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Our DIY Kitchens Experience

faithmitchell1 March 24, 2018
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Whilst completing on the purchase of our first home, I spent a lot of time researching possible companies to purchase our kitchen from. Hours were spent trawling through websites, trying to gather quotes and looking at fellow Instagrammer’s feeds to see who they had used whilst also being very conscious of our modest budget. Let’s not beat around the bush, a new kitchen is a huge investment and is one of, if not the most, expensive purchases a homeowner will make (aside from the house itself). I absolutely love reading about other people’s experiences with all things house related, so I thought I would write a review of our DIY Kitchens experience.

How did you hear about DIY Kitchens?

As previously mentioned, when we purchased our first house I spent hours trawling the internet, in particular Instagram, for renovation inspiration and advice. DIY Kitchens was a name that kept popping up on a few of the renovation Instagram accounts that I had followed and the reviews were all hugely positive and mentioned how reasonably priced they were. Following some further research online, their Google reviews also backed up the feedback I had seen on Instagram and more importantly, initial quotes via their website came in very reasonable. 

How did you end up using DIY Kitchens?

I’m not going to lie, I received a LOT of stick when I suggested going with a company that was primarily based online and that we would have to measure up the units ourselves. One tradesperson actually laughed in my face and said it would be a total waste of money. Needless to say, this feedback from a ‘professional’ didn’t help me convince the OH that it was a good idea and he was totally opposed. It took a lot of badgering and showing him Instagram photos and Google reviews before he eventually came round to the idea. 

Our kitchen fitter (the OH’s uncle) was skeptical and suggested getting another kitchen company round to quote so we could compare between the two. I would highly recommend doing this with at least one other company, if not two, to ensure you have a range of quotes to choose from. Getting a range of quotes also allows you to visualise where you might be able to save money (always a good idea when undertaking the task of a renovation). 

The other kitchen company we got to quote us came in at around £6500 excluding worktops but it did include appliances (a single oven and their own brand of appliances). A separate quote by their quartz supplier took the overall quote to around £8900. Although not half as expensive as some kitchen suppliers, this was a lot of money when we weren’t entirely keen on the cabinet options available to us. 

After the quote from the other company came through, we decided to take a day off renovating and visit the DIY Kitchens showroom to check the quality of the kitchens for ourselves. Its well worth a visit to the showroom as there is so much inspiration and you can compare cabinet styles with different worktops. After being surprised at just how good the quality was, we decided to go with DIY Kitchens.

How did you measure/order your kitchen?

I know measuring, planning and ordering your kitchen yourself might seem daunting, but it’s actually really easy. DIY Kitchens have a really handy kitchen planner (downloaded here or pick up a copy from the showroom) that allows you to cut and stick to your hearts content.

You draw out your kitchen on the gridded paper, and then cut out the different drawer/cabinet options provided. It is such an easy way of planning a kitchen and saves so much time trying to factor in void areas for corner units and working out the depth of oven housing units etc.

The most stressful part of ordering the kitchen is adding everything to your basket and ensuring you have added everything to your order, i.e. filler panels, plinths etc. I found that writing a list of everything we needed and working methodically from the furthest unit (the fridge for us) ensured we didn’t miss anything off our order.

What is the quality of DIY Kitchens like?

We went for the Malton kitchen, and our kitchen fitter was surprised by the quality of the cabinets (he was still skeptical), they’re 18mm thick on the inside, whereas other companies are approx. 16mm. Although our kitchen is foil wrapped laminate with a timber effect finish, they look like solid wood units.

DIY Kitchens have such a wide range of choice when it comes to door styles and colours, the possibilities are endless. They also offer a wide range of carcass colours, which makes the kitchen look a lot more premium.

How much did DIY Kitchens cost?

Our kitchen cost was really reasonable, I’ve actually wrote a blog post on the costs  here, but the quartz worktops were really reasonably priced compared to other places. We bought our sink and our hob through them but opted to get our other appliances separately due to the limited choice on the website.

Did you have any issues with DIY Kitchens?

As with everything, our experience was not without a few issues but they weren’t major. The depth of the built-in appliance housing units were 10mm less than standard units (DIY Kitchens units are 560mm deep and other units are about 570mm), so when our fridge went in, the doors wouldn’t shut. This meant that we had to rip the void out of the back of the unit to fit the fridge in, not ideal but it was easily sorted.

Another thing to note is the height of the Belfast sink cabinet, there are two options on the website – one for sinks 250-260mm deep and the other for sinks 200-225mm deep. The issue is that if your sink is at the lower end of the height scale (e.g. 250mm deep), the sink will be 10mm lower than your worktops because it can also fit sinks 260mm deep. In the end, we had to prop our sink up with MDF to get it to the right height, which is a bit annoying as DIY Kitchens they have a section on their website advising people which height sink unit to buy and don’t mention this.

Some of our units differed in size, for example, our 1000mm wide drawer line unit was 560mm deep one side and 555mm deep on the other side. I’m not sure why this is, it could be because they’re hand made but it made our fitters job harder.

Any other tips?

Order extra filler panels – they WILL come in useful. If you have an obscure request, email them and ask if they can help, although I didn’t find the showroom staff the most helpful, their customer service department is great. We wanted a worktop dresser unit in the corner of our kitchen, but it needed to be 560mm deep to match the depth of the oven and fridge. I sent their customer service an email and they told me to request the depth in the ‘extra requests’ section when I ordered the kitchen. It arrived the right depth and it only cost an extra £32!
Apologies for the super long post, but I hope this is helpful! If you have any questions, please get in touch via my contact page or leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you!

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1 Comments

  1. G March 27, 2018

    Amazing article – thanks Faith

    Reply

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