Howdens Kitchens

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Naaktgeboren, May 3, 2016.

  1. Naaktgeboren

    Naaktgeboren
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    Does anyone have experience with buying a Howdens kitchen? I am finding it most frustrating.

    The business model appears designed to allow the kitchen fitter to charge whatever he feels like at the time. For example, they are trade only and don't advertise their prices anywhere which means you have to find a fitter with a trade account. Depending on how much business he does with Howdens, he can earn upto an 85% discount on their prices, this is down to the fact that they ridiculously inflate their prices (£2700 for a basic corner unit as an example)

    The fitter is the only guy that see's the quote which means he can get creative leaving you none the wiser, by the time he has actually given you the quote, he has added his fitting cost on top, he is making an absolute fortune.

    Anyone else get this feeling with the process?
     
  2. Too late

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    Just make a trade account yourself . That's what most do !

    But value for money IKEA are much better . Also you can. Buy and return what you want. Need another unit? Go and buy one . With howdens etc it is not that easy. Stay well away from them and Wren kitchens . I would never do any business with companies that do not offer fixed retail prices .
    Howdens is nothing special .
     
  3. Boris Blank

    Boris Blank
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    Yes, it does stick in your throat a bit.

    We were lucky in that a friend has a trade account at Howden's and we got the kitchen at trade price with no mark up and sourced an independent fitter that charged us about £1100 to fit the kitchen, overall cost was around £5000 for something we had originally priced at well over double/treble that figure for the kitchen units alone.

    In our neck of the woods, (Aberdeen), most fitters wouldn't get out of bed for a weeks work that earned them only £1100. We were very, very lucky. A mate at work has been trying to get a fitter with a Howdens account and installation quotes are coming in at around £4000 - £5000 alone for a similar sized kitchen to our own with unit prices clearly being quoted with little or no discount. Its a complete rip-off by the fitters and Howdens seem happy to assist in the over-inflated mark-up to encourage fitters to source from them.

    Unfortunately there is not much you can do if you have your heart set on a Howdens kitchen (they are rather nice) other than try to source units off EBay but thats not easy and frought with potential problems and get an independent joiner. To be fair, all kitchen sellers, Wren etc mark up their prices by vast amounts.

    Not all fitters will rip you off but finding one isn't easy and to be honest, if you thought you could skim a few extra grand wouldn't you inflate the price a bit?!

    None of this will help you I'm afraid other than to suggest keep looking for a cheap fitter and buy any electrical goods online rather than from Howdens (you'll get better quality for cheaper although Howdens stuff nowadays is generally quite good).

    EDIT: just googled Too Late's advice about opening your own Howdens account, looks to be pretty simple and could save quite a bit. Still need to get a fitter at a decent price but worth considering.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  4. Rob8980

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    We have a Howdens kitchen and are very pleased with the quality. I did as others have suggested and opened up a trade account to purchase the kitchen. Price wise it was cheaper than b and q and better quality, I'm also almost certain that we didn't get the maximum trade discount, but it was enough to for us. We fitted the kitchen ourselves but you could ask for the number of a recommended installer at the trade counter and give them a phone.
     
  5. bobflunkit

    bobflunkit
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    I also have a Howdens kitchen. I got a mate who's a chippy to buy it and fit it for me. Should've been £8400. He paid £1650 and I bunged him £350 for a days labour to fit it. And it was all done in a day. They also managed to bugger up the delivery, 1x1000mm corner unit and 1x600mm drawer unit and lots of plinths EXTRA. My mate split the extra with me as he'll always use it in his next install.

    He mentioned about ikea kitchens, that there isn't any extra space built into the back of the units for utilities, worth checking out!
     
  6. Too late

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    A good fitter will find ikea kitchens easy ! You think one of the biggest retailers in Europe don't know what they are doing ?!
     
  7. Cocksure

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    Go to magnet trade, quality is just as good and as they compete against Howden the range is nearly identical. But they are far cheaper.

    I shop with Howden for years but moved over to magnet trade as a result
     
  8. Too late

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    Most people would not fit howdens as it was impossible to get a full kitchen delivered in one go !!!

    Why wait for ages for a door or unit to arrive etc ?

    Also you found lot of glue on them .
     
  9. Wahreo

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    My local company makes their units etc on site. Instead of the crappy vinyl wrapped doors you get these days, these ones are acrylic. Fantastic quality and a mirror finish.

    That said, a Wickes kitchen that I fitted about 7 years ago still looks brand new. The doors and carcasses are great quality.

    IKEA stuff has always been a pain to install. You need a decent plumber to move all the pipe work!!

    The best Kitchens I have ever been involved in are the Poggenpohl brand.
     
  10. mjn

    mjn
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    Didn't Magnet go bust decades ago?
     
  11. Cocksure

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    Sold for a pound many years back, magnet was never losing money, but where connected to mfi which got into trouble. There completely separate now so no fear that way. And even though they split from that group, they are still honouring warrantys from before they split. Not many companies you can say that about
     
  12. Naaktgeboren

    Naaktgeboren
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    Problem is, fitters around this area all use Howdens for the reasons I mentioned in the OP. Why use anyone else when that system is designed to give them massive pay days for every install. Might have to widen my search and see if I can find anyone who installs other kitchens.
     
  13. Wahreo

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    If you have the spec for the kitchen then ask the fitter to break down the labour and kitchen costs. Get a Few quotes in and be open with them and ask them what the discount is.

    I get nothing but people asking for discounts. I certainly don't make 85% on anything I supply. These days you're doing well to make it even worth your while.

    Remember- when selecting your fitter, ask to see their public Liabilty insurance certificate.
     
  14. WeegyAVLover

    WeegyAVLover
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    From a quality perspective, I have had a Howdens kitchen fitted by a builder in our old flat. From a quality perspective I cannot complain, very decent. We took the easy option and got their supplied cooker, oven, sink and dishwasher. I think we could have got better on hindsight, but that said they did us proud for the 6 or 7 years we had it before leaving the flat.

    However in our new gaff we dealt with them directly and they did give us a cost of the kitchen and appliances as one cost. We requested a breakdown of the units and appliances and they refused as I wanted to see if I could get a better on the appliances elsewhere. He refused to tell us so we refused to buy and went elsewhere.

    You could ask your fitter/supplier for the costs if you know him/her well enough?
     
  15. Too late

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    More important if he is touching a gas hob or running new electrics is making sure he is allowed to do this work.
    A insurance cert means very little .
    You can get one in Les than a hour and then cancel . You still left with a in date certificate that means little . Most pros are not going to be carrying their TPI documents anyway .
     
  16. Wahreo

    Wahreo
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    Yes any gas work and you should be asking about his gas safe membership plus on the electrics, he must be a member of one of the schemes.
     
  17. Cocksure

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    Pop into the magnet trade counter and ask them for some names, odds are one of them will have used a regular customer to fit their kitchen. I get good tradesman all the time this way (if I don't already have a regular that is)
     
  18. Ruperts slippers

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    Have you actually had a quote yet, the list price in most brochures is way above the actual paid price, take for instance the brochures in the Plumber merchants, you can take upto 60% off... Every trader will have his own terms dependant on their yrly spend..
     
  19. Cocksure

    Cocksure
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    Feel hacked of with my 47.5% now :( and I give a bloody good Xmas bonus :laugh:
     
  20. paulyoung666

    paulyoung666
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    The Ikea issue is dead easy , just build a stud wall off the existing one , just like I did , OK , you will lose a few inches off the room , but it's not a massive deal to be honest ....
     
  21. Too late

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    Most just fit a Batten along the wall and fit to that . Easy to get the services in first etc

    Just finish off with good sink and cooker and a chunk of stone work top for a nice kitchen and silly cheaper than most expect you to have paid !
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  22. simonlewis

    simonlewis
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    No that was Magnet and Southerns.
     
  23. Wahreo

    Wahreo
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    On the last couple of IKEA Kitchens I did the plumbing for, the customer was charged a fair whack for the plumbing. All very well hiding a couple of 15 pipes but when you've got a 40mm waste pipe and pipe clip, it's less easy.

    Like everything, on paper it's simple or if someone else is doing it, it's even easier.

    I won't even go into how much easier it is for someone else to do It when it's typed out on an Internet forum. It becomes so simple I could gaffer tape a handsaw to a Labrador and he could fit the kitchen.
     
  24. Too late

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    So where would you put a 40mm pipe pluse clip ,Inside a cupboard ?

    The only runs needed come straight through the rear of the carcass to the drain etc .
    There is nothing worse than a cupboard full of pipes !

    God only knows why people don't have washing machines in utility rooms etc !
     
  25. Wahreo

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    I think you've answered your own question there.....

    Plus you're judging all kitchens on the standard house. People want all sorts of different designs these days.

    IKEA are decent quality units but there's some work to do to get them to fit.
     
  26. John

    John
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    why didn't i think of that. all these years I have had the washing machine in the kitchen :facepalm:
    I'll move it to the utility room tomorrow. cheers




    hang on a minute .................
     
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  27. Naaktgeboren

    Naaktgeboren
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    Had him out again this evening with the sparky he uses, the sparky is preparing his quote and I should get the entire quote this week. Unfortunately, I think this will fall to pieces as we also want integrated appliances which he has also arranged through Howdens which I think means he has specced a load of 'Lamona' junk (rebranded Bush appliances with a very dubious reliability record)

    We won't want that so will tell him that we will source our own although I imagine he will be unhappy as that is also generating some profit for him.

    Will wait and see what happens now, get the quote and take it from there.
     
  28. niceguy235uk

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    Shock horror, someone is in business and might be making a profit.

    Wrong.
     
  29. Wahreo

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    Thanks for elaborating, Wordsworth.
     
  30. niceguy235uk

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    My pleasure.


    Edit:

    Oh go on then, seeing as you asked so politely.

    It depends on what is being done.
     

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