• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Who makes decent kitchens?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Selwyn

Established Member
Joined
31 Oct 2013
Messages
849
Reaction score
95
Location
west wales
They all seem to be plastic coated weetabix in the merchants.

I can live with that for the carcase's if I have to but any idea of were best to look for a nice kitchen without a silly mark up.

I'm almost considering non fitted in my barn conversion.
 

BucksDad

Established Member
Joined
11 Apr 2021
Messages
25
Reaction score
18
Location
High Wycombe
We bought ours from handmadekitchens-direct.co.uk. They don't paint it, provide handles or install it for you. They had a few advantages over others.. if you want a cheap Tom Howley style kitchen then it definitely has that look and also you can customise the units to whatever size you want. This was great to fit in some units into specific spaces within the kitchen.

The construction is MDF carcasses, poplar face frame for painting, drawers are real oak with machined dovetails with poplar faces.

The downsides are that they don't paint it, provide the handles or install it :D

The installer was OK but had only done flat pack kitchens before. I had to explain to him that the face frame extended beyond the width of the cabinet so that the frames can be scribed into the wall though.. he also got a bit lazy and didn't do this for the dresser unit. As the wall was out of square, this then screwed up the doors. Thankfully HMK agreed to come out and replace the doors. The guy who actually built our kitchen came out, fitted the doors and planed everything in nicely.

If you want good handles, then they are not cheap. As my wife was so keen on Tom Howley, she had found out they use Armac Martin hardware.... that's what we had :)

We paid someone to paint it for us - they did a mixture of brush / spray and in all honesty, it wasn't worth the money and they did a poor job.
I put on the handles and also oiled the veneers in the cabinets and the oak drawers myself.

Approx 3 years on, the kitchen is still looking good and we're happy with it. If we did it again, I'd probably now install and paint myself, but due to things at the time, that wasn't feasible.

If I was pushed for time, then I'd just get @doctor Bob or a local equivalent to do it.
 

monster

Established Member
Joined
11 Jun 2019
Messages
263
Reaction score
101
Location
Bournemouth
We bought ours from handmadekitchens-direct.co.uk. They don't paint it, provide handles or install it for you. They had a few advantages over others.. if you want a cheap Tom Howley style kitchen then it definitely has that look and also you can customise the units to whatever size you want. This was great to fit in some units into specific spaces within the kitchen.

The construction is MDF carcasses, poplar face frame for painting, drawers are real oak with machined dovetails with poplar faces
Handmade Kitchens Direct are local to me - they also trade as Christchurch Kitchens - I had a good look around their new showroom when I was researching making my own kitchen and what they offer is of a high standard, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.
 

Rorschach

Wicker man.
Joined
6 Jan 2016
Messages
6,245
Reaction score
909
Location
Devon
What you haven't mentioned here is budget, are we talking 3, 4, 5 or 6 figures?
 

Ollie78

Established Member
Joined
4 Aug 2011
Messages
798
Reaction score
294
Location
Wiltshire
Doctor Bob on this forum.
DIY kitchens, Howdens etc.
Depends a lot on budget and what you want.

I have seen quite a few kitchens costing an arm and a leg that were genuinley no better than Howdens. They just had slightly fancier names for everything and posher colours.

As a side note I was told it takes 8 minutes to manufacture a full drawer unit from mdf to finished unit on a modern line.

There is a company near here called the plywood kitchen company who use birch ply for everything which could be a good idea.

A kitchen is just a bunch of mdf boxes the key is designing it right in the first place and using good quality hardware.

Ollie
 

LJM

Established Member
Joined
27 Aug 2012
Messages
387
Reaction score
97
Location
Cheshire
Doctor Bob on this forum.
DIY kitchens, Howdens etc.
Depends a lot on budget and what you want.

I have seen quite a few kitchens costing an arm and a leg that were genuinley no better than Howdens. They just had slightly fancier names for everything and posher colours.

As a side note I was told it takes 8 minutes to manufacture a full drawer unit from mdf to finished unit on a modern line.

There is a company near here called the plywood kitchen company who use birch ply for everything which could be a good idea.

A kitchen is just a bunch of mdf boxes the key is designing it right in the first place and using good quality hardware.

Ollie
i think you’re right; there’s a lot of companies offering “high end” or “luxury” kitchens, that are no better quality than howdens or similar, it’s just they offer the latest aspirational finishes or “look”. Personally I wouldn’t go near them; I’d either make myself from scratch, or by the best quality manufactured cabinets and make the rest, and use high quality fixtures and fittings. Or pony up and prepare to spend 5 figures on a bespoke kitchen.
 

glenfield2

Established Member
Joined
2 Nov 2018
Messages
77
Reaction score
30
Location
Suffolk
I would second diykitchens. Internet sales but built in a factory near Sheffield. They did have an on site showroom but that was pre-Covid. Units all come fully built with glued carcasses and fitted doors. We’ve had ours for about three years and it’s very solid. I’d say better than the Howdens/Wickes bunch. Keenly priced too and helpful after sales with any issues. (BTW I don’t work for them!)
 

Avery

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2012
Messages
38
Reaction score
10
Location
sussex
I make kitchens, free standing and fitted furniture. avery howell bespoke furniture. Co. UK. Although, ironically my new website is under construction my old website will give you an idea of some of my previous work including kitchens.
I work from my workshop in East Sussex. Actually I've jumped to the conclusion that you are in the uk you could be in timbuctu.
I'm surprised everyone on here does not kitchens. They are pretty easy really. It's all in the planning, hardware and materials. I use birch ply only for my carcassing. No mdf at all.
 

doctor Bob

Established Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
4,772
Reaction score
1,362
Location
Matching Green
I make kitchens, free standing and fitted furniture. avery howell bespoke furniture. Co. UK. Although, ironically my new website is under construction my old website will give you an idea of some of my previous work including kitchens.
I work from my workshop in East Sussex. Actually I've jumped to the conclusion that you are in the uk you could be in timbuctu.
I'm surprised everyone on here does not kitchens. They are pretty easy really. It's all in the planning, hardware and materials. I use birch ply only for my carcassing. No mdf at all.
Just looked you up, looks good work but you really do need that new website and better images.
 

BucksDad

Established Member
Joined
11 Apr 2021
Messages
25
Reaction score
18
Location
High Wycombe
Probably 5. Not 6 and 4 would be good.
I just checked for those interested and our kitchen I think had 16-18 cabinets and the cabinets themselves cost £12k, quart worktops £4k, appliances (2 x single ovens + 5 burner hob - £2.5k, fridge /freezer - £2k, extractor £500. Cabinet hardware £1.5k. Fitting and painting approx £4k I think so roughly £25k total.

@doctor Bob I was meaning to ask you actually.. does Tom Howley offer anything more than the name + a managed service? I assume their cabinets are all built the same as you or anyone else would be doing it
 

doctor Bob

Established Member
Joined
22 Jun 2011
Messages
4,772
Reaction score
1,362
Location
Matching Green
@doctor Bob I was meaning to ask you actually.. does Tom Howley offer anything more than the name + a managed service? I assume their cabinets are all built the same as you or anyone else would be doing it
I think I offer better service, better product and more uniqueness than Tom Howley. They have set ranges and designs (tend to always have mantle and range)
Tom Howley offer a big advertising budget, high street shops and are a brand.
My faults are, I'm not ambitious, I don't like stress, I don't really haggle (first price is a fair price) and I tend to throw in too many free bits.
Having said all that I make a very nice living.

I have seen all big bespoke companies reduce their initial quote by up to 40% if they are desperate for work. I'd be very miffed if I thought they were trying to take such a big profit initially.

Edit: the big companies do tend to drive new trends and designs. We all have our place and currently it's a mental market.
 
Last edited:
Top