The Zero Stress Guide to Kitchens


What You Need To Know Before You Buy a Kitchen

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DIY kitchens

Top tips

  • Significant savings to be made
  • Make use of plentiful ‘how to’ guides
  • Keep to a strict timetable to minimise disruption

With a wide range of flat-pack kitchens on the market and a plethora of advice available, many people decide to go down the DIY route when contemplating a new kitchen. If you have a degree of competence – and all the right tools – it is an option that can save money and ensure that you keep overall control of the project.

DIY kitchens

The planning guidelines outlined earlier in this book apply equally to DIY, of course; so don’t cut any corners at this stage.

Whether you are simply installing new units or stripping the room right out and virtually starting from scratch you may find it practical to enlist some help. For fitting wall cabinets, for example, you might just need the occasional extra pair of steadying hands that can probably be provided by friends or family.

However, if you are going ‘back to basics’ you may need some professional help – particularly with plumbing or electrical installations. Regulations regarding the latter require that a qualified electrician who is approved to carry out and certify such work should carry out the work. Alternatively, if you undertake the work yourself, a qualified contractor must separately certify it. Failure to notify building control is a criminal offence.

DIY often appeals because of the control it gives you over the finished project. While professional kitchen fitters undoubtedly know all those ‘tricks of the trade’ which you will be forced to discover by trial and error, there is always the suspicion that a contractor working to a fixed price might be tempted to take short cuts. Whereas when you are doing the job for yourself you are more likely to spend as long as it takes to ensure that each task is completed perfectly and that any problems that might arise are corrected rather than glossed over.

If you do choose to take on the project yourself allow extra time and remember that work done to the kitchen can be particularly disruptive so make sensible provision for food preparation, washing up and laundry while the project is progressing.

Because of the importance of the kitchen to the smooth running of the household, draw up a timetable at the start of the project and aim to stick to it.

Finally, remember that there is plenty of help and advice available from ‘how to’ guides, suppliers and online – see for more information.



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