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Bespoke kitchen vs ready made

(16 Posts)
Popcorninapot Fri 27-Oct-17 17:16:28

We are getting a long awaited new kitchen in January. It’s not an enormous kitchen but decent sized and quite an awkward shape (with too many doors and windows!). We are looking at off the shelf kitchens (Howdens, IKEA and some smaller companies) but wondering whether it’s worth getting a bespoke kitchen. In particular because we gave high ceilings and i like the idea of full height cabinets.

Is it really worth it though? Can anyone tell me why they would always go bespoke if possible or am i wasting money?

Our budget is probably £25k max for the kitchen all in. We are knocking through into dining room but kitchen part of the room is roughly 4m by 4m.

Thank you!

Squirrelonwheels Fri 27-Oct-17 17:22:41

If the full height cupboards are the main reason you're thinking of bespoke then you might be pleased to know that howdens so full height cupboards (we've just had a kitchen from them delivered which includes full height cupboards!)

Squirrelonwheels Fri 27-Oct-17 17:23:02


Popcorninapot Fri 27-Oct-17 17:31:42

Ooh really? Thanks squirrel. Can I ask how high your ceilings are?

Squirrelonwheels Fri 27-Oct-17 18:17:21

Not sure but I would say average height so thinking about it perhaps the full height wouldn't work for your high ceilings after all (sorry!) - worth checking with them though I'd say. Good luck!

NotMeNoNo Fri 27-Oct-17 20:29:46

If you look at DIY-kitchens they have a huge range of unit sizes and options and will make bespoke sizes/doors if you have an odd gap to fill. Ikea work on a much more restricted range. Also remember your fitter can customise units or build extra matching shelves etc.

JoJoSM2 Fri 27-Oct-17 20:40:20

If you have very high ceilings then you'll need a stack of 2 cupboards anyway. I double a bespoke company would do units 150 or 180cm high as the load could be too much for wall fixings(?)

Bespoke kitchens are much higher quality but it's basically the equivalent of shopping in Harrods instead of the high street - the designer option can be amazing but you can get something attractive and sturdy on the high street too. Not to mention the price difference.

January is around the corner in bespoke kitchen terms so not sure if you'd have enough time to sort it out either.

Ridingthegravytrain Sat 28-Oct-17 09:21:03

Also, check that your bespoke kitchen truly is bespoke as I was chatting to my carpenter and he was saying how some sell as bespoke but just buy pre fab carcasses and charge through the nose and simply put doors on. And it works out expensive for what it is

feve17 Sun 29-Oct-17 11:43:22

@Popcorninapot 25K is a very decent budget for the kitchen so I wouldn't even bother going to the likes of Ikea & Howdens. You have the means of being able to afford much better quality which is a huge investment for you & your property. I would go & see some local independents in your area, even if it's just to compare before making a final decision, they're not always as expensive as people think & if you're spending that amount of money you want the best design, service & project management you can get. And of course they will take of those high ceilings for you & advise how's best to use them.

jgates Sat 11-Nov-17 14:27:41

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Bluntness100 Sat 11-Nov-17 14:34:47

I’ve a Wickes kitchen but to be honest it’s all but bespoke. Because it’s a listed building and the walls are let’s just say not standard.

The ceiling in one half of the kitchen is over twenty five feet high, the other half about 18. The walls are not straight and one wall is on the slant, like a hexagon . I also have vertical beams up the walls. Basically the fitters put pieces of wood in places you couldn’t see to make the cupboards look straight, they were planned and built round the beams and the cupboards are higher than a normal kitchen, but remember you still need to be able to get stuff out of them....

SheepyFun Sat 11-Nov-17 16:57:15

How long will you keep your new kitchen? We lived in a rented house (rented out for over 20 years) with a bespoke kitchen that was about 40 years old. It was beautiful, and still in excellent condition. But the wood in it alone would have cost thousands - it had teak surfaces, and no chipboard in sight (bespoke carcasses too)! My point is that if you want to keep your new kitchen for decades, bespoke will probably pay off. If you'll want to replace it in 5 years or so, then it may not be worth it.

Popcorninapot Sat 11-Nov-17 22:04:18

At least 10 years, hopefully longer...
But we have 3 kids that are currently under 5 so if it’s going to get wrecked regardless with small people I wonder whether to spend less money on it.....

bouncydog Sat 11-Nov-17 23:48:37

Our old kitchen was off the shelf from mfi. However we got a joiner friend to make the infill pieces from solid wood to match the doors so it looked pretty good. Lasted for over 20 years. In your situation with small children, I would probably go for an off the shelf kitchen of reasonable quality with a view to purchasing something better when the children are older. We’ve just had a bespoke kitchen fitted which is beautiful, but the worktops alone cost more than the total cost of the original!

JoJoSM2 Sun 12-Nov-17 08:28:36

Well, an Ikea kitchen could be a good option. Once your DC are a little older, you could change the front doors to smarten it up. It’s very easy to do with an Ikea kitchen but not so with other ones.

PigletJohn Sun 12-Nov-17 13:49:10

the tallest floor-standing units are I think about 2150 tall (you won't be able to reach the top shelf). If you have an older grand house where the ceilings may be about 12 foot high, there is a large and unusable gap on top. You can display your collection of pewter tankards and Chinese vases up there, but they will be pretty dirty by the time you get your ladder out to wash them. I'd suggest a panel to box in the gap, decorated to match the wall. You can use matching doors but they may look odd.

Wall units are common in 900mm (I have them) but you won't be able to reach the top shelf unless you are rather tall. You can also get 1400 height doors that are used in dressers. These normally stand on the worktop but you could hand them on the wall if you wanted. Many people fill in the gap between cabinet and ceiling with ornamental coving if small, or top boxes that are usually start at 250mm or 300mm, with top-hinged or lifting doors. You won't be able to reach them.

Matching décor panels from your kitchen supplier are ludicrously expensive considering they are just painted MDF or veneered chipboard.

These are all sizes that you can get from mass manufacturers. Provided your supplier offers doors in the size you want, you can get cabinets made to measure by a number of factories. The delivery charge is quite high unless you are buying a number. I am doing that because my kitchen of choice has been discontinued, and I bought a warehouse clearance of remaining doors and trims. It's often needed if you have to get, say, a strange-size cabinet round your boiler.

I recommend a max depth of 350mm for wall cabinets (300mm is more common) as it will fit large plates and dishes, and horizontal bottles. Any deeper and you won't be able to see into the back.

I recommend cabinet hanging rail rather than individual screws, as it is very strong, and runs along the whole wall so it bridges over any weak patches, and you can re-position your cabs along it if you feel the need.

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