Your FAQs answered:
Who are Sustainable Kitchens?
Sam & Charlie started It Woodwork now re-named Honest Living in 2008, Sustainable Kitchens became a trading name of Honest Living in 2014. Honest Living was born from a shared passion for fine quality woodwork and a love for the natural environment. Their ethos for ethical and sustainably sourced materials has made Sustainable Kitchens what it is today, crafting fine quality, hand-made products that last a lifetime. Charlie and Sam have been shaping, crafting and working with wood for much of their adult life. Initially joining forces in 2006 as sole traders before setting up Honest Living. Charlie left the company at the end of 2016 to pursue his passion for photography. Sam & Nicky are now the directors guiding the company with the aim to inspire a sustainable lifestyle through three guiding values of sustainability, relationships & honesty. Providing a high quality and a personal service for customers who want traditionally crafted cabinets with little impact on the environment. They are supported by a small team of craftsman and other integral members in the workshop and showroom in Bristol.
What is special about Sustainable Kitchens?
We like a challenge: Old houses with wonky walls or kitchens for unimaginably small or awkward spaces. Our attitude is that if you are making something completely from scratch then anything is possible! We want to build unique, beautiful furniture that is perfect for you, come to us with an idea and we will work with you to turn that into reality and build you your dream kitchen.
We offer a highly flexible and accommodating service unmatched by our competitors: we have a very flexible design service, including remote consultations; we’ll talk through your ideas and develop designs, taking as long as you need, if it requires fifty meetings to get it perfect then that’s fine with us. Oh and at times which suit you!
What do you mean by “bespoke”?
The word has different meanings for different companies with most so-called bespoke companies using standard sizes and carcasses. To us “bespoke” means; hand-made to a design that is unique to you and not being restricted to standard sizes. The results of a truly bespoke service are that; space is used much more efficiently, and absolutely anything is possible. Have a look at our bespoke kitchens to see what we can offer.
What sort of quality can I expect from Sustainable Kitchens?
There are too many kitchen manufacturers out there who use the word “quality” to wrongly describe what they are producing. Take a close look at their draw runners, carcass materials, drawer boxes, hinges and joints to see that they are actually supplying the opposite of quality.
Our cabinets are constructed from the highest quality solid Birch Plywood, and our painted doors and frames are built from hard sustainable Oak and hand-painted in the colour of your choice. Our drawers are properly dovetailed boxes hand built from Oak or Birch with thick plywood bases, and sitting on the best quality under-mount, full extension, soft-close drawer runners available anywhere.
Our doors hang on high-quality brass butt hinges and close up against our bespoke magnetic Maple stops providing a clever and positive soft-close action, our adjustable Birch shelves sit on stainless steel pins that fit tightly into stainless inserts guaranteeing that they will not work loose over a lifetimes use, we believe quality is in the detail.
In our Workshop we believe that we have to use the very best of the technology and materials that are available to us ensuring that you can live and play in your kitchen without fear of breaking it. No shortcuts! No hidden surprises!
What do you specialise in?
We make all sorts of things; alcove cabinets and shelving, furniture for in and outside the home, specialist one-off commissions, we’ll turn our hand and enthusiasm to pretty much anything we are asked to make.
However; it is kitchens that we have really specialised in. We work with you to find the perfect layout, from the ideal placement of your appliances, how best to show off your quirky collection of teapots and ways to integrate the recycling boxes, to where to store that Thali Tiffin it’s all equally important.
Are there jobs that are too small?
Sometimes there are those small jobs that just need doing to finish off your home, make things easier, complete something you meant to complete last year, and that’s fine with us.
What is your environmental policy?
Our environmental concerns are what really define us as a company. Our love for the environment and all things natural and wooden has brought us into direct conflict in a sector that has been so horribly unsustainable for so many years. It isn’t that we need to reduce illegal logging in the great forests on this planet it’s that we need to stop it completely, no questions.
It goes without saying that we do not supply tropical hardwoods! Nor do we supply any timber that does not come with a classification from the Forest Stewardship Council, deeming that is has been sourced from well-managed forests. Through our partnership with the Avon Woodland Trust we are helping them to replant the UK’s lost native woodland and prevent any further loss of this ancient resource. Whilst our annual work with Rainforest concern and our carbon offset program with Forest Credits ensures that we are doing all we can to protect the threatened ecosystems in the tropics too.
Our exclusive use of next generation LED lighting provides long life, minimal maintenance and pure, saturated and warm colours whilst only using a fraction of the electricity that standard halogen lights require.
We need to run vans in order that we may run our business, but we offset the carbon we use by investing in Forest Credits providing a true carbon saving with the benefit of targeted reforestation and the rehabilitation of degraded forests. Plus we contribute an extra 10% making us a carbon positive company.
We strive to re-use and recycle wherever and whenever possible committing little or no materials to waste.
See here for more information about our environmental policy.
Will you remove all waste after an install and what happens to it?
We will remove all waste from any install we do. This is done free of charge for most works. For Larger works such as kitchen installations, there’s likely to be a small charge for this service. All waste is taken either to BCC Recycling centre or to Abacus who recycle around 90% of waste.
What is sustainable forest management?
The Food and Agriculture Organization defines sustainable forest management as: The stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfil, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national, and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems.
How long have you been trading?
We’ve been trading as Honest Living and then as Sustainable Kitchens since 2008, Honest Living became a limited company in 2010.
Where are you based?
The Sustainable Kitchens workshop is in Kingswood, North East Bristol. Our full address can be found on the contact page.
Do you work outside the Bristol area?
We do work outside the Bristol and Bath area; we are regulars in Somerset, Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds but also venture further afield, to the South East, London, Wales, the South West and the Midlands. When working outside the region we ask that we conduct the design process remotely, this means working from drawings and communicating via Skype, FaceTime and the good old fashioned telephone. We will of course always conduct a site visit before we begin cutting or making anything.
Do you do plumbing and electrics?
We are fully qualified to make the necessary pluming connections associated with a typical kitchen installation but we do not provide any first fix or gas plumbing. We do not undertake any electrical works other than the connection of our 12v LED lighting. We will, however, provide full (M&E) electrical, wiring and lighting plans for your electrician along with any plans that your plumber may require.
Can you supply my appliances for me?
Yes. You can either tell us exactly what you want or let us help you to decide based on the ideas we have about your kitchen. We use local supplier Nailsea Electrical for most of our appliances. The benefit to you is internet prices and extended warranties from a local and trusted supplier.
Are you VAT registered?
Yes. Our VAT number is GB992073304 and our company number is 7162846
Do I have to send you any drawings or dimensions?
If you are in our region then we’ll come to your house, talk about ideas and measure up, then we will return with designs to talk through the options. Just call the workshop to book a free meeting. 0117 961 6471
How does the design process work and is this free?
We’ll come to your house with a check sheet and run through your ideas at this initial stage and discuss what variations you would like to see with the quotes. We’ll turn this information into 3 dimensional designs, which if you have a home computer can be emailed to you to look over before our next visit. This is a free service, and we will meet and discuss your ideas and adapt designs as many times as necessary to get the perfect solution for you. For more information about the design process, please follow this link.
How long will it take to complete the job?
We usually expect it to take around 4-6 weeks from the point that we begin building your kitchen to when we begin our installation. The installation itself will take 1 week but if you have natural stone or concrete worktops then we will be back 2 weeks after that to install the worktops. Please be aware though that we do have a 3 to 6 month lead time.
What guarantees do I get?
Every kitchen comes with a 10 year warranty as standard.
Do you provide any after care service?
You will receive a handover pack containing a worktop maintenance guide and all the relevant warranties for your appliances as well as some spare oil for your worktops. Working with real wood there is always the chance that there will be some movement as the wood acclimatises to your home, this is natural process; if this happens then get in touch and we will come and make the necessary adjustments.
How do you protect your wooden worktops against water damage?
In the past we have tended towards an oil such as Danish or teak oil, and whilst these are natural products and do provide good protection against water, they do need to be tended to and maintained on a regular basis.
These days we use a product known as Hardwax oil: This is a totally natural and eco-friendly product that offers a lot more protection than oil.
Firstly we apply a primer which soaks deep into the timber and then several coats of the hard waxy top coat which forms a barrier to the water that can damage your worktop, whilst really bringing the natural colour and texture of the wood to life. Your worktop will still require care and attention and re-oiling on a regular basis.