How to fit your Own Kitchen - Part 1
This is the first of a series of articles written by Tim Foley of T Foley Interiors about the problems and successes of installing your own kitchen. As he puts it, it will be no easy ride, but if you pull it off, you will be all the happier. This edition is an introduction to the series.
So you’ve seen the kitchen you want and you have a delivery date.
Only thing to arrange now is the installation. The supplier has given you a price that
has left you speechless and you’ve had no luck finding a fitter who’ll do it for less.
Suddenly, the idea occurs to you that a great saving could be made if you did it yourself.
It becomes even more attractive after thumbing through all the DIY magazines that make it look so simple.
That shelf you put up for the books in the living room has stood the test of time and the curtain pole in the dining room attracts comments from all the guests so why not give it a go. It’s only a few boxes stacked side by side with a worktop over. What can be difficult about this? That panel saw your Dad gave you should come in handy for the unit that needs cutting round the chimneybreast and the £20 cordless drill you received at Christmas will prove invaluable.
But best of all, the savings you’ll make should pay for the conservatory.
Many of you will identify with the above as an experience you’d rather forget and some, no doubt, are still in the process of fitting their dream kitchen. But, worry ye not, help is at hand and in this forthcoming series I will take you through the steps required to successfully installing your kitchen. Perhaps then, fitting the conservatory you’ve paid for with the saving you made won’t be beyond you either.
Installing a kitchen is by no means an easy task and it takes a great deal of precision and preparation but it is not beyond anyone with manual dexterity. In order to make the job easier however, I would advise the use of the correct tools and materials. As many of the tools are specialist power tools it pays to investigate the cost of hiring the equipment. Quality of the tools you use will contribute to a quality finish. Below is a list of the tools needed.
The following tools will be required if you also intend fitting cornice/pelmet and if you wish to mitre your worktops for a professional finish.
- Spirit levels. Two sizes: 600mm and 1200mm
- Hand tools. Hammer, screwdrivers both pozidrive and slotted heads of varying sizes, chisels, both wood and brick, combination square, a file, pliers and grips, a countersink
- Cordless drill/driver Various screwdriver bits.
- Electric power drill. Masonry bits
- Electric Planer.
- Heat gun or an Iron
- ½ inch Electric Router
- Worktop jig
- Electric cross cut mitre saw.
There are of course many more tools that will make the job easier but these
probably require continuity of use to warrant buying or hiring.
Materials commonly used in kitchen installation are silicone sealant, contact adhesive,
Two-part mitre adhesive, screws of various sizes (unless supplied by the manufacturer) and masking tape (essential when installing dark material).
Safety issues when using some of the equipment described, are of paramount importance and the use of safety goggles, masks and gloves are essential with particular tools and materials.
Preparation is the next step and is the most important part of the operation.
I’ll show you how to get ready for the task ahead in the next of this series.