Wren, Howdens, or Wickes Kitchens?

Discussion in 'Kitchen Fitters' Talk' started by Robot Enthusiast, Oct 17, 2021.

  1. Robot Enthusiast

    Robot Enthusiast Active Member

    Hi All

    Currently looking at kitchens and kitchen reviews whilst trying to decide which brand. It's a minefield...

    Wren seem quite good but the services/sales seems pushy.
    Howden looks great but are very pricey especially on appliances.
    And, wickes seem average but are very competitive on price with little waiting times for spare parts.

    I know there are other major brands out there but I haven't looked into them yet. Do let me know if I should or any I should avoid?

    Any advice for the above or another brand is most welcome.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    I generally fit Howdens kitchens and for me and the customer, they represent good quality and service for the price point.

    I can’t comment on Wren, but if there are any issues, I can walk into any Howdens trade counter and get it sorted easily. I don’t have the time to be dealing with a mail order type company on customers jobs.

    As regards appliances, you, can source your own from any electrical supplier if you prefer.

    That’s my 2p’s worth for what it’s worth. I know a few of the regulars on here fit a lot more kitchens per year than me, so I’m sure they’ll add to the conversation.

    The main thing, as I’ve said before is in the attention to detail of the fitter. The cheapest kitchen can be made to look a million dollars and vice versa
  3. Tilt

    Tilt Screwfix Select

    I generally recommend Ikea's.......... Fitted hundreds, although not for a few years now, but they were really good quality.
    Ball-ache to fit without the void though, but that is for the fitter..... Let them know though if you choose these.

    Possibly worth sourcing your worktops from a specialist place if choosing laminate. There are hundreds of different patterns.
    Duropal and Axiom recommended.

    I have fitted a few Wickes but not as good as Ikea's IMO.
    CGN and Robot Enthusiast like this.
  4. Diy kitchens is an online supplier I have used a couple of times. The units are great quality. The units come preassmebled so it’s as easy as popping the legs on, levelling them up and screwing them into place. It does take a bit of extra time though as you have to choose and add the units yourself online and all the panels etc. The price is very good though and you can order samples or visit there showroom too.
    It may be worth pricing one up, if it comes in cheaper than the other suppliers u could use the diy kitchens price to haggle the others down.
  5. Robot Enthusiast

    Robot Enthusiast Active Member

    Thank you @Tilt @pppmacca43 and @CGN , this is a great help.
    On the basis of the above advice it seems Howdens and IKEA are good, but it all comes down to the workmanship of the fitter.
    I will also start looking at sourcing the top (we are liking the idea of quartz) and appliances from separate retailers.

    Good point on the DIY kitchen supplier too. Always handy to have a cost comparison, plus I don't this brand so I'm going to take a good read on them now and see if they have a showroom close by.

    Many thanks all!!!!!
    CGN likes this.
  6. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    CGN and Robot Enthusiast like this.
  7. Adamfya

    Adamfya Screwfix Select

    Diy showroom is in pontefract....i think...well worth a visit. Good product, friendly staff and generally an easy way to spend a day out!
  8. Robot Enthusiast

    Robot Enthusiast Active Member

  9. Robot Enthusiast

    Robot Enthusiast Active Member

    Looking at the website now. It seems very good on price compared to the others. I'm going to dig deeper. Thanks!
  10. Truckcab79

    Truckcab79 Screwfix Select

    Another vote for IKEA. Have fitted a few of these and always good quality. Don’t underestimate the issues caused by that lack of void behind them. Fine if you plan ahead but does make life more difficult.
    Robot Enthusiast likes this.
  11. LEH

    LEH Active Member

    I did a DIY kitchens kitchen over the summer. The quality is good. Just allow enough time for issues with your delivery to be rectified etc. My kitchen came missing plinths and a couple of doors. It all eventually got sorted but took a couple of goes. No problem because I'd expected it given the nature of how they supply. In hindsight I would have asked for the sink base unit to come dry assembled, and it was a bit annoying that the back was stapled on. Otherwise largely happy.
    Robot Enthusiast and CGN like this.
  12. Adamfya

    Adamfya Screwfix Select

    All depends if your fitting yourself or getting it fitted. If the later then prob best to go with what the fitter knows...tbh. if you end up with any of the mentioned being fitted well, you wont have too many complaints.
    Robot Enthusiast likes this.
  13. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Screwfix Select

    I’ve fitted kitchens from all three suppliers on your shortlist - along with all the others mentioned by contributors to the thread. Here’s my impartial take;

    Wren - the quality is flawless, probably consistently the best I fit in that respect. The hardware and fittings they supply are top-notch, their customer service is good (in terms of replacing the odd missing or damaged item) and their installation plans are second to none. Very, very pricey though. Their salespeople are often worse than the 1980’s double glazing gang - they’ll quote a farcical initial price, then ‘speak to the manager’ about a better deal. I thought these lame, stone-age tactics had gone for good.

    Wickes - not great. I’ve fitted a dozen or so, and have faced challenges every time. The worst case I can remember is receiving a damaged fridge door on a delivery. The poor customer was given a ludicrous runaround for over 3 months before being told that the range was discontinued. I ended up making her a replacement door in my workshop and getting it colour-matched and sprayed by a car body shop mate. The other issue is an apparent lack of training on their bargain-basement CAD system. One in four Wickes kitchens I’ve done have been unbuildable straight off the plan. It’s my job to get round it (which I always have) but it shouldn’t happen.

    Howdens - over 100 kitchens fitted so far and counting. The biggest advantage with this company is that if there’s a change of mind, a damaged part or anything similar - I can go straight to the local depot and get a replacement which is in stock on the shelf at least 90% of the time. They’ll normally supply out of stock items in 2-3 days. A substantial number of their cabinet designs are also available as flat packs which massively reduces the cost - around £1500 on an average sized kitchen. Although some fitters don’t like this - I can assemble an entire kitchen’s worth of FP’s in a few hours, saving an awful lot of money for the customer. Four main tips with Howdens;
    1 They’re trade-only so you’ll need to find a fitter with an account. Most depots have their trusted fitters (me !!!) who they’ll recommend accordingly if you’re struggling to find someone.
    2 Go for the upgrade drawer system. The standard ones are awful, with add-on plastic soft-close gadgets which fall apart very quickly.
    3 Avoid their quartz/granite template & fit service. It’s expensive and not great. Best bet is to use a local solid-surface company if solid tops are what you’d like.
    4 Their in-house brand Lamona appliances give huge bang for the buck and are very reliable - I’ve not had a single failure for 3 years now, and I’ve put in a lot of these things. Don’t write them off.

    If you’d like more upmarket appliances, check out Appliances Direct. They’re excellent and very competitive.

    Hope you get fixed up.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2021
  14. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    The Lamona appliances are very good. Obviously made by one of the big boys and rebranded.
  15. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Screwfix Select

    Yes mate. I believe (although I stand to be corrected) that they're rebranded Beko's, Hotpoints and Indesits. Many of them have a label on which says 'Made in Turkey' - which is where Beko's factory is. I like them a lot.
    CGN likes this.
  16. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    Yes, I remember Beko being mentioned by one of the Howdens guys. My GF has the original Lamona appliances still going strong in her 12 yr old appartment.
  17. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    I've had an issue with one of the Lamona appliances I fitted - a microwave stopped working. A phone call to my local Howdens was all it took to get sorted as an engineer attended and repaired it the next day. My client was pleasantly surprised and didn't hesitate to choose Lamona equipment in another kitchen I did for them.
    CGN likes this.
  18. Robot Enthusiast

    Robot Enthusiast Active Member

    Wow. Thanks very much for this detailed answer. It's very good to know these specific pros and cons. Much appreciated!!!!
  19. Robot Enthusiast

    Robot Enthusiast Active Member

    Thanks all. Some really great advice and expertise here. I really appreciate the time you taken to write these points down.
    I was looking to save for Miele appliances (which are eye-wateringly expensive I know) but apparently bullet proof. I will now consider lamona.

    Thanks again all!
  20. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    sonetimes it’s good to go for what you want. Hopefully you’ll have made a saving to ‘offset’ the cost.

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