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Question by Chris D: How do you go about fitting your own kitchen?
Overspent on the budget and now I’m gonna have to fit it myself. It’s a simple L shape with inter-grated hob, canape, washer, fridge and sink. I’m gonna organise someone to do the electrics but will be fitting it myself. Anybody know any do’s and don’ts or anything I should know about before I start. I’m a plasterer by trade and haven’t got a clue about joinery or kitchen fitting – Help!
Answer by thewrangler_sw
“Hob, canape, and washer” — I take it this home isn’t in the US, hehehe….
First, you want to check with your local building authority to see if you need to pull permits for any of this work, and if you need to have a licensed pro sign off on it. (Some pro’s are willing to inspect your work and sign off on it, but many aren’t, it may take some searching on your part to find one that will work with you).
Plumbing — do it right the first time. Don’t use any ‘quick connect’ fittings in hard to reach areas, or you’ll regret it later, when they leak. TEST the plumbing while it is easy to access.
Electrical — when in doubt call an electrician — make a mistake with the plumbing, and you can get wet, make a mistake with the electrical, and someone can die. On that cheerful note – here in the USA, appliances like the refrigerator, microwave, and washing machines MUST be on a dedicated circuit. Here, that means a 20 amp circuit breaker, 12-2w/ground ‘romex’, and a 20 amp rated outlet. Standard wiring can be 14 gauge here. 14 gauge is SMALLER than 12 gauge, and is only rated for 15 amps.
Any outlets within 6 feet of a water source MUST be GFCI outlets, or run to a GFCI breaker. I prefer to use the heavier 12 gauge wiring throughout all of my work for standard 110v wiring. It costs a bit more, but it is safer.
Don’t overload any one circuit – plan ahead, and put in enough circuits and outlets to handle everything you think you might want to run.
Cabinetry – Install the bottom units first (saves you from banging your head on the uppers, hehehe). Level them with shims, and screw them to the wall, and to each other. I like to use this little piece of hardware to bolt the countertops together, along a seam –
I also like to cut a spline joint into the edge with a router, and glue a spline in place. Between the spline and the ‘titejoint’ fasteners, it makes for a very strong joint.
Where possible, use a router to cut any openings in the countertops, particularly if they are laminate. I like to use a spiral router bit, with the spiral cutting into the laminate – no chip out.
There’s more to be said, but there is a text limit on these answers, hehehe.
Add your own answer in the comments!
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