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Howdens v DIY kitchens

(34 Posts)
PippaFawcett Fri 12-May-17 09:09:50

We are yet to have our quote back from our builder for our Howdens kitchen but has anyone else researched the difference in quality between the two companies? Howdens said they can deliver pretty much everything on next day delivery which would be helpful as we don't really know how our building schedule will work but the lead in time for DIY kitchens is much longer.

We are thinking of going to look at the DIY kitchens showroom but I worry about getting the order wrong and delaying the build etc. And should we be avoiding foil wrapped doors etc?

wowfudge Fri 12-May-17 10:39:52

Get a printed quote for the Howdens kitchen then go through it line by line and create a shopping basket online with DIY Kitchens for the same unit sizes and types. Get them to sit down with you in the showroom and sense check your shopping basket. They will tell you if you have missed anything or need to tweak bits.

The lead time for DIY is usually only a couple of weeks so don't let that put you off. My understanding is that your builder can get up 75% Howdens' list prices but he may not pass all of that on to you.

With DIY, pricing is transparent although VAT and delivery charges are added to the whole basket plus delivery charges towards the end of the ordering process.

PippaFawcett Fri 12-May-17 10:47:47

Thanks Wow. Have you used DIY Kitchens? Are you happy with your kitchen?

spydie Fri 12-May-17 12:36:12

PippaF we are in a similar situation. We went to the DIY show room (from Kent blush) and much preferred the kitchens there. The options are far broader from DIY. I'm going to have Howdens do a design, and I am then going to get DIY to hopefully sense check and make sure I get my order right. Builder is happy for us to do that but also thinks Howdens will price match. Which is fine but they don't appear to do some of the options I want in our new kitchen.

I'm also worried about getting the timing wrong and delaying things.

wowfudge Fri 12-May-17 12:38:11

Yes we have a DIY Kitchens painted kitchen. Very pleased with the quality and finish. We had a quote from Magnet which was nearly £10k dearer for the kitchen units alone.

PippaFawcett Fri 12-May-17 12:38:52

Pippa, are you going to go back to the showroom to talk through your order or are you going to do it over the phone? Which options do you think Howdens won't do?

PippaFawcett Fri 12-May-17 12:39:11

Not Pippa, that's me! I meant Spydie!

PippaFawcett Fri 12-May-17 12:40:49

Wow, wow! We have been looking at the painted kitchens but I read on another thread on here that we were supposed to avoid Foil Wrap doors which the painted one in DIY kitchens that I like is made of!

spydie Fri 12-May-17 12:46:53

No not planning to go back, will need to do over the phone. I designed our previous kitchen myself (ikea) and didn't forget anything, so hoping I can get this right hmm

We are going for the curved units, Howdens don't do the internal curve corner units, which DIY do. And from what I can gather just have a far broader range of internal options. But I'll know for sure when I go in for the design.

wowfudge Fri 12-May-17 12:47:16

Pippa our kitchen has painted hardwood doors. No foil wrap at all. I had a foil wrap kitchen in a previous house and would not have one again. Which DIY one do you like?

PippaFawcett Fri 12-May-17 12:49:08

I was just looking at the Malton Painted in Vanilla: www.diy-kitchens.com/kitchens/painted/

PippaFawcett Fri 12-May-17 12:51:02

Although I notice the Norton painted which is similar has a solid timber frame.

Spydie, it is good you have done it before. Perhaps it is one of those tasks that seems daunting at first but is more straightforward than I think?!

Tootsiepops Fri 12-May-17 12:52:17

We've just ordered our kitchen from DIY. It's being delivered weeek after next. We went to Howden's for the design, then ordered online. Much, much cheaper.

Oliversmumsarmy Fri 12-May-17 12:53:30

i wouldn't go for a wrapped kitchen. I have had them before and the doors by the oven always seem to "bubble" whichever make i went for

I have a painted DIY Kitchen. You can choose any F&B colour. Definitely came in a lot cheaper than everywhere else I tried. I looked at their reviews and wrapped kitchen issues apart they seemed to have amazing reviews which can't be said for a lot of other kitchen places.

The customer service was great. I had to ask about the delivery because we live in a single track road and they were really helpful and said we really needed a smaller van for our individual delivery as the lorry wouldn't fit down our road. i think they went on google earth which was an inspiration rather than me trying to describe our road.

i will definitely use them again.

SorrelForbes Fri 12-May-17 12:54:45

If you're looking at DIY kitchens you might want to consider Units On-line too. Similar range to DIY and they have a showroom near Taunton.

NotMeNoNo Fri 12-May-17 13:17:43

I think DIY kitchens have a comparison of features on their website. here

IMO the Howdens range is OK for what it is but a bit no-frills. Although they seem to have expanded it, it is limited to what they are prepared to stock.
Also the pricing is less transparent as it's through the builder. But they do offer a design service FWIW.

I would say the carcases at DIY are better quality - ours have a solid back panel so it doesn't get pushed out/warped, the shelves and units all have a heavy duty edging not peeling tape. Full extension drawers are standard not an extra. As for doors, both suppliers do a range from cheap foiled MDF to solid wood, so you takes your choice. At least the DIY website is clear about what you are buying.

You should look at one of the slightly more expensive range such as Clayton to avoid a foil finish. "foil" is basically a thin layer of plastic film that can suffer from heat/mositure and peel off. Painted/lacqered MDF or solid wood are more durable and if you knock them you can just touch up with paint they supply.

Are you concerned about the layout/basic design or just making sure everything fits and you have all the necessary part on the order?

YorkshireTea86 Fri 12-May-17 13:18:49

Oliversmum did you have to pay extra for the delivery in a smaller van? Our road isn't single track but very tight corners and lots of cars parked and am slightly concerned that they may struggle to get big van near. (Sorry to hijack thread!)

PippaFawcett Fri 12-May-17 13:20:04

Are you concerned about the layout/basic design or just making sure everything fits and you have all the necessary part on the order?

All of it as we are making the best of a less than ideal downstairs space.

AnnieAnoniMouse Fri 12-May-17 13:27:45

My kitchen fitter put me off DIY kitchens. He will fit one if I want, but he said he thinks Howdens are much better quality & their cabinets are factory assembled rigid.

It's not about price either as he will give me the Howdens invoice & isn't charging me more for it.

Howdens, Benchmarx, Magnet, Ikea DIY....arghhhhhh. Someone else just posted that they're really happy with their Wren kitchen. Frankly, I'm at the sobbing stage.

YorkshireTea86 Fri 12-May-17 13:35:27

Annie diy kitchens are factory assembled rigid too. Has your fitter fitted a diy kitchen?

PippaFawcett Fri 12-May-17 13:36:50

NotMeNoNo, I thought MDF was less desirable than solid timber frame? Hence looking at the Norton rather than the Claydon.

Annie, oh dear, that isn't good feedback. It it head spinning all the different options but it will probably come down completely to what we can afford in the end.

NotMeNoNo Fri 12-May-17 13:43:35

Annie your fitter is making a mistake. Did he think you meant "a diy kitchen" ie some sort of flatpack?

Howdens are OK but they are not better quality, albeit not much worse.

NotMeNoNo Fri 12-May-17 13:47:20

With the proper paint the painted MDF should be OK but yes the painted wood would be even more durable which is why it is the more expensive.

PippaFawcett Fri 12-May-17 14:09:47

NotMe, thanks!

wowfudge Fri 12-May-17 14:18:22

Annie trade discount levels with Howdens' are dependent on how much is spent with them. I suspect the kitchen fitter had either no knowledge or experience of DIY or wanted to keep his spending average with them up.

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