The DIY Kitchen Renovation – Step By Step

Along with a bathroom renovation, the kitchen revamp is one of the most desirable upgrades in a home today. Not only is it a chance to introduce some incredible design features into the home but it will more likely than not add value to the property. Kitchens these days are works of technological art, including the latest fittings and materials along with space age appliances. Luckily, it is still easy to install the latest kitchens yourself because all of the cabinets come in modular form.

If you have decided that enough is enough, and your old kitchen has to go in favour of a designer alternative, you have come to the right place. Here is how to install your own, step by step.


When you have chosen the kitchen of your dreams, it is easy to decide on the layout. You do not need to use a computer to do it, just a pencil and some paper. Firstly, draw the floorplan of your kitchen at a scale to fit your page. Mark all of the windows and doors on it, to the same scale. Then, cut out the shapes of all of the cabinets and appliances to the same scale. When you have done that, you can put them on the floor plan and move them all around until you come up with the perfect design for you. Just remember to keep the refrigerator near to where you will be making the tea, and you won’t go far wrong.

Remove The Old Kitchen

You must employ an electrician and gas engineer for your kitchen; they are two areas of work where you need help. It is against the law for you to tamper with gas supplies, but you can install the wiring and pipework yourself to their specifications, so they can make the final connections and carry out the appropriate tests. For this part of the job, you must call them in to disconnect the old supplies. When it is safe to do so, remove all of the cabinets and fittings.

First Fix

You have the plan of your kitchen, so you know where everything is going to go. Before bringing in any cabinets, you must install the pipework for the plumbing and gas, and the cables for the electricity. Remember, you must not tamper with live wiring or gas supplies.

The pipework for the plumbing is easy, you can adapt what is already there to suit the new sink and appliances. Turn off the water supply and set to work. You can use compression joints for the hot and cold feeds, so there is no need to use a blowtorch if you have never practiced with one. If you do choose to use solder, however, use  yorkshire joints that have a ring of it incorporated within them. To apply the joint, clean the end of the pipes with wire wool, put some flux on them, apply the joint, and heat it until you see a ring of solder appear.

You can put the wires in for the sockets, cooker, main lights and kitchen under cabinet lighting yourself. The electrician will have advised you how to do it correctly. Sink all of the new back boxes into the walls and run the cables to them. It will be worth your while to investigate the principle behind a ring main for the sockets because that is the circuit you will use.


When the first fix is complete, you must make the walls perfect. Firstly, fill any holes you have made with browning. That is the plaster that goes on the wall first. When that is complete, you must skim the walls with a thin coat of finishing plaster. Coat the walls with some PVA adhesive first. Work on one wall at a time using a plasterer’s float. Once you master the technique, it will not take long to finish the room.

The Floor

If you are tiling the floor, then you must lay it before the new units go in. Remove all of the old floorings and scrape the surface clean. Then put down a thin layer of self-levelling screed. It is a magical product that will give you a perfectly level floor to work on. Then you can begin tiling from the center of the room outwards.


The cabinets come with adjustable legs so that you level them efficiently. When they are in place, fix them to each other first, and then to the walls. There should be no movement in them after that, and check that they are perfectly level.

Mount the wall cupboards next. Try to install them at the correct height so that you will not need to cut any tiles for the splashback.


You may have ordered stone worktops that are pre-cut. If you have, they go on next. If you need to cut some laminate worktops to fit, use a good power saw and a straightedge to do it. Use a router and a corner jig to make any joints seamless. That is a difficult job, so be prepared to ask advice from someone who has done it before.


When the worktops are in place, set to work on tiling the splashback. The quality of the workmanship here will affect the whole kitchen. The tiles must be perfectly level with identical joints.


Install the sink and bring the electrician and gas engineer back to connect all of the outlets and appliances for you.

Doors And Drawers

Thanks to modern hinges and catches, the doors and drawer fronts are easy to fit. When they are in place, adjust them until they are perfectly level. Over time, you may find that some extra adjustment is necessary as you will always cast a critical eye over your workmanship.

You should now be the proud owner of a stunning kitchen. You must decorate the rest of the room and provide the window dressings, but the bulk of the work is complete. It all seems very easy when we list the jobs like this, but it is hard and sometimes intricate work that will test your metal. Having said that, it is all within the capabilities of the average DIY fan, so there is no reason not to give it a go. Good luck with yours, I hope it goes well.

Image credit: Chalon Handmade on Flickr.


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