Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • aliby21
    • By aliby21 28th Feb 18, 4:33 PM
    • 184Posts
    • 116Thanks
    aliby21
    good quality kitchen - what is most important
    • #1
    • 28th Feb 18, 4:33 PM
    good quality kitchen - what is most important 28th Feb 18 at 4:33 PM
    Can't get anywhere because of the snow so have been reading various threads on new kitchens, what is the best quality kitchen etc, and got to wondering - what is the most important factor in ensuring you end up with a good, quality, kitchen? Is it:

    Design / layout
    Carcass construction
    Doors
    Installation
    Or something else? Or all of them?
    (not thinking as far ahead as worktops, appliances, tiling etc)

    Most emphasis seems to be on pretty coloured doors and 'storage solutions'. Even with the independent retailers I've visited. Maybe just approaching them wrong. There are lots of recommendations for DIY kitchens online for good quality, but am I going to end up with something that looks decent and functions well without professional planning? How do the trade merchants (Howdens, Benchmarx etc) stand on the planning and on the unit construction? Interested in other's thoughts
Page 1
    • martinsurrey
    • By martinsurrey 28th Feb 18, 4:51 PM
    • 3,340 Posts
    • 4,092 Thanks
    martinsurrey
    • #2
    • 28th Feb 18, 4:51 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Feb 18, 4:51 PM
    Design / layout
    Carcass construction
    Doors
    Installation
    Or something else? Or all of them?
    (not thinking as far ahead as worktops, appliances, tiling etc)
    Originally posted by aliby21
    All of them are important if you want a long term solution.

    I used DIY kitchens, it was only the second kitchen I have ever designed, but I spent weeks on it, went through 20+ layouts, considered everything at length, and its (I think) perfect.

    Don't think that professional = automatically good, all it means is good at getting cash from people, either by being good at it, or a good salesman (or a mix of the 2)!
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 28th Feb 18, 5:47 PM
    • 4,154 Posts
    • 8,657 Thanks
    DaftyDuck
    • #3
    • 28th Feb 18, 5:47 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Feb 18, 5:47 PM
    A cheap kitchen will last a long time if well-fitted, and can look nearly as good as an expensive one.

    An expensive one poorly fitted will look cheap from the outset, and will be rubbish in a couple of years...

    Good planning and fitting gets my vote!
    • BananaRepublic
    • By BananaRepublic 28th Feb 18, 6:12 PM
    • 1,191 Posts
    • 871 Thanks
    BananaRepublic
    • #4
    • 28th Feb 18, 6:12 PM
    • #4
    • 28th Feb 18, 6:12 PM
    I!!!8217;ve seen a cheap kitchen that was well fitted which was falling apart, they aren!!!8217;t as robust, using the cheapest grade of chipboard for example. But I am sure there is a lot of truth in the previous answer as long as the cheap kitchen is reasonable.
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 28th Feb 18, 6:28 PM
    • 25,621 Posts
    • 54,340 Thanks
    VfM4meplse
    • #5
    • 28th Feb 18, 6:28 PM
    • #5
    • 28th Feb 18, 6:28 PM
    I used DIY kitchens, it was only the second kitchen I have ever designed, but I spent weeks on it, went through 20+ layouts, considered everything at length, and its (I think) perfect.
    Originally posted by martinsurrey
    10/10 for tenacity! I expect the more you design, the easier it gets...but I would not have the patience. Perhaps I've just seen too many DIY transfornation projects that make it look as easy as choosing a unit design
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy ...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...If in doubt, don't pull out... I love chaz-ing!
    • martinsurrey
    • By martinsurrey 1st Mar 18, 8:16 AM
    • 3,340 Posts
    • 4,092 Thanks
    martinsurrey
    • #6
    • 1st Mar 18, 8:16 AM
    • #6
    • 1st Mar 18, 8:16 AM
    10/10 for tenacity! I expect the more you design, the easier it gets...but I would not have the patience. Perhaps I've just seen too many DIY transfornation projects that make it look as easy as choosing a unit design
    Originally posted by VfM4meplse
    Its a pretty large kitchen, 14m of worktop, we got a general layout pretty quickly and then the next 15 versions were tweaks to that, its not easy, a lot of little things all add up to make it look just right.

    A design for a rental or a space where you are limited in what you can do I'm sure its easier.

    A cheap kitchen can look good the day after its installed, if done well, but general wear and tear (especially if you have a family) and a lot quickly look tired, hinges start to drop, doors delaminate after the 10th cup of juice is spilled on them.
    • Ramona123
    • By Ramona123 2nd Mar 18, 7:40 AM
    • 35 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    Ramona123
    • #7
    • 2nd Mar 18, 7:40 AM
    • #7
    • 2nd Mar 18, 7:40 AM
    I agree with Martinsurrey, a professional sales man is just that, they will try and get as much money from you as possible and don't really care that much about your plan as long as they can squeeze some units in. You are much better off planning it yourself as you'll know exactly where you want things. DIY seem to have a kitchen planner now as well that does all the hard work:-)
    • Detroit
    • By Detroit 2nd Mar 18, 11:17 AM
    • 747 Posts
    • 2,332 Thanks
    Detroit
    • #8
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:17 AM
    • #8
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:17 AM
    Cheap versus expensive depends to some extent on how important it is to you that it looks current.

    Trends in kitchen styles seem to changing more quickly over the last decade, for example, the shiny minimalist designs are starting to look dated already.

    If this sort of thing matters to you, cheaper and change after a few years may be an option.


    Put your hands up.
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 2nd Mar 18, 11:45 AM
    • 4,154 Posts
    • 8,657 Thanks
    DaftyDuck
    • #9
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:45 AM
    • #9
    • 2nd Mar 18, 11:45 AM
    It also depends what you are getting for "cheap" and "expensive", how well you've bargained, what corners you cut.

    If you want ultra-cheap that lasts... build one yourself, from scratch! I built a pine wood solid kitchen in a cottage in 1995. I saw the house on Right move a couple of years ago, and the kitchen was not only the same, but was counted as a feature of the house. Doors had been painted, that was all.

    Total cost for 18 floor and wall cupboards made solidly of wood, frames, shelves, doors, the lot, excluding sink (reused), but including hinges, catches, handles, work surface (recycled tiles... it was a fashion then!), was just over 300. There was a huge timber yard in King's Lynn, five miles away, that did imports, had their own ship then, too, so they had vast quantities of offcuts and debris that they sold on for peanuts.

    Kitchen is still there, still as it was, 23 years later.

    Of course, that price makes no allowance for building and fitting time. That lengthy time almost cost me my marriage!
    • aliby21
    • By aliby21 2nd Mar 18, 7:55 PM
    • 184 Posts
    • 116 Thanks
    aliby21
    mmm, lots of interesting points to ponder. not least that I need to be paying as much if not more attention to fitting and planning. I don't think I am brave enough to design myself too many fiddly bits to get wrong, and certainly not going to make one myself - i can put up a shelf, as long as you don't want it straight, so dread to think what damage I'd do with a kitchen Hats off to those who do though!
    • kerri gt
    • By kerri gt 2nd Mar 18, 9:40 PM
    • 7,040 Posts
    • 49,321 Thanks
    kerri gt
    Another way of thinking about it is that it doesn't matter how expensive, fancy, full of features a kitchen is if the layout doesn't work for the type of kitchen intended (cooks kitchen, entertainment / socialising area, small but functions etc). Where would cooking pots / pans be stored in relation to the hob and oven for example, where would a dishwasher go in relation to the sink (although usually they are close due to plumbing) etc.
    Feb 2015 NSD Challenge 8/12
    JAN NSD 11/16


    • blackshirtuk
    • By blackshirtuk 2nd Mar 18, 11:22 PM
    • 518 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    blackshirtuk
    Things to bear in mind with a new kitchen:-

    End panels are very expensive, try to design the kitchen with as few as possible.

    Longer cabinets will be cheaper than 2 smaller cabinets

    Those clever storage units will add to the price dramatically

    Sourcing appliances, sinks and taps yourself will usually save money.

    If you need someone to fit it, find someone yourself. If you rely on the sheds they will subcontract anyway. Once you find a fitter ask him his thoughts on designs/cabinets suggested he may well have ideas to save you money.

    If you don't like the range of worktops suggested, source one yourself or talk to your fitter who may be able to supply one.

    Watch out for the cost of kickboards, expecially if having a white kitchen, as you could use cheap conti boards.

    One question i hated when visiting a kitchen retailer was "what is your budget" Then suprise suprise the suggested kitchen would come to just above your budget. I wanted value so would have paid more for a better value, but this seemed to be an alien concept to most kitchen places.
    • LadyDee
    • By LadyDee 3rd Mar 18, 10:52 AM
    • 2,849 Posts
    • 2,988 Thanks
    LadyDee
    LOTS of storage space. However many cupboards you have (and drawers) you will want more. Most important to me was my lovely pull-out unit I had in a previous home. A tall skinny, floor to ceiling unit with shelves all the way up (sort of sideways on). LOTS of worktop length. LOTS of electrical points.
    • another casualty
    • By another casualty 3rd Mar 18, 1:23 PM
    • 3,500 Posts
    • 5,382 Thanks
    another casualty
    Interesting stuff so far . I moved into my new flat last summer. When deciding what needs doing , a new bathroom and maybe a new kitchen were top priorities before I moved in.
    Before deciding 100% on that, I did consider for a short time whether to have a wall knocked out from my living room to make that and the kitchen amalgamated . I decided against it and kept the living room and kitchen seperate.

    When I decided to get the bathroom done , I got lucky with finding a nice builder. When he was nearing the end of the job, I immediately asked him for help with kitchen . He did a great job . However I am going to use him again next week to get new cupboards and to repair a leak from washing machine which will probably mean new floorboards etc. I was going to keep the cupboards but tbh,seeing as I was doing everything from scratch decided new cabinets would mean 1 less job for years .

    Being m s e , I did think of keeping the cupboards I already have ,but with the cupboard under the sink rotting away I think it best to get everything done. Plus I am not too keen on the cupboard doors and colour of cupboards etc.
    My kitchen has no window . Same with bathroom .My options fairly ltd
    So, I Decided on everything very bright. Lime green vinyl flooring ,and white walls
    A good builder imho is essential . It meant for me I got a rundown of where he was getting the appliances etc, the cost ,how long it is going to take approximately and he would dispose of all the old stuff.
    I have seen a few threads from people who buy stuff from the companies advertised on t v etc and people unhappy with the results after payment . If you could find a good builder then that is half the battle won.
    • CKdesigner
    • By CKdesigner 4th Mar 18, 10:23 AM
    • 1,200 Posts
    • 626 Thanks
    CKdesigner
    Hi

    As a kitchen designer with well over 20 years of experience - the first thing you need to do is look at lots of pictures of Kitchens, create a picture library of the things you like. Houzz is a really good website that can help you with this after you have created a profile. Once you have a fairly good idea of the sort of look you want and the things you want then you need to think of the design process.

    You could go to a national company (DIY store or trade supplier) and speak to one of their designers, but you would be limited to what they do and you would not be given the design at the end of the process. So the alternatives are to either design it yourself or employ a proper kitchen designer who will work with you and create the perfect design for you and the space.

    Once you have this design from either method then you can go physically looking in various showrooms where you see the styles and qualities of the different Kitchens. Speak to the sales people / store designers see what they advise about the quality of their products. And if you feel happy with what they are saying then ask them to give you a quotation for the design you have. This way you can get quotes from as many suppliers as you like, you may also find they give you keener prices as they haven!!!8217;t had to spend the time designing it in the first place.

    Then after you have the supplier you are happy with ask to speak to their fitters before you commit to the supplier!!!8217;s fitting, then you will also have the option of finding your own independent fitters.

    Doing it this way may sound a bit long winded but it!!!8217;s actually much quicker and a better than going to 3 or 4 different places for them to do their own design of the space and just keep going through the same process several times.

    CK
    • kpwll
    • By kpwll 4th Mar 18, 11:47 AM
    • 1,928 Posts
    • 5,178 Thanks
    kpwll
    It may sound trivial but we had a new extension/ kitchen last year. The design of the kitchen (U-shaped sort of) meant that my draining board was on the left side instead of the usual right. It does make a difference.
    We also found the 1 & half sink a waste of space and have changed it to a larger sink & drainer.


    My tips would be plenty of usable worktop, more sockets than you think you'll ever need ( we had ones with usb charging points in them) and handles that are/will be easy to use for someone with arthritis etc, where grasp is poor.


    I hope you have the kitchen of your dreams.
    • SuzieSue
    • By SuzieSue 4th Mar 18, 12:00 PM
    • 3,822 Posts
    • 4,044 Thanks
    SuzieSue
    We also found the 1 & half sink a waste of space and have changed it to a larger sink & drainer.

    Originally posted by kpwll
    Yes, I've never seen the point of these especially if you have a dishwasher and so don't have washing up bowl.
    • kerri gt
    • By kerri gt 4th Mar 18, 12:35 PM
    • 7,040 Posts
    • 49,321 Thanks
    kerri gt
    It may sound trivial but we had a new extension/ kitchen last year. The design of the kitchen (U-shaped sort of) meant that my draining board was on the left side instead of the usual right. It does make a difference.
    We also found the 1 & half sink a waste of space and have changed it to a larger sink & drainer.


    My tips would be plenty of usable worktop, more sockets than you think you'll ever need ( we had ones with usb charging points in them) and handles that are/will be easy to use for someone with arthritis etc, where grasp is poor.


    I hope you have the kitchen of your dreams.
    Originally posted by kpwll
    We have a dishwasher but I like the one and a half sink as it means I have somewhere to pop the pan scrubber and brush out of the way when not in use.

    Our drainer is on the left (not designed by me) which I think is quite common (my mums is also on the left) which works for me as a lefty I'd find it annoying on the right, but perhaps I've adapted because that's all I've known (like using a mouse with my right hand and eating right handed)
    Feb 2015 NSD Challenge 8/12
    JAN NSD 11/16


    • kpwll
    • By kpwll 4th Mar 18, 12:58 PM
    • 1,928 Posts
    • 5,178 Thanks
    kpwll
    We have a dishwasher but I like the one and a half sink as it means I have somewhere to pop the pan scrubber and brush out of the way when not in use.

    Our drainer is on the left (not designed by me) which I think is quite common (my mums is also on the left) which works for me as a lefty I'd find it annoying on the right, but perhaps I've adapted because that's all I've known (like using a mouse with my right hand and eating right handed)
    Originally posted by kerri gt


    We didn't have a dishwasher installed, I have a hubby with good rubber gloves, .


    With the drainer it's whatever you're used to, we have found it strange with it reversed but are adapting
    • martinsurrey
    • By martinsurrey 5th Mar 18, 10:42 AM
    • 3,340 Posts
    • 4,092 Thanks
    martinsurrey
    Yes, I've never seen the point of these especially if you have a dishwasher and so don't have washing up bowl.
    Originally posted by SuzieSue
    When cooking we have a sink of water to wash stuff as we go (pans that dont fit in the dish washer) and if we need to drain the spuds we have the 1/2 sink.

    we did go with a pretty huge sink though, so we didn't sacrifice the main sink size (you can fit a standard baking tray flat in the bottom of the main sink)

    rangemaster 4015r
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4Posts Today

4,001Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • It's the start of mini MSE's half term. In order to be the best daddy possible, Im stopping work and going off line? https://t.co/kwjvtd75YU

  • RT @shellsince1982: @MartinSLewis thanx to your email I have just saved myself £222 by taking a SIM only deal for £7.50 a month and keeping?

  • Today's Friday twitter poll: An important question, building on yesterday's important discussions: Which is the best bit of the pizza...

  • Follow Martin