Finding a good kitchen fitter

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    Finding a good kitchen fitter

    Hello all, I’m in the process of renovating my student flat and the kitchen is really tired and needs to go. My usual builder is so good he is booked up for months ahead. I have emailed a couple of firms I found on Which? Trusted traders. One has got back to me and mentioned he has a Howdens account. Now I know Howdens are known for their less than transparent pricing structure. I’ll be meeting the kitchen fitter, so what should I look out for / what questions should I ask? I don’t want to be a patsy and end up paying a big mark up. I just want a well fitted, durable kitchen and to pay a fair price. Thanks for any advice.

    #2
    All tradesmen seem to be busy at the moment where I am. And also where you are, judging by your builder.

    If you find someone who is available, unfortunately I think one of the first things to wonder is why are they available. Why are they not booked up months in advance like everyone else? Could be a legitimate reason of course (e.g. a big job that got cancelled) but it would sound like a bit of a warning sign to me.
    There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

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      #3
      I would ignore these "trade" sites and ask for local recommendations from your friends and family

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        #4
        Its really tricky to get a tradesman at the moment as they are all busy so if you want your kitchen done you may need to go with the one you have found.

        Howdens only sell to trade and you can only get their prices with an account. Your fitter may add something on to the cost or not but overall the only figure that matters is the final one you pay.

        Howdens have several levels of units and for a student flat their entry level will be fine - so make that clear.

        Their appliances are not particularly cheap or robust so I would source them myself from AO.com or currys.

        If you look at B&Q or Homebase they will give you a price for an 8 unit kitchen or otherwise - use these yo gauge what you think it should cost - remember there are all the little extras like kickboards, bolts, edging strips, plumbing parts that you don't usually remember.

        Ask him to split the cost for you between his labour and the cost of the kitchen. I would expect to pay £200 - £250 per day for a fitter and 5 day for a smallish kitchen (not including tiles & flooring)so approx £1000-£1500 over the top of the kitchen, which is probably about £2000 - £3000. Check he will do plumbing & fit electric oven / hob and what will happen if you have gas. Do you need him to do tiling & floors?

        Ask him if he is charging you on a day rate or for the job and check exactly what's included - tiles? flooring? extra plumbing? painting.

        Be clear about what you are paying for so there are no nasty surprises and ask him for references. Above all go with your gut - if you don't like him don't use him!

        Good luck.

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          #5
          ^^ don’t know where you live but those day rates aren’t usual in the south east of England

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            #6
            Originally posted by Neelix View Post
            ^^ don’t know where you live but those day rates aren’t usual in the south east of England
            Nottingham.

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              #7
              At a lot of Travis Perkins sites they have Benchmarx Kitchens where they (say) they make the Kitchen Units themselves and also will recommend a fitter, mind you its a Vat avoidance dodge in that their fitters are "self employed" and not Vat registered. We did have a guarantee claim and the fitter came very quickly and fitted a new door mechanism I would reco0mmend them. .

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                #8
                Thanks guys for these great comments and ideas, which aligned with mine but it’s good to have confirmation one is thinking along the right lines. Very luckily for me, my kitchen fitter/ builder has got back to me and can start work in October. As student Lettings have been decimated in my city I have decided to wait for him and get everything right before re letting, possibly moving to renting to family/ professional sharers. He’s quite happy fitting an IKEA kitchen which simplifies things as I know what I’m paying for. I’m in the south east and he isn’t cheap but his work is good.

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