History - About Diy Kitchens
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1980

First kitchen produced

Our company was born in Barnsley more than 40 years ago when our first kitchen was produced in the family home of our founders Alf and Clare Ellis. When looking for a new kitchen, they scoured the market a great quality at a reasonable price. With no success, they decided to make their own.

Our MD Matt Ellis and his sister, Sales Director Olivia Ellis, in the home garage where our story began.

One of our first adverts featured in the Barnsley Echo newspaper.

1980

Building a family business

After the first kitchen was fitted by Alf in their home, friends and family saw it and from their comments, Alf and Clare were encouraged to explore opening a factory and showroom, and so their family business began.

1981

First factory

Our first showroom and factory was a 1490 sq ft building located at Castlereagh Street in Barnsley. Here Alf and his small team manufactured our first units and doors at the back of our retail showroom, where Clare Ellis helped our customers to choose just the right kitchens for their homes.

This building was originally constructed by the father of our co-founder Clare Ellis around 1940, for the world-famous manufacturer, Avery Scales.

1985

Prestigious developers

By 1985, we had moved into a 10,000 sq ft factory and by this time had a growing list of trade customers. Some of our early customers were local high-quality house builders and national companies like Mclean Homes and Charles Church, amongst many other prestigious developers.

1985

Building on our reputation

In our new 10,000 sq ft factory, we also had a retail showroom where our early showroom team included talented Kitchen Designer Linda Greenwood and our Showroom Manager Linda Bailey. At this time, our team had already built a loyal customer base of trade and retail customers, with whom we had our an excellent reputation for excellent quality, at the right price. 1985 was also the year that we became a limited company.

Photo shows Kitchen Designer Linda Greenwood (Top Left), Showroom Manager Linda Bailey (Bottom Right) and our company co-founder Clare Ellis (Bottom Left).

Glue and dowel construction creates a sturdier unit as there is no movement of joints by screws moving loose.

1986

Glue and dowel

1986 was the year that we produced our first glued and dowelled carcase, followed by the introduction of veneered panels and accessories, all produced in-house. Since its creation, the company had always produced carcasses with matching visible gables.

1988

Colour coordinated cabinet

By the end of 1988, we started providing our customers with 18mm, fully colour coordinated cabinets. We have now increased our range to 9 colours and over 900 standard units, the most the kitchen industry has to offer!

Our bespoke painted option lets you choose any colour for your new kitchen.

1993

Custom colours

In 1993, we began spraying kitchens to any colour match requested. This let our customers create the kitchen of their dreams. We were also the first in the UK to purchase a Ligmatech through feed automatic carcase press with handling equipment. This increased production substantially, alongside newly installed CNC drilling machines.

1996

Purpose built

In 1996, we acquired the first of our two current sites near Pontefract. An industry leading, 26,000 sq ft, purpose-built manufacturing facility.

1997

Smooth painting

By 1997, we again led the industry by investing in several pieces of machinery. This included a spindle moulder and CNC equipment, allowing us to manufacture solid wood and smooth painted kitchen doors in the UK, which is quite unique.

1999

Preparing for the future

In 1999, we bought new machines to work alongside our traditionally skilled craftsmen, allowing us to increase solid wood door production, as well as giving us the ability to manufacture our unique foil wrapped doors.

Passing down traditional skills remains an important part of our business.

Our current MD Matthew Ellis spent time learning each kitchen manufacturing skill.

2002

Building for our future

During this period our current Managing Director Matthew Ellis joined the company. Initially, he spent time working in each manufacturing department, learning the skills required to create our kitchens, from the Falcioni spray line through to operating our beam saw and delivering customer kitchens.

2003

Taking our kitchens online

In the first few years of the new millennium, the much loved DIY Kitchens website was launched. Initially supplying kitchen doors, handles, and accessories direct to the public online.

The original DIY Kitchens website launched in 2003.

The Eden Classic, our first kitchen sold online.

2004

Our first online kitchen order

After much customer demand, we sold our first complete kitchen online in the summer of 2004. This first kitchen online was the popular Eden Classic, featuring traditional country kitchen elements including beading inlay on the doors and tongue and groove paneling.

2007

Our unique showroom

In 2007, we built an 8,000 sq ft, free-standing showroom in the grounds of our manufacturing facility near Pontefract. This was to help provide customers with the opportunity to experience the superior quality of our kitchens first hand. Each year we re-fit and develop areas our showroom to demonstrate industry trends and innovations. During this period, we also invested over 1.3 million in new equipment at the Unit 26 plant, including more efficient sawing, edging and drilling machinery, to increase production.

Our showroom is the perfect place to get a feel for the quality of our kitchens.

2009

Expanding for the future

During October 2009, we acquired a 47,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in South Kirkby, just 100m from our first site.

2010

Improving our doors

Following this, 1 million was invested in several pieces of hi-tech door production machinery. This included a Burkle membrane press, several Biesse machines (including a saw), a CNC router and an automated storage and retrieval system.

2011

Most advanced in UK

During 2011, our manufacturing facilities were expanded by 20,000 sq ft to house a new 1.5 million automated cabinet assembly line, the most advanced in the UK capable of producing over 100,000 cabinets per year.

2012

Investing in automation

Going into 2012, a further 3 million was invested in automation, allowing us to speed up packaging and dispatch of all our kitchen units.

2013

Unrivaled paint finish

In 2013, we built a 6,500 sq ft factory extension designed to house three new robotic paint spraying lines. This addition not only increase our capacity, but importantly it also further improved the quality of door finish on offer to our customers.

2014

Customers love bespoke

Going into 2014, we installed yet another spray line to help keep ahead of increasing customer demand for bespoke painted kitchens.

Designing our own bespoke machinery allows us to create better kitchens for you for less.

2016

State of the art

We continue to lead the kitchen industry with our new, 10 acre, 152,000 sq ft manufacturing facility near Leeds. This site allows us to give customers the choice and quality they've come to expect, but faster than ever before. To take kitchen manufacturing to a new level, over 12 million has been invested in our ground breaking rigid cabinet production facility. Much of the machinery is bespoke, having been designed and specified by us. The new cabinet assembly line includes 8 robots and is the longest line in Ligmatech Germany's history. It's capable of producing a rigid cabinet every 20 seconds and is almost 500m long, that's the length of 5 football pitches!

2017

A day to remember

In the summer of 2017, we were visited by UK Prime Minister, Theresa May. The event was attended by BBC, Sky and ITV News channels, amongst many others from the media. The Prime Minister toured our manufacturing facilities, followed by a nationally televised speech and question & answer session, enthusiastically participated in by many of our team.

UK Prime Minister, Theresa May visiting us during the 2017 General Election.

Proud to be awarded Which? Best Kitchens Brand 2018 2020.

2018

Our customers first

As our business grows, we are always expanding our team to ensure product quality remains consistently high. Many of our staff have been with us since 1981. These experienced employees pass down the knowledge they have gained, ensuring continuity of skills and high standards. During 2018, we created our first purpose built Customer Support Centre to build on our hard earned national reputation and to create a team that's second to none. We also further cemented our reputation by becoming the Which? Best Kitchen Brand and by being presented with the Houzz Award for Customer Support.

2018

Just in time logistics

Further expansion of the business meant we outgrew our logistics facilities. So, in 2018 we opened our group Logistics Centre. Along with large investments in a new fleet of delivery vehicles and intelligent stock systems, the new facility will allow us to continue to meet the demand from our customers.

One of our group logistics centres created to supply our business.

Since 1993, we've never stopped looking for ways to make our paint finishes more beautiful.

2019

Pushing colour forward

We invested a further 3.5 million into automatic paint spraying lines in 2018. During 2019 and beyond, this will allow us to double our output capacity and further push quality levels. With 6 lines in operation, we now have more paint spray capacity than any other UK kitchen manufacturer.