I'm looking for a kitchen.
I will need:
* the kitchen/dining room ceiling sorting (replastered or wood
* 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
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.
Do bear in mind that this is a DIY newsgroup and not a referral
service for the building trades.
Plastering a ceiling is not a first time DIY project. Panelling could
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
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
"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)
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.
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
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!)
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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