Deciding to put in a new kitchen is not something you can decide on a whim. There are important considerations to take into account before you lift the first screwdriver or visit the DIY store.
Can I afford it?
Completely replacing a kitchen can be a bottomless pit financially. You need to set a budget and do your best to stick to it. You may find that structurally, your kitchen cabinets are in good shape and you can give you kitchen a make-over simply by replacing cabinet doors, worktops and tiling. This can represent substantial savings.
How do I use my kitchen?
Think of the ways in which you use your current kitchen, is it a family space with a table, would a breakfast bar be suitable, do you need plenty of cupboard space, is a wine fridge a good idea. How often do you entertain, do you hate washing up? Think about how your new kitchen will fit into your lifestyle or even change it and try to incorporate these ideas into your new design.
How long will it take?
If you are planning on replacing your kitchen yourself you must expect to be spending a minimum of 3-4 weeks without a working kitchen. Of course an expert may be able to do this in a shorter time. You need to work out how you are going to survive during that time and perhaps think of alternative arrangements in another room.
Do I need structural work?
If you want to extend your kitchen, knock out walls or open up spaces you will need to enquire about planning and building regulations. You must do this before you start and wait for all the legal processes to be complete before you knock down anything. A builder or architect will be able to advise you or contact your planning office.
Do I need expert help?
Electrical work in a kitchen must be carried out by a qualified part P registered electrician. So if you need to move electrical points or add sockets or lighting then you must start looking around for the right person to help you. When removing or installing gas appliances or moving gas fittings, you need a Gas Safe registered gas engineer to this for you. Do not attempt to do this type of work yourself as you insurance may be invalidated.
Have I considered health and safety?
Before you lift a hammer make sure you have all the correct safety gear. This means goggles, heavy duty gloves, steel capped boots, hard hats and even reflective vests if you will be going out to a skip on the road. Don't take risks and always consider your safety and that of others before you start any job.