(Frequently asked Questions, Kitchens. Not a potty-mouthed duck expletive..)
How can you provide a product of this quality at such a good price?
In a word – “globalisation”. Besp-Oak is a long-standing UK brand and the UK’s leader in the provision of quality Oak furniture products. The raw Oak is sourced from Germany and shipped to Vietnam where our products are then manufactured. This means enconomies of scale and the best cost-efficiencies in manufacturing. Manufacturing global products in China and South East Asia is of course now standard practice – the quintessential USA Apple iPhone and computers are of course Chinese made, but not many would be aware that Toyota have not built the venerable Hilux (or its componentry) in Japan for nearly 15 years – preferring to use countries like Thailand, where in fact all the major Japanese brand utility vehicles are also now manufactured.
Vietnam is emerging as a global destination for furniture manufacturers, particularly for European based companies with a traditionally high cost of manufacturing. Vietnam is a relatively easy place to do business and has a good availability of skilled craftsmen. More importantly, Vietnam encourages foreigners to build and own businesses there, usually managed largely by their own people. In our experience of visiting Vietnam over many years, these European companies not only provide additional employment for the Vietnamese, but look after these local employees well through introducing their own traditional European business values and culture. This tends to result in better work conditions and employee welfare, often seen in transportation to and from work, free meals and better wages. This in turn results in better quality work, so a win-win scenario results.
Is your timber sourced sustainably?
Absolutely. Our product is manufactured primarily for the UK market, where it is illegal to import and sell product that is not EUTR (European Union Timber Regulation) compliant. Oak is sustainably plantation grown mainly in Germany and North America.
Are your Oak kitchens manufactured from 100% solid timber?
The majority of each cabinet is crafted from solid oak, most importantly the frames. The drawers are all oak incorporating dovetail joints and the rear cabinet panels are made from solid Oak tongue and groove jointed planks. The shelves are solid 25mm Oak. The infill panels in the cupboard doors and infill panels in the sides of the cabinets are made from HMR MDF (High Moisture Resistant Medium Density Fibreboard) with a genuine oak veneer applied to give a natural and durable finish. These panels are non-structural and do not require mechanical fixing so have no negative effect on the strength of our cabinets. MDF is actually the most appropriate substrate for panels of this nature, as it is more stable than natural timber in a thinner, single piece application. A larger piece of thinner, solid timber would be susceptible to warping and /or splitting over time.
Can I customise my cabinets to a different size or finish?
While there is nothing to stop you having this done by a skilled craftsman after purchase, we do not normally offer the option ourselves. This is in keeping with our kitchen supply philosophy of providing readily available cabinetry. Customising the cabinets ourselves would largely defeat the purpose of our business model, creating a negative impact on both the resultant cost of, and time delay in supply. Having said that, and while manufacturing the Model “T” only in black colour ultimately worked out rather well for Henry Ford, we do intend to ultimately offer a sufficiently large enough range of standard sizes to make customisation unnecessary in any event. We can also supply solid oak filler panels where necessary, if space available exceeds cabinet dimensions.
What style of cabinetry hardware systems do you use?
While we value traditional practices, we include premium soft closing drawer mechanisms from industry leaders Blum of Austria as standard and offer handle ranges from Germany’s Hafele as an option. The round alloy knobs shown in our catalogue are included with each cabinet but are not fitted (ie no holes drilled) so a different handle type is a cost option.
You use conventional butt hinges for your cabinet doors rather than the more modern concealed versions rebated into the cabinet sides and doors – why is that?
Quite simply because we can!! Plus it's more in keeping with the traditional design we adhere to. Conventional MDF / particle board cabinet panels and doors can't use butt hinges as the screws would simply pull out of the material after the door had been opened and closed a few times. The screws holding our butt hinges screw into solid hardwood so will not pull out with use. Having said that, we now have a Blum concealed soft close hinge as an option to our large larder doors for the sole purpose of making them adjustable in 3 dimensions.
Can you design my kitchen layout for me?
Yes, we will and we won’t charge you for the privilege! You can send us plans or bring in some basic measurements and a rough plan of what you want, or we can visit you if you are in the Bay of Plenty. Either way we will produce a layout for you with our European kitchen design software showing your new kitchen design in 3D or augmented and visual reality - online, in our showroom or in your own home.
How long will the whole process take?
This depends on your requirements. If you simply want to order cabinets, as little as a few days. If you want us to visit, work through design options with you until you settle on a final design, have the cabinets installed and bench top fitted, then potentially as little as three weeks. This includes our bench top partners visiting you post cabinet installation to create an exact template for the bench top, which they can normally produce in around 10 days ready for fitting. Of course, you may need to allow for other services, such as plumbing and electrical which will be beyond our control!
Do you provide installation?
In Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty we can provide total project management if required, from design, planning and supply through to installation with all subtrades including carpentry, work tops, plumbing, electrical, tiling and painting as required.
Can I install the cabinets myself?
Absolutely, and we will provide advice. Every cabinet has concealed adjustable feet inside each leg to allow for uneven floors, so installation is straightforward. All you really need are basic DIY skills plus a spirit level, tape measure and cordless drill / driver.
Can you provide appliances?
Yes. While we stock and recommend the premium UK appliance range in Belling, we can also offer the largest range of brands of all types of kitchen appliances in NZ through our appliance partners. We can even arrange a private one on one appointment for you in a showroom in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch or Tauranga, where you can discuss all options and price-points with the most knowledgeable staff. This in an environment without pressure but with a cup of real coffee or even a glass of wine!
Can you ship your kitchens anywhere in NZ?
No problem. We have been doing this for years with our Oak furniture, so we have established relationships with reliable freight partners who specialise in furniture transportation. We are able to ship kitchens to the South Island at extremely good value using a backload arrangement with South Island based furniture carriers.
What warranty do you offer?
We now offer a lifetime warranty on the structure of our oak kitchen cabinetry. We believe this is unmatched in NZ. We can do this because our frames are made from solid oak hardwood using the traditional joinery techniques of mortise and tenon, dovetail, and tongue and groove. Please see our Terms and Conditions for details.
Are you an NZ company?
Yes, BespOak NZ is a wholly owned subsidiary of Joblin Holdings Ltd., a family operated company that has been in business for more than 40 years and now based in Mount Maunganui.
Where can I view your kitchens?
We have kitchens on display in our Mt Maunganui showroom and in the Home Ideas Centre in Petone, Wellington.
How do Oak trees get onto the internet?
They log on. (sorry about that one..)