DIY Kitchens: My thoughts so far…

With the kitchen renovation well underway, I’m getting itchy feet and I just can’t wait to get writing and posting about it. I was going to wait until it’s all completed to tell you more, but I simply couldn’t resist, so today I wanted to write about my experience with DIY Kitchens – from ordering to delivering to fitting it ourselves.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that my first foray into finding a new kitchen started around a year ago. We visited some of the big showrooms including Wren Kitchens, IKEA and B&Q alongside some local firms, and although all were lovely in their own ways, I just couldn’t believe the price of them – especially given our kitchen is so tiny. We were looking at a cost of around £4,000 (without appliances), plus the cost of fitting, and I couldn’t really justify the spend considering the size of the space in addition to the fact that Emerald Terrace isn’t going to be our forever home. I’m all about making quick and easy transformations in this house, and I’m happy to spend money where I think it’ll add value to the property, but the thought of spending close to £10,000 on restyling a kitchen (when we factored in fitting, appliances, finishes, etc) wasn’t something I was happy to do.

One evening while in lockdown, I started to have a Google and came across DIY Kitchens. I’d heard of them before but I was a little put off by the idea of having to order everything myself – what if I missed something out? What if everything came and it was completely wrong? After doing more research and chatting to fellow Insta-friends who I know have had kitchens from DIY Kitchens, I decided to take the plunge and got going on designing and pricing up a kitchen.

Firstly, you’ll want to head to their Online Kitchen Planner – which basically does what it says on the tin. You have enter in the measurements of your room (including any windows and doors) and from here, you can begin to place units and start designing a kitchen to fit around your space. It allows you to visualise the layout of the space, so I spent lots of time deciding between an L shape and a U shape (we went for U shape), and decided to get rid of my fridge freezer and go for under-counter units to create more space (our fridge freezer will be going in the utility room).

Once I was happy with my design, an advisor from DIY Kitchens gave it a once over to check it all made sense and it was time to order! The lead times were around four weeks, which isn’t too bad, and the units are delivered pre made and in one piece so it’s easier to fit.

I will, of course, keep you all updated on the kitchen progress but for now, I’ll leave you with a few thoughts so far on DIY Kitchens…

The Good

  • The best thing about this kitchen was the cost. It cost me around £2,500. I had quotes from other companies (as mentioned above) ranging from between £4,000 and £10,000 so it was by far the most cost effective option.
  • It comes already made up including doors and drawers on the units. Don’t worry – it’s not flat pack! It’s been relatively easy to install (I think – according to my Dad & Guy!)
  • The quality is really, really good – I’m really happy with how sturdy the units are.

The Bad 

  • It’s hands on – you need to do EVERYTHING yourself. I really enjoyed designing the kitchen with the Online Kitchen Planner but it was hard work and I’d say I spent about 20 hours over the course of a month tweaking it and moving things around.
  • When I was ordering mine (in the peak of lockdown), response times were quite slow and sometimes I was waiting for up to a week for sign off on things – but, it’s a good thing that the advisors take the time to go over your kitchen to check it all. For example, I forgot to add a cutlery drawer in ours and someone from the DIY Kitchens team asked to see if it was on purpose or by accident and then went in and added one for me before dispatch.
  • Delivery can be tricky. We paid for basic delivery which means we knew what week the kitchen would arrive, but not the actual day until the night before. This wasn’t a big problem for us, and you can pay for upgraded delivery in which you can choose a designated day – but one to think about if you can’t be flexible.

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