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Quality Kitchen that will last - so many companies out there who do I go with?

(9 Posts)
sjd23 Mon 13-Mar-17 13:41:56

We have recently moved home and first thing on our 'to do' list is the kitchen!
I have been reading a lot of positive reviews on DIY Kitchens, IKEA, Wren and Magnet etc but how do I differentiate on quality? We don't want to put something in and then have to replace 5 or even 10 years down the line....
I have spoken with our local joiner who we will more than likely be using to install the kitchen and he has advised us that if we want a quality kitchen with better value for money we would be better to avoid the likes of the above and go for a more bespoke kitchen.

I am clueless when it comes to this sort of thing.. Can anyone recommend a good quality shaker style kitchen?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

JoJoSM2 Mon 13-Mar-17 13:54:48

Ikea is good but it's equivalent to getting a work shirt from Next. Similarly with the other brands above. Bespoke kitchens can be had from Handmade kitchens direct ( lower end) to the likes of Smallbone of Devizes (high end) - equivalent to say LK Bennett or Dolce and Gabbana. The quality and style gets better but so does the price. What's your budget?

lafletcher92 Mon 13-Mar-17 14:08:13

We had our kitchen redesigned and fitted by a local tradesman too - I was quite surprised when he didn't try to sell us a Howdens kitchen (as most of them do - p.s AVOID HOWDENS you will not get value for money as your fitter will be taking a cut off the sale price of the kitchen as well as what he will charge you for installation angry
Anyway back to the point - we were recommended to purchase a Kesseler kitchen. At first I was apprehensive as I thought it would be out of our price range but surprisingly it was within our budget.
All aspects of the design and installation were faultless. Our fitter said he loved fitting Kesseler kitchens as they arrive pre-built - I am not very technical but I remember him stressing the quality of the build and the joints to my husband. I do not envy you - the process of choosing a kitchen is mind numbing but I hope this has helped in some way smile

sjd23 Mon 13-Mar-17 14:25:02

Yes I believe an investment in an Ikea kitchen may have a short lifespan.

Thank you for your advice I will look into the companies you have mentioned. We are anticipating a spend of aprox £20k inc. fitting, appliances and work tops. Would a bespoke kitchen be out of our reach?

JoJoSM2 Mon 13-Mar-17 14:36:28

Perhaps Handmade kitchen direct if you don't need too many units and your builder is cheap + worktops and appliances are mid range. Otherwise, you might struggle.

namechangedtoday15 Mon 13-Mar-17 14:59:01

It depends what you mean by bespoke? The fact that someone designs it with your specific room / requirements in mind and you can have odd kitchen unit sizes? Or do you mean handcrafted solid wood cupboards (if thats what you want) etc?

In my neverending kitchen research, quite alot of the longevity of the kitchen is down to the depth of the carcasses (some are thinner that others), the quality of the doors / drawers and their fittings (as they're the parts that will be used the most often), then things like taps / worktops / appliances.

JW13 Mon 13-Mar-17 15:23:17

We have just had a new kitchen by Handmade Kitchens Direct/Handmade Kitchens of Christchurch and I think it was very good value for the quality, but you do have to have a lot of involvement compared to the Magnets etc of this world.

We ordered during one of their sales (which seem to be frequent but definitely worth waiting for) and all of the units were just under £10k including 2 large larder cupboards, an island (with 2 sets of pan drawers, 2 sets of open shelves and space for wine fridge), then another 7-8 units including integrated dishwasher/sink etc plus extractor housing/shelving above the range cooker. So quite a lot of kitchen and everything is made exactly to fit. There are some restrictions on width/height etc, but you don’t have to order generic sizes – cupboards can be 94.5cm/60.8cm if necessary – so good for unusual spaces and there is a very wide choice of units. Not truly bespoke but for the price it is very good value and the units all seem very well made/solid.

Their customer service was good and they were helpful when we went to the showroom. Definitely use a kitchen designer for measurements/planning unless you are v v confident. And remember that everything else is extra (and generally not provided by them) – painting the units, fitting, handles, appliances, sink/taps etc so it all adds up. You also need to have a good fitter (I recommend a carpenter).

I’d say ours was more like £30k in total but it’s a big kitchen and we picked expensive worktops/appliances/handles/flooring etc as I’m not planning on moving or re-doing it any time soon or my husband will kill me.

Given we ended up at circa £30k, I should probably have looked at companies which provide the full service but we looked at Tom Howley and it was the £50-70k mark which was way too much. I like De Vol kitchens but not sure how expensive they are.

If you’re in London/Surrey I can recommend a good company to fit it and a good painter!

ShortLass Mon 13-Mar-17 15:23:58

Take a look at Classic Kitchens Direct as well as Handmake Kitchens Direct. Similar sort of thing, but with a few different options.

NotMeNoNo Mon 13-Mar-17 15:26:33

The thing about DIY-kitchens is they sell the range and quality of units that most independent kitchen shops supply, direct to the public. So they are well made and a huge choice of shapes/sizes/colours. If you are feeling clueless an independent shop might be better for you. Doesn't have to be a solid-wood-bespoke place like Devol. A "Second Nature" or "Crown imperial" stockist might be a good start.

IMO what makes a kitchen is a really well thought out design - layout, everything working well together, easy to clean, enough accessible storage, good lighting, clever little shelves to make use of corners etc. Much of that is in the design and fitting and your fitter can use factory made units as the basis and customise/add to them.

What you could do now is think about what is important to you regarding layout/appliances, and start collecting picture of good ideas, details or magazine kitchens you like, to give the designer something to work on.

Also you don't have to buy everything from one shop - if you find some handles you love or a bargain cooker, you just have to co-ordinate that with the fitter and designer.

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