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Any advice about how to choose the right fitted kitchen?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by wordsworth, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. wordsworth

    wordsworth Senior commenter

    Hi, sorry to be so boring but i don't want to buy a new fitted kitchen and then find out later that i didn't make the right choice. I'd be ever so grateful if people could share their experiences and perhaps point me in the direction of a good company. I don't want to do d-i-y so i'm looking for the whole package really.
  2. wordsworth

    wordsworth Senior commenter

    Hi, sorry to be so boring but i don't want to buy a new fitted kitchen and then find out later that i didn't make the right choice. I'd be ever so grateful if people could share their experiences and perhaps point me in the direction of a good company. I don't want to do d-i-y so i'm looking for the whole package really.
  3. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    I prefer free-standing units.
    Fitted kitchens are so often of poor quality materials. Go for solid wood wherever possible.
    lexus300 likes this.
  4. Get down to the Habitat closing sale right now, buy something solid and lovely and get a local joiner to fit it!
  5. Brilliant idea. :)

  6. I love their kitchens. The beech one I couldn't be bothered being that careful with came from there and it was just glorious. If anyone is thinking of investing in such a thing you should also invest in trivets and coasters!
  7. I don't like the fitted kitchen look either. I have no wall units. I like a kitchen to look like a proper room so I have, for instance, an old oil painting on one wall, a grey stone, garden wall plaque of a Grecian woman in profile, resting on a work surface against a white-washed tongue and groove wall... I have a peg rail, too. :)

    freckle06 likes this.
  8. wordsworth

    wordsworth Senior commenter

    Great ideas, thanks everyone - do keep the ideas coming [​IMG]
  9. gergil4

    gergil4 New commenter

    I started with a list of things I wanted from MY kitchen: units at the right height (I'm tall); at least one long work surface; the right number of drawers (4 as I had other drawers in my dining room furniture); a reflective splashback as we had no natural light; one glass fronted wall unit for glasses; light coloured units.
    We then went to MFI and got them to design around that. I have to say, I nearly walked out as we only got served when they knew we were serious buyers. Quality was fine for what we wanted, and we fitted it ourselves as my husband could do it.
    Other kitchen designers made some sensible suggestions, but there were things I definitely didn't want, and I hate it when people try to persude me otherwise.
    Do try local suppliers and fitters, and do haggle about price. Most people want the business.
  10. I walked out of Magnet when a patronising twit of a salesman implied that I didn't know the difference between cm and mm and followed that up by saying that if I didn't have £10K to spend I was wasting his time.
  11. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    for design search the internet to t see kitchens with different fittings
    next look at the cost..solid wood is always more expensive than say B&Q standard flatpacks
    cheach the qualit of the dook fittings..many look good but come loose with weight and lots f use
    tops are expensive so chose the time to pick wisely.....granite looks nice but can be a s o d to keep clean.;check out the sink drainage..so often the cheap units have poor drainage leading to mould build up on the surface..or taps which look nice but totally inpractiall with wet hands. do you want single duble sink/drainer.waste disposer/ and taps with fittings you can pull out to get water into the corners.
    You can never have enough cupboard space i assure youy....but do yu need fancy pan racks and dish racks when they can fit ina glass fronted cupboards.
    Do you want under unit lighting and worktops wit built in carving areas etc etc
    best firm..i would recommend none......but wicks had a good reputation .avaiod B&Q and others of the large stores.......find what yu like and employ a local kitchen fitter,but ask for references first

  12. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    We used a local firm of kicthen fitters - and they were great. DId as much or as little as we wanted.
    When I was looking (hubby does as he's told in the decorating department, although I do allow him the odd veto, in the interests of fairness), I felt that really, there aren't that many choices, so all I would say is: go and visit a load of showrooms to get a feel for what you like. Have a look at indep. showrooms as well, and take home some brochures. Once you;ve decided what (in general) you like, and what you can afford, have a look at indep. fitters (as these will often be the types that Magnet and the like will subcontract to).
    Hope that helps.
  13. wordsworth

    wordsworth Senior commenter

    Many thanks to all
  14. Me 'n' the OH have bought 2 fitted kitchens in the last 10 years (different houses!). Both times we got them from Magnet, could not fault them on any part of the process from design to installation to usability. My book group regularly sigh over our current one, even though it's a good couple of years old and not kept exactly pristine.
    My 3 favourite bits of it are:
    Tall pull-out larder cupboard. Like a drawer, but 7 feet high and only 12 inches wide, with wire shelves all up and down so you can see your jars etc from both sides
    Corner cupboards that sort of slide an extra bit into and out of the hidden away corner bit as you open them. Everyone always goes "oooooo" the first time they see them.
    Pan drawers (but we use one for plates) - below waist-level, drawers about 1.5m wide and a good 40cm tall that can take the weight of every le Creuset saucepan we own, and you can look down upon them and see everything.
    In both cases we had it fitted by Magnet's own fitters. EXpensive but worth it. For instance, in the first one we had a massively long run of counter. When they came to fit it they found it was chipped. If that had been our builder I can only imagine the argy-bargy of each party saying the other had chipped it. Magnet fitter - no problem, he just rang up and sorted it. Also we had a few odd sort of planks left at the end, which we were going to put on the skip - the fitter was savvy enough to tell us to return them to Magnet, where we received a handsome refund!
    If we needed another kitchen, we'd go there again.
  15. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    Have magnet not gone bust?
    I thought they had.
    Could be wrong.
    Any good kitchen company will send round a planner to measure up, listen to what you want and do you an 'artist's impression' of what it will look like.
    Mine was from a company called 'Howden's' but they might be local to NW.
    I would ask a builder if you know one - they usually know the good suppliers.
    Or a kitchen fitter could give advice - they will know about quality.

  16. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    The only kitchen I've ever had fitted was the one I desiigned and fitted myself. It was the best and most practical kitchen I've ever had. Things where you need them to be, easy to clean and a joy to own and work in.
    I did the rounds of getting quotes, from kitchen fitters, all of them, way out my financial reach, but more's the point, all they were interested in in was as much money as they could for as little work as possible. Whatever they offerred was never going to be a kitchen that would suit my wife and I down to the ground.
    I decided to do it myself. I measured everything up planned it out and went to the shop to order it. It appears it was neccessary to spend an hour with their kitchen advisor before I could place my order. In hindsight, I feel our time together would have been better spent discussing remedies for his acne.
    He had to follow the shop line and wasn't able to accept it would be possible to fit the washing machine and dishwasher in the space I'd planned, albeit my measurements disagreed with his computer's predictions. We had to agree to differ. I orderered what I wanted and that was it.
    When it arrived, I took a couple of weeks off, mostly getting rid of what went before, knocking down walls and built in cupboards to make more space, making good and preparing things, such as decorating, laying a stone floor, sorting out the plumbing before the actual fitting took place, which only took a couple of long days to do on my own,with occasional assistance from my sweetheart.
    It's not for evenone to take these things on themselves, I realise and I wish you the best of luck if you can't. All I can advise i you decide before youspeak to anyone what it is you're hoping to end up with and stick as rigidly as you can with that plan. Make every bit of kitchen space useful. It's a place to cook in, not a place to store pointless ornamnets.

  17. I hadn't heard that Magnet had gone bust, but that doesn't mean they haven't.
    Howden's are (were?) the "trade" end of Magnet, I think I was told at one point.
  18. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    I'm imagining it [​IMG]
    Howden's appear to be country wide - they might supply Magnet but they only do 'trade'
    Mine was definitely from there - through the builder - and it's very sturdy and nice - but fitted!
    Now I have decided I want all free standing units and the odd oil painting and I want modelmaker to fit it for me!
  19. Howdens are nationwide, not connected to Magnet but are a trade outlet. So go through a builder.
    Magnet are still going.
    I have just built a house so obviously have a new kitchen. I love it. It was from a small local independent company who couldn't have been more helpful. We got the kitchen exactly as we wanted it at a significantly cheaper price than Wickes, B&Q or Homebase. ( Homebase have some beautiful kitchens at the moment).My husband persuaded me to have an island unit, in which I have my oven and hob, and although I wasn't keen on the idea at first I have to say I love it now.I have the units at my height too (I am short) although I do have tall wall cupboards. My husband and son put their stuff on the top shelves. I have white high gloss units and I love them. The island unit has curved ends.
  20. wordsworth

    wordsworth Senior commenter

    i'm getting some real food for thought here. I've been reading online that gloss cupboards scratch easily, is this true? I saw a company that make cupboard doors from really toughened black glass - any experiences?


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