The Process Behind Your New Dream Kitchen – From Survey to Installation
Depending on your level of experience, choosing to renovate your kitchen can seem like embarking on the completely unknown, and so it’s understandable that this might seem daunting. At Ream Interiors, we appreciate that your home is very important to you, and thus when making such a big decision, you should feel fully informed about what’s involved. We’ve put together this guide so that, whether you’re carrying out your project with us or with someone else, you have a good idea of what to expect. The more information you have, the more confident you can feel about your choices as you progress through the different stages of your kitchen journey.
Your Kitchen Survey
Most retailers will carry out a kitchen survey once you have confirmed your initial design. Completing a survey isn’t simply a case of measuring your kitchen, your surveyor will be looking to check all the details of your space including the location of services, to make sure your design is compatible and to assess whether any additional work is required. However, you should bear in mind that removing your existing kitchen can reveal further work that couldn’t be detected during the survey. After your survey, you might need to make some changes or tweaks to your initial plan before finalising the design.
Surveys cannot be carried out until the room is finished to a standard where the measurements will not change. This means, if you have a new build or extension, walls, floor levels and ceilings must be in before your survey takes place. The walls do not need to have been plastered as long as you can provide the surveyor with the details of how they will be finished so they can factor in these measurements.
Once your survey is complete and you have signed off your final design, you can work towards arranging an installation date. Ahead of your installation, you may wish to do a few things to prepare. For more information on this you can take a look at our dedicated article by clicking here.
Your Kitchen Installation
The kitchen installation process can vary depending on several factors including your unique design and your chosen retailer; however, our guide should give you a good overall view of what to expect. Not all retailers offer a fully managed package, and, in any case, you might still choose to carry out the preparatory works yourself. In a new build or extension, they might not be necessary. If your retailer is not providing you with any prep works this is called a dry fit, we will cover the dry fit process in stage two.
Stage One - Preparation
On average, the preparation stage of a kitchen installation takes 1 to 5 days to complete. It involves the messier jobs such as removals, electrics and plastering. Additional time might be needed if you require building works or floor tiling. Qualified tradespeople will be needed for gas works, plumbing and electrics so you can choose whether you prefer to organise this yourself or have the process managed by your retailer. Bear in mind that sourcing and coordinating the trades yourself can impact the time it takes to complete the work.
Removing Your Existing Kitchen
Day one begins with the removal of your existing kitchen, this includes removing units as well as wall and floor coverings. Please remember to notify your designer or surveyor in advance if any items are to be kept so that they can safely set them aside. If you are keeping your existing flooring it will need to be protected. Clearing your room is the first task to get out of the way before works can begin.
After removing your kitchen, it will need to be disposed of. If your project is being managed by your kitchen supplier, they should organise this for you within the first couple of days. Alternatively, you may need to arrange for a skip yourself. Your local council should be able to collect appliances such as your fridge or freezer for a small charge.
During your kitchen removal, water supplies should be turned off. Your sink, dishwasher, washing machine and any other wet appliances will need to be capped off and removed either temporarily or permanently depending on whether new supplies need to be plumbed in to accommodate a different layout. The same will apply to your radiators. In order for plastering and decorating to take place, they will need to be removed. If you are repositioning them, your plumber will need to install supplies in their new location.
A registered gas safe engineer will be needed to cap off any gas appliances, either temporarily, if you are reusing this supply in your new kitchen, or permanently if it is no longer required. Any alterations to pipework will be done at this stage, with a further visit required later to complete and commission the appliance.
Building works can often include the removal or addition of walls. These should be carried out as soon as your space is clear and before any further preparation work starts.
Electrics (First Fix)
The amount of electrical work required can vary depending on the quality of your existing electrics and the details of your design. Some projects may require a new fuse board or an upgrade to conform to building regulations. There are usually two phases to your electrical works, the first fix and the second fix. During the preparation stage, a first fix will take place to install the wiring required for appliances and sockets as well as any lighting feeds.
Either patch plastering or full replastering may be needed to renew your walls and ceilings after your kitchen removal. This should take between 1-3 days depending on the size of your room.
If your new kitchen design incorporates stone, ceramic or porcelain floor tiles then these will need to be laid prior to your kitchen being fitted. In this case, underfloor heating would also need to be installed at this point. Most floors will require a preparatory underlay of latex or ply. LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles) should be laid as the final step in your kitchen installation.
Stage Two - Installation
Now the preparation stage is complete, your new kitchen can be delivered ready for installation. You may choose to receive your kitchen at an earlier date providing you have space to store it. Most kitchens take 5-6 working days in total to fit, however, there are some variables that could add time to your schedule.
Kitchen Units & Appliances
The first step will be to install the kitchen carcasses, followed by the drawers, doors and built-in appliances such as coffee machines and ovens. Your electrician will return for the ‘second fix’ where sockets, lighting and appliances will be wired in.
Laminate, timber and solid acrylic worksurfaces can be measured, cut and fitted on site by your installation team once your kitchen units are in place. This process is included in the 5-6 day allowance. Solid acrylic worktops such as Mistral may require an extra day to fit.
Solid surface worktops like Granite, Quartz, and Corian require a template and fit process. Once your kitchen units are installed, a precise template will be taken and sent to a specialist workshop to fabricate. The final solid worktop will then be delivered ready for the final fitting. This process could take around 7-10 working days depending on the complexity of your layout. In the meantime, you should be able to use your oven, though you are unlikely to have access to your sink and hob.
Matching upstands and/or splashbacks will undergo the same process as your chosen work surface, i.e temp and fit or fitting on site. They will be installed at the same time as your worktop, however, this can add another day onto your schedule.
Your hob, sink and taps can only be connected once your worktops are in place. If you have chosen a solid surface worktop material, your installation team will return at a later date to make these final connections. At this stage, any other outstanding installation details can be completed. This should take no more than one day.
Ceramic tiles are a classic choice of wall covering, usually fitted from the worktop up to the underside of your overhead cupboards. On average, wall tiling will take 1-2 days.
Glass splashbacks are a popular more contemporary choice. They require a template and fit process, which can only take place once your worktops have been installed. This could add around 14 days to your installation time.
If you have opted for LVT flooring it will be fitted as the final stage of your kitchen installation. It can take 2-3 days to be laid. Bear in mind that if you are incorporating underfloor heating, you will need to prepare this beforehand, and doing so will add an additional day or more to the process.
Now you should be free to enjoy your beautiful new kitchen!
At Ream Interiors, we have years of experience designing and installing outstanding kitchens. Our superb team of tradesmen and fitters are experts in bringing our stunning kitchens to life as seamlessly as possible. We hope that our expert guide has given you a better understanding of the process behind realising your dream kitchen and has helped to put your mind at ease. If you’d like to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team by calling 01634 799 909 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We wish you all the best with your wonderful kitchen project!
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