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Iíve read almost all the reviews which were written about kitchens before deciding to go for one company or another. And I also visited a lot of stores, checked the kitchen furniture and cabinets, check the extras they offer, so I can choose the best value for money.
In the end, after checking all these, Iíve decided to go for a take-away kitchen from Wickes. Iím pretty good at DIY, so Iíve planned myself the kitchen and decided to go for the cabinets ready to be picked-up from the store. Instead of waiting around 8 weeks for a fitted kitchen to be delivered I said WHY? and I went for this take-away one.
With take-away kitchens from Wickes you donít have such a big range of cabinets sizes, you can get only 30cm,50cm and 1m (for both base and wall cabinets), wall corner cabinets and one for housing the oven (which is 60cms wide). So you need to be pretty good when designing your kitchen and adapt your kitchenís dimensions to these particular sizes. And, by the way you can also get open end, 30cms wide, cabinets.
You have 8 style kitchen styles to choose from, all of them with the same cabinet options.
You can choose also from 8 types of worktops (2 at 28mm thickness and 6 at 38mm thickness).
They offer you also about ten sinks (stainless steel, asterite and teflite, but I did not like any of these) and mixer/staps also.
Plus, you can choose a lot of extra features, like chopping board, baskets,spice racks, etc
I manage to find a way of building the kitchen only with these types of cabinets and features and I went for - 2 x 50cms base cabinets (one with door, the other one with drawers Ė you can have this option) - 1x 30cm base cabinet, - 1 x 1m base cabinet - 1 x 60cm oven housing base cabinet - 3 x 50cms wall cabinets - 2 x 30cms wall cabinets
Iíve added 2 x 2.4m plinth/cornice + some masking tapes and some touching finishes, like stainless steel bin and towel hanging rail and another hanging rail. And, of course, Iíve bought also worktops, 3 x 3m, pretty nice quality for 39£ each 3m worktop
All these cost 811 £, and because Iíve spent more than 800 £, Iíve got a whopping 33% discount, paying only 543 pounds, including delivery. Not bad, isnít it?
I ordered all these on a Sunday and I was promised Iíll get them on Thursday. I could have picked them up myself from the store, but when they offer free delivery for orders more than 200£, why not choosing to have them delivered at home?
I told the girl at the counter that I live at the first floor and she said ďnot a problemĒ.
Next Thursday, my wife called me from home that they came to deliver the kitchen, butÖit is a kerbside delivery !! So they left it on the kerb, in the front of my block of flats. I havenít read what was written on the invoice, that is only kerbside delivery and the girl at the counter did not specify this. So I needed arranging somehow to carry all the stuff up the stairs. Lucky me, I work 10 minutes by car from homeÖ
In the end, this was the only downside. Everything was there, every single item Iíve ordered.
I asked a friend of mine to help me fitting the kitchen and in the next two weekends I manage to fit it. It wasnít very difficult at all, only that you need to be pretty careful when fitting the cabinets, you need to use a spirit level, to have everything in the right place, and so when you fit the worktop, it should be completely level.
Actually, the most difficult part was to fit the worktop, as I did not want to use trims to join the worktops and I fitted it only by cutting it at the right size and then cut it again at a 45 degrees angle and then use tools to have it fitted perfectly. It took about three hours, but in the end it really looked good.
The quality of the cabinets is as good as the for the ones found in the more expensive kitchens and everything can be fitted pretty easy, you need anyway a screwdriver and a drilling machine.
Now, when I look at the kitchen, looks absolutely stunning and I paid only a fraction of the price you can find a similar one at other kitchen makers.
Even at Wickes, they have a home delivery kitchen and you can use their ďfreeĒ in-store design centre to help you see how your kitchen will look. But the price for a similar kitchen to mine is about 1300 £, which is more than double (thatís why I put ďĒ at ďfreeĒ). Yes, you can have a much bigger range of cabinets, all sorts of sizes, etc, but I manage to get a stunning kitchen with only few sizes. And I planned the kitchen myself, using a free tool, which can be downloaded from the Ikea website, it is called ďKitchen plannerĒ and you can visualise how you kitchen will look like.
As for appliances, I just shopped around and found very good deals at Argos and Currys and I paid about 800£ for Electrolux & Zanussi appliances (which are among the best on the market):fridge-freezer + washet-dryer+build-in electrical fan assisted oven + gas hob + hood)
The sink I bought it from PlumbCenter at almost half the retail price (and is granite !! guaranteed for 25 years). And the tap I bought it from Ebay (at less than half the retail price Ė I found an identical one in Wickes shop at more than double the price and in a high street shop at three times the price I paid).
And so, with less than 2000£ (including the appliances, plumbing wiring and tiles), I got a brand new stunning kitchen. You need to be only a little bit handy, have the guts to start such a project and shop around. Thatís all !!
But I was pretty pleased with how easy you can fit the takeaway kitchens from Wickes and with the furniture quality.
So why paying thousands and thousands of pounds for other kitchens (and other thousands for fitting it), when you can get it for much less.
Before going the way I went , I asked a carpenter how much would cost me for having him fitting the kitchen (which is 3.3m by 2.17m). And he quoted me 1100£ (!!!) only for fitting the cabinets !! This is ripping off ! And another quote was for 1500 !! So I said thanks, but no thanks!
Wickes are the only on the market with these takeaway kitchens (as far as I know) and if you are a DIY enthusiast and pretty handy, you can save a lot of money. But if you donít want to trouble too much, not a problem: pay double the price to have it fitted by someone else (and maybe not even delivered in time (as Iíve read in other reviews !!)
You can get such good bargains on kitchens if you can do the fitting yourself. Our kitchen price went up nearly £1000 just for the "dry" fit - in other words not taking into account any electrics or plumbing that needed to be done.
mwl1 02.03.2004 17:33
albertas 02.03.2004 17:27
Good job! Your op is well written and very interesting to read. cu albertas