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5 posts

Wannabe Geek

# 217731 10-Jul-2017 13:56

hi all


Interested in hearing people's experiences with a DIY kitchen reno. Obviously hiring builders, plumbers and sparkies to do the job but actually "project managing" the job yourself. 




How long are we likely looking at from demo'ing current L shaped kitchen to installing new medium sized galley from Mitre 10, plus flooring. 




Any on the job learnings I should be aware of? Note: Not moving any plumbing or appliances. 

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2523 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 1818862 10-Jul-2017 14:09
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Not quite an answer to your question, but we had Kitchen Mania build and install our kitchen. They had a sale on which included 'free' installation. They are pretty smart and the prices seemed good. All the drawers and cupboards are soft and self closing, and they installed a really useful Hafele double swing-out shelf in a corner cupboard.


I think there was about a two month lead time from deposit payment through to delivery. We then dicked them around endlessly as due to delays from other tradies onsite we were not in a position to receive the kitchen components. They put up with us!


The installer was a contractor who didn't have good English language and moaned about having to carry heavy bench tops into the site (despite our builder helping him).


We had a couple of post install design issues - doors that could swing open to far and hit other doors or walls. They came out promptly and without charge to put some sort of invisible stay on them to limit the opening enough to prevent this. We also added a door to a cupboard that had been open shelves which they did with little fuss. I'd use them again.


This was a total kitchen rebuild so nothing really stayed in the same place.



150 posts

Master Geek

  # 1818867 10-Jul-2017 14:15
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Funnily enough we used Kitchen Mania as well last year and were very happy with them.




However, you asked for learnings.  One thing we did do which was very worthwhile was get the lighting moved at the same time.  We also didn't move any plumbing or appliances, but there was only 2 lights in the kitchen.  Getting the electrician to put in some new LED lights in better places was very worthwhile as he already had to come out for the rangehood and additional power sockets (you can never have too many sockets!)


1047 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1818881 10-Jul-2017 14:34
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Not moving any of your existing appliances will be a retrofit to your existing shape and working around it.


I have done a similar job recently using Sonic Kitchens - 


They were very sharp on price, they do the measures and removal of existing kitchen and retro fit it with the way you want it along with materials you want it. 


Then it's just the matter of getting a plumber and sparky as you said to remove and install while they work with your kitchen. It is the timing that is the key so you get less disrupted. I found most of the times the sparky is busy and cannot come to disconnect the oven from the wall and the kitchen cabinet guy cannot remove or install new one before he does that etc. 


If you can negotiate with the kitchen guy to have their own guys - they work out the timings on their own. I tried to save some money by arranging my own sparky and plumbers which at the end possibly saved a few dollars but it did cause a hassle unless offcourse if they really turn up on time they promise. 

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Uber Geek

  # 1818935 10-Jul-2017 15:35
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Hardware - drawer sliders, hinges etc makes a huge difference. 


We went with Blum hardware - soft closing, self closing doors and cupboards.  We have since moved and the standard hardware in the new place still feels inferior after 3 years.


I'm also a big fan of pull out drawers in the pantry.  We went with Blum wire basket shelves behind doors for most of the pantry.  Looks great when closed and fast and easy to get stuff in and out.


Also specialised drawers in the cooking zone.  Drawer within drawer for spices and implements.  Pull out rack for oils, vinegars etc.


15283 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1818943 10-Jul-2017 15:45
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Hafele also do all the door and sliding hardware. Pays to go for good quality hardware.

Baby Get Shaky!
1652 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1818945 10-Jul-2017 15:50
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Not sure how old your current kitchen is but you may find that once you remove the old joinery there's no gib behind it (as was the case with our original 1950's kitchen). We did our kitchen 2 years ago and self managed everything from new gib (whole room), new electrical, new plumbing, new flooring and install. It was a hard time and not something I would do again in a hurry. Tradies are so unreliable that half our time seemed to be spent re-organising everything again and again as we had everything initially planned to quite a tight schedule. We didn't plan on regibbing, nor on a complete re-wire nor on new plumbing but as we progressed each became necessary.


Good luck!

22746 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1818946 10-Jul-2017 15:53
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Tradies are unreliable when you self manage because there is no fallout from it. If its another trade requesting them they are usually a lot better at turning up since future work depends on it.


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