Not-very-Scottish Six Day Kitchen

So rather than restoring two wheels, I looked to tackle the kitchen and bring it from 1978 to 2010 (strange, with bikes I would have kept it 1978)

Day 1 : electrics pulled through

After over 13 years in the house, and following on from the bathroom upgrade in March, the kitchen was next on the target list. Based on my father’s successful install of Wickes kitchen, we went to the same supplier. The design was good as was the quality of the units, the only problem was the delivery time and the price of the appliances. The appliances were therefore the (surprisingly in existence) Boots Kitchen Appliances web site with over £500 of savings [[Enough to fund the start of the next bike project]].

The main issue was the cost of fitting. Even without the plumbing and electrics this came in at over £1500, so the savings if I did the work myself could be directed towards the shed (?)

Day2 end: plumbing in

Electrics needed moving around and so day 1 was spent with the brother-in-law pulling through new cables and cutting new traces. Finished the day by plastering over them, with all the wires and boxes in place. Trashed most of the old kitchen, leaving the plumbing and sink in place ready for day 2.

Day 2 was plumbing day, and took the decision to start anew, having decided to plumb in the washing machine outside of the kitchen and put it under the stairs. Also decided to solder, using compressions just to connect to the existing pipework. Had the usual fun with waste pipe and the assortment of 32mm and 40mm waste. In hindsight, should have gone for Osma solvent weld rather than compression waste, as it takes up less space. There wasn’t a lot of space behind where the fridge/freezer was planned to go and also behind the dishwasher.

Day 3: units going in

Day 3 and started by dissembling the already built corner units so as I could get them in the kitchen. Reassembled them both and got them as square as possible before then tackling the tricky task of getting the wall units to stay on the walls. The walls of the house are like rubble in places, but some really good fixings acquired from B&Q did the trick. Drill small holes (7mm) and whack in thicker (10mm) rawl plugs with the 10mm screws. All of them (around 20) went tight and seemed solid, but still used some Gripfill to make sure they would stay there.

Did some more base units, leaving the puzzle of the fridge/freezer unit to later.

Tuesday wasn’t a kitchen day, as took time off to go to work (and rest)

Day 4 : more unit building

Day 4 saw my father come down to help and after a morning shopping trip to get tiles and flooring, it was full steam ahead prepping units prior to the worktop install scheduled for the following day. Fridge/Freezer cabinet built (only to be rebuilt later once I’d found the correct decor end panel. Struggled a bit to get the wine rack built also, and there was probably a better end result than the one I achieved.,

Day 5 : worktops and gas

Day 5 (its getting hazy now) was the day of the paid-for assistance, to cut the worktops and to install the new gas hob in the worktop. Some pressure based on the schedule adopted by the gas fitters (11h00 is late afternoon in Herefordshire). Some good work by the guys from Hereford Kitchen Fitters saw the beech worktops cut and install by 16h00, with a function gas hob. Less room for me to work, but managed to get some doors fitted.

Also started on the tiling, ready for Paul to come back and install the socket covers. Adhesive on wall rather on tile is easiest, though plenty of bumps on the wall required the splurge method.

Day 5.8: appliances and tiling

Day 6 saw the appliances installed and more work on the units. Getting the dishwasher installed was 3 hours of pain and had to move the waste back behind the neighbouring unit to make space. The Fridge-Freezer cabinet was modified once I’d located the (not small) tongue-and-groove deco end panel. Couldn’t attach it directly on the outside, of the built cabinet as not enough spare to squeeze in the waste down the side

Day 6.5 : 99% there

Finished the tiling, got the electrics finished off and then ready for grouting (grouting trowel makes this very easy) and also putting down the laminate floor. Also installed the plinths with the final niggle cutting it down under the dishwasher to allow the door to open…

Lots of satisfaction in completing and though I can’t go and ride it in a trial or scramble, I can at least make dinner when I get back. I am worried that I may be now addicted to DIY, especially with the recent bathroom project as well….

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