The secret to carrying out a good DIY installation is to take your time, and ensure that everything you do is exactly right.
It’s no good being vague about where things are to go. You need to produce a detailed plan, or have a professional draw one up, of exactly how everything is going to fit and where. Pipes and cables also need to be exactly placed otherwise you will create yourself some real problems.
Fitting a kitchen is not for the fainthearted and will require a number of skills – some which are possibly best brought in. But it is possible to achieve a really good job, so we have provided a few tips to help.
Down to basics
Once your old kitchen is removed this is the best time to check that services such as electrical wiring are up to scratch.
When the sink has been taken out fit an angled washing machine valve to the cold supply, it will give you access to water while the new kitchen is being fitted.
Making a start
This is the time to take the project through the first-fix stage (all the wiring and plumbing that needs to be done before a room is plastered).
You need a detailed plan of where water inlets and outlets will be, and all the electricity sockets.
Have a checklist to ensure that you have provided for socket boxes, and taken cables to socket points at base counter level. Wiring for ceiling lights and any other lighting (such as under wall cupboards) must also be put in place.
When it comes to electric installations you must comply with current regulations and a Part P registered electrician must complete the work. Gas has the same level of regulations and you’ll need a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Not complying with laws relating to electricity and gas could make your home unsafe as well as being difficult to sell in the future.
Fit pipework to appliances close to the wall at a low level. If this isn’t done, doors that were going to disguise the appliances (or even the appliances themselves) will not fit flush.
Fitting isolating valves will negate the need to switch off the water supply to the rest of the house during the installation of appliances.
When the kitchen is gutted it’s the ideal time to look at the state of the walls. A blank canvas is best to ascertain if walls need repair and plastering. Trying to tackle the job once units are in place makes it cumbersome, leaving your new cupboards and worktops prone to sustaining damage.
It may seem like a nuisance, but once plaster has been applied it does need sufficient time to dry. You don’t want to create problems with damp that could affect your new units.
If you think that plastering is just an expensive nuisance and that you can get away with tiling over any problems, just remember that you won’t achieve a good finish and may even have to strip them all off and start again. Worse than that, sealing in problems is not going to make them go away. So bite the bullet and do the job properly.
If you are a proficient DIYer then you know better than to cut corners.
Getting out the ruler and pencil and measuring and marking things clearly before you start to install units and appliances will save time, temper and even money.
By the time you get to this stage you will have decided on what floor covering you are going to use. Add this to the depth of the cabinet – this simple tip will mean that the kick boards can be easily fitted once the cabinets are in place.
As long as you have an accurate design, prepared walls properly, and ensured that electricity sockets, gas and water pipes are perfectly in place there shouldn’t be too much hassle fitting units and appliances.
Look forward to the moment you can step back and admire a job well done.