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How to plan and fit a new kitchen and save money

Monday 4th March 2019

  • You can save yourself a considerable amount of money, especially if you buy from Doorbox.
  • It can be very satisfying to complete a project like a fitted kitchen.
  • A good conversation piece…..” I fitted it myself you know, saved a fortune”

It is possible for any experienced DIY-er to make a good job, firstly get as much information as possible, there’s plenty on the internet and it’s free. You could also go along to one of the big DIY stores with the dimensions of your room and they can supply you with a free plan. We at doorbox are always happy to help planning your kitchen with free advice and information.

Most of the work involved in fitting the actual kitchen is not difficult but be aware there’s more to fitting a kitchen than well...’fitting a kitchen’.

Things to consider

PLUMBING. There will almost certainly be a sink to re-plumb which might involve extending the hot and cold water supply and waste pipe, also the re-plumbing of existing or additional kitchen appliances for example, dishwasher/washing machine.

GAS. Any gas installation needs to be done by a Gas Safe Registered fitter (formerly Corgi, this changed came about on 1st April 2009 and is now run by the Health and Safety Executive). Even an experienced kitchen fitter would leave the gas installation to a qualified gas fitter. A Registered Gas fitter will test the system to make sure it's safe.

. It’s likely that you will want to change the electrical circuits like sockets and lighting, especially if it’s an old house where the installation needs to be brought up to date. As with the gas installation in the interests of safety I would recommend a qualified Electrician to carry out the work.

PLASTERING. When removing your old kitchen you may find that some of the plaster comes away as well, this is something easily dealt with.

WORKTOPS. One of the jobs requiring a high degree of expertise is joining worktops neatly so that the join is almost invisible. This joint is called a butt and scribe and is made using a router and cutting jig and then held together with adhesive and worktop bolts. If you decide to do this yourself and don’t have the relevant equipment then you can hire a router and jig which comes with a ‘How to’ DVD. Read the instructions watch the DVD and take your time as a mistake could be costly. The alternative to this technique are jointing strips which are simple to fit and now come in a range of colours to match the tops.

TILING. This can easily be carried by a competent DIY-er, but make sure you have the right equipment; trowels, cutters both manual and electrical.

DECORATING. Once the kitchen is fitted it’s likely that the whole room will need to be re-decorated, one of the less expensive jobs to complete but does require skill and care to achieve a professional looking finish.

COST. You really do need to have a plan of your proposed kitchen, you can then make a list of all your requirements and have a good idea of what it will cost. You may have already decided that you will fit your own kitchen, that’s fine but I would recommend you get at least 3 quotations (not estimates) for fitting or even fitting and supplying the kitchen and a separate one for the Plumbing/Gas and Electrics. This information is valuable and it’s free, never pay for a quotation. It really is worth getting as much information as possible; it will save you time and money.

. I think many would agree the modern kitchen is the centre of home life and domestic activity and the modern kitchen usually has a dining area combined so it’s where the family will meet and eat at least once a day. So there are a lot of reasons why fitting the kitchen has to be done pretty quickly in order to keep disruption to a minimum. Whether you get someone to fit it for you or do it yourself it’s worth considering the timing: perhaps holidays when the kids are at grandparents or when you can get the house to yourself, bearing in mind the water might be off as will the gas and electric for some time during the fitting period.

If the property is empty then there isn’t the pressure to get everything working by the end of the day, it’s the ideal scenario, when fitting it yourself.

TOOLS. Get the right tools for the job.

  •  Tape measure
  • Cordless screw driver/drill
  • Masonry drill
  • Spirit level
  • Quick clamps/G clamps, to hold the cabinets together before fastening.
  • Jig saw
  • Hand saw
  • Chop saw/mitre saw for pelmet and cornice.
  • Router/Jig and Biscuit Jointer for joining worktops 

Get a kitchen fitter?

If you decide to get a kitchen fitter to do the work then get one that has been recommended by someone you know or trust. Ask him to show you kitchens he’s done. If you are going to supply the kitchen yourself get the fitter to go through it with you he can make sure that everything is going to be there when he starts, it’s in his interest as much as yours. He will be able to start and finish the job without breaks. If components are missing the job will take longer. Agree a fixed price (a written quotation) get more than one quote - preferably three.

Four scenarios from cheapest option.

  1. Revamp kitchen, new doors, handles and worktops.
  2. Buy the kitchen fit it yourself.
  3. Buy kitchen, employ a fitter.
  4. Get a Kitchen Company to do everything. 

Which option is the best for you?

Most people will have a budget and circumstances differ from person to person. Whichever option you choose must be right for you, there are however important considerations that need to be taken into account before you decide on how much you want to invest in a new kitchen.  Here's some food for thought:

How long are you thinking of staying in the property?

You may decide to move and want to make the kitchen look good to maximise the sale price on your house.

If you are thinking of selling your house a new kitchen is one of the best ways to increase the sale price.

You may decide to let the property?

So the kitchen doesn’t necessarily have to be to your specific taste and can be more of a budget option.

You will be in the property at least until the kids leave school, 15 years?

If this is the case then a kitchen that’s going to look good for at least half that time should be a consideration.

Do you want this to be the kitchen of your dreams? Then the sky’s the limit. But you can save a packet by shopping around and still get a top quality stylish contemporary kitchen.

More advice?

Barry and Doorbox have a wealth of experience in kitchens.  We're always happy to help, so if you require any information or advice you are welcom to call us for a chat, there's no charge. Alternatively you can send your ideas, plans etc and we can supply you with a no obligation quotation.

A little about us...

Keeping you up to date on the latest Interior and kitchen design trends. Imparting practical advice for those of you planning or fitting a kitchen.

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