With the recent boom in online sales for flat pack kitchens, more people are choosing to take on the planning, purchasing and fitting of their own kitchens, so I decided to have a look at some pro’s and con’s of starting a DIY kitchen project.
COST –The main reason for taking on a project of this size, a full kitchen refit, is often to keep costs down. Numerous companies are offering ‘interest free’ or ‘buy now pay later’ options on their websites and at showrooms to encourage buyers to buy everything they need in one quick easy purchase, which makes it very appealing for any prospective kitchen fitters to design and fit the perfect kitchen easily on paper and choose to cut out the expensive shop markups. On-going costs are also generally kept to a minimum as the usual need for experienced kitchen fitters is not needed as you can plan on doing most of the work yourself.
LEAD TIME – When ordering direct from a supplier the lead times for delivery are much shorter than they generally are if you are buying from a store or local kitchen fitters as the flat pack boxes are stored in warehouses and can quickly be dispatched by courier within hours rather than weeks. In my experience, specialist kitchen companies can take anywhere from 6 to 16 weeks for delivery as they are often are dependent on fitting around their installation team.
TIME – Taking on a kitchen refit can take anything from 2 to 3 days if you have joinery skills, or up to 2 to 3 weeks to undertake with no previous experience. This often means taking time off employment to take on the work, which will more often than not take longer than you plan – I have heard many cases of people taking a week off work to re-do a kitchen, only to be still doing it a couple of months later as once you’ve used up all your holiday time they can only do the rest of it on evenings and weekends!
QUALITY – Just like any industry, there are experts who specialize in their field and people who think they are experts. The experts have years of training and experience which means they know plenty of methods for things like ‘how get the perfect edge on a corner unit’, or a ‘smooth join on a worktop’. Experienced home DIY’ers might be great at putting together Ikea bedroom furniture, but the complex nature of kitchen cabinets, or measuring sink holes, aligning kitchen hinges on the cupboard doors, and many other things like that, which are a completely different issue which normally results in a far from perfect finish.
KNOWLEDGE – There are many parts involved in the make-up of a kitchen, and even the most experienced and helpful kitchen suppliers will only be able to give you so much advice to get you going. It’s really easy to choose the cupboard doors and worktops in the finish you want, but we don’t automatically think about things like the weight the drawers are going to take? If it’s a drawer made for cutlery then that’s not too heavy, but if it’s going to be a drawer for pots and pans are the drawer runners going to take the weight?
My Conclusion – I like to think like this – replacing a kitchen is a very large expense, often on par with a purchase such as a car, so along that idea would you ever buy a flat pack kit to build your family car? Most people would reply with a ‘no’, so therefore why would you put this large investment at risk by cutting corners? We say always use professional kitchen fitters – they have build up experience and are often so efficient that the cost for their time is really not as much as you think.Hu17.net - It's all about Beverley