Fitting a kitchen requires a great deal of skill and involves knowledge in the carpentry, plumbing, electrics and tiling trades. It’s also essential to consult a Corgi registered fitter about air vents, gas appliances and boilers. So, it’s not an easy weekend project! But don’t worry – we’ve got the tips and tricks you need to help things go swimmingly.
Getting started with fitting a kitchen
If you’re fitting a kitchen yourself, you’ll need to do an initial safety run. This includes checking for electrical cables and water pipes with a power and pipe detector. Also, make sure that all power tools and leads are in good condition, and that you have the correct safety equipment for the job.
Get a piece of graph paper and make a precise, scaled plan of your kitchen. Measure in a clockwise direction, starting from the door, and note which direction the doors open.
- You take the ceiling height at several points.
- The kitchen is square, by measuring diagonally or by comparing opposing walls.
- You’ve marked all existing power points, plumbing, gas supply, air vents, windowsills, radiators and boiler (where necessary).
- You’ve checked and double-checked your dimensions.
- You’ve accounted for space for your kitchen appliances.
- You know what your walls are made of, so you buy the correct fixings for your units.
Tried and tested kitchen designs
Most kitchens fall into four basic designs: a single line of units, a double line (galley), an L-shape or a U-shape. You can transform your kitchen to suit your lifestyle by combining cabinets with layouts. And, washing up is so much more pleasant with a view, so try positioning your sink by a window to brighten your day.
Positioning washing machines, dishwashers and cookers
- Place dishwashers and washing machines close to the sink, so water and waste flow can be easily connected.
- Put hobs and cookers near worktops and sinks, so there’s less distance to carry hot pans.
- Allow at least 300mm of clear space on each side of your hob, to allow for protruding panhandles.
- Locate a cooker or hob beneath a window where curtains could catch fire, or near electrical sockets.
- Put a cooker or hob near a fridge or freezer.
- Put an inset sink near a worktop joint or next to opening doors.
Consider wear and tear
Worktops are especially prone to wear and tear, so try and go for the most durable surface you can afford.
- Laminate is cheap and comes in a variety of colours.
- Wood adds character but is susceptible to scratching and slicing, as well as staining.
- Stainless steel can be clean and stylish, but some people find it quite clinical.
- Granite is the most expensive material, but doesn’t scratch or burn and keeps its colour.
If you’re on a budget, you could improve your kitchen simply by investing in a few new white goods and replacing or painting cupboard doors and handles. Many new appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers are also designed to be more eco-friendly and could save you money too.
When you buy a kitchen, make sure you ask for an itemised bill and don’t pay the full payment until you’ve received and checked all the items. Make sure you know the full terms and conditions of purchase and return, too. The wrong kitchen can be a costly mistake!
What about home insurance?
Contents and fixtures in your kitchen are covered under a Churchill home insurance policy. However, if you’re fitting a new kitchen or extending the room, you should inform us, as your premium may need to change to make sure all the new contents are covered.
You should also be aware that you may not be covered for any damage caused by DIY work you do, so if in doubt of your ability, the safest option is to hire an experienced tradesman.