Wren kitchens?

Soldato
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I've looked at a lot of kitchen companies (including some local independents) and the one Ive been most impressed with so far is Wren, however Ive heard some bad reviews for them. Has anyone got any first hand experience either positive or negative? Ive rang the plumber I use to ask and his advice was stay well clear, Wren are crap! So I asked him what the problem was and it turns out it was the electricians, bothers sons, teachers, uncles, dog walker that had a bad experience 5 years ago! I appreciated its luck of the draw if you use their fitter but I dont know a joiner so Id still be playing lucky dip with a recommendation from someone or one of the check a trade sites.

Thanks.
 
Soldato
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we looked at Wren before we did ours.. quality seemed fine but went with Howdens in the end... fitted it ourselves and very happy with the quality service and general fit and finish
 
Soldato
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I work for the Travis Perkins group, and my wife worked for both Wickes and Howdens, so we do have some good debates in our household at the moment as to which kitchen supplier we are going to go with. Currently we have it down to Howdens and Benchmarx - wickes are supplied by Benchmarx now, so Wickes and Benchmarx are essentailly the same cabinets and worktops.

Wife insists that Howdens offer the best fitting cabinets - but is on the fence with the worktops, she states Wren are ok but aftersales parts service is terrible . So we are looking at Howdens but not sure about worktops at this time, but from reading what we can, howdens granite worktops are meant to be quite good provided you get 30mm ones, Howdens did do a 13mm thickness, stay well clear, way too thin.

I get a heathy discount at Wickes /Benchmarx however wife has pretty much convinced me howdens are the better units and provide thicker doors then most, and we have looked at quite a few suppliers, even B & Q which BTW do not touch, push fit units? Really? Can't see them lasting, so Howdens have gone to the top and from what the wife says from working for them for years, she still believes they are the better kitchen supplier .

But... Not to say we get Benchmarx due to cost savings - but Howdens do seem a nice kitchen unit.
 
Soldato
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Over promise and under deliver sums them up. They make their quotes look good compared to others by missing off parts so check the quotes very carefully.

I wouldnt get any worktops from a kitchen supplier, use a local specialist for granite or quartz. For wood use worktop express, far cheaper.
 
Soldato
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Over promise and under deliver sums them up. They make their quotes look good compared to others by missing off parts so check the quotes very carefully.

I wouldnt get any worktops from a kitchen supplier, use a local specialist for granite or quartz. For wood use worktop express, far cheaper.

Yeah see I agree, me and wife have been debating worktops, and come to same point where we are thinking, use a specialist . I think you are right .
 
Soldato
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Had no issues with my wren order in 2017, all turned up, one slightly damaged drawer on 15 or so units that wasn't spotted until I opened it about 4 weeks after delivery. Replaced straight away.

Units took a few hits and coped well with any splashes.
 
Soldato
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I notice you are in Newcastle mate... Check out Northallerton Joinery. They have their own production facility, painting booths etc.

Mum and dad had them out to quote and they came in far cheaper than quotes from wickes etc.

They are not a million miles away but a great company.
 
Soldato
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I think the general advice with wren is to order from them but have it independently fitted and check everything when it arrives for missing parts and damage. I know a couple who have gone this route and it seems to be a good way of getting a decent kitchen at a moderate price.

I went with a local company (Alexander Kitchens) from start to finish and it cost me way over looking back, but I couldn't handle managing the project (underfloor heating too) and just need a great kitchen quickly which to be fair I did get.
 

JRJ

JRJ

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I think the general advice with wren is to order from them but have it independently fitted and check everything when it arrives for missing parts and damage. I know a couple who have gone this route and it seems to be a good way of getting a decent kitchen at a moderate price.

This is the same advice we received, kitchens seemed really good quality and we were between them and Sigma trade. Sales pitch with Wren was comical though our design initially came to £34000ish :eek: then the salesman started taking off discounts....... half price doors because we bought cabinets, free tap because we bought a sink, 10% off because it was the third Tuesday of the month, 10% off because I've got the letter A in my name etc etc eventually bringing the price down to just under £15k we were still waiting for the final design from Sigma so asked for a few days before committing, 4 times a day for 4 days he rang chasing it :mad:
Went with Sigma in the end which came in at £11k for a identical kitchen and all Neff appliances and utility room cupboards.
 
Soldato
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My wife's uncle had his kitchen redone by Wren about 4 years ago. There were no issues with the work as far as I am aware, and the finish and quality seemed decent enough. It was only a small galley kitchen though, so I'm not sure if size of kitchen, and therefore length of the works, affects the job.

I would assume that the quality of the work is at the mercy of whatever contractors Wren use in your area.
 
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Sister in law bought a kitchen from Wren I wasn't involved until fitting when I finished work on a Friday and immediately started stripping old kitchen out ready for Saturdays delivery.
As I started to strip it out I realised that they designed it putting a built in fridge infront of the stop **** and gas cut off, after several phone calls being told they would move services if they were in the way the manager said what nonsense and what did he need to send out to rectify.
 
Soldato
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My parents bought one from them in white handleless. I think overall its OK but the profile of the handles is very poor (not ergonomic /difficult to hold) compared to my diykitchens one (also white handleless).

On that basis alone, I would say avoid using them for handleless designs.

I seperately went whilst looking for my kitchen and found the "designers" didn't have any good ideas, and also they were quite pushy for a sale.

Overall I wouldnt use them but I think they'll be similar to other outfits.

If you're able to do the design yourself I'd recommend DIY kitchens and get a seperate well reviewed tradesmen off checkatrade or similar to fit it.
 
Soldato
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A good friend of mine is a master builder - he swears by Howdens but would get the worktops independently.
 
Associate
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Worked with a guy who used to work for Wren - he was pretty damning about their aftersales service, but said the kitchens were pretty good themselves.

We had a Wickes kitchen in my old house as my wife worked for them and we got a discount. Was pretty pleased with that.

I think the issue with all the companies is that it can be a lottery at times with the fitters - finding a great independent fitter if you can seems to be the way to go
 
Soldato
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Worked with a guy who used to work for Wren - he was pretty damning about their aftersales service, but said the kitchens were pretty good themselves.

We had a Wickes kitchen in my old house as my wife worked for them and we got a discount. Was pretty pleased with that.

I think the issue with all the companies is that it can be a lottery at times with the fitters - finding a great independent fitter if you can seems to be the way to go

We had the Wren guy come - they are simply 'independents' that had contract with Wren (no Wren branding etc).. They have the experience of fitting the standard components (along with the tools) but the following two points stopped them in their tracks:
* kitchen refit (including ceiling) but the walls are not straight or 90. You'll note a clause in their contract about wall straightness being within something like 0.5cm.
* waste pipe moved by builders but the fitting needed a cut out of a cabinet that doesn't impact the movement of the mechanism or anything else inside. They will not modify the units (I don't think they will even do this for gas pipe or electrical fitting).
* the plumbing.. well we didn't get to that bit (we had our old leaky plumbing refitted too by a plumber) along with our electrics and consumer box.

So best to think of their fitters as - simply fitting the boxes and connecting up..

In the end we had our builder do it.. that thread shows the fun we had with him..

If you go down the DIY route - a laser level (ie one that has vertical and horizontal 180degree beam that can be put on a tripod) will be an absolute must - from tile fitting alignment, levels of worktops out initial dry fit was 0.5mm out), cooker hood and coring alignment, cupboards, backsplash etc etc.
 
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I wont ever buy from anywhere that doesn't give me a good price first try, Wren were a joke, as were Magnet and Howdens.

Hence I used DIYKitchens and put the cabinets in myself.

6 years later and people still ask me who made them and don't believe how little it cost.

If you really need them to measure/plan/draw it for you, pay a 'Kitchen Designer' instead :)

*edit to add my 'cool starry' bro; the "free" oven, fridge freezer and dishwasher wren offered me when added up cost more than the kitchen I bought combined, lol.
 
Associate
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We have a Wren kitchen which was fitted in 2016.

Not sure I would buy one again, the paint on some of the doors is splitting already.
Also they sold us items that just wouldn't fit, you would think that they know what they are selling.
 
Soldato
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I fitted a Wren kitchen in 2016. We bought all the budget stuff, so the total cost was around £2500. Everything was fine. All the units come ready made, so certainly saves a lot of time compared to a kitchen where you need to assemble everything from flat pack.

They did send someone out who took measurements, so everything we brought was made to fit.
 
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