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New kitchen - Howdens or proper kitchen company?

(49 Posts)
catweasel44 Fri 09-Mar-18 14:54:53

We desperately need a new kitchen. Ours is a good size but an awkward space.

We've had a design done by a local kitchen company but it's working out at about £25k including appliances and fitting.

DH wants to see if we can get it cheaper with a builder and Howdens.

Is there a massive difference in quality? We have two tweenage boys so it needs to be fairly robust!

junglie Fri 09-Mar-18 18:48:36

My mum had a Howdens kitchen fitted by a builder about 3 years ago. It's really good quality and it still looks brand new. When it comes to my own kitchen I'd really consider going there myself.

Kelsoooo Fri 09-Mar-18 18:50:37

Anywhere but Wren

Bekabeech Fri 09-Mar-18 19:05:53

I had a builder do a Howdens kitchen, its very solid and they did a proper job - for our kitchen the Kitchen company would have wanted us to get building work done before they'd fit the new kitchen. We didn't buy our worktop from Howdens but used somewhere the Builder recommended.
It is important to get the right design, and we had to ask to get the best local planner from Howdens - but she was very good and suggested moving a door which made all the difference really.

falang Fri 09-Mar-18 19:24:07

I've got a very cheap howdens kitchen and it's seems like very good quality. I bought it myself from howdens so you don't need a fitter to get it for you.

SorrelForbes Fri 09-Mar-18 19:27:51

Howdens prices are totally opaque which is so annoying! Have you looked at DIY Kitchens and Units On-liIne? Better quality and much cheaper!

throwawayagain Fri 09-Mar-18 21:22:33

Please explain why Howden's are not a 'proper' kitchen company.
Genuinely interested.

JoJoSM2 Fri 09-Mar-18 22:19:33

What kitchen spec and size are you looking at? As far as I'm aware, Howdens works out expensive for the quality.

When you're comparing pricing, allow 2-3 days for 2 men to fit a kitchen.

SimonBridges Fri 09-Mar-18 22:22:46

In my opinion Howdens are more of a proper kitchen company than the others.

I have a Benchmarx kitchen which I love. Much lower price than anyone else.

RaspberryCheese Fri 09-Mar-18 22:45:38

Howdens do not sell direct to the public. They have to be purchased via people who have trade accounts with them i.e kitchen fitters, builders etc.

It does amaze me how much people pay for a few cupboards and worktops,,

Achafi Sat 10-Mar-18 01:36:57

Have you looked at the DIY kitchens website. I got mine from there last year and it was thousands cheaper and great quality. I'm a total convert.

falang Sat 10-Mar-18 06:06:15

Howdens do sell direct to the public. I bought my kitchen directly from them. But the man who fitted my kitchen had an account with them so perhaps that's why I could do it.

gigi556 Sat 10-Mar-18 06:27:18

Heard really good things about DIY Kitchens. Also try Used Kitchen Exchange (google) for top end ex display. Also company called Yorkshire Pine will do all pine cabinets or door fronts which may look more expensive.

PLFDiDi Sat 10-Mar-18 06:35:48

We got a local guy to do ours, support local trades ! The cost was lower than DIY kitchens and a fair bit lower than howdens, basically it was fitted for free in comparison. Shop around and ask for recommendations - your builders might know someone good who doesn't bother to advertise, the good ones don't need to!

HerbNotErb Sat 10-Mar-18 06:41:22

Hate howdens & their hidden pricing structure. It's ok if you are the builder or the builder is a mate otherwise it's a pain in the arse. I will never use them again. We have some of their units in the utility & they look fine but it's not a heavy use area so I couldn't comment on quality.

AccidentalBumming Sat 10-Mar-18 06:52:43

This is what you do.
Set yourself up as a sole trader, Costs £40, or so, doesn’t have to be in construction either (I asked them). Set up account with them.
Wait TIL October when they always have their sale.
Swoop in and clear them out!

My kitchen is from howdens and it’s fine

Bowerbird5 Sat 10-Mar-18 07:01:22

You can buy from Howdens I have just had one drawn up. We also have three designs from local company. £25,000 seems a lot. Is it a big kitchen? I asked Howdens because I wanted to compare, other than builder what are their hidden costs? The doors are only solid wood around the edge the central panel is ply. The carcass is chip board as I asked to compare. It came out about £7 k the other one is £12-16 k depending on which design we pick and completely solid wood. No hidden costs and includes joiner, electrician , painter ( in situ) they are lovely kitchens but not sure if I want to spend all that money. I understand your dilemma. Is there anywhere else local? It is a big decision isn't it!

tomhazard Sat 10-Mar-18 07:04:14

We had a builder fit a howdens kitchen - it's great quality and looks just as we wanted. A lot cheaper than 25k and it's quite big!

bakingaddict Sat 10-Mar-18 07:26:25

I had a kitchen renovation recently, knocked through existing kitchen and dining room to make a huge open plan area with bi-fold doors think about approx 45 sq ft. Our kitchen with appliances was £8.5K from Howdens and the builder doing the work including putting in kitchen, steels, plastering, plumbing, tiling and electrics was £13K. Bi-fold doors were £3.5 and quartz worktops about another £3K. All in all we spend £32K on the kitchen and i'm in London to boot

Badtimegirly Sat 10-Mar-18 07:27:09

I have trade accounts with a lot of the major kitchen unit companies and have recently closed down my Howdens or as they are know in the trade as 'chipboard cabinets' account due to their shambolic pricing structure. Their loss, the majority of my orders are now placed with Benchmarx great quality and service. The only plus point with Howdens was that it arrived pre-assembled, but a nightmare if anything was damaged as potentially you could be waiting weeks for a replacement. You also must take into account the carcass and framing is chipboard which over time will warp and contract, basically its cheap and nasty quality when you really look at the construction of it.

Don't be drawn in with their marketing, shop around this is a major purchase and there are plenty of good alternatives out there.

chuffsake Sat 10-Mar-18 07:33:43

My bro is a chippie so have used Howdens for last two kitchens. Great quality and any missing/replacement parts were available to collect from warehouse same day. Didn't use them for appliances or worktop. Sourced them all independently online - much cheaper. Used worktop express for oak worktop and it's excellent quality.

chuffsake Sat 10-Mar-18 07:35:37

Also just to add on Howdens quality- have a couple of unused carcasses that have been stored in very damp garage for last three years and they're still as good as new

Eminybob Sat 10-Mar-18 07:41:12

I am using a local independent. The units are all bespoke handmade, and he is project managing all the tradesmen, including a small amount of building work, and even the flooring as I’m using a flooring company that occupies the unit next door to his in his retail park.
I didn’t even approach a chain kitchen shop, this guy was recommend, the quote was within budget, and I have seen his work first hand and it’s great.
Our work hasn’t started yet so we are yet to see how it all pans out but I’ve been pleased with the service so far.
I too think it’s inportant to support local businesses.

tralaaa Sat 10-Mar-18 07:42:05

My husband is a builder of far to many years and always recommends Howdens they are fab

Taffeta Sat 10-Mar-18 07:43:35

We have an Ikea kitchen in its 8th year and still looking good

Much cheaper than Howdens who give the builders a massive cut

I wouldn’t pay £££ for dovetail joints etc as the kitchen will date and I’ll want a new one in 10 years

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