Handypersons DIY Guide to Kitchen Renovations
For someone who watches The Block or House Rules but who doesn’t have much of an idea about construction or renovating, the idea of a DIY kitchen renovation can seem daunting.
It doesn’t have to be. Renovations of a kitchen, like any DIY project, are all about breaking down the project into smaller, more manageable chunks. And while every kitchen is slightly different, we’ve set out the major steps that you should consider to get you started (or at least give you an idea).
Removing the Old Kitchen
Unless you’ve purchased a new home and your kitchen renovation is starting from a ‘blank slate’, then you’re going to have to do some removal and demolition first.
The first and most important step here is to turn off the power to the home. All electricity should be off and double and triple checked before any removal or demolition takes place. A voltage tester is a small investment in your safety, and you should purchase one well before you actually get started on any removal activities.
There’s DIY, and there’s leaving some things to the experts. If you want to remove, change, or relocate any power points or cables, this is absolutely a job for a qualified electrician.
It’s also important to turn off the water. The last thing you want is a knock to a pipe or tap resulting in a torrent of water flooding your kitchen as you are trying to transform it!
If the kitchen is fitted for gas, make sure this is turned off at the valve. This might be behind where the appliances used to sit at the wall or the gas meter.
Protecting the Space and House
The other thing to do pre-renovation is to invest in protective materials for the house and the kitchen. Drop cloths both serve the purpose of protecting against scratches, damage from dropped materials, and stains from spills.
Don’t just cover the floors in the work area. Because of dirty shoes and dust, the grit from renovating can go through a house pretty quickly. That’s why drop cloths across any foot traffic areas (e.g. from the back or front door to the kitchen) and plastic sheeting to seal off adjoining rooms can be really useful.
While we recommend that you contract the services of a professional kitchen installer (we can put you in touch with our recommended ones), should you decide to undertake this on your own, we have some tips to help guide you.
While installation tips are many and varied, we think the most common things to do right definitely fall into the ‘prepare well’ category.
First of all, you’ll want to check and double-check the measurements of any new flat-pack cabinets that you’ve ordered against the plan provided and empty space into which they are meant to go. Even if you were super careful in your initial measurements when you ordered your new DIY cabinets, there’s always a possibility that you made a mistake. So it’s worth double-checking that your pre-assembled Kitchen Shack cabinets are going to fit in the spaces before beginning the install.
Using the plan provided and a builder’s pencil to mark all the positions of where the new cabinets and kitchen components are going to go, as well as a spirit level to ensure everything is lined up correctly.
It’s also a good rule of thumb to start the installation with a corner cabinet and work outward from there as the right angles of a corner give a solid ‘anchor point’ for your new kitchen.
Of course, this is just a brief summary to installing a new DIY kitchen, and your circumstances and home may vary. You will always receive a DIY Installation Manual to complete your Kitchen Reno project. The majority of customers contract a Recommended Installer so their kitchen will be finished in a quicker, easier timeframe.
If you’d like some more personalised advice, our team of professionals at Kitchen Shack can help with our many years of experience. Our three conveniently located showrooms in Preston, Maribyrnong and Kilsyth are staffed by a friendly, experienced team who are here to answer all of your questions.