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Howdens kitchen designer - how it works?

(27 Posts)
Amunamun Thu 07-Jun-18 09:49:29

Good morning all, I need advice. Our builders promised that Howdens designer will visit our house and that together, we will design our new kitchen. Yesterday, I learnt that this means that I will do absolutely everything including measurings, drawings, layouts... and this so called designer will just put it in 3d model and that's it, we won't even meet him. I am a bit shocked because I expected a personal meeting with some ideas where to put this and that... So I thought that he will do the work, not me. Is this how it works or my contractor is just trying to avoid extra arrangements? Thanks a lot.

Hullabaloo31 Thu 07-Jun-18 10:16:55

Howdens usually come out and do it like any other kitchen company!

MountainHedgehog Thu 07-Jun-18 10:19:21

Rediculously expensive Howdens.
Try the company Wren Kitchens

ChipsAndKetchup Thu 07-Jun-18 10:40:31

*Rediculously expensive Howdens.
Try the company Wren Kitchens**
Are you on glue? Wrens are awful. I know a Wren fitter that says he's never finished a kitchen because things NEVER turn up. And the cost of Wren is ridiculous.

Howdens for us were excellent. They visited but then most other things were done via email. And at a fraction of the cost of Wren.

MrsBlondie Thu 07-Jun-18 11:00:43

We have Howdens. We didn't do any measuring or designing. The kitchen fitted did it all, with our input

MountainHedgehog Thu 07-Jun-18 11:04:49

Nope not on glue this morning, maybe the weekend. Everyone has good and bad about each company.

If your fitter gets a good discount at Howdens (everyone gets different prices) and you’re happy with the price for what you’re getting then go for it. But you shouldn’t be measuring and designing your own.

plasticcheese Thu 07-Jun-18 11:14:09

Howdens should send a designer to your home and in my experience they will do all the measuring and planning. They should ask you what features you want, and allow you to change the design if you don't like it. They offer this service for free so sounds like your builder is bullshitting.

The quality is good, but it's more important to find someone to fit it properly.

theunsure Thu 07-Jun-18 11:18:37

We are buying a local new build, builder using Howdens.
We have had about 6 meetings with the Howdens designer, mix of onsite and at their office.
They have done all the measuring!
I’d be concerned about your builder tbh!

Buxbaum Thu 07-Jun-18 12:34:19

Definitely not in our experience - designer came out for an initial site visit, then we've had sessions at their office to finalise designs. Coming out again now that old kitchen has been ripped out to take final, precise measurements.

If you're designing it yourself you may as well go to Ikea...

LagoDiComo Sun 10-Jun-18 10:07:27

Designer came to our house and we also went to the office a few times. We had about five different versions of the design by the end. We did have to say the sort of thing we wanted to start him off, eg range, how similar to existing kitchen’s layout, how many upper units etc

HumptyNumptyNooNoo Sun 10-Jun-18 11:42:53

That's not a designer. That's a salesperson.
You need a proper designer who will work with you to properly design a layout that suits you and the space you have. A Freelance Concept Planner could be just what you need. One that doesn't sell products, then you can take that one plan around and compare like for like before you buy.

Atthebottomofthesea Sun 10-Jun-18 13:35:31

I'm meeting with a Howden's designer this week (work related) He has said he will be at the house for about an hour and will go back and do the final plans.

Magnet are pretty similar.

gamerchick Sun 10-Jun-18 13:37:51

That's not how it works OP, who told you that?

Chocolatedeficitdisorder Sun 10-Jun-18 13:55:20

I had a new kitchen fitted last year by a local company who used the kitchens made by a company called 'Lochanna'. The Manager measured up, brought samples, sent us plans and pictures and visited several times before he started the work. The kitchen is great and we love it. Best of all is that it came in at under the quote from Howdens, who have their horribly random pricing structure and sent out a fitter to quote who was very late arriving and whom we didn't like at all.

182yellowsnails Sun 10-Jun-18 21:54:09

We had our kitchen initially designed by IKEA (in store) and then switched to Howdens because of IKEAs crazy installation costs. The lady from Howdens was great, came out and checked all designs and measurements. We did nothing ourselves and they were brill at matching our IKEA quote and installation was nearly £3000 cheaper!

SimonBridges Sun 10-Jun-18 21:58:12

We had Benchmarx which is similar.
Their designer came out and measured, advised and produced drawings.

Amunamun Tue 12-Jun-18 20:13:35

Thanks everyone... I honestly don't understand what's going on. I don't even have the email, my contractor is forwarding the emails between me and designerhmm I got a really bad kitchen plan yesterday, nothing that we wanted... I'm going to ask a new designer from Howdens directly to do it all over again. But I am really not sure why my contractor did that. Actually, he asked me not to talk to Howdens in my area as their designer is from a different branch. Does Howdens have some special rules for that?

SimonBridges Tue 12-Jun-18 20:39:27

Is it worth thinking about someone other than Howdens?
Personally I was really happy with Benchmarx.
It’s worth a look.
They are the same kitchens as Wickes but for half the price.

182yellowsnails Tue 12-Jun-18 20:45:54

The guy who fitted our kitchen said some fitters/builders are really sneaky and act as the middle man between the home owner and Howdens and then charge you extra on top of the price of the kitchen. If I was you I'd contact your local branch directly and see if they can send someone out to you.

The lady who designed ours from Howdens was brilliant

cansu Wed 13-Jun-18 09:23:00

He will have a relationship with that branch and will be getting a good price from them for the kitchen. As it isn't local to you they are trying to get you to do the work of measuring and sorting it all out. The designer comes to the house and measures up, talks to you about what you want and draws it out. They then go back and put it on computer and send you images of the kitchen and then usually you go in and agree it. I would refuse to measure myself. It needs to be done properly.

Ramona75 Thu 14-Jun-18 09:44:47

When I was pricing up my last kitchen, I went to Howdens for a quote once with my father-in-law, who was a builder and their 3D plan that they give you was pretty good. I went to see them with my flat piece of paper with units on that I wanted and they turned it into something that i could visualise properly in 3D. Did not go with them in the end as i got it cheaper elsewhere and their massive price discounts don't make any sense at all.

Lucisky Thu 14-Jun-18 14:45:03

Your builders sound a bit strange! Our kitchen was new as part of an extension and our builder recommended Benchmarx (their units come ready assembled too). I just drew a very rough plan, not to scale, of what I wanted, but at that stage didnt really know how it would all fit together.The kitchen company did a proper one with a design i liked in 3d and then supplied everything as asked. I certainly never did any measuring. In fact it was so easy. I hope you can sort it out, but no, the measuring etc is totally up to them, not you.

Amunamun Tue 26-Jun-18 13:48:38

Thank everyone. In the end, we got a quote which was absolutely crazy. We told our builders that we are not going for howdens and we bought the kitchen elsewhere for half of the price.

ExConstance Tue 26-Jun-18 15:09:23

When Howdens came to us they created a drawing of a big box with lots of smaller white boxes in it. Our local kitchen design lady created something that looked very realistic, and including a bottle of wine and a bunch of flowers in the drawings made us smile.

Baxdream Tue 26-Jun-18 15:13:49

Sounds like you're builders don't have a good relationship with howdens? Unpaid bills??

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