This week I have been helping a good friend of mine by fitting a new kitchen for him.
It all started well and stripping the old units out of the kitchen is always a fun thing to do, if you’ve ever seen the American Flippers you’ll know what I mean, however unlike them I did remember to turn of the water and electrics before I started. As you can probably tell once the kitchen had been cleared of all the base and wall cabinets this is where I started to find the horror home improvements that had been made over the years. There wasn’t actually that many to be honest, but all of them could have caused a lot of damage or even worse, could have ended up injuring someone.
The first little problem I needed to sort out was the rotten flooring in the corner of the room. This is a common place to find this type of problem as all the fitted units and appliances hide a small dripping leak that over time causes a lot of damage. In this case the leak had only really affected the floor boards so it was easy to cut this section out and replace them.
Then it was time to tackle the water pipes which resembled spaghetti junction, with not a single isolating valve or service valve in sight !! Having found the rising main and turn off the water earlier, I could safely remove all of the tangled copper piping and replace this with new flexible PEX piping and speedfit joints.
Next was the electrics. Now in most kitchen this normally mean that over time husbands have been ‘asked’ by their wives to add new, these are for things like that new dishwasher, washing machine or other another appliance and over time another is added, then another, and so on.
The problem is that a lot of people think that they can just keep adding these sockets and don’t think about some f the serious issues that this can cause. Electrical cables can only carry a certain amount of current before they start getting hot and if they get to hot – well that’s were a fire can start !. The general rule of thumb is that within a ring main you can have one additional socket, called a spur, running from an existing socket but in this case, I found a spur…. Off of a spur….. off of a spur….. so the of the rest of the day was spent rewiring the kitchen and making this safe. The final problem was that the cooker switch had been installed directly above the hob which would mean that if you had a pan fire and needed to turn the hob you had to reach over the flames to get to it, so this was also moved to a more convinient location.
With all of these issues sorted out actually building the kitchen was a fairly easy job, base units were all lined up, levelled off using a laser level and fixed to the wall, then the worktops where all measured, then measured again and then measured again before getting the router came out and cut to size, with the hob and sink also cut. Fitting the worktops also take a little time as they need to be persuaded into place and the concealed joint butted together with jointing paste and secured with worktop bolts. Finally the wall units were all put into place, again using a laser level to make sure they were all level.
There still a few things left to fit but I'm over the hump and can see the finish line now.