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Kitchen Design and Installation

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#1 Uncle Wilf

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 08:57 AM

By Spring-Summer, we will need to install a new kitchen.

I'm well into cooking and am looking to get something decent and durable.
However, inevitably a limited budget is a consideration.
We also need it done reliably and quickly (as quickly as you can install a new kitchen and rip out an old one and incidentally knock down a wall)...

Any recommendations for people to use and any advice on potential pitfalls hidden costs etc?
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#2 Sylvester



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Posted 19 January 2006 - 10:06 AM

When I had my new kitchen installed (some 9 years ago now) I used Dulwich Kitchens at Bells DIY Store in Lordship Lane, East Dulwich. They were very helpful and efficient and the units were good quality and competitively priced. I did use my own fitters but not sure if they are still operating. The kitchen itself turned out well and still looks good. At the time I had the choice of "real birchwood" or MDF and chose the genuine wood, but wouldn't do so again - it is less practical and hardwearing than MDF and I honestly couldn't tell the difference, except in price!
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#3 Lilian



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Posted 19 January 2006 - 12:45 PM

I have been in the process of having a new kitchen fitted by using B&Q (for kitchen and instalation) since September. As you can tell from the time elapsed, it has been a nightmare! I was nearly there, but the work surfaces 'blew' and have to be replaced....

I'd definitely recommend getting independant fitters to do the job for you. You might find it worth B&Q/MFI etc to do the plans for you and then get a carpenter to do the work based on these plans.

I doubt that any kitchen fit is straightforward, so good luck!

#4 miles



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Posted 19 January 2006 - 01:06 PM

We had a new kitchen fitted by MFI last Spring/Summer, after ruling out anything more expensive, and we are very pleased with it. The units are cheap but reasonably solid, and the worktop - solid walnut - looks really smart. I would definitely recommend the fitter; we couldn't fault his work. He operated out of the Croydon branch, and is called Bob Williams(on?).

#5 matt



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Posted 19 January 2006 - 01:29 PM

We used magnet from Elmers End (near tesco) in summer 04 to do our kitchen, and they did a good job for us. Good enough to sell the house this winter anyway!

#6 jamesl



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Posted 19 January 2006 - 01:30 PM

Do not , under any circumstances , buy a kitchen from any company based in Manchester/Oldham or Bury that has a connection to Vance Miller -



#7 peanut



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Posted 19 January 2006 - 01:47 PM

Likewise...... Had a mare with Homebase!
good luck

#8 Busfeet



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Posted 17 February 2006 - 04:08 PM

I just had a kitchen fitted by these two local guys.


They did an absolutely brilliant job, but they aren't the cheapest. Look at the guild of master craftsmen and the federation of master builder websites to find people who aren't cowboys.



You can search for people in your area.

#9 SarahC



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Posted 27 February 2006 - 09:07 PM

Had a total nightmare with Kitchens Direct which is part of the Moben group. Units fine but fitting unimaginably poor. Won't bore you with the details but an example of their incompetence was in fixing a wall unit in the plasterboard rather to a joist. Luckly when it fell off the wall my partner was there to help me catch it.

If I were doing it again I'd buy the units direct and get a good carpenter in or spash out and get John Lewis to do it.

#10 rolandh


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Posted 26 October 2006 - 08:27 AM

i've used moben, mfi, homebase and B&Q and kitchens. i start with buying complete kitchens for properties that my business renovates or for one of my leased properties. The complete kitchens are bought from the cheapest supplier which is Kitchens, but i would strongly recomend that you use your own fitting team, and make sure you have all your bits before you start ripping anything out. MFI, homebase and Moben are complete rip-off merchants. for replacement fittings i tend to use B&Q, the quality is reasonable and everything is there for you to pick off a shelf.

Certainly if you want granite worktops, then i've not found anywhere cheaper than Kitchens but please check everything before the delivery driver leaves, and check it properly. you will find replacement parts are slow to arrive unless you collect them yourself which i also recomend, infact the showrooms are worth checking out if you have doubts about what your getting into.

for high quality items i recommend aquamark in Rochdale. very good service, very reasonable prices, will always give u a discount if you make a good purchase

#11 James



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Posted 26 October 2006 - 08:41 AM


Extract from the article about BBC Watchdog:

Kitchens, Kitchens Direct and Maple Industries

Kitchens, Kitchens Direct and Maple Industries are all companies that are or have been based at Maple Mill, in Oldham, Greater Manchester and headed by controvertial entrepreneur Vance Miller. The companies have been investigated by Watchdog on several occations. Miller, who is a convicted criminal,[2]and known in the media as the "Kitchen Gangster", became the first person in Britain to be handed a ‘Stop Now’ order by the Office of Fair Trading after consistently supplying kitchens which fell apart.[3]. Although Miller is currently banned from being the director of any company in the UK, in October 2006, he admitted on Watchdog that he is heading his latest company Maple Industries.

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#12 Willy



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Posted 26 October 2006 - 08:46 AM

Wish I'd know that before using Kitchens Direct!

#13 Ziwa



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Posted 26 October 2006 - 02:06 PM

We've been through the comparison shopping saga and got pretty exhuasted by it, but I'm glad of a chance to spout my kitchen opinions and maybe save someone else some hasssle.

Agreed with the opinions on the baddies listed above - stay away from them as I've heard the same through other channels. Other things to know about: Howden's is a giant joinery company in Annerley that sells 'only to the trade' but you can go in as an individual, pick out stuff, and then your builder gets to purchase it and add whatever markup he wants. We decided we really liked a sink from there, but strangely have no sales receipt except an estimate which our builder says was about double what he was actually charged. So tread carefully with Howdens.
Ikea kitchens are actually excellent quality and not to be dismissed out of hand - their cost is about a quarter of the the big companies and they are essentially available today, not in 5 weeks time. DON'T use their fitters (this was whispered to me by several Ikea sales people). They are apparently starting a new line of higher end countertops, including solid stone or composit. (remember that solid stone is costs the environment a lot - the quarries are destructive and the transport around the world is costly. They do look nice though).

#14 Daniel Naya

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 01:33 PM

shame I didnt read this review about Kitchens direct before,
I just had my kitchen installed one month ago and I must say they finish is great,good oak doors,good materials but as Sarah pointed out I would get a carpenter to fit them in, they installed the whole thing in a messy way,leaving unbalanced some units and I had to get them done again .
very carefull in getting this guys but if you buy from them think about just getting a private guy in installing them.

hope it helps


#15 rolandh


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Posted 14 November 2006 - 09:52 AM

having looked into this a bit more for personal peace of mind, i've found that Kitchens Direct is not the same company as Kitchens, formerly known as Maple.

i thought that Kitchens had a bad reputation that appears to be improving, but Kitchens Direct are even worst. it even harder trying to decipher who talking about thier experience with which company. its all too much for me