Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,995 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The more I look at fitted kitchens the more convinced I am that most are nothing more than vastly overpriced chipboard crap & I wonder if anyone out there has gone for a different option?

It strikes me that one could build a series of waist high (or so) brick piers & then have a good carpenter or cabinet maker put a top of your choice & real wood doors & shelves etc to give you a better product at a far lower price than the overpriced chipboard that's usually on offer.

Any opinions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,812 Posts
We first built a "L" shaped (because that was the shape of kitchen) low plinth then used the fine concrete 6 bottle wine blocks from builders merchants to make piers set slightly in front of plinth to "mimic" fitted kitchen, had granite tops measured & cut to size and fitted (far harder than it looks), used same principle for an island & breakfast bar but also fitted a shelf on 2 cut down 6 block to 4 wine blocks, apart from plinth stuck it all together with elastic tile cement rather than cement to keep joints to minimum.
Then had a local joiner make cupboards, draws etc where we needed

Blocks need to be set so bottlenecks don't protrude past worktop edge:) and 2 of the piers were set at correct width and plinth height altered to slide 2 ovens in so no joinery reguired
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,812 Posts
Vastly cheaper, the blocks are inexpensive, granite's not that cheap but regardless of what you choose you need a worktop of some sort. I would have cast it in coloured fine "concrete" but couldn't convince other half, joinery I kept to a min, overall about 750€ + appliances (8 years back now so more now) for a 5x3' island breakfast bar and 14' of counter with an awkward corner angle, most cost was granite & splashbacks incl delivery & fiiting we then had a separate "utility room" for sink, dishwasher etc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
446 Posts
Good on you Steve!

Allegedly the decent fitted kitchens are made with MDF instead of chipboard for its stability in use, however I would rather have what Canoeman had/has and you are contemplating.
Though to some people this is inferior to 'shop bought' fitted kitchens. :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,995 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I was really disappointed with some aspects of the fitted kitchen we had in the house. Sure, it looks good but the chipboard (esp the kickboards) panels discolour & change shape at the drop of a hat & it was far from cheap.

I'm determined not to make the same mistake in the barn conversion. :)

I love C/Ms idea of wine holder blocks on the ends & as we have several hundred of those in the adega, I think we'll steal his idea & have a wall of those on each end of the units. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
446 Posts
I love C/Ms idea of wine holder blocks on the ends & as we have several hundred of those in the adega, I think we'll steal his idea & have a wall of those on each end of the units. :)
It sounds like your party will be the place to be when you have the celebration to mark the finish of your 'project'... you'll have some bottle capacity then! ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,812 Posts
I added a bar mounted corkscrew to breakfast bar don't lose it at crucial times then:) second house had a fitted kitchen installed as it wouldn't suit the first one I designed but aluminium kick boards :) this house already had a kitchen fitted but kickboard is marble faced plinth:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,995 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The finish is looking to be a loooong way off I'm afraid.

Even when the barn & garages are finished, we still have to make a playpen (rod & gun room) for me plus a gardening room for Susan & then start on the gardens & workshops.

Right now it feels neverending.

All self inflicted though! LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
446 Posts
Don't worry about rushing the finish, sadly I will not be over until next year...so the party can wait! ;)

What it does mean though is another winter in Yorkshire...the colder days have already started. :eek: :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
If you want to go the ready made route which is a lot more expensive but more convenient I recommend "Noblessa". They used to be on the large estate in Pombal next to the huge Chinese Emporium but have now moved to smaller premises out of town. I am desperately trying to think which road. We bought two ex-display kitchens from them six years ago including all the appliances and they are great. Probably some MDF but with superb finishes and granite worktops on one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
If you want to go the ready made route which is a lot more expensive but more convenient I recommend "Noblessa". They used to be on the large estate in Pombal next to the huge Chinese Emporium but have now moved to smaller premises out of town. I am desperately trying to think which road. We bought two ex-display kitchens from them six years ago including all the appliances and they are great. Probably some MDF but with superb finishes and granite worktops on one.
When you remember, please let us know as we're also looking for fitted kitchens after the New Year. Our builder has recommended IKEA kitchens to us, he says they are pretty decent, but what you got sounds very interesting!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,995 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A friend of mine in South Africa built his kitchen by the method I'm thinking about & here's his comments & pic:

This is a view across our centre island in our old kitchen.

I had just finished putting the pantry doors on.

All the dividers are plastered brick, and you can see the shelf layout where I have not put the doors as yet.

All the wood under the granite surfaces is old railway sleeper that I cut up.

The stove I mounted in the same way, and the 2 shelves above the stove I put concealed lighting in (low wattage) which gave a neat ambience.

I will try and find more pics, hope these help.

Price saving?

The wood, hinges, stain, wood coating etc. , PLUS a brand new top of the range table/rip saw, electric screwdriver, new drilling machine and big hand belt sander, still worked out at under a 3rd of what we were quoted.

And I had the tools when I was finished.

Cheers,

J

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
446 Posts
Looking at the above image reminds me of the typical 60's/70's Portuguese kitchen units, though much flashier...the Portuguese would just hang material on some wire between two hooks to hide the shelfs, job done! :D

Well that's what my mother has in her house over there, which were the old cow sheds converted in the 60's, even the sink unit was made from stone! :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,812 Posts
For me it's about design our first kitchen here worked because it was right for the kitchen dining area we created from the old animal barns, this house less so, there are other boards thought that could be used MDF board made with cement that is totally waterproof so ideal kitchen, bathrooms etc etc but a pig to work with as it blunts tools:(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
Noblessa are now on the Pombal to Leiria road. Go through Pombal towards Intermarché. At the nasty T junction by the garage turn right. They are a few kilometres I think on the left hand side. Much of their stuff is German built, not cheap but very high quality, easy to keep clean and their installers were excellent. Ex-display was much cheaper and they both fitted perfectly in our kitchens. Mind you, this was six years ago so I cannot vouch for them now.

One hint, below waist level I find it much better to have deep drawers than shelves or cupboards. I use them for crockery, pots and pans, foodprocessor, food stores. No more hands and knees trying to find the casserole dish you knew you put right at the back or the last tin of something that has miraculously worked its way behind everything else. SWMBO would really appreciate them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,995 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
We've done (mostly) the same with drawers instead of cupboards and I agree, it's much more convenient. :)

In our household, SWMBO isn't allowed into MY kitchen except to access the dishwasher and kettle! :)

She's a sweetheart, but would burn water if tried to boil an egg! :LOL
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top