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Traditional Alabaster | Real Kitchens

Susanne and Lucas from Cambridge
In short, we are absolutely delighted with our kitchen. We believe that we could not find a cheaper kitchen of such a very high quality.

We actually enjoyed the process which we went through with DIY Kitchens, which is different from what is offered in retail parks up and down the land.

The DIY Kitchen show-room sits only in South Yorkshire. We found it difficult to complete our project without visiting the show-room twice. This involved 5-hour round-trips for us, but we’re very glad we did it. This highlights that managing your “kitchen project” will take some effort. We found it rewarding and enjoyable enough to bother, but it may not be everyone’s “cup-of-tea”.

We chose a solid wood Eden Classic (vanilla) style, complete with Iroko wooden worktops. There are plenty of other style-choices to be made… built-in appliances (at very competitive prices), sinks, handles, etc. and we loved it all!

Due to the outstanding value on offer, we allowed ourselves the luxury of going for flashy mechanisms in base corner units and some variety to door finishes, such as “braided steel” and “woven glass”. This all contributed to our satisfaction with the end result, but it does take a bit of planning, spatial awareness (accurate measuring) and visualisation.

It is important to emphasise that one does need to be very careful about measuring spaces for the units so that things fit into the kitchen area. Our visit to the show-room was a good learning experience in regard to this because otherwise we would not have realised the importance of allowing spaces between units, and making sure things like oven doors can open properly, etc. There are pitfalls to learn about when fitting kitchens – and beware that expensive mistakes are possible.

We were really lucky because we got some fabulous advice and customer service from a nice young man called Oliver, but we are aware that DIY Kitchens may not be able to promise this in all cases. This was why our visits to the show-room were well-and-truly worth it.

We decided to save our budget by removing our old kitchen units and tiles, etc. ourselves. This stretched our DIY skills to the limit, but we got it done – just! A valuable thing which we also got from our show-room visit was to be put in touch with a fantastic pair of kitchen fitters who were familiar with the products. The units are very popular with kitchen fitters because they are delivered ready-assembled, so it saves them a lot of time and fiddling about.

Also note, however, that you need to be prepared to take delivery of bulky, heavy units (solid wooden quality is heavy) when the large lorry arrives with your fantastic new units. Again, it’s only fair to highlight that one has to be prepared to project-plan. Another important part of this is to check delivery because we did find one error, although this was rectified quite quickly by customer services.

A word on our kitchen fitters. Mark Mallender and his willing accomplice, Lee did a first class job. They worked really hard to fit our medium-sized kitchen in 3 days.
What we really appreciated was the way that they would listen carefully to what we wanted, and really cared about meeting our requirements -even when it made their work more difficult. Lee went to great lengths to deliver a bespoke piece of joinery, and we saw the perfectionist in him. Mark is a very experienced builder and he was calm and highly competent throughout. Nothing fazed him.

In conclusion, we are so pleased with our new kitchen and found it so rewarding to play a more active role in the project, than just accepting an “off-the-shelf” solution, which could easily cost twice the price and have half the quality.

About Hubert Reinhard

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