We used DIY Kitchens to supply our kitchen which was delivered and installed in the Spring of 2022. Here is my DIY Kitchens review which will be 100% impartial – we paid for our kitchen in full and have no incentive to be anything other than totally honest.
There were actually three elements to our DIY Kitchens order – the kitchen, as seen above, a small pantry nook in the adjacent room, and then a utility room. I will be focussing on the kitchen element although our experience is the same across our whole order.
Who are DIY Kitchens?
DIY Kitchens have been operating for over 30 years, according to their website. They only have one showroom in the whole of the UK (in West Yorkshire) – as opposed to, say, Ikea or B&Q where you can see sample kitchens up and down the country. You have to design your kitchen yourself – but they have online software to guide you.
Why choose DIY Kitchens?
For the reasons mentioned above – only having one showroom and not having in house designers – DIY Kitchens are a lot cheaper than, for example, Wren and Howdens. They claim to have high quality standards. All of their units come ready-built and were manufactured in the UK.
I think the thing that is most daunting with DIY Kitchens is having to design your own kitchen from scratch instead of having a professional kitchen planner to rely on. However, my personal opinion is that if you are confident in your decisions, are handy with a tape measure and have a reasonable amount of common sense, you can absolutely design your own kitchen via the DIY Kitchens online planner. My biggest tip is not to rush it – do an initial design. Then go away and have a look at some kitchen showrooms. Tweak your design. Sleep on it for a few weeks. Tweak your design some more. Get advice on the DIY Kitchens Design and Planning Forum Facebook group. Do some final amendments and then, when you are 100% happy, you can submit your order.
Our DIY Kitchens review – how was our experience?
Our kitchen is the Malton Carbon range, with Innova White Marble quartz countertops. Before we made our decision, we ordered samples of various doors and quartz colours and took lots of time deliberating. If we lived closer to the showroom it would have been helpful to visit, but ultimately I love the choices we made and I doubt we would have chosen differently.
The DIY Kitchens planner can be found here. Here is our final plan:
Here is the above plan as viewed in 3D – you can ‘walk around’ your plan which is really helpful:
At the point of ordering, you can choose a week in which you’d like your kitchen to be delivered (subject to a minimum lead time as each kitchen is made to order). The delivery can come any time over those seven days – although they send you a text early in the week with a two day window, and then a further text on the day with an approximate time. It’s not ideal if you can’t work from home – ideally it would be possible to book delivery for a specific day but I can imagine that would be difficult logistically for them when planning their delivery routes.
Once the kitchen is delivered, the onus is on you to inspect it and report any missing items or any damaged items. You only have a limited time window to do this. We had almost 50 individual items so this was a massive and unenjoyable job. We were fortunate enough to not have any damaged items but we were short one plinth. Once we notified DIY kitchens, this was delivered to us within a few days. I’m not sure how other kitchen retailers work but I would say that is is less than ideal that DIY Kitchens can’t guarantee to be able to help you if you don’t spot a damaged item at the point of installation if it’s past their acceptable window when you can notify them.
We had a joiner fit our kitchen so I can’t comment on how easy it was to fit, although he had no complaints and was impressed with the quality. Once the units were in place, the templater who worked for Natural Stone Surfaces (DIY Kitchen’s countertop suppliers) came round to measure up for the quartz worktops. Here is where our one and only big hiccup happened. The DIY Kitchens planner suggested that we could have 20mm thick quartz, with downstands on the island (which had an overhang). However the templater informed us that the 20mm quartz wouldn’t be strong enough to support the overhang, and additionally we would need to have the underside of the overhang polished. So our only option was to pay an additional £1,000 to upgrade to 30mm thick quartz and to have the polishing carried out. £1,000 isn’t a huge amount in the scheme of things, it was just a surprise to find this information out, it would have been nice if the planner indicated these things. However, I think the 30mm quartz looks really good so in balance, maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing.
I hope this DIY Kitchens review has been helpful. Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions and I will be happy to answer them. I hope to add to this review over time as I think of helpful information. Hopefully we will get round to tiling the backsplash soon!
Here are where I sourced the ‘extras’ that can be seen in the photos:
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