Gransnet forums

House and home

Help needed, which kitchen manufacturer would you recommend?

(88 Posts)
jude2006 Fri 14-Feb-20 11:13:43

Hello everyone, we are planning a new kitchen, and its turning out to be really difficult to choose a company, we are hearing so many negative opinions of some of them.
We have been recommended two companies we have never heard of, one being diy-kitchens situated in West Yorkshire, and another called Vie Home Improvements in Manchester.
We have had samples from both which do look great, but has anyone else heard of them or used them.
Or perhaps other GN's can suggest a good company. We have also looked at all the big leading companies, but still not sure.
Looking forward to hearing about your experiences and what you have done, or would do.

annsixty Fri 14-Feb-20 11:22:31

My only advice is to go by personal recommendations from neighbours ,family and friends and to use a local company.
So much easier if there are any problems.

paddyanne Fri 14-Feb-20 11:28:01

our latest kitchen is from Ikea,its lovely ,decent quality and finishes.They can supply and fit though my OH fitted ours .We've had kitchens that cost 3 or 4 times as much that weren't as good.You should have look round your nearest Ikea store,you might be surprised

glammanana Fri 14-Feb-20 11:29:54

I would look at local installers and have a look at their finished work if possible and ask for recommendations as suggested by annsixty,also make sure any appliances fitted have the warranty dated from when fitted in your kitchen not when the installer purchased it from the supplier as my friend did and she ended up being 6mths short on her gaurentee.

SueDonim Fri 14-Feb-20 11:33:10

My kitchen is from Magnet. It’s over 15 years old and still in showroom-condition. They still sell the same style - Shaker.

Whiff Fri 14-Feb-20 11:58:01

Had a new kitchen in October from Benchmark at Aintree. Think they have branches else. Brilliant kitchens. Cabinets come ready made. Solid excellent quality. Had it installed by a company that does all home improvements. So they did all electric s, plumbing etc. Even put in new ceiling and put down the flooring. Which is Karndean. Only hand sink and tap from Benchmark sourced appliances myself. My installed fitted all those. Apart from my oven ,induction hob and extractor fan my appliances are free standing.

Purpledaffodil Fri 14-Feb-20 12:06:49

We used Wren, very happy with quality and type of cupboards and drawer units available. However kitchen planners were not very capable or experienced and I would not advise using their installers. Daughter had one demanding refitting of all new electrics which had just been completed by qualified electrician. Total scam and she did not proceed with Wren installers.

BBbevan Fri 14-Feb-20 12:18:46

We have an Ikea kitchen, just 2yrs old. I love it. We could have had Ikea put it in but DH and SiL did it in 3 days ( big kitchen) Though they did help us design it. .Lots of different sorts of cupboards and fitments.Great instructions. They even made us a new oak top for a central island we wanted to keep. Absolutely no problems

Davida1968 Fri 14-Feb-20 12:22:35

I agree fully with Annsixty! Ask local people for local recommendations.

dragonfly46 Fri 14-Feb-20 12:22:37

We went to a local small company who project managed it all. We have Dutch units and Miele appliances. They also sent a fitter to London to do my DDs kitchen. We were so pleased they did one of our bathrooms also. Independent companies give better service I have found.

Missfoodlove Fri 14-Feb-20 12:53:12

Our kitchen was hand built in solid wood for less than the price of a Wren kitchen.
Do get some local quotes and research all you can.
I had a worktop samples for a week to abuse before I settled on one!!
Good luck and what fun!!

jude2006 Fri 14-Feb-20 13:00:50

Thanks everyone, some good tips here. Missfoodlove your kitchen looks wonderful.
Please keep all your tips coming, we need your thoughts and advice: much appreciated.

JuliaM Fri 14-Feb-20 13:16:32

Howdens, they have just made a fantastic job of my new kitchen through a local builder and kitchen fitter. We chose a soild wood shaker style which is paintable in the future should fashions change, not a bit of MDF in sight, and no high maintainance worktops either.

annsixty Fri 14-Feb-20 13:44:41

I am now getting kitchen fitters ads down the side.
Big brother really is watching us.

M0nica Fri 14-Feb-20 14:35:35

jude2006 we are planning to have a kitchen from DIY kitchens. Only delays with our extension mean that it has yet to be fitted.

We have visited their showroom three times and find them so helpful, with such a wide range of units and work tops. They will not design your kitchen. You must do that yourself, nor they install units, that you also have to arrange yourself. But they have an excellent online site, but nothing beats a visit to their showrooms.

DS and wife had a Wickes kitchen installed just before Christmas. It was a full service: design, supply and fitting and everything went without a hitch. They are delighted with the result.

Curlywhirly Fri 14-Feb-20 15:30:07

Missfoodlove our kitchen is very similar to yours (except we have an island, rather than table and chairs) and ours too was hand built solid wood. It was an independent shop in our local village (which looked very swish) and I only got a quote to see how riduculously expensive it would be, well, it turned out to be just slightly dearer than the quotes we had from Wren and Mobalpa. The layout and kitchen plan was far better than the other quotes and the service we received was brilliant.

Missfoodlove Fri 14-Feb-20 16:44:38

Curlywhirly,
It really is a surprise when you realise that the mass produced kitchens are actually not as good value as perceived!
We could have had the same kitchen in MDF which would have looked fine and. Even a lot cheaper still.
We had excellent service, a joiner came to repair something last week and didn’t charge.... the kitchens 6 years old!!

PernillaVanilla Fri 14-Feb-20 16:52:08

We used a local kitchen shop, two ladies run the shop and the husband of one of them does the fitting with some extra staff. We got a much better design than those we had had from Howdens and John Lewis, with "magic corners" deep draws ad cupboards right up to the ceiling. I'd avoid John Lewis. With the other large companies they design what you want and then modify or offer discounts to help you get in budget. At John Lewis they asked our top budget and then said take it or leave it to the rather pathetic offering they came up with.

cc Sat 15-Feb-20 10:29:49

We've had two kitchens from Magnet which have been fine, and they used a good subcontractor who also dealt with the plumbing and electrics. They also have a "trade" range I believe which is very good and less expensive.
A friend used John Lewis a couple of years ago and had problems with wrongly sized units, and (imo) the finished product doesn't look great.
If you have the budget to consider a bespoke kitchen I'd recommend Woodstock Furniture.
Otherwise do you know a good, recommended local builder? They can get better discounts that you. If you have an idea of the layout you want they can buy the furniture and fit it for you. If you have the budget for quartz worktops I would recommend that you have them installed by a specialist.

cc Sat 15-Feb-20 10:33:28

Also I'd suggest that you go for an MDF based kitchen as wood is prone to movement in centrally heated houses. Waterproof MDF used by good manufacturers is absolutely solid and durable.

Thecatshatontgemat Sat 15-Feb-20 10:41:12

If you are going with flat pack, good old B&Q has a good range, and their worktop selection was the best on offer.
The success of the installation, always begins and ends with a good installer, so as others have said - go by recommendation.
My latest kitchen was from Howdens, as their delivery time was so fast, and despite what they may tell you, they DO do the flat pack option, which l opted for. And you can bargain hard with them, as they seem to overprice the initial quote. (Under no circumstances should you accept their initial quote).

morethan2 Sat 15-Feb-20 10:44:30

My Wren kitchen was finished on Monday. We’ve a very small kitchen and their planners managed to fit in dishwasher, fridge freezer, double oven, microwave, washing machine and still give us lots of storage space. We had it fitted by a local man who came very highly recommend. (We had to wait six months for him to fit us in) he’d never used wren but at the end I ask him what he thought and said he was impressed by the quality and said the plan was easy to follow. He told us he’d rather enjoyed it.

jude2006 Sat 15-Feb-20 10:44:49

Thanks GN's this is really interesting, especially about the local independent kitchen fitters.
Also MOnica, it was good to hear that you are going to use DIY kitchens and that you've visited their showroom. Unfortunately we live along way from them and would find it difficult to visit, so have to go on the recommendations.

Singlegrannie Sat 15-Feb-20 10:49:25

Another vote for Ikea. Better choice of features for half the price of some others. Mine is now 5 years old and still looking good.

Soozikinzi Sat 15-Feb-20 10:57:27

If you have Howden’s near you I would definitely get one from them . They only let reputable fitters fit and supply their kitchens