Howden's kitchens: builder's discount

(75 Posts)
womaninblue Fri 21-Feb-20 23:52:37

Started thinking about a new kitchen three years ago and had it priced up by three companies including Sigma-3 and Howdens, the latter because the neighbours were so pleased with their Howdens kitchen. We were surprised at how expensive the Howdens kitchen was. We'd expected it to be significantly cheaper than the others and it wasn't.

In the end we decided to put it off and extend the kitchen. Work on the extension starts next month and the builder is adamant that we should get a Howdens kitchen and that he'll order it for us. He's fitted loads, he likes them. Blah, blah, blah.

I'm not that keen on the ranges and as they seem to be pretty much the same price as other suppliers I don't feel like compromising. Now someone's explained me that the builder will probably get a big discount if he puts in the order for us. Is he likely to offer us a cut of that or is he pressuring me to buy a kitchen I don't really want so that he can pocket an extra few grand?

I'm not trying to be tight. He's charging us for fitting a kitchen so unless we're getting a decent bargain with the Howdens one I might as well spend a bit more and get something I prefer.

OP’s posts: |
PigletJohn Sat 22-Feb-20 00:30:36

Magnet is about 60%

I may have some old Howdens bills somewhere, but if it was very different I think I'd have noticed.

LittleMissGrumpyGrot Sat 22-Feb-20 00:37:29

The house we bought had a two year old Howden's kitchen and two years later, it's falling apart. Electrical failing, lighting failing, kicker boards broken, hinges broken, drawer fronts falling off. Biggest pile of shit ever!

SpoonBlender Sat 22-Feb-20 00:46:28

Go elsewhere - and get yourself a fitter that doesn't try and override you, your builder sounds like a right tosser.

Elieza Sat 22-Feb-20 00:52:59

Howdens stuff is dear. I have heard from a kitchen fitter that it’s supposedly very good and he likes them.

However you will hear good things and bad things about any kitchen! Sometimes it’s the quality of the goods, sometimes the diy fitter lets it down, sometimes it’s the company who appoints fitters who lets it down. Difficult to know which make/fitters are best.

tonglong Sat 22-Feb-20 01:01:44

Howdens have a catalog with supposed full price the builder or howdens have already showed you.

If you are in the trade and have an account at howdens you can arrange for them to visit your customer, make the plan and 3D drawings for free.

The builder/ howdens account holder will get another catalog with 60% off. They can then offer there customer 10-20% off list price as a special deal and still make good profit.

Howdens reps are always desperate to sell kitchens, hounding there account holders. Your builder wants to make a quick profit.

My advice as an ex installer is to find a local independent installer (or pair, often work in a pair) you want to install it, take there advice and find the kitchen you want. I had one customer use a company up north (north of Watford ) that supplied a kitchen a lot cheaper then howdens even with there discount. Work with the installers and get your services ready, took prepared for them.

When paying someone like magnet to install, 30-40% will go to the installer and the rest is profit. This usually results in the installers under pressure to complete quickly compromising quality. Going direct to an installer gives you better value

womaninblue Sat 22-Feb-20 10:30:16

Thanks for explaining the system, everyone. I think Howdens units are reasonable quality and don't recognise the situation one pp described of the kitchen falling apart. The neighbour's kitchen looks like new three/four years down the line. It's how you treat them, surely?

Difficult situation because we initially heard of the builder as a good kitchen fitter and it was only when I called him to discuss him fitting the kitchen that he revealed he ran a full building team. He quoted for the job (including a quote for fitting the kitchen) and got it. Now it feels as if he's dictating to me.

We don't plan to stay here for more than four or five years so I'm not going to invest in a dream kitchen. If anyone can suggest other companies that supply decent-quality units at reasonable prices I'm all ears. I've had Ikea kitchen before and don't want the faff: we live too far away from Ikea anyway, can't go running backwards and forwards for missed bits.

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Izzy24 Sat 22-Feb-20 10:37:17

We have a Howdens kitchen which we’re very pleased with.

We negotiated direct with Howdens and our builder (who had an account with Howdens) installed it.

We paid Howdens directly and then we paid the builder to install.

womaninblue Sat 22-Feb-20 10:46:31

Did your builder get the 60% discount or did you?

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Izzy24 Sat 22-Feb-20 14:45:31

We paid direct so we paid Howdens the price we negotiated with them.

Can’t remember the exact % but it was considerably less than the list price.

Mixmag Sat 22-Feb-20 16:11:15

I've had prices direct from howdens too, I think they're a lot more transparent with their prices now after being in the press a yr or so ago about dodgy pricing practices!

fastliving Sat 22-Feb-20 16:53:55

DIY kitchens are often recommended on here (I haven't used them)

Khione Sat 22-Feb-20 17:22:38

My fitter wanted me to fit a Howden's because he had worked with them before and like them. I didn't!

I got mine from DIY kitchens and after fitting it my fitter said he would now be recommending them to everyone. Worth a look.

haveuheard Sat 22-Feb-20 17:41:03

I didn't go with Howden's because of the unfair pricing and poor customer service. Don't regret it as we got a much better kitchen for the same money elsewhere.

haveuheard Sat 22-Feb-20 17:41:52

unclear pricing not unfair pricing. Although its a bit unfair too!

Izzy24 Sat 22-Feb-20 18:31:26

I think Howdens must vary a lot - we were very pleased by the attention to detail and support we had with several site visits including a final inspection.

Three years on and we’re still very pleased!

MaddieElla Sat 22-Feb-20 18:41:16

What a load of rubbish I’m reading on here.

You can negotiate a much reduced price with Howdens and pay them directly if you don’t trust all those cowboy builders. hmm

YappityYapYap Sat 22-Feb-20 18:47:33

I really like howdens. I've got a howdens kitchen and also the v groove flooring in my living room. Howdens will give the customer a price but builders and fitters that have used them a lot will of course get a discount because they bring a lot of business howdens way. The builder or fitter can order the kitchen for you and negotiate a price with you. The company that fitted my kitchen were on a 60% discount with howdens so I got the kitchen for a 30% discount. It still saved me money so I don't really care that they made 30% profit on the cost of my kitchen. They still have to do all the work of speaking to howdens, organising things, paying for your kitchen upfront then invoicing you which includes admin etc. I've no idea why people think self employed builders and home improvement companies should give their customers materials at cost price when the amount of work involved in sourcing and getting materials is high. If they only charge you for the actual fit, they earn nothing for all the work involved in getting the materials and the admin involved due to it etc. If the customer is happy to do all the work in sourcing the kitchen and paying for it upfront then I agree that they should buy it themselves and just pay fitting

wehaveafloater Sun 23-Feb-20 10:07:31

I don't know the discounts, but what mystifies me is this. If you are buying through your builder is it then that you go to if something breaks or Howdens ? As I thought you had to go back to the person or company that sold you the product . This seems as though there's too much 'wriggle out of dealing with it ' room for me to even consider it.

womaninblue Sun 23-Feb-20 12:45:09

Yappity, I'm not being tight. We've already agreed a price for him to fit the kitchen. But if we're talking a £10,000 kitchen and he stands to make an extra £6,000 on top of his fitting fee by persuading me to use Howdens and not offering me a good cut of the discount then I might as well pay £10,000 for a kitchen I really like.

OP’s posts: |
fastliving Sun 23-Feb-20 12:49:07

I wouldn't be happy paying someone pocketing 60% of a kitchen either, especially as Howden kitchens seem really average.

womaninblue Sun 23-Feb-20 12:55:02

Glad I'm not alone on this! Thanks for the nod on DIY kitchens, they look good. Off to do some more research and thanks for all the valuable info.

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sandycloud Sun 23-Feb-20 13:05:55

We recently did up a house to rent out and fitted a howdens kitchen. We bought some appliances through them too and they were cheaper than anything on the internet. We got a few quotes but they were best as they make it for you. It was a narrow room and no one else could be as flexible with the size of the cupboards. Also it came in 3 days. They also come partly built and not flat packed like some so fitting time is quicker.

EstebanTheMagnificent Sun 23-Feb-20 13:16:01

We have been really pleased with our Howdens kitchen. The only problems we’ve had have been with the AEG ovens, which we paid more for as a supposedly higher quality brand.

donquixotedelamancha Sun 23-Feb-20 13:25:00

I got mine from DIY kitchens and after fitting it my fitter said he would now be recommending them to everyone.

Yep, me too. Our carpenter couldn't get over what we paid- half howden's price for better quality. Very rarely will I be over the moon about a product but DIYkitchens are fab.

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