Forums DIY Kitchens
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    • #489
      9 Posts

      So, we need a new kitchen. Now, I think modern kitchens are up there with double glazing for crookery, cheap shit that can cost thousands. Anyone got any positive stories or recommendations to cheer me up.

      many thanks.

    • #490
      Sam W
      3 Posts

      It’s not cheap shit its expensive shit. You can get really expensive good stuff but the cheap shit should last 10 yrs plus until you want a change again as long as its designed & fitted properly.

      • #503
        15 Posts

        Cheap shit is no longer designed to last 10 years, a few years at the most.

    • #491
      23 Posts

      We have a kitchen largely from Ikea, with cheap endgrain worktops from B&Q and an open shelf unit I made from 2x2s, more worktop, a borrowed downling rig and walnut slats for the shelves. It was not expensive.

      The process was something like this: going to Ikea, discussing the configuration options (carcass choice, mounting options, handle style, door choice etc) , going away and drawing up a plan (on grid-ruled A4 paper out of my 1997 undergraduate lab book) and going back to Ikea to get everything ordered for me including all the bits I didn’t realise I needed. I hate shopping for more than grocery and get apocalyptic rage at attempted up-selling, extended warranties, credit pushers and the like. I left Ikea happy.

      5 years later and it’s as good as new, apart from the worktops – which would look new if I could be bothered to sand and re-varnish them. Friends of ours have the same worktop and do this every couple of years. If I could afford it, I’d get single stave walnut worktops from Norfolk Oak… Well, I probably wouldn’t as I just can’t justify the cost but that’s me.

      I think it’s lasted undegraded so far because it was assembled and fitted well by a couple of lads who were good and experienced.

      It turns out a certain type of Londoner buys a new ultra-high end kitchen every 5 years or so to stay chic. The old ones are pulled out by the kitchen fitters and sold or auctioned off for a song. My partner kept an eagle eye out but we didn’t have the option of waiting until something we liked and that was suitable came available we just went Ikea.

    • #492
      14 Posts

      We’re currently in the same boat but have a friend who’s just started his own interior design / fitting company.

      He’s designed and sourced all of the fittings for us at mates rates as he’ll be using us as part of his portfolio.

      If you’re anywhere near Cumbria / Northumberland I’ll send you his details.

      • #493
        6 Posts

        We’re currently in the same boat

        Wouldn’t that be a galley and not a kitchen? 😉

    • #494
      25 Posts

      There’s no need for a kitchen if you dine at McDonalds.

    • #495
      22 Posts

      Don’t let your kitchen fitter loose on the electrics.

      Get a proper guy on the job.

    • #496
      7 Posts

      Put in an Ikea kitchen a number of years ago. Was a surprisingly painless experience. No sales pressure, helpful design person, flat pack easy to assemble and sturdy. I bought a worktop elsewhere on advice of a friend in the trade and got a professional to fit it. All the rest completed by Sealhusband and me though, without falling out.

    • #497
      5 Posts

      We used a local firm who make their own cabinets. Everything made to measure and installed for £4k (excluding granite). Bespoke larder cupboard.

      Found them by looking for local kitchen designer. Shop around.

      You’re right about the crookery. A lot of people selling overpriced MDF.

    • #498
      9 Posts

      Thank you all, I feel better already. My buttons got pressed yesterday when we popped in to look round a place and I found I couldn’t get my hands round or in half the handles. Sadly other end of the country to some of you regarding fitters.

      Cheers muchly!

    • #499
      10 Posts

      Are you going to pay a kitchen company or DIY it ? just for fun get a price from a local kitchen place, ” poshville ” kitchens ( just swap in your nearest town ) to supply and fit the whole lot. Then price up cabinets from howdens and or Ikea, joiner, electrician, plumber , plasterer, worktop fitter ( delete cost of bits you can/ want to do yourself …,you tube and ukc are your Friends for help and advice ). If you have one trade on side ( joiner , electrician , plumber) they should be able to pull the rest in for you. Now you have to work out wether the cost of getting poshville kitchens in to do the whole lot is worth the difference, for a bit of hassle, a few phone calls here and there and maybe getting your Hands dirty. In most cases the quality of the cabinets from howdens / ikea will be just as good if not better than poshville kitchens, unless you pay silly money.

    • #500
      10 Posts

      We put in an Ikea kitchen, but fitted non Ikea work tops, different door and draw handles, down lights and suddenly you have a kitchen that looks bespoke from Poshville only for less than half the price. Most of the moving parts, hinges and taps etc. from Ikea have a 10 year guarantee, some more expensive companies might not even be in business then.

    • #501
      13 Posts

      I’m a sparks, I see lots of kitchens.

      I also fitted my own kitchen

      Ikea cabinets don’t have a void behind them for services. This may or may not become an issue for you.

      Lots of units you stand off the wall a little, check your worktop depth.

      I’ve never seen a builder take an old kitchen out with sympathy.

      Up stands cover lots of sins.

      Ikea worktops are hateful to install. Most builders use Howden units and discounts are significant.

      If you do it you self, set up a temp kitchen somewhere, it will take longer than you or your other half can deal without a functioning kitchen. Takeaways and microwave meals a week is about max before you start thinking “wish I’d kept a temp kitchen”

      The right tools for the job are important.

      Good luck.

      • #504
        15 Posts

        Very Good advice on the voids at the back..carcasses are really critical..

    • #502
      15 Posts

      Going through this at the moment.

      All depends on what you want.low cost modern kitchens are designed to be replaced every couple of years based on the latest trends.the carcasses are poor quality and will not last the abuse in kitchen environments. That is why they are “ cheap””.

      So figure out how much you want to spend and then work from there.

      European kitchens are designed manufactured differently to uk kitchens and are manufactured to a different standard and customer requirements. There is for example little demand for English style country or shaker kitchens in Europe.

      Induction hobs are really good. If you want an integrated microwave look at the combi microwave/ oven options for a second oven.

      Lastly, speak to a lot of kitchen people.its taken us 6/ 9 months to find somebody we can work with who actually listens to what we want.those people are hard to find instead of ramming the latest ideas down your throat.

    • #505
      25 Posts

      I’ve done two kitchens myself – all the thick lads at school are now tradesmen so I figured it couldn’t be that hard ;-).

      Online design tools are useful. Think hard about things like opening space for doors and drawers. Think about the ‘golden triangle’ you work in (stove, sink, fridge). Use odd gaps for storing baking trays / bottles. Some carcasses require end panels on the side of tall fridge/oven units or end units. Consider not putting doors on everything – for example corner unit doors are a pain (either open one to open the other, or a bi-fold arrangement that gets sloppy over time) and it’s easier just to have things on display (we put nice crock pots and recipe books in ours). Use drawers below worktop height as it’s loads easier to get to things at the back. ‘Magic’ low level corner cupboards are loads better than carousel ones which get jammed when you spin them too fast and things fall off inside. Soft close drawers are great. Wide cutlery drawers are a pain compared to narrow ones. Consider worktop depth (front to back) to ensure you have space behind units for pipes. It doesn’t really matter if you use units with voids or not, they’ll all be screwed to the worktop which will be attached to the wall somehow. Decent tap and sink is essential as you use them all the time – we went for a tall tap with flexy hose nozzle. Let pros fit stone worktops so they have to replace them at their cost if they break them. Solid wood worktops can be cheaper than you think – we went for rubberwood. It’s ‘varnished’ with Osmo hardwax oil and doing well. B&Q kitchens are all flatpack – cheaper to buy than built carcasses, but expensive to have fitted due to higher labour costs. Invariably something like handles doesn’t turn up in your order. Proper cooker hood extracting to outside is loads better than recirculating ones. Use 6″ duct instead of 4 to get better extraction if you can. Rooms without parallel (or vertical!) walls are a ballache.

    • #506
      14 Posts

      Fitted my own IKEA kitchen cabinets myself 12 years ago. Not difficult. Got a polished slate worktop made by a place near Carnarvon.

      Osmo hardwax oil is a great product. Very hard wearing.

    • #507
      Neil W
      6 Posts

      Our kitchen was looking a bit battered and dated but there was nothing wrong with the cabinets so a couple of years ago I just replaced the doors and fitted new worktops at a fraction of the cost of a new kitchen.

      Got the doors from

      The main hassle was doing lots of careful measuring.

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