When it comes to replacing your existing kitchen, one of the most significant costs after buying new kitchen units is paying a professional kitchen fitter to install them. Therefore, homeowners are increasingly starting to consider fitting their kitchen themselves.
As the heart of the home, your kitchen is a space that is used every day, so a good design and proper fitting are essential. After all, you don’t want to be living with mistakes made during the fitting process for the next decade.
However, with a keen eye for detail, a knack for precision and a fair amount of patience, it’s certainly possible for a non-professional to create a kitchen to be proud of.
With this in mind, we discuss the pros and cons of fitting a kitchen yourself.
Is it easy to fit a kitchen yourself?
While fitting your own kitchen isn’t for a complete novice, it’s perfectly possible for someone with decent DIY skills to fit a kitchen themselves.
Indeed, fitting a kitchen can be fairly straightforward if you are happy to take your time and do your preparation properly. However, it will depend on the complexity of the project and how large your kitchen is. Remember, for as long as you are working on it, your kitchen may be out of action, so make sure you plan ahead.
Additionally, some tasks such as moving electrical points or changes to gas installations will need to be carried out by a certified professional, so you will need to build both the costs and the time of this into your kitchen refurbishment project. It is wise to engage these services before you start, so that gas engineers or electricians can get to work at the right time and not delay your kitchen installation.
Planning your kitchen layout
The key to any successful installation is the proper planning of your kitchen layout. At this stage, it is worth considering how you would like to use your kitchen, and if there are any major changes you wish to make to your existing kitchen layout.
Be sure to take into consideration the shape and size of your kitchen. You should think about where to place things like appliances, your sink and any additional features. How would you like to move around the space? Do you want to have your sink by a window to have something to look at while doing dishes?
We have put together a full design pack and video to enable homeowners to fully plan their kitchen themselves. This will allow you to save on costs and make sure you get your plan right from the outset.
View the kitchen design guide here.
How to create a floorplan for a new kitchen design
To measure up for kitchen units, precision is essential. Just one small error can seriously impact the end design and layout of your kitchen. And the last thing you want is a mistake that will either cost you money to fix, or that you end up being irritated by on a daily basis.
Start by creating a floor plan. Map out your kitchen’s shape and mark the major areas where things like your windows, doors, and anything you are not planning on moving are located (e.g. a boiler or sink). Be sure to include whether doors open inwards or outwards as this will form part of your design.
Use a measuring tape to measure the room’s width and length and get your floor layout. Then measure the wall height, windows, door spaces etc. Be sure to measure the widths of windows and doors from the outside of the frames.
You can use our kitchen planner to help map out your floor plan.
Create a wall plan for your kitchen
When it comes to planning your kitchen – making the most out of your cupboard space is key to creating a room that gives you the storage and access you need. Therefore, it’s vital to create your wall plan (a plan of what goes where on your kitchen walls) as well as your floor plan.
To get started, measure each wall’s height and the width and height of any doors, windows or archways. Be sure to include measurements from floor to window – and top of window to ceilings.
Measure the width, depth and height of any fixed fixtures that could be an obstacle, such as your boiler, a fixed extractor etc.
Removing your old kitchen
Before installing your new kitchen, you will need to remove the old one, so make sure you allow a reasonable amount of time to do this.
Start by removing all the doors, drawers and shelves of your kitchen units, followed by any screws which are adhering your worktops to the base units. Kitchen units are generally straightforward to remove, but if they’ve been there for a very long time, it may be necessary to use a hammer to knock the units apart.
Disposing of old kitchen units must be done correctly. Consider whether you can take them to a recycling centre. Alternatively, you could hire a skip or pay for a specialist removals company to take away your old kitchen units.
What tools will I need to fit my own kitchen units?
While the tools needed may vary depending on your kitchen, it’s likely that you may need some or all of the following.
- Lump hammer and claw hammer
- Spirit level
- Tape measures
- Marker pens
Of course, the tools required may depend on the nature of your installation.
How long does it take to fit a kitchen myself?
The amount of time it will take you to fit your own kitchen will hugely depend on factors including the size of the kitchen, the number of kitchen units being fitted and the complexity of the changes you are making to your kitchen.
For example, simply replacing your kitchen doors is a very different proposition to a complete kitchen makeover, including a brand-new design.
On average, it takes a kitchen fitter anywhere between 2-5 days to install a new kitchen. Amateurs are likely to take a little longer – so prepare for your kitchen to be out of action for some time.
When should I choose a professional to fit my new kitchen?
While fitting your own kitchen is most definitely possible, it’s certainly not for everyone and will depend on how confident you are that you can do the job.
Of course, the more complex your kitchen design, the wiser it would be to choose a professional kitchen fitter to get involved.
It’s also worth taking into account that while you may save on fitting costs, there may be other expenses involved in fitting your kitchen yourself. There are obvious costs such as purchasing or hiring specific tools if you don’t already have them and paying for the removal of your old kitchen (which often kitchen fitters will quote for). There are also less obvious costs. These include how much it may cost you to have your kitchen out of action for a longer period, and how much it may cost to replace something if things go wrong.
How to choose a professional kitchen fitter
There’s no getting away from it, kitchen units aren’t cheap. And, when you’re making such a sizeable investment, you want your kitchen to become a beautiful heart to your home and represent money well spent – right?
But let’s face facts, with so many kitchen companies out there, many are guilty of less than perfect design and even shoddy workmanship. So how do you make sure you use a kitchen company you can trust? Take a look at these ten key things to watch out for:
A great reputation
First and foremost, it is essential that the company you choose has a great reputation for solid kitchen units and a client base that is pleased with their work.
To tick this off your list you can simply enter into Google “company name + reviews”. Alternatively, you could ask the company directly if they can put you in touch with previous clients.
Another good place to review your potential fitters would be the company’s social media profiles. This will allow you to weigh up client satisfaction, as well as the way in which the company communicates with their customers.
A portfolio that reflects your ideas
Every kitchen fitting company should have an extensive portfolio. Look to see if there’s anything that reflects your own project’s style and design ideas. Be sure to check out the company’s website initially, as any reputable kitchen fitting company will feature their portfolio online.
You may also wish to ask the company directly about their experience with projects that are similar to yours. This is especially the case if you believe your style or specifications are particularly unique.
A company who specialises in kitchen units… and only kitchen units
The saying “jack of all trades, master of none” has never been truer than when applied to kitchen fitting services! Make sure you choose kitchen unit specialists, rather than a company that claims to be great at everything, from building right through to plumbing.
A friendly, professional service throughout
First class customer service should be apparent right from the very first phone call or email, showing the company’s intention immediately. After all, if you are met with a relatively stony-faced rep at your first meeting, imagine what the company will be like if you encounter problems with your kitchen!
A kitchen that is safe as well as stylish
The safety of your kitchen should never be far from your thoughts. This means undertaking all the due diligence that you would when employing an electrician or plumber. This should include the checking of proper professional credentials.
An understanding of what you want
If you get the feeling that the kitchen fitting company you appointed just doesn’t get what you’re trying to achieve, then it is probably best to stop and find someone who does. Sometimes kitchen fitting companies are just too set on certain project types, styles or designs to adapt, so it’s important to find a company that understands your ideas.
A great attitude
A company’s sales rep should have a great attitude to the project, as should the actual professionals who are undertaking the fitting. If you have chance to meet the team prior to confirming an order, then weigh up their attitude and see if they seem committed to the project.
A company with the tools to create your dream kitchen
Whilst many good kitchen fitting companies may be able to source specific kitchen parts, the company in question should provide more than enough design options to suit every whim and request. This means you’re not waiting around any longer than necessary to be scheduled in for your fitting service.
Solid branded kitchen units
A range of solid branded names shows that the kitchen fitting company only provides the highest quality items. This is particularly important when buying integrated white goods, such as a cooker, fridge, or freezer.
Additionally, you should ask about what warranty coverage you will receive with the kitchen elements. These warranty periods will likely vary between white goods and parts such as your cabinet carcasses.
A good gut feeling!
Sometimes you just have to trust your gut. If you get a sinking feeling, or second thoughts at any point – whether this be at initial enquiry or just before you sign on the dotted line – always listen to your gut instinct!
About our kitchen fitting service
Here at Kitchen Warehouse, we provide the majority of our kitchens in an easy to install flat-packed design, which is created to allow for easy installation. We also have a range of rigid kitchen units (not flat packed) which are ready to install.
We want your kitchen to look its very best, so we’ve provided a series of helpful videos to help you overcome any common problems which you can view here.
We can offer a complete kitchen unit fitting service if required, which includes removal and disposal of your old kitchen. We can also – as an additional option – plaster your kitchen and alter any plumbing if requested.
Fully written no obligation quotations are available upon request – simply call 01765 640 000 today for a personalised quote.
Rest assured that all gas work will be carried out by a fully qualified plumber who is gas safe certified, and CORGI registered. All electrical work will be performed by a fully qualified electrician who is NIC and NAPPIT approved.
Kitchen Warehouse only employs kitchen fitters who work to the highest of standards. We work in conjunction with local tradesmen, who are reliable, punctual and respectful of your home. These tradesmen have been part of our team for a number of years and are fully insured with public liability insurance of 1 million pounds or more.
We work together as a team to go above and beyond your expectations, going out of our way to limit any inconvenience, and ensuring your kitchen installation runs smoothly from start to finish. We aim for all of our customers to be delighted with their fantastic new kitchen, hoping that they will recommend our beautiful kitchen units and fantastic kitchen fitting service to their friends and family.
Speak to an expert about our kitchen fitting service
If we’ve managed to convince you that our kitchen fitting service is what you need for your kitchen redesign, why not browse our diverse range of complete kitchen units today?
Get in touch with our designers whenever you’re ready by calling 01765 640 000. Alternatively, you can send us a message using our online enquiry form for a quick and informed response from a member of our team.