Before Planning and Designing your Kitchen - 1
Important points to think about.
Dream Kitchens has put the following information together to help you understand the skills required to install a kitchen and the basic requirements to enable the layout to work.
Cost is the First Important Decision:
Before you even begin to look at kitchens it is important to decide how much you have to spend. The budget is one of the first questions we would like to ask, without it we cannot guide you to the appropriate range of cabinet doors, type of worktops, amount of accessories, and quality of appliances.
For you it helps avoid unnecessary disappointment when your dream kitchen struggles to get half way through because the budget can't make it. Think costs, be realistic, e.g laminated worktops costs £100's, granite, Corian and quartz costs £1,000's, glass worktops can be more than granite, ovens can be as low a £150 to over a £1,000. There is plenty in between, but quality is generally based on - you get what you pay for, or whether you really want to pay extra for that 'WOW' factor!
Installation Skills required to Fit a Kitchen:
Fitting a kitchen requires a great deal of expertise, and even the more advanced DIY′er will have difficulty carrying out an installation to the legal standards required, without outside help. There are a wide range of skills involved, and you will need to have knowledge in the following trades; Carpentry, Plumbing and Tiling, but the Government insists that all Gas and Electrics must now be carried out by a competent qualified tradesman.
Often before a new kitchen is undertaken, we have to repair damaged walls after tiles are removed by re-plastering or skimming walls, repair or replace ceilings, level floors, install new gas and plumbing pipework and install new electrical points. In more involved kitchens walls are removed, beams installed, windows altered or re-sized and doorways and hatches blocked or created.
None of this is for the faint hearted and building skills are essential. If you are thinking of a new kitchen, try and think of the bigger picture before making an impulsive buying decision on a DIY venture that you may regret.
We have listed some of the more common problems that can arise.
Start by asking yourself the following questions -
• The ceiling is cracked and it is artexed, will i be able to repair it?
• What condition are all the walls in, do i need to plaster?
• The floors are unlevel and both timber and concrete, what do i do?
• If i lay a timber or laminated floor, how does that effect appliances?
• Is the lighting adequate, i would like ceiling downlighters?
• I want a gas hob, but how am i to get the gas to the kitchen?
• How am i going to move that radiator which is in the way?
• I need the extractor ducted out, how am i going to do it?
• Have i got enough electrical sockets and supplies to appliances?
• Do I need to add to, or alter any other services?
• Will changing the door hang give me more access?
• Just how good are my tiling skills?
• What other problems am i liable to get?
Be realistic, don′t forget:
To be realistic with your work as well as the money. At the very least you will require new flooring, new wall tiles, electrical and possibly gas work and most important, at the end of the installation - redecorating.
Make sure you have an adequate budget to finish, you will be very disappointed if you are left with a partially completed kitchen with no funds to complete.
The Gas Safe Register replaced the CORGI gas register in Great Britain and the Isle of Man on 1 April 2009, The Goverment now states that it is compulsory that all Gas installations of any kind must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Gas Safe Register is run by Capita Gas Registration and Ancillary Services Limited, a division of Capita Group Plc.
The Gas Safe Register is the official gas registration body for Great Britain (GB) and Isle of Man, appointed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for Great Britain and HSWI for Isle of Man.
The Gas Safe Register has now replaced Corgi as the gas registration body in GB. The HSE carried out a review of gas safety in 2006 which, after consultation with the gas industry, engineers and the public, led to the decision to change to a new gas registration scheme. The contract to run the new scheme was awarded to Capita and they launched Gas Safe Register. The sole focus of the register is on improving gas safety.
What about CORGI, the old gas scheme?
The CORGI gas registration scheme in Great Britain and the Isle of Man ended on 31 March 2009. It is no longer recognised by law as the gas safety register. CORGI is now called ′GAS SAFE′
Check the Safety of your Gas Appliances
Download this brochure from Health & Safety Exec, (HSE) Gas Appliances - Get them checked, keep them safe.
The Government have also introduced new rules in England and Wales on carrying out electrical work in the home in an effort to reduce the number of deaths, injuries and fires caused by faulty electrical installations. The changes mean that from 1st January 2005, any person carrying out electrical work in residential dwellings must be competent to do so, as required by Approved electrical document Part "P" for Building Regulations.
In addition to being competent, certain areas of electrical work must be either notified to the relevant local authority Building Control Department, or notified through a qualified person, who is registered with the Part P self-certification scheme.
Residual Current Devices (RCD)
The biggest change from the 16th to 17th edition part P, is the Residual Current Device (RCD). The use of RCDs are recognised as a means of providing additional protection in the event of failure of the provision for basic protection, as an additional means of fault protection, and to protect against carelessness by users.
An RCD can detect changes in the correct flow of electric current e.g. when a flex or cable is cut, or an electrical tool or appliance has a fault. When this happens within milliseconds, the RCD automatically disconnects the power supply to all the equipment before you can be electrocuted or any further damage can be done to the faulty item.
Please download this small phamplet supplied by the Electrical Safety Council to explain RCDs.
Please contact us to discuss your requirements.