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29 Aug 2020

Common fitted wardrobe installation problems and how to avoid them

Find out how to steer clear of any issues when you get your fitted bedroom furniture installed
Bedroom with built-in fitted wardrobes

Better bedroom storage is top of many of our wishlists - especially now that bedrooms and spare bedrooms across the country are doubling up as makeshift home offices. Installing fitted wardrobes and other fitted bedroom furniture can be a great way to keep your bedroom free of clutter.

It's often a sizeable project though, with a sizeable bill to match. And when we surveyed fitted bedroom owners about their purchasing process, a quarter said they'd encountered problems along the way.

Fitting taking longer than planned was the most common installation issue. 10% of those who had their furniture installed by their fitted bedroom company or an installer it recommended experienced delays here.

Damaged parts or pieces was the most frequent delivery problem, experienced by 7% of those surveyed.

The top problems were brought to light in our survey of 1,744 people who bought fitted bedroom furniture in the past two years.

Find out what you can do to reduce the chances of fitted furniture delivery and installation problems, or head to our tips on choosing the best fitted wardrobes for your bedroom.

Getting your fitted bedroom wardrobes delivered

Nearly a quarter of those in our survey said they had had a problem with getting their fitted bedroom furniture delivered.

Parts or pieces being damaged was the most common issue.

Fitted bedroom furniture delivery problems

Graphic showing percentages of people who had diff

Other customers told us about companies being hard to contact and inflexible delivery times. Several said the delivery firm damaged door frames or walls while carrying parts upstairs, and lots reported delays or cancellations owing to coronavirus.

Tips to avoid delivery problems

  1. Choose a firm that is highly rated by its customers for speed of delivery - some firms achieved four stars out of five on this measure, while others gained three stars. Head to our guide to the best fitted bedroom furniture brands.
  2. If you're looking for a fitted furniture company near you, check Which? Trusted Traders to find a reputable, responsible firm. You can check previous customers' reviews before you contact them.
  3. Read documents, including your contract, carefully before you sign so you know whether your delivery date is guaranteed, what happens if parts or pieces are damaged and who is responsible.

Installing fitted wardrobes

Some people in our survey chose to install their furniture themselves, or have the installation done by a local trader.

But for those who used the installation service of the company they bought from, or an installer it recommended, installation taking longer than planned was the most common problem they encountered.

Some customers said installation delays were due to parts being unavailable, but others said they weren't given a reason for the delay.

Extra costs owing to more work being needed to finish the job was the second-most common problem, faced by 6% in our survey.

Top five problems with fitted bedroom furniture installation

Graphic showing percentages of people who had each

Less common problems included installers damaging the property or the furniture they were installing, poor-quality workmanship during the installation, and incorrect measurements being taken by the firm.

Tips to avoid installation problems

  1. Make sure you're clear upfront about what you want. Agree this with your chosen firm and make sure it's reflected in the plan they create. Changing your mind later on is likely to result in extra costs (especially if more materials, planning or labour are needed) and the project taking longer than you expected.
  2. Having clear plans in place will also enable the firm to give an accurate view of timescales and cost.
  3. Get quotes from at least three companies so you have a good idea of what you'd expect to pay for the furniture you want, and how long it will take.
  4. Before you settle on an installer, check how it fares among the best and worst fitted furniture companies or whether it's a Which? Trusted Trader.

Woman looking at clothes in a fitted wardrobe

The best fitted wardrobes for your bedroom

The first step in transforming your bedroom is deciding on what furniture will work in your space, give you the storage options you want, and create the look and feel that's right for you.

Check our fitted wardrobes ideas for inspiration to get you started.

Which? fitted bedroom furniture research

We surveyed 1,744 people who bought fitted bedroom furniture since July 2018, across the general public and Which? Connect panel to find out the best and worst fitted furniture brands, and problems experienced by owners.

The survey was online and conducted in May 2020.