Why is GOOD Kitchen Design Plans Makes Planning A Kitchen Go According to Plan?
Often kitchen design plans and layouts are more often than not poorly planned and it often is down to poor kitchen design planning which leads to all the hassles and complications that lead to bad press about kitchen companies. Often this starts with poor measurement of the room. Most of the issues that can occur on site can be solved in the early stages of design and kitchen layout and much attention needs to be paid to the measuring of your room. Window widths and heights off the floor. Where are the sockets, do these need moving in the new design? How high is the ceiling are there any bulk heads in the ceiling that are going to affect the new kitchen design ideas!
Another often over looked element is the floor level and how this may run out over the run of the new kitchen design plans, unfortunately many designers have never fitted a kitchen do they do not understand the importance of considering all this detail. It’s worth asking how many kitchens they have fitted? after all would you learn to drive with someone who has never driven before?
Good kitchen design and planning starts with measuring the room correctly and gathering a thorough understanding of what problems you are wanting to solve. This should take about an hour to an hour and thirty minutes, dependant on how much coffee is drank. During that time it is not necessary to spend hours and hours planning the design of your kitchen with you to create your new kitchen design and nor should you feel pressured at this stage to commit or buy there and then. The only reason this done is to sell you a kitchen, an experienced kitchen designer should be able to give you an indicative cost up front and should appreciate the implications of the installation. It would be prudent to organise a second meeting once you have information from the other parties you are considering and that way you can make a decision that is right for you.
If accurate measurements are taken, basic kitchen plans and design could be produced quickly. At this stage of the kitchen design planning process it is not necessary to see a completely final image because you will need to commit to someone to really get this perfect. Unfortunately too often kitchen design plans start with a rushed measurement that does not have all the right information in to make sure the issues can be solved on site, typically this never gets re-measured until after you have signed and agreed. Is this wehre the problems start?
You ought to ask to see the measurements they have taken, the reason for this is if they do not have enough information to plan your kitchen design accurately then how is the design going to reflect what you are looking for or even match the end product? After all when a kitchen planner is planning your kitchen design it is the first plans that are drawn up following the first visit that get discussed and priced up.
When you do choose who will design and plan your kitchen you should be expecting more detail and there is no reason with today’s technology, why the image you are shown cannot exactly match your final product. Too often I see the disclaimer “This drawing is an artistic interpretation of the general appearance of the floor plan. It is not meant to be an exact rendition and dimensions should not be taken from this drawing” oh and usually somewhere else is “All dimensions are subject to verification following a pre-installation survey. If you choose not to use our installer, please ensure that the plan and quantities are checked by your chosen installer”
What is your kitchen planner saying? fair enough that you cannot scale, but if the walls windows are incorrect what were they measuring? the measurements should at least be accurate. If not is this where problems begin? after all a kitchen planner has measured them and how can they accurately plan if the measurements are not right? check your kitchen plan and run a mile if the dimensions are not right. This is because the kitchen planner is there to sell the kitchen and uses a very old fashioned out dated approach that was popular in the hay day of kitchens which is a high pressure and quite pushy sale. It is a good job there are some firms out there who have considered a nicer more client focused approach to kitchen plan and design.
Also beware of the pass off to another party “The fitter will sort it” this is after the kitchen planners have spent much time with you planning your new kitchen design ideas they often want to get the job. This is not an answer to your question, this is also where the extra over costs begin. In fact my experience of some retailer tells me that every time you hear this add £500.00.
Good kitchen planning is more than pretty pictures you should be expecting a very accurate kitchen planning and design that match at least VERY closely if not exactly to the finished article. This type of avoidance is unacceptable and I am not surprised the problems that occur, when there is little attention paid from the outset to the kitchen design plans.
The message here is tread carefully ask the right questions if they are visiting your home are they there to measure accurately? or to sell to you? If they cannot be bothered measuring well how would you expect this to turn out? Most importantly ask the crucial question “How many kitchens, bedrooms, or home offices have you PERSONALLY fitted” and “Will you be doing the design yourself?” “How long do you expect to be here?” “what is the main purpose of your visit?”
Here is why you need to ask
(a) Shows the unit against the wall, this will prevent the LH door from opening.
(b) Shows a 900mm high wall unit, however a ceiling that is lower, will prevent this being installed (see photo 1c).
(c) Shows that the wall at the back of the kitchen is level however in reality they are not, this will affect the installed kitchen.
(d) Shows a 307mm filler piece highlighting bad design and wasted space.
(e) Shows an narrow gap of 400mm left between the units and the protruding wall for people to walk past.
(f) Highlights there is no end panel which means the plinth will just finish leaving an open end for dirt ingress.
(g) Shows where the designer has not taken into account the boxing in the corner of the room.
(h) Shows no filler to the left of the unit leaving a gap.
(i) Shows no end panel or filler to the right of the appliance, therefore there is a gap. (j) shows another wall unit against the wall, again this will prevent the door opening.
OK this article is all about who is who and what it all means. Kitchen companies can be a little like car firms, Everybody knows that VW Group own Audi, Skoda, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Seat, Bentley, Scania. Ford have Lincoln brand, small stake in Mazda and Aston Martin. Tata own Jaguar and Landrover etc etc…kitchen nightmares begin because people do not understand who is who so this article covers this in detail so you can avoid kitchen nightmares
So what about kitchen firms from Smallbone to MFI as they were and many other retaillers, who owns who and who is really independent?? Well before many larger names started shutting and disappearing there were and still are a number of interesting facts. For example Howdens used to own MFI before it sold the fledgling company for a pound, Howdens were the manufacturer and effectively the two companies were the same. So what was the difference? NONE really apart from the name? although howdens have now begun to improve there specification of kitchen, this is a common haunt of trades and builders.
Either that or the alternative option is Magnet which is owned by Nobia. Interestingly enough Nobia is a little like VW in this sense as you may be surprised to learn what they do own, for example Poggenpohl a perceived luxury brand. However the difference with VW stops here, as the foundations which are critically important to a good kitchen as discussed in Are You Getting Solid Foundations? are the same across ALL the brands. Nobia is the central manufacturer which means irrelevant of what you think you are getting, it is the same, the only difference is the price and perhaps if you are lucky a couple of the doors. there are many kitchen nightmare stories about these if you just do some basic homework on the internet.
Here is something interesting, DID YOU KNOW that Sainsburys Homebase used Magnet or should I say Nobia carcasses and the same system to price the kitchen. If in doubt ask for copies of the contracts to be printed and compare them next to each other, they are the same. The two directors of the two companies got together and decided it would be a good idea. So what is the difference? Is that a choice?
The news of the collapse of Moben in 2011 was caused by the parent company Homeform going in to administration. They also owned Dolphin Bathrooms, Sharps Bedrooms and Kitchens Direct. Here is another example of a parent company disappearing and taking many out with it, although I notice there are a number of Sharps showrooms open now. Recently Hygena kitchens are back or at least the founder Malcolm Healey is, under the banner of Wren. Hygena is now sold as a brand through Argos and Homebase and no suprise there is the Nobia link…
Then there is B&Q owned by Kingfisher which own Screwfix, both these suppliers offer budget ranges less expensive than each other. Often in B&Q much of the hardware you buy is available at half the price at screwfix. I even recently bought some black silicone for a kitchen worktop in B&Q costing £6. At Screwfix I can get it for £2.20.. What is going on there?? The extra over cost issue that regualr occurs is down to the fact that fitting is not usually included which excludes electrics and plaster this is where many of the kitchen nightmares begin. I speak from personal experience as a property investr I thought I would explore how B&Q performed and it was not a pleasant experience.
Recently I was surprised by the news of the closure of Yorkshire based Norwood Interiors another kitchen retailer that closed its doors however all was not lost it was bought by The My House Group a couple of days later. But who is The My House Group? is this a case that the idea of buying a kitchen from a showroom has had its day? are the overheads just too high to make it work? Perhaps you are sick of the risk and want to find a new way of getting a GREAT kitchen.
The feeling of Deja Vu does not stop at kitchens, it also appears in some of the things that go in to kitchens for example did you know that Bosch, Siemens, Neff and Gaggeneau are all owned by the BSH group I suppose that is why many of the internal fittings in a Bosch, Siemens, Neff or Gaggeneau are the same if not very similar, and if the internals that are visible are similar perhaps there are other components that are the same. What of course will differ are the prices. On this occasion please do not mis-interpret the BSH Group make very reputable appliances which is why we use them in our kitchens. What is interesting is the perceived difference between Gaggeneau and Neff.
So who is left that is truly independent and can deliver better results than those popping up on TV as opposed to those that are mind washing thousands of people into parting with thousands of pounds? Do you really know who you are buying from?? Probably not, as no-one I have spoken to seems to be aware of this.
The illusion of choice is a misguided one and many people have fallen for it. People think they are shopping around and ultimately the only person to gain is the large parent company who owns the companies you are visiting. Is there an alternative solution?? there is but you have to do your research, ask the right questions and wake up to the fact that there are a few companies that are pretending there is choice.
What are the other options? smaller firms, well ask if they make the doors or not, can they make a carcasss in any shape or finish? There are a limited number of door suppliers PWS, Browns (A Favorite of the Vinyl Club), Multiwood and a few others. It is enough to make you dizzy and it is rife with people who have worked for each other no wonder it is so incestuous.
I have to stop for now as I am feeling dizzy… I will add more when my head stops spinning and I was aware of this already so how were you supposed to know???.Tweet Read More
Saddened By Closure Of Moben, Our Offer Of Help!!
I was surprised and saddened to hear that Moben, another kitchen retail giant has shut down along with MFI, and recently Norwood in Yorkshire. These emotions were quickly followed by overwhelming anger. What upsets me more is the impact this has on people who will have clearly paid deposits in attempt to get the kitchen ready for Christmas, leaving them in the lurch.
We are proposing to help! by delivering a kitchen, less the initial 10% deposit therefore people will not lose out and in the end get a far superior product. This is something we have been speaking about for ages. In fact the average saving compared to retail for a better product equates to 8.1m of pound coins stacked on top of each other. Turning ARRRGGHH!! into WOW
It is no surprise why this happened due to the huge overheads that a business of this sort incurrs to have a prescence on the high street. With modern technology and powerful 3D software available today. Is this pre-historic business model one that needs to take it place in business history and a strong case were technology can make this better? I am sure that they will not be the last!! Things come in threes after all, the concern is who owns who.
In most cases the only reason people were going to places like Moben was because they had seen them via TV advertising, again a huge overhead to pass on to people. Where as an ethical way of doing this is to use modern technology to deliver a realistic image of someone’s kitchen in THIER home, All this is possible and available it is just a shame people go with what they are familiar with through TV advertising.
More and more companies need to be realistic with overheads and should not expect their customers to pay for exessive costs, when the focus should be on great product and service alone delivering on time and on budget, no excuses.
Our offer of help requires that people have a copy of their contract and the price that they were paying. This is not subject to the sales prices, however in most cases the sales prices are just an archaic incentive to get people to buy and more often than not OVER inflated just to take some off again.
Where as the more ethical approach is to just price fairly, (Our Terms & Conditions apply). To find out more about how different the experience is, you can make an enquiry and find out how we can help. Deal with a company that is upfront from the start. If you are fair with us, we will be fair with you by Turning ARRRGGHH!! into WOW
Intially to make sure we can help we can be upfront from the start and even give you an idea of the cost within twenty five minutes, particularly if you have had a design done.Tweet
Some time ago something happened which hit the news and seemed to capture the insecurities of our country. It hit the news and spread like wild fire causing an inertia in many sectors including construction. The news of sub prime markets and banks not lending seemed to give people the excuse not to try.
COMPUTER SAYS NO?? captured little Britain and the rest of the world.. but is this the reality or what we are fed on TV?? I personally decided to ban the news and consider that somehow, someone must understand this I just did not know them. Not willing to accept COMPUTER SAYS NO as an answer. I looked hard to find people who understood this. Whilst I am no expert in this field and nor do I profess to be, I do know is there are people out there that can get projects funded.
The fact of the matter is we just did not know where to look quick enough and so the recession took hold. From my limited understanding, the sub prime market was a poor investment of buying debt that was amassed by lending to people who should not have borrowed money so to prevent them catching a cold again the banks changed their lending criteria. This now means effectively when people visit their long standing branch who they have dealt with for many years, when the boxes are ticked the COMPUTER SAYS NO!! It may be a simplistic view but one that I know does not need to be that way.
It just required people to find people who understood the changes and could make sure that viable investment was still going ahead. The nervous nous in the market can only be down to the drivel we are fed through that box in the corner that feeds mindless drivel in to our homes. Unfortunately it seems that many people give a great deal of credit to what is churned out by the news, and have not noticed the fact that it is all negative garbage, even by their own admission, it dawned on me when I actually heard them say “…and on a positive note” followed by some totally insignificant story..
I have found good people that can get money for NON basket case construction in both commercial and residential. This is GREAT news and I want to shout about it, but first I had to rant a little… and therefore clear my chest. I am passionate about the idea that together greater things can be achieved especially when we decide to talk to others, find out about them and ask great questions. This has led me to be able to find GREAT people and I no longer wish to keep this quiet.
The next time I hear “It is tough out there” or “There is no money” or any other reason I am going to scream. I turned off the TV for while found some head space, went out and shook hands with many people to find what I wanted to act as the antidote to the this. I was amazed by how many people seemed to shrink away and do nothing when the do do hit the fan.Read More
During my time fitting kitchens I have seen some awful things. Sockets crudely stuffed under units to connect appliances, clearly no competent electrician would have left in in a state like that. Poor plumbing and terrible plastering, outside tap piped incorrectly. The list is endless and I am sure other trades will be able to share their expertise and things they have seen to help you be better informed when getting work done.
Plumbing work that has restricted the water flow so much the tap dribbles it is worth noting that dependant on the type of tap you have you need to make sure it is suitable for you system, either high or low pressure. Screws visible through endpanels, terrible plastering that looks like it has been thrown on all sorts.
Mixed fittings on plumbing if plumbing work is done it is not recommended to mix the different fitting particularly copper and plastic. If copper is to be used it should all be done in copper, too often I see mixed use which is a big no no.. and poor practice.
When moving radiators too often there is no inhibitor in central heating systems. Unfortunately this is very common and one of the clues is the fact the the stickers off the chemical bottle are not present on the front of the boiler. This is often left out to save cost, when a central heating system is installed flux which is acid based remains in the pipework. This should be cleaned using a chemical cleaner which requires large amounts of time to fill and drain the system. This chemical then needs to be completely removed and requires the system to be filled and emptied… all this before the inhibitor is added. This takes time and therefore costs and is often left out to save money. Ultimately this shortens the life of the boiler. So next time you haver your boiler serviced or a new install ask to see the bottles or better yet make sure the manufacturers stickers appear on your boiler.
Power showers should be piped in 22mm to deliver maximum water flow and a minimal use of elbows is a good practice, copper pipe should be hand extruded using a pipe bender. All too often I see runs of pipes with excessive elbows on and the wrong diameter pipe used. 22Mm is harder and more difficult to use but it is the more preferred pipe for water to a shower.. The worst I have seen to date is a shower piped in micro bore pipe. No wonder the pump has burned out for the third time??
I would like other trades to share some of the horrors they have seen.. This article is all about helping people better understand what we do and why.Tweet
All Fur Coat & No Knickers!
It never ceases to amaze me how often people can make a decision based on the price they are quoted without first establishing the differences. This comes down to lack of information and this article aims to explain the differences between the types of door available.
In the main there area number of different finishes for doors, wood, foil, vinyl, painted, chipboard and resin there are others available but these are the main contenders, so what does this mean and what are the differences?
This is reasonably self explanatory however it is worth finding out if it is a solid door or a veneered door after all you need to know what you are paying for. Typically wooden doors are either a solid frame construction with a veneered centre panel in the case of a shaker door. Alternatively this could be edged in solid wood and over veneered in a matching veneer common in a slab style door. Knowing this is important when you are considering buying a kitchen
Is a covering quite commonly found in some manufacturers doors mainly those that are ‘wood effect’ constructed like a frame. Fundamentally it is a paper type covering that is glued to the door, commonly on the separate components that make up a door, for example a framed door. Like any other glued product this does not wear well in areas of moisture and heat. Therefore although quite common in kitchen doors, like a steamed stamp, in time this product usually lifts around areas like sinks and dishwashers after a couple of years.
Again this is a covering is applied in a similar fashion to foil and is commonly found in high gloss doors where a flat colour is on display. This again is glued to the surface of MDF board usually, whilst MDF is fine as a core it has to be sealed well, otherwise water ingress causes damage. Typical signs that it is a vinyl product you are seeing will be on the reverse of the door right on the corner you will see a slight line. Vinyl is wrapped around a door fascia on the front and sides only. The back is laminated in a different materials and here the two meet is where you will see a line. This again is very commonly found in high gloss kitchen doors or doors that look like a framed product but there are no visible joints that would make up the frame.
Similarly to foil vinyl can de-laminate as the glue de-grades due to moisture and heat, below is an end panel that is has de-laminated. See picture
This is relevant to either a framed door or a slab door, perhaps a better description would be lacquered. This is the process of applying colour and shine to a door and is an extra process that requires burnishing like car paint to deliver the finish desired.
This allows any degree of gloss and any colour to be specified and the key is the amount of preparation and coats applied. Like any other process getting the base or the foundation right delivers great results and seals the door fully delivering a longer life, providing there is plenty of coats on the door.
This is the proper finish as a pose to foil and vinyl coverings, however typically more expensive and although may look similar at a glance are very different. A painted finish delivers the best result does not have the ‘orange’ peel effect of vinyl, proving it is applied well.
When you look at the rear of a painted door you will see a difference in the finish if high gloss colour one side may not be as shiny as the other, however you will not see a line where the back and edges meet as with vinyl.
Typically found on slab doors (Flat doors) and this is usually edged in a plastic edging so on both the front and rear face you will see a line where the plastic edging and chipboard are glued together. This if done well is fit for some purposes but you loose attention to details like book matching. As the grain is man made and not from a real tree.
I have even heard of these type of doors sometimes referred to as if they are a ’walnut’ door and not a chipboard walnut effect door.
The alternative is to have a door constructed out of an MDF edged in a solid wood product then over veneered to cover the edges and create a solid looking door. This can then be lacquered to any finish you desire
These can look similar to painted doors as they are typically found in slab type coloured doors and will have no joints visible of front and rear faces. One way to tell them apart is the smell if it smells like plastic it is and is you get a whiff off spirit smelling paint then it is paint.
If you really want to be sure where the hinge is cut in to the door you would be able to see the core of the door, if it is consistent all the way through then it is resin based if a different material appears it is painted.Tweet Read More