|>> Potentially huge savings to be made compared to well known rivals|
|>> Easy to use online planner|
|>> Extremely helpful and friendly customer support|
|>> Showroom demonstrating all designs and units|
|>> Wide selection of colours and designs & quality units|
|>> Quick turnaround times and range of delivery options|
|>> Potential to make costly mistakes|
|>> Takes time to plan if you’ve never done it before|
|>> Some reports from fitters of missing items on delivery (check everything)|
|>> Online ticket system can be frustrating if you have an urgent issue|
The following case studies are from customers who have recently used DIY Kitchens to plan and buy their new kitchen. They have kindly reviewed the process along with some tips and advice for getting the most out of the service.
Laura-Ann in Cumbria
DIY kitchens were fantastic when we started designing our kitchen back in January. The planner was extremely useful and helped us easily choose and position our kitchen units and begin to imagine how it might look.
It took a good couple of months and a lot of questions to their support team but in March/April we finished the design and put the order in. When you order from DIY Kitchens their team sense checks it to make sure you’ve not made any obvious (or not so obvious errors!) errors. In our case, we had a number of errors highlighted but went ahead and ordered anyway. For example, we had a low ceiling warning which was flagging the fact that we might not be able to actually stand the taller units up once we put the legs on. This turned out to be true and we had to stand the unit up, lift it onto some wooden blocks and then attach the 4 150mm legs, which come supplied.
Out kitchen was originally due for delivery in May, about 6 weeks after ordering, which was ideal. Or so we thought. Turned out that because of Covid 19, all of our trades had, understandably, downed tools. We had to pause the delivery until further notice, which was no problem for DIY Kitchens. If you let them know at least 2 weeks before your delivery date that you wish to change it, they will stop the kitchen from going into production.
As lockdown eased, we thought things would be back to normal (in terms of getting trades in) but unfortunately, there was a plaster shortage and plasterers were struggling to get multi finish. This pushed us back again and so we needed to push the delivery date back again. In total we pushed the delivery date back a total of 5 times and it was never a problem.
Finally we were in a position to get the kitchen delivered. In fact, we were just finishing laying the plywood floor when the door bell rang!
For delivery, there is now 2 options – £99 standard delivery and £250 platinum delivery. When we ordered, there was a £150 option which was basically the current £99 option. It changed whilst our kitchen was in production but they wouldn’t change us to the £99 option!
You’re given a two day delivery slot but you’ll get more accuracy with the £250 option. Our delivery days were sometime on Monday or Tuesday and they would text us when they were about an hour away. So on the Monday evening at about 8pm, we got the text and at 9.30pm, the kitchen was being brought in. It was a two man delivery and they would bring the kitchen into the house but it was really one guy on his own, I’m not quite sure how he did it!!
We signed for the kitchen and were told to check over everything and get in touch with support if there are any issues.
Checking everything is VERY important. I didn’t realise it at the time but it seems kitchen deliveries are rarely correct first time around. Why? I have no idea.
Here are some tips:
As best you can, check off all of the units as they are delivered. this can be difficult as things happen fast. It’s best if there’s two of you, one to deal with the delivery guys and one to solely focus on the kitchen. The product codes should be on each box and are unmissable, but you need to make sure you can relate those codes and the descriptions back to your plan.
Once the delivery is made, you should check the condition of all the units, especially the drawers and cupboards. Some of ours had big black marks on and needed to be returned. This can be a painstakingly boring process and because of all of the cardboard and wrapping, it can be hugely annoying. But it’s got to be done!
Check the measurements of all units. We had been sent 2 900mm x 900mm wall units when we actually ordered 2 900mm x 720mm wall units. The 900mm wall units don’t fit and have to be sent back. If you have oven housing, check the aperture sizes are correct, ours were the wrong size and unfortunately, we didn’t spot it unit the unit was secured into place.
From Tom and Ann in North West England.
Choosing a kitchen was something my wife and I had been looking forward to but also slightly nervous about. Kitchens are a massive investment (it’s certainly the most expensive part of our renovation) and it’s easy to get carried away, adjusting the budget slightly to include those soft close hinges and a smart fridge so you never run out of milk.
Early on we were advised to do plenty of research and speak to as many kitchen installers as possible. I think this is great advice and a great way to build up a foundational understanding of the industry if you’re not familiar with the process of buying a new kitchen.
We first stumbled across DIY Kitchens in our monthly Which! magazine. We weren’t in the market for a kitchen at the time but the potential cost savings they were advertising really stuck in my mind. They seemed like a company completely disrupting the way kitchens were being sold in the UK and they were getting great reviews as well.
I remember one of the reviews a long the lines of “DIY Kitchens have saved me over £15,000 and it was much easier than I thought to actually design my own kitchen”. I don’t know the overall cost of that kitchen but £15,000 is a lot of money and if people are making those types of savings, I want in!
The fact that DIY Kitchens were a recommended Which! buy also made them very memorable. It’s not often that a company you’ve never heard of tops the Which! lists, but DIY Kitchens were coming out on top in every category.
When we eventually got round to addressing the kitchen, DIY Kitchens were certainly one of the suppliers we’d want to explore. Our starting point, however, was Wickes and the main reason for that was their free measuring and design service. At the time of writing, Wickes will come out and measure your kitchen space and then go away and put some ideas together. When they’re done, you go in and meet with them so they can take you through them and try to get you to sign on the dotted line. They also give you an itemised list of units for the design they create along with an itemised cost. We sent this list to DIY Kitchens for a comparable quote and (probably not too surprisingly) they came out a massive 35% cheaper.
From that point on we were completely sold on using DIY Kitchens but we couldn’t use the Wickes design because after it was done, we decided to knock the kitchen and dining room into one. So that meant we needed to design the whole thing ourselves.
Our kitchen hasn’t been delivered yet (we’ve had to put it on hold until we can get trades in to finish some wiring and plastering) but I think I can safely report that designing a kitchen is not as hard as you first think. It might take you a lot of time but it’s certainly within the capabilities of even the most average DIYer. It also forces you to really think about how you use your existing kitchen and you end up designing something that works perfectly for you. Not to mention it’s very rewarding and you have complete control over everything – no expensive up sells!
DIY Kitchens don’t offer a design service but they have a brilliant online tool that allows you to snap in units appliances and view everything in 3d. If it wasn’t for this tool, I don’t think we would have been able to do it ourselves. They also have a design booklet with cut out units but we found it a little difficult to use.
The Planner from DIY Kitchens allows you to enter your measurements so you can mock up the dimensions of your kitchen. Make sure you spend more time than you think you need to getting these measurements absolutely perfect. When we took measurement, some walls had plaster and some didn’t, we had a chimney breast that needed opening and so we didn’t know the precise measurements of the opening at the time and this caused a few more headaches than necessary. We would have waited but DIY Kitchens had a 10% sale on at the time so we were willing to add an element of guesswork (we’ve left ourselves a margin of error).
To reiterate – check your measurements more than once. You don’t want to be chasing into plaster to get your units to fit (it happens!).
The chimney breast also offered a slight problem with the Planner. We built the opening into the template on the planner but it could never quite snap the units around it. We ended up removing the chimney breast from the planner and just installing the units against a flat wall. We’re actually going to cut the back out of two 300mm units to fit around the two chimney breast pillars.
You need to choose the range of kitchen you want (there’re plenty to choose from) and then it’s all about choosing the right units to fit your space (remembering the triangle principle between fridge, cooker and sink). This will take some time and most likely, a lot of reiterations. Don’t rush it, give it plenty of time and thought and don’t be afraid to ask friends or family to take a look, they’re often good at spotting things you’ve just become blind to.
One of the most helpful things about the planner are the warnings it flags if you do something that goes against best practice. For example, if your arrangement means that a door won’t open properly or you’ve got your peninsular too close to the opposing unit. It catched mistakes (especially technical mistakes) that you probably won’t have thought of and it’s a real life saver.
Although DIY Kitchens don’t have a design service they do offer invaluable and quite extensive support once you think you’ve finished your design. They don’t want you to make any mistakes because ultimately, they’d have to be involved in trying to rectify them somehow. Obviously they can’t ensure your measurements are accurate (so triple check them!) but they do make sure you don’t make some of the mistakes they’ve probably seen over and over again. They also make sure you order the right amount of plinth, cornicing and end panels which is useful.
There are a few delivery options depending on how much manpower you have on the receiving end. As it’s just myself and my wife, we decided to go for the silver option which was £150 and they will bring the units into the house.
For a more detailed write up of the kitchen planning process, click here.
More DIY Kitchens Reviews
Here are more recent reviews and comments from DIY Kitchens customers.
We price matched against a well known competitor (they even had a sale) and DIY Kitchens came in 25% cheaper and that included worktops.
I went with Howdens in the end because I wasn’t confident I could measure and plan accurately enough. Would have loved to give it a try but I went for piece of mind.
It took us a while to plan the kitchen but we actually ended up really enjoying the process. If you get stuck, find some help – never use the phrase ‘it will probably be alright!’.
Tony WrightWeston Super Mare
2 years since our DIY kitchen was delivered and installed and it’s as solid as the day we got it.
If you’re getting a new kitchen, DIY Kitchens have to be in the mix. Not only are they extremely well priced but the quality of their units is a match for anyone. 100% would recommend.
The online planner makes it so easy. Units snap into place and there’s so much help and advice on their blog you can’t go wrong. DIY Kitchens is a no brainer, especially if you’re on a budget.
DIY Kitchens FAQs
Is DIY Kitchens any good?
DIY Kitchens consistently score highly in independent reviews from recognised organisations such as Which? They score high in areas such as value for money and durability.
Reviews across many other platforms have consistently similar feedback.
- Units and kitchens from DIY Kitchens have the look and feel of much more expensive/premium kitchen.
- Kitchen fitters often remark on the quality of the units and the ease of installation.
- DIY Kitchens consistently beat high street retailers on price.
- Designing the kitchen can be a long and complicated process, but easily achievable if you take your time.
- Designing the kitchen yourself means you end up with a kitchen fits your style of use.
- Customer service is predominantly ticket based which some people like and other people don’t. There appears to be some confusion about whether you can actually speak to a customer service rep and you can, they have phone support that compliments their ticketing system. Customer support is very good.
Can you haggle with DIY Kitchens?
You can haggle with anyone! The real question is, are you likely to get a discount if you haggle with DIY Kitchens and the blanket answer is you would struggle to get a discount by haggling with DIY Kitchens. They argue that their prices are already hugely competitive and they have no further room for discounting as it wouldn’t be worth it for them. However, this isn’t entirely accurate because they often have 10% discounts (which you should look out for if you’re after the very best price).
If you’re spending more than the average price of a kitchen, say £30k+ you may stand a better chance of haggling a discount.
There’s absolutely nothing to lose by haggling with DIY Kitchens, so go for it.
Do DIY Kitchens have a showroom?
Yes, here is the address:
26a Lidgate Crescent
Langthwaite Grange Business Park
Please note that due to COVID-19 the showroom is currently appointment only.
Have you used DIY Kitchens recently? What was your experience like? Comment below or drop us an email at [email protected]