Are you thinking of a new kitchen for the new year? We asked a Which? Trusted Trader for their tips on a successful project.
You will no doubt spend countless hours browsing showrooms. You may opt for a full refit with new worktops, units and sink, or perhaps you want to replace specific parts such as the cabinet doors. Once you have set your heart on the perfect kitchen, next comes the installation.
Some retailers offer in-house installation services or have an approved list of contractors they recommend or work with regularly. Other kitchen suppliers may sell the materials directly to the consumer, who is responsible for employing fitters themselves.
A range of trades
A kitchen installation brings together a variety of skilled trades. Carpenters, electricians, plumbers and plasterers are the standard, and you may need the services of several trades depending on your circumstances
Some contractors can provide an all in one service. You can pay a set price for the installation and they will sub contract individual tradesmen to carry out any specialist work.
You may decide that you will take ownership of the installation and organise your own tradesman. This might be because you have a trusted connection who is in the industry for instance.
Installing a kitchen should be seen as a team effort, with each trade depending on one another to be able to complete their next task.
The electrician cannot install the socket plugs without the wall having been plastered, and the carpenter cannot install the cabinets until the plumber has laid the pipes for the sinks.
This level of project management is something you need to be confident of when undertaking.
Which? Trusted Traders advice
We asked Which? Trusted Trader of the Month for December – Property Developments Plus LTD to give us their advice on how to deal with complex home improvement projects. They told us:
‘The importance of project management is often overlooked and the gravity of responsibility underestimated when planning to carry out work within their own home.
Too often I hear stories of how the kitchen renovation took months to finish, due to the inability to find a tradesman that was able to help.
A kitchen is the heart of any home, being without it for any period of time is stressful. So, with that in mind any kitchen renovation in a habitable home needs to be carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Projects like new kitchens are generally limited on space and therefore require a detailed schedule of work. You will need to get the correct order for the tradesmen to attend site, otherwise the project will fail before its even began. The best way to achieve this is to employ one person that can coordinate the entire project using their own tried and tested team of tradesman. Generally speaking, this will comprise of a team that have worked together successfully for a number of years. Each and every one of them being a vital link in a strong chain. One missing link is a broken chain.
Too often we hear stories of how the kitchen renovation took months to finish, due to the inability to find a tradesman that were able to help. I would suggest to anyone, only attempt to project manage the job yourself if you have a comprehensive understanding of the process of works and what tradesman would be needed to carry out which part of the project”
Have you ever had a new kitchen installed? If so, did you opt for an all-in-one service, or did you manage everything yourself?
And are you undertaking any home improvement projects in the new year? Let us know in the comments.