New Kitchen? How to Project Manage

New Kitchen? How to Project Manage

Before I get on a roll with this blog, let me emphasise the need to hire professionals who are qualified and approved by a representative and regulatory body to undertake the work. This is particularly important when hiring a person to undertake the gas, electric and plumbing work in your new kitchen.

I’ll assume also, that you have the dimensions for the room in which your kitchen is to be installed whether that be a new extension or an existing space.

Planning your New Kitchen

Ok, so we have a shell of nothing more than brick, breeze block or studded elevations, the ceiling joists are in place ready to accept new plasterboard and your floor joists are in awaiting the boards being laid, unless of course, it isn’t suspended in which case your builder will have already laid a concrete finish.

For most, a new kitchen will be installed in a room already plastered and housing an electrical, gas and plumbing supply but the principles are the same, if a little more difficult given the amount of chiselling new channels into the existing plaster, you’ll have to do.

First step before any building work is to take place is to decide on your new kitchen and it’s design. It may be that you are undertaking design of the new kitchen yourself or are sourcing both from your kitchen provider. Kitchen design however, is not just a matter of placing a few pretty icons on a paper grid and assuming they will fit into your shell with ease. You will have to take the time to research the sizes available for both wall and floor cabinets, from your preferred supplier if you are to undertake this yourself.

Perhaps this part of the project is best defined as planning and the design element is better defined as to how you make that plan fit your own needs, lifestyle and ergonomics. I”m already drifting into a whole different area with my design musings here but safe to say that a specialist designer will take all this into account before providing you with a layout that fits.

Deciding on the Layout

So, we now have drawings, both birds eye and elevation to work to and you will require a copy for each separate trade who you hire to undertake the work. One for the plumber, one for the spark, one for the gas fitter and one for your installer.

Before handing them over you need to decide on layouts for lights and sockets. You may also have a fridge/freezer or coffee machine or steam oven that is located away from the sink/dishwasher area that requires a water feed. All of this info needs to be included and marked clearly on a first fix layout drawing. Use both elevations and birds eye plans to display the locations clearly.

Co-ordinating the trades

Co-ordination is important and in a large kitchen it’s feasible to have two trades working on first fix work but the same isn’t true of smaller designs and separate days for each trade may be a good thing.

First up is the electrician who will layout the wiring for sockets, appliance feeds and lighting and apply protective capping before the plasterer arrives. The plasterer may only be patch plastering for an existing room or he may be plastering a whole extension in which case sufficient drying out time is necessary before installing the cabinets. After plastering it’s time to schedule the plumber and gas fitter to install first fix feeds and waste pipes for your appliance locations.

Another assumption I made here is that the plumbing is already located within easy access of an area in which a relevant appliance is located. After the initial planning stage it is essential to ensure this and prior to boarding the floor or ceiling, good use of these hidden spaces can be given over to laying of pipes or wires required in each area of your new kitchen.

Next up is the kitchen installer who, if you’ve got the first fix layout spot on, will be rubbing his hands together and displaying his gnashers with a big smile because all he’ll have to do is fix in place your cabinets without the need to wait for other trades working around him. If that person is you and you fancy yourself as a kitchen installer then set yourself a comfortable time frame before scheduling the next stage.

Once the cabinets are in place it’s time to install the Worktops. If you’ve chosen bespoke worktops such as Corian or Silestone, then you will have scheduled the templater to arrive the day you finished laying the last cabinet in place and you can liaise with him on how you wish your surfaces fabricated.

You may be installing your own laminate worktops or the kitchen installer may be fitting these, either way, care must be taken for the next stage which is the final fix services connections and the decoration of the kitchen. Protection of worktops, cabinets and doors is critical as there may well be two or three trade wishing to use them as platforms to make it a little easier to undertake their final fix connections. A good supply of hardy protective sheet bound down with tape should be placed over the worktops and doors to protect them from the final fixers.

After all your paint finishes, tiles, splash backs and final connections have been made, remove the protective sheets and clear the area of dust.

Polish up those surfaces in preparation for the final stage –

Dressing the Kitchen

Now this part I can’t assist you with and I guess if you heard some of my suggestions you’d laugh your socks off but I see nothing at all wrong with a nice set of MUFC mugs in the glass display cabinet.

Whatever your choices I wish you luck and if you need some assistance on the points raised here, remember we’re interactive on many platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and you are most welcome to leave a comment on this very blog so fire away if you wish and good luck with your projects.

Worktop Factory Update!!

If you didn’t already know, we now offer the revolutionary Puustelli Miinus Kitchen, which features in the government backed Flood Resilient House at the Building Research Establishment in Watford. The range takes the evolution of kitchens to another level and was developed entirely on ecological grounds. It’s a huge improvement on what conventional ranges have to offer and to learn more check out our Introduction to the range.


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