PLAN YOUR LAYOUT
Use graph paper to draw a plan to scale of your kitchen. Include windows and doors and all measurements. Then plan the position of cabinets, appliances, and electrical points. Moving the plumbing, gas supply, or electrical points for appliances will increase costs, as will having the washing machine, dishwasher, and sink in different locations.
CONSIDER THE LIGHTING
The right lighting is vital, especially bright task lighting in food preparation areas. Put dimmable lighting in the dining area and also include inviting ambient lighting, if possible.
VISIT A KITCHEN DESIGNER
When you know your layout and budget, get input on kitchen design from an in-store service or from an interior designer or architect. If you can, visit a total of three designers to compare prices and pick out clever design ideas.
ORDER YOUR KITCHEN
You’ll be given the choice of booking your own contractor or having the kitchen company’s workmen install your kitchen when you order it. The latter is a wise choice—although sometimes not the cheapest option—since someone familiar with the design will install it more quickly, and can easily resolve any problems with a delivery, such as the odd missing piece. If you choose your own electrician, carpenter, and plumber instead, book them now. Order appliances now, too.
REMOVE YOUR OLD KITCHEN
Once the delivery date is conﬁrmed (and not before), get your old kitchen removed. The installer you’ve booked could do this for you at an extra cost, but make sure that this price also includes the disposal of the old kitchen. Coordinate any gas, electrical, and/or plumbing removals with qualiﬁed tradespeople.
BEGIN THE ROUGH-IN
The new electrical wiring and pipes need to be installed now. Double-check the position of all the electrical receptacles, both behind appliances and at work surface level. The electrician—if not the kitchen company’s installer—will need a set of the ﬁnalized plans to get this right.
LAY THE KITCHEN FLOOR
If your ﬂoor is uneven, the appliances and cabinets won’t sit neatly, so have it leveled once any underﬂoor work has been completed. If you’re having underﬂoor heating, it can be installed at this point. Then lay the new ﬂoor and keep it well protected while the rest of the work is completed.
PLASTER AND PAINT
Wiring and plumbing make a mess of walls, so they may have to be patched. Once the plaster is dry, give the ceiling, walls, and woodwork a coat of primer and a couple of coats of paint. This will save you from having to worry about splattering your new kitchen with paint later.
TAKE DELIVERY OF THE KITCHEN
Even if the kitchen company’s workmen are installing your kitchen, it’s worth checking off all the boxes yourself when your units arrive. Open up every box to make sure that all the hinges and screws are included. Check the units for damage, too, and have them replaced as soon as possible if there are any problems
INSTALL THE CABINETS AND COUNTERTOPS
If your kitchen arrives ﬂat-packed, assemble it carefully to prevent warping later on. Begin with base units in one corner, making sure that each ﬁts well and is level before moving on. Either the workmen or you can then install the countertop.
INSTALL THE SINK AND APPLIANCES
The kitchen contractor will install the sink once the countertop is in place, unless you have chosen a composite or Corian® countertop, perhaps with an integral sink, which must be measured before being factory-cut. Allow a gap of a couple of days for this process to take place. With the sink in place, the faucets can then be connected. Wood or stone countertops may need to be treated with oil or sealed once in place. Then have a professional connect and check all your appliances.
INSTALL THE BACKSPLASH
Install the backsplash, ensuring that it is templated (measured) before being set in place to allow for the electrical receptacles. The walls may need to be touched up after this.
FINAL INSTALL—ELECTRICAL AND PLUMBING
Any wiring or plumbing that hasn’t been taken care of can be completed now, including any light ﬁxtures.
TAKE CARE OF FINAL DETAILS
Finishing touches like baseboards (or toe kicks) can be installed now, as can crown trim, doors, drawers, door handles, and so on. Check that everything works properly, from appliances to soft-closing drawers.