Need to know:
- Significant savings to be made
- Electrical regulations must be adhered to
- Strict timetable helps minimise disruption
Reasons for going down the DIY route vary. It’s almost always cheaper – assuming you have a degree of competence and all the right tools. Some relish the satisfaction of taking on such a challenge. And for some people doing it themselves is the only way they can keep overall control of the project and ensure that everything is done exactly as they want it.
However, whether it’s a question of simply installing new units or stripping the room right out and starting again from scratch, you will almost certainly need help for some parts of the project.
It might simply be a question of an extra pair of hands to help with fitting wall cabinets, in which case you can probably call on friends or family.
For plumbing and electrical work, however, you might need professional input. This will probably be well worth the additional cost if you have no experience in these fields. You should bear in mind, too, the strict regulations governing electrical work. These stipulate that it should be carried out by a qualified electrician who is approved to undertake and certify such work. Alternatively, if you undertake the work yourself, it must be separately certified by a qualified contractor. Failure to notify building control is a criminal offence.
You should allow more time if you are installing a new kitchen yourself. Professional tradesmen who spend all their working days fitting kitchens know all those ‘tricks of the trade’ that make for quick and slick completion.
You, on the other hand, will be going down the ‘trial and error’ route. However this means that you are more likely to spend as long as it takes to ensure that each part of the project is finished perfectly and that any glitches that occur will be ironed out and not simply glossed over. A contractor working to a fixed price may not be able to afford to be so scrupulous.
If you do choose to take on the project yourself consult other family members so they know what to expect. Doing work in the kitchen can be particularly disruptive, especially for a family with young children, so ensure that you make sensible provision for food preparation, washing up and laundry while the project is progressing.
The kitchen is the hub of the home and vital to the smooth running of the household, so draw up a realistic timetable at the start of the project and aim to stick to it.
Doing it yourself is certainly not the easy option but it could be the one that brings the most lasting satisfaction.