Instead of paying hundreds (or even thousands) of pounds to have your new kitchen fitted by somebody else, why not fit it yourself?
Most competent DIYers have the ability to do this kind of work, and if you fall short of all the required skills, you can bring in the specialists as and when required.
In this article I’m going to guide you through the process I used to fit a new kitchen. You can see a ‘before and after’ photo below.
I hope you find the article useful.
Fitting a kitchen – The tools and equipment you need
To completely fit a new kitchen you need to be a competent DIYer, with good skills in carpentry and a good knowledge of electrical and plumbing work. If some of the work needs to be carried out by a plumber, (Gas Safe registered for gas work – use this site to check your engineer) joiner or an electrician then these are costs that need to be considered.
Even with these costs you can save a lot of money fitting the kitchen units yourself. I was recently quoted around £1500 to fit a basic kitchen and the quote excluded plumbing and electrical work so there are great savings to be made with DIY.
Fitting a new kitchen isn’t a ‘two minute job’ and requires a lot of tools :-
- Battery drill / driver plus wood and masonry drill bits
- Electricians screwdrivers
- Power / pipe detector
- Claw / lump hammers
- Bolster chisel
- Spirit level
- Side cutters
- Pump pliers
- Tape measure
- Sealant gun
- Marker pens
Don’t forget safety equipment such as goggles, face mask and gloves. If you are using 240volt power tools use an RCD protection device.
Always remember safety comes first, check before starting work where the services are in the kitchen, use a power / pipe detector to check for hidden live cables and water / gas pipes before removing the old kitchen units, drilling holes or chasing out walls.
Fitting a kitchen – Plan the layout
To plan your new kitchen layout start by taking measurements of the kitchen area. When you have finished it is worthwhile double checking your measurements to save a lot of future problems.
These are some points to consider with your layout :-
- The sink unit is usually positioned under a window.
- Sink units and hobs should not be positioned too near or on a joint in a worktop.
- Washing machines and dishwashers should ideally be positioned near the sink as this will reduce the amount of plumbing required.
- Hobs require space on either side for pan handles.
- Extraction units should be installed either near, or preferably on, an outside wall.
- Don’t ‘box in’ any gas appliances as they require good airflow for correct operation and safety.
- Are the existing services in suitable positions for your new kitchen layout, i.e. sockets and switches should not be positioned above hobs or cookers.
- Will the new kitchen be user friendly and practical?
- Wall units and the base units below them, should where possible, be the same width, so doors and handles line up.
- Sockets should be around 150mm from the finished worktop to allow room for the plug top flex, they can of course go higher, if you know the size of tiles you are going to use, it is in my opinion easier to tile if the socket(s) are on the tile line.
Before you carry out any electrical work in the home check out the building regulations on the Government or local authority website specifically the Part P regulations and Electrical safety in the home. Although I am aware of the current rules it is worth reading the latest regulations as they have been updated in the past.
Any gas work will require a Gas Safe registered plumber / engineer.
When you have made a list of the units required for the kitchen don’t forget all the extras such as:
- Corner post
- Jointing kit with coloured jointing compound
- Water waste kit
- Decorative clad end panels to match the doors, including maybe an extra one to use for filling any gaps, any appliance doors, etc