How to build your own designer kitchen – the full process explained
Looking for a stunning new kitchen but don’t have the budget for a fully project managed service from a kitchen builder? Then here is some advice on how to get just that: a beautiful kitchen at a price you can afford.
First things first: you need to work out what you want to achieve. Do you want the same layout but with modern storage solutions and a refreshing new look? Or do you need to create a bigger kitchen by making alterations to the size of the room itself? Don’t forget that with the latter option you will need to speak to a builder and get your planning application in first.
Below are the main stages of the kitchen build you’ll need to consider:
The single most important element to get right in a new kitchen is the design. This is the most difficult thing to change because it often involves ripping everything out and starting from scratch. There’s no need to attempt designing your own kitchen yourself when professionals like us offer free kitchen design services. Designing a kitchen which not only looks good on paper, but also works well in real life is much harder than it looks. You need to speak to a reputable kitchen design specialist (like us), who can help you make the most of your space without going over budget. Designing the kitchen needs to take place before you call your builder because then they can quote more accurately on the work required.
Kitchen units and worktops are almost always designed to be fitted in a room with straight walls and squared corners. It’s worth taking this opportunity to do something about your walls if they’re not up to scratch. The better quality your walls are the easier your kitchen can be installed and the better it’ll look. It is worth noting that painting your kitchen walls will be easier now with no units in the way, although you’ll probably need to touch it up once the units are in.
Plumbing and electrician work
With electrician and plumbing work for your new kitchen you’ll probably need a first and second fit. The first fit is to get all of the infrastructure in whilst you have no units; this means everything can be neatly hidden away out of sight. Whilst the second fit will be done once all of your units have been installed, this involves connecting appliances or connecting taps. It’s important to consult a plumber or electrician early if you’re moving any fixed appliances or the location of your sink.
Fitting the kitchen
The fitting is down to you or your builder, so make sure you spend some time finding the right builder. You not only need to consider price, but also their past projects. Most reputable builders have a Checkatrade (http://www.checkatrade.com/) page; this is an independent review website showing past projects.
Often the quality of the units is something which is forgotten. Poor quality units are harder to work with and can take longer to install. After all the extra hassle they create during fitting, they still won’t look that good. At Designer Kitchens for Less we only work with the best manufacturers so you can rest assured that you’re getting the very highest quality available. Plus, we send everything using our own courier, meaning it gets to you in one piece.
Generally, we do not advise you build the kitchen yourself, unless you have experience with kitchen installations. Often, it is the experience and attention to detail of the fitter that can be the difference between a beautiful kitchen and one that looks half finished. However, if you do install the units yourself, it’s worth getting in a good carpenter to install the worktops. This is where you’ll really notice the difference between a novice and an expert.
If you’re having anything other than wood or laminate for your kitchen worktop then you’ll probably need to have it professionally fitted. Getting your granite worktop fitted is a highly specialist skill and not something that you should undertake on your own. You’ll need to speak to a granite installer at the design stage of your kitchen to ensure that what you’re planning is actually possible for them. Also, they’ll probably need to take a final measurement before cutting once the units are installed, so you should plan this into your schedule. Read our ultimate kitchen worktop guide for more information.
Flooring is something you can do yourself. However, if you’re having something a little bit more technical then you should find a specialist. For example, if you’re having ceramic tiles installed it may be worth getting in an expert to install them because it’s much harder than it looks.
Some people prefer to install the flooring at the beginning of the process, but we always advise leaving it until the end. The reason for this being that you will save money not installing flooring that no one will see under the units. Also, we do not generally advise that you use cheap laminate flooring in your kitchen, this is because moisture and heat fluctuations can make it warp and split at the joints.
If you’re thinking of designing or building a new kitchen then give us a call. Our design service at Designer Kitchens for Less couldn’t be simpler. Either email a rough sketch with room dimensions or an existing plan to email@example.com or call us on 01279 504230 for a chat about your requirements. Our designer will work with you to refine your plan and provide you with a very competitive quote. We can guarantee you won’t find such high quality at our competitive prices anywhere else.