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New kitchens

We need a new kitchen and I've been putting it off for ages, as I can't be bothered with the aggravation.
I've looked at reviews of companies and so many get awful reviews/comments it's doing my head in.
I'm Bromley based and had decided to go with Wrens, but am now having second thoughts.
Presumably I'll need an electrician, plumber, carpenter ?
I was thinking of just using Wrens for the whole installation, but don't even know if they do the lot.
Wrens, Howdens, Wickes, Homebase, B&Q, IKEA.
How the hell do you decide and do you wait for summer sales as the winter ones are now finishing?

I'm sure there will be some helpful comments so fire away, cos my head can't take the indecision.
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Comments

  • Shaunthehandyman.co.uk

    Bromley based, very nice fella.
  • I can give you a quote ;)
  • Family Kitchens in Longfield did ours a few years ago. Superb job. I think they are still there 
  • We used benchmarx and the fella who built our extension fitted it.
    Good thing about them and Howdens is that if you find something broke, smashed or faulty you can normally get a replacement the next day. Heard some horror stories of people waiting weeks/months for replacements from Wrens.
    My builder also said that if you go in toward the end of the month you tend to find better deals as the salesmen are pushing to get their commission. Worked for us but no idea if that's the norm.
  • I can give you a quote ;)
    Made me laught that mate
  • I need this doing too but also need a (non-supporting) wall got rid of and would rather go to just one place for the lot as i’m Lazy, please highlight in your suggestions for @Covered End if they would also be suitable for moi, merci...
  • We've got a Howdens one and pretty happy with it. Agree with carly burn that it's easy to replace damaged items. Also any items you may change your mind on can easily be returned for a refund providing they're unopened. 
  • Wrens will do the lot but I'd be inclined to find a good fitter (they normally earn their spurs working for homebase or a wickes and then go out on their own) and source the stuff from where you wish 

    I can recommend a good bloke based in Ashford if it suits 


  • Howdens - do they offer designing service in  their consultation?
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  • Chambers 
    The Old Timber Yd, London Rd, Halstead, Sevenoaks TN14 7DZ
    I have friend who makes the cabinets there, they are very nice and bespoke.
    or I ordered my own from Lark & Lark, made to measure and a reasonable price.
     I did the fitting myself but I sure there are people on here who excellent craftsmen who can fit it.
  • We need a new kitchen and I've been putting it off for ages, as I can't be bothered with the aggravation.
    I've looked at reviews of companies and so many get awful reviews/comments it's doing my head in.
    I'm Bromley based and had decided to go with Wrens, but am now having second thoughts.
    Presumably I'll need an electrician, plumber, carpenter ?
    I was thinking of just using Wrens for the whole installation, but don't even know if they do the lot.
    Wrens, Howdens, Wickes, Homebase, B&Q, IKEA.
    How the hell do you decide and do you wait for summer sales as the winter ones are now finishing?

    I'm sure there will be some helpful comments so fire away, cos my head can't take the indecision.
    This is going to make trimming those branches look like a walk in the park, good luck  ;)  
  • Misread it as “new kittens” and got really excited. What a let down :joy:
  • Solidgone said:
    Howdens - do they offer designing service in  their consultation?
    I dunno if it's included in their base quote, but they definitely do it, as my sister got her kitchen from there and had all sorts of funky drawings and visualisation pictures that she sent to me so I could see what it was going to be like.

  • EastStand said:
    Misread it as “new kittens” and got really excited. What a let down :joy:
    off to google "new kittens"
  • edited February 2020
    Both sponsored ads on this page are for new kitchens (I’ve never searched for kitchens).

    the internet is a clever old thing
  • The biggest a*rse ache I remember when we had a new kitchen fitted was having to cook microwave meals in the front room until they finished, and then having to wash up in the bathroom upstairs. But, you know, I'm a trouper.
  • edited February 2020
    So if Howdens only sell to Trade, how does that work ?
    Sorry for being ignorant, but an idiots guide is needed here.
    Do they have "shops" you visit and choose and then you have to give your order to a builder etc etc?
    I did have a look on their site but it wasn't readily apparent to me.
  • I've used Wren for two kitchens. First one was good, so bought basically the same kitchen when I moved to a new place. Felt the quality had deteriorated significantly and would certainly not use again.

    I used this lot on the recommendation of a work colleague for most recent kitchen, last year - https://www.diy-kitchens.com/

    Excellent price, excellent quality. One door arrived damaged, had a replacement to me within a couple of days, no quibbles, my brother's got a very nice kitchen off them as well.

    From your list, Howdens is the best. Neighbour who does interrupt design always uses them and tradesmen always recommend them.

    Pick your own installer, either using Trusted Traders-type website or a personal recommendation (sure you can get a few off people on here). Don't use any company's own fitters, generally not very good.
  • So if Howdens only sell to Trade, how does that work ?
    Sorry for being ignorant, but an idiots guide is needed here.
    Do they have "shops" you visit and choose and then you have to give your order to a builder etc etc?
    I did have a look on their site but it wasn't readily apparent to me.
     Yes. Check whoever you get to do it has an account. Most kitchen fitters will have accounts at multiple places, but you should be able to go in and get an idea prior to deciding who will fit it.
     If you have your measurements they'll do you a design and this is normally free
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  • Can't recommend an installer, but we had an Ikea kitchen fitted at our house 2 years ago and we've been very happy with it. Lots neat integrated customisation options available and the hardware etc seems to be good quality. We did buy some fancier handles to 'upscale the look' a little bit, but we also saved ourselves some money by assembling the cabinets ourselves before the installer hung them on the wall. They;re basically just boxes and easy to do if you have any kind of practical skills. Once you've done a couple it goes very quickly. Ours were bought in Canada but I assumes Ikea stuff is all pretty standard across the globe.
  • So if Howdens only sell to Trade, how does that work ?
    Sorry for being ignorant, but an idiots guide is needed here.
    Do they have "shops" you visit and choose and then you have to give your order to a builder etc etc?
    I did have a look on their site but it wasn't readily apparent to me.
    Got one on Farwig lane Bromley, this is the one we used. Quite friendly staff, Tom especially. It's not a showroom but they have all the types of designs available in the form of cupboard doors to view. Plus obviously handles, worktops etc. 
  • edited February 2020
    Thank-you everyone particularly Mr Largo who has given me my ideal response.
    I'll bin off looking at Wrens.
    I'll start investigating Howdens, as they have a place just outside Bromley town centre on Farwig Lane.
  • We need a new kitchen and I've been putting it off for ages, as I can't be bothered with the aggravation.
    I've looked at reviews of companies and so many get awful reviews/comments it's doing my head in.
    I'm Bromley based and had decided to go with Wrens, but am now having second thoughts.
    Presumably I'll need an electrician, plumber, carpenter ?
    I was thinking of just using Wrens for the whole installation, but don't even know if they do the lot.
    Wrens, Howdens, Wickes, Homebase, B&Q, IKEA.
    How the hell do you decide and do you wait for summer sales as the winter ones are now finishing?

    I'm sure there will be some helpful comments so fire away, cos my head can't take the indecision.
    Wren get a bit of stick in the industry but last few jobs I’ve been on where they’ve had new kitchens have been Wren and aesthetically have looked nice. 

    Benchmarx are a good company to deal with, good prices and usually pre built units so saves you a days labour as the fitter won’t have to assemble. 

    I can put you in touch with a good kitchen fitter who would project manage it ie get the necessary trades working under him and leave you to deal with one person if you need someone, feel free to message me for his number. 


  • aliwibble said:
    Solidgone said:
    Howdens - do they offer designing service in  their consultation?
    I dunno if it's included in their base quote, but they definitely do it, as my sister got her kitchen from there and had all sorts of funky drawings and visualisation pictures that she sent to me so I could see what it was going to be like.

    Howdens offer a free designing process I believe. 
  • Talal said:
    So if Howdens only sell to Trade, how does that work ?
    Sorry for being ignorant, but an idiots guide is needed here.
    Do they have "shops" you visit and choose and then you have to give your order to a builder etc etc?
    I did have a look on their site but it wasn't readily apparent to me.
    Got one on Farwig lane Bromley, this is the one we used. Quite friendly staff, Tom especially. It's not a showroom but they have all the types of designs available in the form of cupboard doors to view. Plus obviously handles, worktops etc. 
    Ok, so I've just had a brief look at their site & ordererd a brochure to be e mailed.
    I'm not surprised but can't see any prices for the kitchens.
    How does that work, I could be choosing one costing £3K or£8K and would be none the wiser ?
  • We used Benchmarx in Sidcup for ours. Very pleased with the design and quality of the products but we had a few problems with the ordering process. They ordered the wrong surfaces, which we luckily noticed before delivery and at the last minute, the sink wasn’t available. They also included a boiling water tap that we told them we didn’t want. We weren’t living at home when it was installed so didn’t realise until weeks later. They weren’t interested when we tried to argue it. 

    Didn’t use them for installation, our builder did it as part of the extension.

  • We used Benchmarx in Sidcup for ours. Very pleased with the design and quality of the products but we had a few problems with the ordering process. They ordered the wrong surfaces, which we luckily noticed before delivery and at the last minute, the sink wasn’t available. They also included a boiling water tap that we told them we didn’t want. We weren’t living at home when it was installed so didn’t realise until weeks later. They weren’t interested when we tried to argue it. 

    Didn’t use them for installation, our builder did it as part of the extension.

    Did you get another couple of inches mate?
  • Talal said:
    So if Howdens only sell to Trade, how does that work ?
    Sorry for being ignorant, but an idiots guide is needed here.
    Do they have "shops" you visit and choose and then you have to give your order to a builder etc etc?
    I did have a look on their site but it wasn't readily apparent to me.
    Got one on Farwig lane Bromley, this is the one we used. Quite friendly staff, Tom especially. It's not a showroom but they have all the types of designs available in the form of cupboard doors to view. Plus obviously handles, worktops etc. 
    Ok, so I've just had a brief look at their site & ordererd a brochure to be e mailed.
    I'm not surprised but can't see any prices for the kitchens.
    How does that work, I could be choosing one costing £3K or£8K and would be none the wiser ?
    You'd be better off going to the place and picking up the brochures. They do have one for the tradesmen that has prices in that's sometimes on the desk, I managed to nab one.
    Once you've got the design layout sorted pick out a few options you like and ask them to price it up. I imagine the more contemporary designs like handleless are probably the dearest. 
  • Talal said:
    So if Howdens only sell to Trade, how does that work ?
    Sorry for being ignorant, but an idiots guide is needed here.
    Do they have "shops" you visit and choose and then you have to give your order to a builder etc etc?
    I did have a look on their site but it wasn't readily apparent to me.
    Got one on Farwig lane Bromley, this is the one we used. Quite friendly staff, Tom especially. It's not a showroom but they have all the types of designs available in the form of cupboard doors to view. Plus obviously handles, worktops etc. 
    Ok, so I've just had a brief look at their site & ordererd a brochure to be e mailed.
    I'm not surprised but can't see any prices for the kitchens.
    How does that work, I could be choosing one costing £3K or£8K and would be none the wiser ?
    This is what deterred me from Howdens a bit. My understanding is that they only sell to the trade, not direct to the public, and there is some variation in the price depending on the tradesman you use - i.e. a tradesman who buys loads of kitchens off then will get a better price than one who only uses them sporadically. So you need to pick your kitchen, then find your fitter and get him to price it up for you.

    I'd give them a ring to check that, think I'm generally right, but obviously they'll be able to give you a better explanation. Regardless of the above, I believe they are pretty much guaranteed to come in cheaper than B &Q and Homebase and at least comparable to the others.
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