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1 October 2020

Should I choose an independent fitted wardrobe company?

Should you buy fitted bedroom furniture from a big brand, such as Hammonds, John Lewis or Sharps, a DIY store such as B&Q, Homebase or Wickes, or find a trusted local carpenter or joiner?
Built in bedroom furniture 488283
SI
Sarah Ingrams

We weigh up the pros and cons, plus what you should consider to find the best company for you.

Why choose an independent firm for your fitted wardrobes?

With nearly one in 10 of our survey respondents opting for an independent firm rather than a big brand for their fitted bedroom furniture, we spoke to two Which? Trusted Traders about what sets smaller firms apart.

Chris Sutherland, Director of The Kitchen Company (which also designs and installs fitted wardrobes, said: ‘We can give the customer what they want rather than have them choose from what’s available.

‘If someone wants full carcass wardrobes (where you have a complete cupboard behind the doors so your clothes are not in contact with a wall) we can do that, or just front frame (where you’ll pay less because you are not buying a carcass). Our wardrobes are bespoke. They can be any width, height and depth so you can maximise storage. Most manufacturers can't do this. We have 24 carcass colours and 45 door finishes, giving over 1,000 possible combinations.

‘All our sales designers will see the installation through to completion with the customer. They will meet the fitter on site and explain to them what’s needed. They will make sure that the whole design goes as smoothly as possible.

‘Small firms tend to have a small, well-drilled team of long-serving staff, so you’re more likely to get a better design and installation service from a small independent retailer. They can’t afford national advertising so they have to rely on recommendation and word of mouth. So they’re much more switched on to making sure their customers are happy.’

Find out more about Which? Trusted Trader The Kitchen Company.

Which? members can log in to see the top reasons people chose independent brands, compared with bigger chains. These are based on our survey of 1,744 people who bought fitted bedroom furniture in the last 18 months. 

If you're not a Which? member, join Which? to see our results.

Plus we reveal which national firms have more of the feel of an independent brand about them.

Bespoke fitted wardrobes

Opting for an independent carpenter or joiner means that you aren’t limited to the options available from a specific brand. So you’re more likely to get storage designed to fit your room and requirements precisely.

Comments from some customers in our survey included: 

Buying fitted wardrobes near me

If you’re keen to employ someone local to build your fitted bedroom furniture, rather than opting for a national chain, use Which? Trusted Traders to find a reliable and professional carpenter or joiner near you. Every trader listed is independently vetted so you can be confident in their service. You don’t need to be a Which? member to contact traders using the service.

But Which? members can log in now to find out the pros and cons of using a local trader, according to the experience of hundreds who have recently done so. 

If you're not a member, join Which? to find out if an independent trader is right for your fitted bedroom furniture.

Independent firms vs big brands: which are best for fitted wardrobes

One person in our survey of 1,744 people who bought fitted bedroom furniture in the last 18 months said that they ‘expect better quality and service from a local company, as they care more and rely more on their reputation’.

Our analysis reveals whether this holds true. Which? members can log in to find out whether customers of big brands or independent firms are more satisfied with their service overall.

As well as how satisfied customers are with the firm they chose, it’s also worth considering any parts of the service or product that are particularly important to you, for example customer service, delivery speed or how well-built the wardrobes are.

We asked customers about all of these factors, as well as value for money, so you can use them to find the best brand for fitted bedroom furniture for you.

Top problems with delivery from independent fitted wardrobe firms

An impressive 86% of customers of independent companies said that they had no problems with the delivery of their fitted bedroom furniture.

No named firm in our survey achieved higher than 80% problem-free deliveries according to customers. But two firms had delivery problems with four in 10 of their customers in our survey.

Which? members can log in to find out which firms those were, and which has the best delivery record, according to our survey of 1,744 customers who bought fitted bedroom furniture in the last 18 months. 

Or join Which? to access all of our fitted wardrobe brand results.

To find a local, independent brand, head to Which? Trusted Traders.

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