Preparing your kitchen for a new fitting with new appliances like a dehydrator for jerky, dishwasher etc. is half the battle and it is a very important process that must be given a lot of thought. The aim of this article is to discuss all aspects of the preparation process and will stand you in good stead for the coming remodelling.
This stage of the preparation process should never be rushed, with a consistent methodical approach being best. Even if you are not re-using any of the furniture or fixtures, it is not a good idea to go in with a sledge hammer and pulverise everything. If your kitchen is very old and some demolition work needs to be carried out on the ceiling, ask your local building authority to assess whether asbestos has been used. Asbestos is highly toxic when inhaled or ingested and it can be fatal, so be very careful. You should allow yourself at the very least a few days to carry out the work and it should be noted that your kitchen will be unavailable for use at this time, so make alternative arrangements.
Using an electric screwdriver undo all the supporting brackets that are holding the units in place and lift the kitchen units away. If the units are wedged into place, use a small to medium sized crowbar to pry the cabinets from the wall. Do not apply too much force, as this may cause damage to the wall, especially if the supporting wall is a stud or plasterboard wall. Before removing the sink, turn off the hot and cold water supplies at the main valve unit. Following this remove the support brackets for the sink and unscrew the supply pipes and waste, before attaching stop valves to the exposed pipes.
Now it is time to assess whether or not any changes are required to the existing plumbing or electricity set-up. It is always a good idea from a financial and practical standpoint, to fit your new kitchen around your existing wiring and piping but if this is not the case now is the time to make the required changes. It is much easier to amend this infrastructure before the new kitchen units and appliances have been installed. Check the original plans for the kitchen as this will let you know exactly where the plumbing and electricity outlets are located, then check for the route locations of the wiring.
Electrical and plumbing work can only be carried out by a certified professional, so do not undertake this work unless you have the necessary qualifications. More often than not, it is best to employ an outside contractor to undertake this work. Due to the fact we have carried out this work before the new kitchen has been installed, we have complete control over where the electrical and plumbing outlets can be housed. The pipework for any built-in kitchen appliances can be set as close as possible to the wall at this stage, leaving you with a more efficient use of the available space and will also help these appliances be flush with the surrounding cabinets.
Before any kitchen units are installed, you must check the quality of the surrounding walls to make sure they are stable and more importantly, that they are able to withstand the pressure of supporting the new kitchen. The plaster may need to be patched or the walls may need to be re-plastered altogether. In a worst case scenario, you may have to put up new stud walls but only do this as a last resort and always seek the advice of a professional before doing so. Do not be tempted to hide unsightly plaster work by tiling the surface, as this may hold for a couple of years but there is no longevity in this fix. If you really want to tile your walls, make sure they are fully re-plastered first, as this will stop the tiles from lifting away. This also applies to the flooring, as tiling should never be a quick fix for masking unsightly or structurally unsound surfaces.
I know this is a lot to take into account but if you can carry out this work to the standards outlined above, you should not have any issues with your new kitchen installation project.