New Post Advanced Search

Travelling On

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Mortgage-Free Wannabe
5K replies 244.8K views
1290291293295296498

Replies

  • Suffolk_lassSuffolk_lass Forumite
    4.7K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    Noella, my DH worked for an online kitchen provider as a designer while he was doing his post-grad degree. He came out of that with some interesting insights, albeit, a few years ago. If it helps here is a quick carcass summary.

    Essentially there are three types of carcasses - bespoke, made to measure (normally beyond the means of most of us), ready-made carcasses - an example were the Schreiber kitchens that MFI sold (now owned by Sainsbugs and sold through Argoil) and the third were flat-pack. Back in the early days of pick and mix kitchens the carcasses were often made of chip-board with laminate stuck to it on the cheaper ranges. This meant they were particularly susceptible to water damage and the interior walls/floor would "blow" (expand with water and lose structural integrity). Nowadays they all use MDF (maximum density fibreboard - same principle, better glue) unless you go top range bespoke, solid wood.

    Most people go for the convenience of a ready-made design and generally the fronts and handles are the bits that distinguish between the kitchens themselves. Disappointingly, trim panels are more basic (and can ramp up the price) and are more limited in the ranges.

    If your friend had really good fitters, you should consider asking them if you can have their name and insist that this team fit your kitchen (even approach the fitters independently - they are rarely employees of the kitchen company).

    I intend uplifting my kitchen in the next year or so and I am considering getting my DH (an engineer by background) to make some bespoke trim to apply to the existing cabinets, and we will rub down the doors, paint them and put on new handles. The cabinets (Schreiber, from MFI) have really stood the test of time (14+ years).

    Another little top up for DH's post-grad time was assembling flat-pack furniture and odd-jobbing (card in newsagent's window and then personal recommendations) - he sourced packs of the standard and specialist fixings and hinges, which let him upgrade or rectify shortcomings in the flat-pack stuff provided (or correct the things like the back-to-front panels that people were ending up with after trying to do it themselves - several calls from people in tears, pleading for help, usually against a tight deadline).

    "Which?" magazines regularly do a kitchen supplier review and your local library will have these, or a £1 1-month trial gives you access to the reports online (just remember to cancel it). This will tell you about the quality of the product and their customer service, not the quality of the fitters - and is where Wren did poorly in 2017 - Wikipedia is a good source of background info in this regard.

    Anyway, I hope that helps in your decision-making.

    Save £12k in 2020 - #20 £2161.30/£5k 28.72% after Apr
    OS Grocery Challenge 2020 target £863.93/£3k 28.8% so far at end of April
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2020 #37 £7,678.12/£15,000 51.9%
    MFIT T5 No 2 £50,483/£59,998 or 84.14% paid after Q5
    My Debt Free Diary is Get a grip Woman eek is; <img alt="" src="https://us.v-cdn.net/6031891/uploads/editor/vl/unot0tj3f3gp.gif"&gt;
  • Noella, my DH worked for an online kitchen provider as a designer while he was doing his post-grad degree. He came out of that with some interesting insights, albeit, a few years ago. If it helps here is a quick carcass summary.

    Essentially there are three types of carcasses - bespoke, made to measure (normally beyond the means of most of us), ready-made carcasses - an example were the Schreiber kitchens that MFI sold (now owned by Sainsbugs and sold through Argoil) and the third were flat-pack. Back in the early days of pick and mix kitchens the carcasses were often made of chip-board with laminate stuck to it on the cheaper ranges. This meant they were particularly susceptible to water damage and the interior walls/floor would "blow" (expand with water and lose structural integrity). Nowadays they all use MDF (maximum density fibreboard - same principle, better glue) unless you go top range bespoke, solid wood.

    Most people go for the convenience of a ready-made design and generally the fronts and handles are the bits that distinguish between the kitchens themselves. Disappointingly, trim panels are more basic (and can ramp up the price) and are more limited in the ranges.

    If your friend had really good fitters, you should consider asking them if you can have their name and insist that this team fit your kitchen (even approach the fitters independently - they are rarely employees of the kitchen company).

    I intend uplifting my kitchen in the next year or so and I am considering getting my DH (an engineer by background) to make some bespoke trim to apply to the existing cabinets, and we will rub down the doors, paint them and put on new handles. The cabinets (Schreiber, from MFI) have really stood the test of time (14+ years).

    Another little top up for DH's post-grad time was assembling flat-pack furniture and odd-jobbing (card in newsagent's window and then personal recommendations) - he sourced packs of the standard and specialist fixings and hinges, which let him upgrade or rectify shortcomings in the flat-pack stuff provided (or correct the things like the back-to-front panels that people were ending up with after trying to do it themselves - several calls from people in tears, pleading for help, usually against a tight deadline).

    "Which?" magazines regularly do a kitchen supplier review and your local library will have these, or a £1 1-month trial gives you access to the reports online (just remember to cancel it). This will tell you about the quality of the product and their customer service, not the quality of the fitters - and is where Wren did poorly in 2017 - Wikipedia is a good source of background info in this regard.

    Anyway, I hope that helps in your decision-making.

    Thank you so much, Suffolk Lass, for that very useful insight:A. I really appreciate the time and trouble you took to post and I'm sure others who are having kitchen dilemmas will find it as interesting and useful as I have:beer:.. A good tip about 'Which' too. I'll see if my library has it.


    I never thought about asking for the specific fitters that my friends had. I assumed it would depend on who was available at the time as I also expected they would be employees of the kitchen company rather than freelance. I'll certainly take your advice with that and definitely make a note of the names of the team my friends had even if it turns out not to be possible to use them ourselves. If they are freelance I suppose it would be possible just to buy the units and instead of assembling and fitting them ourselves like we used to do in the distant past with MFI units we could employ the team of fitters my friend had to make our kitchen look professionally installed. It wasn't assembling the actual units that caused us problems in the past (apart from having to obtain extra fittings and 'bits' for ones missed from the packs) or the fact that it took so much longer than we anticipated:mad:. It was just making the finished job look streamlined IYKWIM. We always had nasty little gaps and bits that never seemed level somehow:o. DH was always going to see to them 'later' but never did and we lived with them for years. Decades even:o
  • KarmacatKarmacat Forumite
    34.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    earthgirl wrote: »
    Hope you are having (or maybe when you read this, have had) a lovely time away Karma!
    Thanks! I'm back now, needing to sit down for a while before doing anything, so I'm catching up right now, after a wonderful time :)
    daisy_1571 wrote: »
    WHAT ?????? WHY DIDNT I KNOW THIS ?????? All my favourite things right there- sparkles, remote control thingy, changing colour. I'm back off to have another look and work out where I can put one. Or two. :j:j:j:j:j:j:T:T:T:T:T

    Daisy xxx
    Ooh Daisy! I love sparkles, me, but this lamp I'm referring to is the one that was out of stock, so I chose another one - it doesn't have remote control colour changes, but it *is* full of bling, so I'm good :D It was delivered while I was away on holibob, so I have to go fetch it tomorrow.
    Noella, my DH worked for an online kitchen provider as a designer while he was doing his post-grad degree. He came out of that with some interesting insights, albeit, a few years ago. If it helps here is a quick carcass summary.
    This is great, SL, thank you so much! It made sense of my builder saying that the carcasses are all the same.

    Noella, it's definitely an independent builder who fitted my kitchen - he was project-managing some of the time - the plasterer had his own business, and so on. Employing a builder - apart from getting through the chaos a lot quicker - did mean that there were people on hand with immense knowledge and can-do. It wasn't planned for me to have a new outside tap, for instance, but when the general builder found that it not only led to a messy situation at the back of the dishwasher, but it also was attached to the regular plumbing by means of a garden hose by some DIY-er in the past, things happened, and I got a new outside tap, a spiffy brass one. Making up the carcasses takes very little time in the whole process, for me it did anyway - like you say about all the little gaps because the walls aren't straight, he filled them in with sealant straight away :)
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
  • KarmacatKarmacat Forumite
    34.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    I had a great holiday :j nippy in the early morning and late evening, but thats okay. Beautiful, beautiful weather, the blue sky only went away today, and thats okay as we were coming home anyway. Power station was weird and wonderful, Norman churches in the Kent countryside are the commonest form of church around, there's an **ossuary** in one of them, there's a very moving Battle of Britain museum with pieces of damaged aircraft and biographies of the young men who died in them :(

    And I rejoined the National Trust for another year, as we went to Henry James' house in Rye - I'll make sure I get my money's worth this year. The house was adorable, definitely worth a visit, beautiful proportions and a lovely big garden.

    I now have a to-do list of 24 items, not including fetching my new lamp from the post office parcel depot :o:o:o oops! I think I will manage to put the washing machine on tonight, which will help :)
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
  • HazelnuttyHazelnutty Forumite
    435 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper First Anniversary
    ✭✭
    Hey Karma we joined the NT this year too as we decided that sanity amd health-wise regular trips away for walking were needed. The NT own so many usefully located car parks in the Peaks and Lakes! We've been using them for stop-offs on drives too. Quick poke around a nice place and a restorative cuppa and a scone!
    Choose kind:)
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
    72.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Glad that you had a great time :j :j
    That is a long list though :eek:
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **
    MFW. 9 months to go. B)
    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
  • earthgirlearthgirl Forumite
    3.8K posts
    Mortgage-free Glee!
    ✭✭✭✭
    Good luck with your list! Glad you had such a good time on holiday!
    15/5/12 Paid off Mortgage 1 (£220k) Bought Dream House:www: Dec 13 - Mortage 2 -£116,508. 15/7/18 Mortgage Free Again :j

    Progress not Perfection
  • KarmacatKarmacat Forumite
    34.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hazelnutty wrote: »
    Hey Karma we joined the NT this year too as we decided that sanity amd health-wise regular trips away for walking were needed. The NT own so many usefully located car parks in the Peaks and Lakes! We've been using them for stop-offs on drives too. Quick poke around a nice place and a restorative cuppa and a scone!
    Hi Hazelnutty :) I'm hoping to use the membership on day trips while at home, *and* on short holidays away - it'll give me a bit of focus while I'm building my life up a bit. All the things I'd started to do - U3A, the walking group, even reconnecting with old friends, have all gone by the board while I've been debrambling/ catsitting/ kitchenning.
    beanielou wrote: »
    Glad that you had a great time :j :j
    That is a long list though :eek:
    I know! I guarantee you that many of the items are really short :rotfl:
    earthgirl wrote: »
    Good luck with your list! Glad you had such a good time on holiday!
    Thanks! I haven't done anything at all from it this evening :p though I will tomorrow.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
  • apple_muncherapple_muncher Forumite
    10.7K posts
    10,000 Posts Sixth Anniversary Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hope that list has things like 'drink coffee' and 'drink a second coffee' and 'sit and read' on it...
    NST July jouster #1; NSD 18; Ex 32; bagfuls 6 (53)

    Mortgage £500? ish (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143; 01/19: 18.275) MFWDate: very soonish
  • KarmacatKarmacat Forumite
    34.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    :rotfl: erm, no, it doesn't apple, sorry :D But it did have:
    - download pix from holiday
    - put washing machine on
    - unpack


    So not too bad, and every time I go downstairs, I'm taking a few more kitchen items :j Once the w/m has finished, I'll pop out to get some food, which is also on the list :D
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support