With more than 13,000 installation member firms, the Federation of Master Builders is the largest trade association in the UK building industry. For help and guidance on your project, click here for the Federation of Master Builders website.
Your kitchen project is going to take the greatest proportion of the planned budget and can cost you the greatest amount of money if you get it wrong.
Here are some basic rules to help you get the best from kitchen installation companies and fitters.
Always get 3 or more quotations.
Don't be fooled into thinking your are going to get "like for like" quotations from different companies; every supplier will try to include something that no-one else can; fitters will be wanting to ensure the kitchen design falls in line with how they want to install it.
Ask yourself, "Can I trust the person and the organisation they represent."
Do you get the feeling they are trying to sell you something or, do they seem genuine about their product and services? Are they asking you relevant questions about what you want and, are they listening to you? Does the design solution they offer have all the elements of what you have discussed? If the answer to these questions is, "no", the chances are, they are not necessarily into customer service.
Ask for details of 2 or 3 of their local customer's to talk to or, better still visit.
This is very important as these kitchen fitters are going to be a significant part of your life for a week or two and you want to know that they will treat you and your home with the greatest of respect; most kitchen companies and fitters will have examples of previous work however, these would have been selected by the designer; the best tip is to ask to see the last two contracts they completed even if one of them went wrong - this will help you assess how they put things right; it will also give you an insight about how the installers work with regard to cleanliness and health and safety.
Here's the science ...
Across European countries, more and more in the UK, and specifically in the United States there are regulations and guidelines to adhere to where building work and services installations are being undertaken.
The UK is generally following requirements from the European Union with regards to permit requirements and regulating refurbishment projects - especially where there are gas, electricity and water alterations to be completed.
Please click on the links to find out what you can and can't do under Part P Electrical Regulations that came into force a few years ago.
You should know that it is very dangerous to fit any gas appliances or pipe-work unless the fitter is a CORGI registered Gas Installation Fitter. The fitter should show identification confirming this registration.
There are less regulations concerning water and drainage however, it is the cause of many over-charges from fitting companies as they can rightly claim that the condition and size of discharge pipes could not be assessed until the kitchen is ripped out. To help you understand a few of the basic elements of water and drainage, we have included this link to our Water Guidelines section.
Finally, to help you assess the positioning of appliances and review other aspects of your kitchen refurbishment project, please follow this link to our Health and Safety page.
Knowledge is power; we hope with this little extra knowledge you can enjoy and contribute more to the very important part of your kitchen project ... the installation.