So, you’re thinking of purchasing a new fitted bedroom. The possibilities are endless but you don’t know what to do or where to go. You really need to know your options and how much will it cost etc. Hopefully this article written by an ex bedroom fitter will help you through this decision.
Everything really depends on your budget. Basically there are two forms of bedroom installation, these are free standing / kit furniture and fully fitted.
Freestanding & Kit form bedroom furniture is usually made up of various components that makeup a box with matching doors and accessories. This is usually fastened to your wall for support. This form of furniture is relatively cheap and can be purchased from companies such as Ikea, MFI and others. Most companies now days offer rather interesting designs. Sometimes these purchases prove an easier option with headaches and cost. However you’ll need to be rather handy with a tool kit in order to assemble it if it’s supplied in kit form. This type of furniture is usually manufactured in severe volume and quality tends to be average with a short life span on product wear.
A fully fitted bedroom falls into a different category completely. A fully fitted wardrobe is a product which is purposefully built for your bedroom and installed to suit your walls and ceiling. In a nutshell you’ll either have to rip the old one or replace the existing doors and accessories using a replacement kitchen and bedroom door company. Thus providing your bedroom with a complete facelift. This option is usually the cheapest and should costs around £500 – £1000 dependant on which products you choose and quantity.
Beware as ripping out a fully fitted bedroom (especially old Victorian timber wardrobes) can leave a terrible mess and lots of holes. Only trained fitters should attempt this. Otherwise your costs will spiral more than you think. Holes in walls equal’s plasterers and builders and these guys aren’t cheap and take time to convince to do your job as they are usually very busy on large jobs.
Cost wise a new fitted bedroom starts at around £1500 for a budget priced wardrobe. This will increase dependant on the finish and material you choose. Solid timber remains the most expensive, whereas melamine faced chipboard and vinyl wrapped doors tend to be the norm for most fitted bedroom companies. Costs increase greatly if French polish or solid timber finishes are chosen. Polished furniture products and timber products cost more due to the expense of purchasing raw timber and the length of time it takes to manufacture. It’s like comparing a new mini to a Bentley. Melamine faced chipboard and vinyl wrapped kitchen and bedroom doors seem the most popular products used in the UK.
Now you need to know what construction suits you. The makeup of a fitted bedroom is usually very similar whoever you purchase this from. Usually it’s either a front frame face fixed system or a box system / slim frame system. A front frame face fixed system is always fastened from the floor to the ceiling unless specified. A fitter will assemble a frame which is fastened and scribed to suit your usually bumpy walls and ceiling. Basically battens are fastened to the back wall and floor to take the weight of the top shelf and floor. Fascias and end panels are then cut and scribed and fixed to your frame. Finally doors are fitted using fittings such as Blum hinges. Be warned as you’ll need to ask for backs as you usually don’t get them with this method. Sharps bedrooms have used this system for many years to much success. It’s a slightly time consuming process as a fitter has to tailor the wardrobe specifically to your bedroom. These fitters are usually very highly trained.
A box system and slim frame system usually consists of a group of boxes pre made in the workshop and delivered to site for assembly. The fitters usually level these boxes onto a ready made plinth. All boxes are then screwed together quickly with side gaps being filled with scribed in-fill pieces to cover any gaps. This is a popular method due to the fact that most items have been assembled in the workshop. This assembly method varies from company to company. This is usually the fastest method of installation.
If you decide to have a home visit from a bedroom company then make sure you ask the right questions of the furniture designer. Ask if its possible to visit a recent installation as this would provide you with an idea of their quality, ask how long the installation will take as sometimes jobs go on forever, ask if you can visit their workshop – don’t just go off their showroom as showrooms are always made to impress, ask how many jobs they install a week as you really want to deal with somebody that’s specializes in fitted bedrooms. Ask what system they use and whether it has backs in. Be prepared!
Usually a reputable company will answer these questions without hesitation. When you make the appointment ask how long the sales person will be in your house. If it’s going to be a hard sell then they’ll prompt that the husband and the wife must both be present on the night. This should ring alarms bells as this methods shows that this visit will result in a real hard sell and they want you to sign on the night. Most reputable fitted bedroom companies prefer to sell on the night but don’t usually use hard tactics. Most will give you ample time to decide. Tradesmen don’t like to give too much sales patter and usually prefer to get on with the job at hand.
Ask if they use sub contractors for their installations. If they do be very wary. Most good companies employ their own fitters. These fitters are usually known as subbies. It’s sad to say that a fair majority of subbies have no training or experience and usually bumble through a job leaving terrible problem behind. If you’ve paid a subbie upfront then you’ll usually struggle to get them back to sort out problems that may have arisen.