:50:37

yoghurty I am also in SE London and need to get similar cupboards, would you mind letting me know who you used please? Thanks!

Marmitelover55 Mon 01-Aug-16 16:18:02

I'm in Bristol if any one needs a recommendation! Ware going to have them in another room too as so pleased smile

FourOnTheHill Mon 01-Aug-16 18:39:58

marmite yep they're gorgeous!

yogurty I'd like your guy's details too please! Although if we changed our spec to MDF I reckon our guy would be pretty competitive. Will ask him...

rubybleu Mon 01-Aug-16 19:24:41

I'm thinking of ordering from this company

We have a great handyman that works for £120/day so I think I can do them for £1,200 for both sides.

Yoghurty Mon 01-Aug-16 23:18:04


The company is called Job Done. Their website is

It's an all female company- Micka is who to contact smile

FourOnTheHill Mon 01-Aug-16 23:44:00

Oh brilliant thanks yougurty and what an inexcusable assumption I made that all carpenters are blokes! Not come across a female one ☺️

Was looking at the DIY site today too. My dad might help...

Thewoodenspoon Mon 01-Aug-16 23:44:13

Marmite - I am in Bath do you think the carpenter would come as far as Bath as I would love a recommendation! They look gert lushgrin

Pradaqueen Tue 02-Aug-16 06:06:04

Try to get a rough idea of the cost of a made to measure cupboard for your alcove. Then add two days labour to fit (£160-180 per day). Your original cost doesn't sound way out tbh. For my study alcove the carpenter said he couldn't have built it in mdf for the same money given the time it would take to construct. Plus it arrived pre-primed too. You can also play around with the styles to suit the room. V quick and easy to do.

Toomanycats99 Tue 02-Aug-16 06:09:41

We are south London / Surrey we have just had a half height cupboard with 2 shelves built into an alcove for £300 ish and a full height cupboard with rail and couple shelves for £400 ish. That's unpainted mdf.

cexuwaleozbu Tue 02-Aug-16 06:29:26

MDF units with a "d-section" (bit of dowelling with a semi-circular cross section) nailed to the front of each shelf do not bow and are virtually indistinguishable from wood once painted. But I agree that's not a particularly shocking price for a wood version.

FrankUnderwoodsWife Tue 02-Aug-16 06:49:16

yoghurty thank you for the recommendation! I have a lot of minor jobs that need doing to my flat in London and finding reliable tradespeople is so hard.

You better warn them you have them a recommendation on Mumsnet and to expect a flood of enquiries!!!!

MrsSlats Wed 03-Aug-16 20:34:26 is one of my NCT dads! I think it's a brilliant idea, you get bespoke cabinets in flat pack form - so they fit perfectly but without the hefty pricetag of having someone come in a build them from scratch.

He says the reason why MDF is used over real wood is that wood holds moisture and MDF doesn’t. When the wood then dries out - it warps and moves. This is why MDF is used for radiator cabinets etc. MDF also paints perfectly without the grain showing through.

He says they take a day to fit for someone with some DIY know-how or your local carpenter.

BendydickCuminsnatch Wed 03-Aug-16 20:46:51

Have thought about diyalcovecabinets before but think we'll definitely get on with it now. So excited! They look fab.

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