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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthorandyman99
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2014
    If you are going the Ikea route, then you can get a phenomenal amount in one of their high cupboards for a fraction of the price. Agree with the pull out racks, also you can get shallow pull out drawers useful for smaller bits, so open the main door and then slide out the individaul rack/drawer etc rather than the whole unit. Personally prefer the look of the taller cupboards and we were tight on space so it was the only decision. I would go Ikea again, but have had a few issues. The end panels have started to split in areas where they are subject to a steam, around the extractor, near the kettle etc. Not a big issue, but obviously not man enough (14mm) and the guy who came to fit the worktop commented that he thought they were “a bit mean looking”. Also the outer covering of a few of the drawers has lifted. Again this is the top edge and can be glued without showing, 6 years old? I believe the whole range has changed since them so possible they have addressed these problems now.
    I'm going for a specific carcass manufacturer only available to the trade and will get my doors from Homestyle.

    How easy are the bespoke drawers you speak of to do djh?

    I have a breakfast bar area that I intended to make 1800mm long to accomodate 3 people on the length and 1 on the width.

    As such there will be a 300mm overhang, a 600 base unit (wall end) so that leaves me with 900 space to fit storage underneath on the opposite side. Would it be better to use a 900 base unit? Or say a 600 drawer pack with a 300mm wine rack on the end?

    • CommentAuthorjfb
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2014
    are you a wine drinker?
    Not really, I do like a bottle of red once a week mind
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2014
    Posted By: VictorianecoHow easy are the bespoke drawers you speak of to do djh?

    They're trivial. You just buy individual pull-out baskets that come with runners. I bought mine from Knaggs in Harlow. I see East Coast Fittings do some, and they're available from many resellers.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2014
    Posted By: VictorianecoNAnd also how about pullout rack systems? Worthwhile or waste of money?
    We have one - narrow (300?) and got an extra shelf to go in it. Takes all the small cooking stuff. really useful and no scrabbling at the back for something. Would not want a wider one as it really would be too heavy. For the space, I suspect it is about as efficient as it gets.
    • CommentAuthormdfcenter
    • CommentTimeNov 6th 2014 edited
    I would recommend this company www.atozbk.co.uk
    have big stock accessories for the kitchen.
    Posted By: mdfcenterI would recommend this company www.atozbk.co.uk
    have big stock accessories for the kitchen.

    They sound spamtastic!
    I think I will incorporate a 300mm tall unit with pull out shelves. Do you have a link to the shelves or rack?
    • CommentAuthorRedDoor
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2014
    Howdens have a very interesting approach to pricing - bit like the DG sellers that start at £16k and then get to £2.8k cos the manager has just authorised it if you sign tonight. BUT they have it in stock or close to hand and that's why fitters like it. Tradepoint Cooke & Lewis similar quality, great price but may arrive piecemeal over several deliveries.
    The cream units come with a brown edging as standard apparently Tony? Is that any good, or I can change to cream?

    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2015
    The standard trade discount with Howdens and Magnet is about 75%. Howdens will give the fitter a quote showing whatever trade discount they wish. So for example the fitter will show you his quote with a 50% discount to prove he has passed his discount onto you
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2015 edited
    That is fraudulent isn't it? Ask to see the invoice.
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2015
    Boiler are done by the installer getting cashback based on the number of boilers of given make installed. This can be upto £300 per boiler at times!

    Hence making the labour costs look a lot lower then it is.
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2015
    SystemSix in Exeter - everyone recommends.
    Tony, which drawers do you use?

    I guess for my standard 5 drawer unit just use the cheap metabox ones? And for my pan drawers use the own brand ones no need to splash out on the hettich ones?
    Any idea tony on the drawers?

    That's all I need to decide on

    Latest recommendations for another kitchen?

    I intended to use lamtek for the carcasses and homestyle for the doors, but find end panels, plinths and so forth soon increase the cost...
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2017
    i use ones from lamtek Blum are nicer :)
    Are there any tips such as using plinths as mid panels or similar? On the homestyle website I can't quite find just a basic square edge cornice and pelmet?
    • CommentAuthorSimon Still
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2017 edited
    We've fitted a few Mereway kitchens. They seem to wear much much better than any others I've seen. (John Lewis sell them as one their 'own brands'). Ours still looked like new after c10 years. Friends is 5 years old with 3 kids and likewise.

    http://www.alarisavenue.co.uk/mereway-kitchens.htm/ do supply only at a keen price.

    Carcasses are supplied fully assembled and very solid - a single unit would work as a freestanding bit of furniture. IN contrast our new fancy German kitchen had very little structural strength until fitted and any flatpack is going to be the same.

    Cheap pullouts and draws are a false economy - the higher end stuff is much stronger and lasts. The cheap stuff doesn't.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2017
    Metal sides are nice but make the drawers smaller
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2017
    I have fitted four Wickes kitchens - one for myself, two for relatives and one for the church manse. Not the cheapest or the most expensive but I have found them to be very good quality. Solid 18mm carcasses and good quality hinges and other metal parts like drawer units. Our kitchen has been in for about 9 years and looks/performs like new. We all know that dramatic "50% off" type offers are a bit of marketing nonsense but we bought when they knocked another significant % off for a limited time, which was a genuine reduction.
    "Metal sides are nice but make the drawers smaller"

    Not in the ones fitted to our kitchen. Metal drawer sides are thin and vertical.
    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2017 edited
    You can get a wickes kitchen cheaper and faster by going to Benchmarx; all Travis Perkins group, benchmarx is for trade, wickes for retail

    My kitchen came from www.diy-kitchens.com at around half of the price of the already-discounted wickes quote (they weren't like for like, but getting what I have from wickes would have been double-ish what I paid). We saw a handleless design by English Rose (endorsed by George Clarke no less!) called fusion, that was a mixed grey and white gloss and decided we wanted it. The quote from local boutique kitchen shop (in a rough part of town so I was hoping that'd make it cheaper) that sold English Rose cabinetry was ten grand (for 20 cabinets, 4 of which were tall and the remaining a 75/25 flooor/wall split) and that price was no vat, no taps, no worktops, no appliances, no sink, no soft closures, no assembly and no delivery. I went mental; 500 quid for a chipboard box with a fancy door, the grey doors didn't even have colour coded carcasses.

    Wickes was 12 grand with basic appliances, man made stone worktops, delivery, vat, but no fitting- better but I was still shopping around because.. well.. it's still just a bunch of chipboard boxes!

    Looked at IKEA and was reasonably impressed, didn't care that the cupboards were full depth with no space for a pipe run at the back because a) I'd never fitted a kitchen before so I wasn't up against the "I'm a muppet who can only do things the same way Ive been doing them for the last twenty years" wall and b) everything in the house is new, pipes in walls, etc. She didn't like the look of the ikea kitchen in the flesh, and it's a major missed trick for kitchen retailers - she rejected so many good quality kitchens because they'd been slung together by a muppet for a shop display and hence looked rag tag and awful. She really liked the German kitchen from some posh on shop in a good part of town- it was well fitted. She didn't notice that the chipboard melamine doors had glued edge strips that the kettle would make short work of steaming off/expanding/looking cack in a year. Poor quality, but good fit; sold to her but not to me

    Ikea's prices were sensible- imho about what you should be paying for a chipboard box, though little things bumps the prices a bit when you come to order

    Couple of people on diynot had mentioned DIY kitchens, I liked their site, liked the video of their factory, their prices were exactly what I thought a chipbox should be and they had a huge range of bits that allowed me to make two 45degree cheese wedge shaped cabinets work on paper. They delivered exactly when they said they would, it was all pressed led and excellently wrapped and it was 18mm carcasses with 22mm painted mdf doors. Matte colours too to hide the finger marks. Best of all the fittings box came with a handy guide booklet to self fitting, that had a couple of really useful tips in, and there was a box of Yorkshire tea and pack of jammy dodgers.

    I managed to get the entire kitchen for 9.5k, including granite worktops and top end neff induction hob, fancy computer controlled touch screen Siemens ovens, Bosch washer and heat pump dryer, Samsung American fridge ( I only wanted an ice maker; I had no other desire for anything in the entire room) and stupid designer sink (she likes it, the drain system on it is awful and the plugs look like aeroplane ash trays :) )


    Djh made a good point, that I'll reaffirm: forget what the rules and standards say about cabinet heights, make a pretend floor, worktop and wall cabinet out of cardboard and get your wife to stand at it and reach for the fake wall cabinet. Set the heights to what she wants in terms of looks and practicality, ignore convention. I've set my wall cabinets far lower than standard, and she loves them. I've enough space on top for hidden speaker cabinets, lighting and other junk I want to hide somewhere accessible. Choose a wall cab height that suits based on ergonomics and purpose rather than rules. That's not some sexist "the kitchen is the woman's domain" shit; the whole house is her domain really - she cleans it, takes pride in it and permits you to live there because you fix it, so design it around her and you'll have peace (shower controls, wall mounted toilet height etc); the garage is your dog house :)

    Ps; for all that perfect kitchen, bathroom etc she best loves the MVHR (no more farty bedrooms) and the hoover-pipes-built-into-the-walls vac system. No house I ever build again will lack these two things. If I'd known just how pivotal the Hoover would be, I'd have fitted the downstairs port on the other side of the hall, as there's one corner of the kitchen that the pipe just can't quite reach.. might be worth putting a hundred quid at a longer flexi pipe
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