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Kitchen Design and Installation


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#16 Aunty

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:03 PM

Hi,

When you get a really good service you just have to spread the word.

My mother has just had a new kitchen fitted in Fox Hill which I've been fairly involved with. We used Croydon Kitchen Studios, a small company in West Wickham run by one lady designer, Camille Rosario.

Camille was recommended to us by a family member.She really took care in planning the kitchen, making several visits and taking a lot of time to find out what my mother needed as well as drawing plans by hand. This really shows in the finished kitchen, too. The actual fitting was a work of art done by a very experienced, pleasant and considerate fitter, although it did take a lot longer to fit than most people thought was usual. However, the wait produced a fantastic outcome.

Pricewise, they are favourably comparable to Magnet, who also quoted for the job, and the difference in quality and care taken is immeasurable. Magnet's approach to planning was so gung-ho it appalled me, and their sales tactics sickening.

I couldn't recommend Croydon Kitchen Studio highly enough if you're looking for a new kitchen. Tel: 020 8654 4827.

Edited by Aunty, 12 December 2006 - 02:56 PM.


#17 StephenB

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:40 PM

I might be giving them a call... only, how much longer is "a lot longer"?

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#18 Aunty

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:51 PM

Stephen, the whole project, including ripping out the old kitchen, plastering, filling in the big holes discovered in the floor and walls under the old units, installing all new appliances, granite work tops, electricals and lighting - the works basically, took four weeks from start to finish.

Camille co-ordinated everything, including delivery of the units and appliances as well as the granite installation.

#19 jamesl

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 05:56 PM

Well wev'e just had our kitchen fitted by MFI

The fitters themselves were good although there were one or two snagging problems. However I wasn't happy with the "extra's " that were not included in the standard fitting cost (which was about £1600)

All electrics and plumbing was extra - which was no problem as we arranged our own electrician to do the electrics before they arrived and there was only a little bit of additional plumbing..

However a £20 per appliance "wiring " charge was a joke. In essence they wanted £20 quid per appliance just to plug it into the socket an switch it on.

The gas connection charge was £180 - our corgi fitter (the excellent Neill at BSL) charged us £80.

Shaving the plinths to fit after the flooring was put in was another £40

Connecting the dishwasher up another £30 etce etc etc

Basically the £1600 got you basic carpentry to fit the units and the worktops

I am certain that an independent fitter would have been better value.


My top top tip (courtesy of the fitter) is this.

MFI basically stock Schreiber and one other range of Kitchens. However exactly the same kitchens are stocked by Howdens (there is one on the industrial estate in Sydenham at bells Yew Green)

Howdens only sell to trade and the markup that MFI apply to the same kitchen is astonishing. Example - we needed two more glass fronted doors. MFI cost £125 plus VAT. Howdens cost £60.00

So if you can find a fitter with an account at Howdens you can

(a) Get MFI to design the kitchen with their free design service.

( B) take the quote which gives a full beakdown of what you need and give it to your fitter

(c )get the fitter to buy the lot from Howdens at a much cheaper price and agree a much lower markup with him

Edited by jamesl, 12 December 2006 - 05:58 PM.


#20 Aunty

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 06:30 PM

James, that sounds like a total nightmare! How can a kitchen company with any self respect charge extra to fit appliances? Nuts!

I am very glad that the company we used provided a complete service. Wish they also did decorating and the flooring.

#21 James

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 08:02 PM

take the quote which gives a full beakdown of what you need and give it to your fitter

This practice, known as "free tendering" caused a lot of problems for the desktop publishing sector about 15 years ago, until everyone got together and stopped offering free design services. It isn't sustainable. You should perhaps ask yourself why the freeloading fitter can't offer you a design service by themselves.

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#22 moc

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 01:38 PM

Well thanks for all the info Jamesl - I'll be having a new kitchen installed some time in the new year, I don't really have the time (or inclination if I'm honest - I put a kitchen in the Ikea way once before and vowed never again!) to source out independent fitters, but at least i'll know what questions to ask now to find out what is included in the installation quotes :)
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#23 Paul.W

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 06:03 PM

I used Magnet in Balham for my new kitchen, fitted in June and they were excellent. No hard sales, v efficient and helpful at all times. Goran the designer was v knowledgable and it was fitted in 3/4 days by James Taylor, a local company. I would recommend them.

#24 hild

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 11:06 PM

I know there'll be a lot people out there being awf'ly frightened by the thought of a kitchen from Ikea :P , but there are a couple of things REALLY in their favour. They've got a simply brilliant diy-design tool (free download from the Ikea web-site) which will allow you to drop in all the unit in the standard top-down view, but then you get to view it in 3-D! It's genius!

We've just finished building our new kitchen from the designs we did on the ole' puter and it looks really good. We played around with the design lots of times, changing a bit here, moving a bit there and there were so many things we hadn't thought of to start off with! It gave us a really good idea of how we could best use the space (and as we've got a really rather awkward space that was definitely needed) and the final outcome is almost exactly like the plans. We did buy the kitchen from Ikea, but we fitted it ourselves as we're quite handy with the odd screw-driver and jig-saw - plus we like doing it. And of course - as we were doing it all ourselves we could change our minds at a moments notice without being told that 'ooooh, that'll be expensive, changing the plans at this late stage will cost you lots!'... ;)

We had a man in to do the tiling for us though, he was brilliant and can be heartily recommended - as can the plumber who sorted out the boiler. Anyone interested, I've got their details!

#25 Ziwa

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 06:27 PM

Hi - I'd second everything hild says abot Ikea kitchens. I loved the design tool, as it gave us a sense of control of the design ourselves. Very empowering. Get an independent fitter, and you'll be fine.

I'm pretty lukewarm on Howdens. They sold us a sink with all the wrong fittings, still missing a plug for the alternate tap hole (6 months later) and the price turned out to be more than something much more swish from John Lewis. They also don't do tall cupboard units so if you have a high ceiling you won't be able to use your vertical space unless you stack the 'landscape' oriented cupboards.

see my earlier posting on this thread...

#26 Gipsy

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 09:09 PM

I have bought some new kitchen units from B&Q but not the worktop yet. Has anyone got any advice about what material to buy and where from? How much should I expect to pay per metre? I've read that granite is porous so will show stains - has anyone had experience of this? Or is granite 'safe' to use? Can anyone recommend aany other materials like Speedstone, Zodiac Quartz or concrete or anything else? I'm also looking for a worktop supplier/ installer. So many questions! Any advice much appreciated. Thanks... :D

#27 gekko

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 12:31 PM

We are also in the market for a new worktop (a wooden one) so I'd be interested in any recommendations too.
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#28 Willy

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 02:40 PM

Might not help you but I noticed ScrewFix do kitchen worktops, granite and wood. Have a look:
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#29 Chloews

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 11:55 AM

We are also in the market for a new worktop (a wooden one) so I'd be interested in any recommendations too.


Ikea may not be the greatest in terms of ease of use, but their solid oak work surface is very handsome, thicker than their standard work surfaces, and amazingly resilient - It just needs regular oiling, which you're anything like as messy as me in the kitchen, shouldn't be a problem...

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#30 Ziwa

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 04:01 PM

We need new worktops too and are a bit torn about it. I'd like to consider 'green' aspects while purchasing this large item, but also want a nice kitchen that makes me smile when I see it for the next few years and which will hold its value. Granite looks marvy (I don't think it would be porous at all) but is generally shipped from around the world - what's the sense in sending slabs of monsterously heavy rock for non-essential items? Wood also looks great, and I'd hope it was sustainably harvested, but I'm not so tidy in the kitchen either, and a lot of splashing seems to happen around the sink (we live like otters), so I'd worry that it it would not do well in our swamp. More fastidious friends have already had to replace their wooden counters after a few years. I've heard that the only really sustainable thing to to make them out of the wood from old bowling alleys (and yes, theres a source with the salvage place in Streatham!). But think of the potential for problems on making it yourself! Then that leaves the nasties of chipboard+laminate. Opinions, anyone?