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Which? reveals the top kitchen delivery and installation issues

Find out which companies to avoid, and read our top tips for choosing a good kitchen installer

Couple talking in their kitchen

Of the 3,443 kitchen owners we surveyed, 33% had problems with the delivery of their kitchen, and 35% reported issues with their kitchen installation. 

Topping the list of kitchen delivery hiccups was that the wrong parts or units were delivered. When it came to kitchen installation, the most common gripe was the project taking longer than planned.

We also asked our survey respondents to rate the kitchen company they bought from.

Their answers uncovered a massive difference between the top and bottom companies – one rides high with a customer satisfaction score of 90%, while the lowest-scoring brand achieved only 51%.

Visit our guide to the best and worst kitchen brands to find out where popular brands, including Howdens Joinery, Ikea, John Lewis and Wickes, are placed in the table.

Top five kitchen delivery issues

Delivery taking longer than planned came out as the second-most-common annoyance. For the highest proportion of people (21%) it took one month for their kitchen to be delivered. But for 17% it took double that amount of time, and for 7% it took three months. Some had to wait far less:

  • 7% – one week
  • 11% – two weeks
  • 12% – three weeks.

Some kitchens will naturally take longer than others to be delivered. Bespoke kitchens that need to be built to your exact specifications or colour scheme could take longer than average.

A kitchen sink being deliveredWhen you buy your kitchen, make sure that the company gives you a realistic time-frame so you know how long you’ll need to wait. If the company doesn’t, ask it – and get something in writing.

We’ve broken these issues down by brand to see which companies people have had the most delivery problems with. Visit our page on fitted kitchens to find out how customers rate brands including B&Q, Benchmarx and Homebase.

Kitchen installation issues

38% of the people we surveyed had their kitchen installed by the same company they bought it from. However, 18% found an installer themselves, and 8% used an installer recommended by the company they’d bought the kitchen from.

Regardless of how people got their kitchen installed, here are the top five complications they experienced:

It’s not surprising that delays came top of the list of bugbears. For 5% of our survey respondents it took a lengthy two months for their kitchen to be installed. For 9% it took one month.

For 35% – the highest proportion of people – it took just one week for their kitchen to be installed. For 30%, it took two weeks, and for 15% three weeks.

We also asked people to rate the companies they bought from for installation. The top company gained a customer score of 83%, and the bottom just 51%.

Visit our kitchen installation page to find out how big-name brands B&Q, Homebase, John Lewis, Magnet, Wickes and Wren kitchens placed in our league.


Five tips to help you find the right kitchen installer

Independent installers or kitchen companies can be a better option than big-name brands. If you’re trying to find a local installer, follow these tips to help you avoid potential problems:

  1. Get at least three quotes. This will help you determine how much someone should be charging for the job, as well as whether anyone is offering advice that seems out of the ordinary. Make sure the trader or company you choose sends you a full quote with details of the work it will be doing, as well as the cost.
  2. Find out how previous customers have rated an installer. Online reviews can be helpful, but these can be faked, so try to speak to people if you can. A good installer should be able to provide references.
  3. Be wary of installers or companies that have not been around for long or have closed down and reopened under another name.
  4. Ask how busy they are. Good traders will be in demand, so if someone has a lot of time on their hands, it could be an indication that they’re best avoided.
  5. If you’ll be having any gas or electrical work done, make sure you use a Gas Safe registered engineer or qualified electrician. All our Which? Trusted Traders-endorsed electricians are suitably qualified.

Most importantly, go with your gut. Your chosen installer will be in your home for a number of days, if not weeks, so it’s important that you trust them and feel comfortable.

Visit Which? Trusted Traders to find a reputable local installer who’s been through our stringent assessment process. 

Kitchen problems: your rightsA kitchen being installed

If you have experienced issues with your kitchen delivery or installation, there are things you can do.

First and foremost, talk to the trader or company about the issue, and put it in writing. Make sure you detail exactly what the problem is, what they need to do to resolve it and the timeframe in which they need to do it.

Check whether they have a complaints procedure that you can follow. Our guide to disputes with builders gives you more details.

If you’re still experiencing problems, find out whether the trader is signed up to a dispute resolution service or ombudsman, or find one yourself if they’re not. These schemes are independent and will mediate between you and the trader to help reach a resolution.

If the trader refuses to work with one of these schemes, or you think the matter might fall under the umbrella of rogue trading, the Citizens Advice customer helpline can advise as to whether your dispute should be passed on to Trading Standards.

*In October and November 2017 we asked 3,443 Which? members about the kitchen they bought in the past 10 years, and their experiences with the brand they bought it from.

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