New kitchen - BnQ, Wickes, Moben, Kitchen Direct?

Hello,
I'm looking for a kitchen.
I will need:
* the kitchen/dining room ceiling sorting (replastered or wood panelling) * the floor sorting (asphalt over the stone flags, then tile) * new units and accessories (the whole lot) * wall tiles * some electrical wiring and plumbing
Obviously, the kitchen needs designing, and then it's a case of cost vs quality vs reputation.
The choices appear to be:
B and Q Wickes MFI Moben Kitchen Direct
I cannot abide pushy salesmen and miscreant customer services staff. Being an Asian household, with lots of cooking and washing going on the items need to be durable and functional.
Any thoughts, recommendations gladly received.
If anyone knows of a quality outfit in West Yorkshire that can do the whole lot then please let me know.
Kind regards,
Saeed
sr_ng 786
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On Tue, 6 Jan 2004 23:06:54 +0000, Saeed

OK.
Do bear in mind that this is a DIY newsgroup and not a referral service for the building trades.
However.......

Plastering a ceiling is not a first time DIY project. Panelling could be.

What do you want instead.

These can be DIY fitted quite easily.

So can these.

These may need a bit more ability, but are also potentially DIY-able.

Moben and Kitchen Direct will give you the pushy salesman routine. I wouldn't do business with them.
The other places that you mention are really warehouses. They do have basic design services, but nothing too sophisticated. The actual products are reasonably good value for money and they offer an installation service in most cases. You could add IKEA to the list in this category as well, and perhaps Magnet.
Don't take any notice of the X% off offers. They are meaningless. What matters is what the quality is like and what you pay. Anybody can start with a high price and heavily discount.

The other approach is to look at some local design/installation firms. You can find them in all the usual places like Yellow Pages and the papers. Again, avoid the "special deal" merchants. Generally, the small installer will have their own sources of products from distributors and they may be similar or a little different to the warehouse products.
You can approach this by starting with a budget in mind (but keep it to yourself) and see what is on offer. Go for 2-3 quotations and compare. certainly ask for references. Ask friends and neighbours if they have used anybody.
This route will probably cost a bit more, but you will get more flexibility on what you can get and probably more easily to get a complete package as you describe if you don't want to do the work yourself.

.andy
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"Which" just did a "reader survey". Wickes/Ikea came equal top in "Would recommend to a friend", Ikea ahead of Wickes in "value for money" and Wickes well ahead of the bunch for "satisfaction with advice".
But for "fitted kitchens" readers were also generally rather happier with "independents" over "big brands".
Check your library for "Which" Jan 04.
And Google this group for one or two horror stories (shed designers getting worktop quantities wrong as I recall)
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Saeed wrote:

My advice is to fund some good carpenters who know of some good electricians, and buy the units direct online.
I got a very reasonable set of durable units from arena kitchens. Nice quality at the upper end of the 'flatpack' type of thing, and not much more expensive than the sheds. The arean salesman - not pushy - too busy - saidthe units were as supplied to John Lewis type outlest, so thats a place to see them, but for my money they were well made with decent doors, hinges and drawe slieds etc. Etsimate will do about 15 years instead of e.g. MFI's five.
The biggest problem is finding someone competent to do the install - the actual units are no big deal, and probably not the major cost.
In my experience, you should approach carpenters first, and let them sort out te rest. They seem to have slightly more than half a brain. Electrivians are useless and do not undestand carpentry, and plumbers are the lowest of the low.
Most people strat by looking at the units. Its almost irrelevant. What you need is to look at tradesmen, and find some relaible ones that you can look straight in the eye, and who will give you and honest answer. best to ask around locally, or try yellow pages.
Goint to a local kitchen shop willmean opaying a lot, but they do take te sting out of it,.
Goimng to the sheds will cost as much, but teh units will be garbage mostly, and teh fitting service not that hot.

sadly, I am miles awya..

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I'll see you outside! (I'm a plumber ;-)
Actually what you want is an independent kitchen fitter, either a sole trader or a small firm, whose work you can inspect - ideally a kitchen they've done a year or two ago, so it's had time to weather. You may find someone by recommendation or possibly some of the independent kitchen showrooms have fitting teams or a symbiotic relationship with some (we have a kitchen & bathrom showroom at a local builders' merchants which does this).
Whichever you go for you need to talk to your prospective fitter(s) and feel happy that they listen to you and understand what you want, and likewise for them to feel happy that they can work with you. (And if they're good they probably won't be able to do the work as soon as you'd like!)
-- John Stumbles -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-|-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ -+ procrastinate now!
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I know what you mean. They put gutters on the tops of the cupboards.
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A neighbour has recently installed a new Wickes kitchen. he did it himself. Very good quality. He took all Electrolux appliances. There was a deal going on, where the appliances were 1/2 price. He got a very good deal. He was impressed by the computer aided design. he gave his kitchen dimensions and the salesman came up with many alternatives. All ready to see on-screen. He maximised storage space.
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Avoid Kitchens Direct and Moben like the plague. Both use hard sell commission salesmen and work like cowboy double glazing outfits. Prices are made up as they go along. Kitchens Direct in particular have had really bad press. Total bunch of .......
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