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Replacing kitchen doors and worktops

Giving your kitchen a whole new look by replacing the cabinet doors, worktops, or both, is a great way to make your home your own or update  a tired kitchen, without the expense of stripping out all the existing fittings.

Whether you're going to buy kitchen cabinet doors pre-made or have your joiner make them from scratch, the first thing you need to know is the size of each individual door. A good carpenter or joiner can advise you on fitting as well as the materials are best suited to your existing cupboards.

Solid wood doors have a rustic and timeless appeal, while a modern look can be achieved using synthetic materials, often made from wooden composites with a polymer coating. While hardwoods doors may last a lifetime if properly cared for, be prepared to change other kitchen cupboard doors as fashions change.

Your joiner or carpenter will be able to advise you on whether to order custom sized doors from the manufacturer or if they can make modifications for you. At this stage it is also important to consider any wooden or other facades hiding kitchen appliances.

You may also wish to take advice on whether your existing hinges and handles will support your new choice of doors and consider whether they will be in keeping with your new style, it may be time to change them.

Replacing kitchen worktops is a serious job. Options include slate, marble, stone, various woods, metals synthetic materials, which all require different specialised skills to cut and put in place, and all offer you different properties that you may want in your kitchen. One very important consideration is the difference care regimes for different kinds of surfaces, and their ability to withstand scrapes and contact with hot objects.

Having an expert measure the size of your existing worktops, as well as any holes and cutouts for sinks and appliances, will ensure you order the right size of replacement. Make sure you get an accurate date for delivery and fitting from your supplier, and from your carpenter or joiner, as your kitchen may be out of use for more than a day, meaning you will have to make alternative arrangements.

Depending on the complexity of the job, hiring a specialised kitchen fitter might be more suited than a more general tradesperson, but don't be afraid to ask whether a carpenter has undertaken this kind of work before, especially if investing in expensive marble, slate or other materials. When replacing entire kitchen units a specialist fitter is almost always recommended.

And the next step is to make use of all that fantastic space!

Perhaps the job most synonymous with DIY projects, putting up shelves is a lot more complicated than it first seems. The first step is deciding the type of shelves that best suit your walls.

Fixed bracket shelves are perhaps the most commonly found kind and can be put up almost anywhere. They rely on two or more brackets, usually made from wood or metal, which hold up the shelf and the items on it in a way that is easy to understand. From cheap and utilitarian steel brackets to wooden brackets crafted by hand, the options are practically limitless. Top hung brackets are similar to fixed brackets, but the shelf is suspended below them.

Floating shelves, which don’t have brackets in the traditional sense, are secured to your walls using a hidden brackets or heavy duty bolts, giving the appearance of floating while being strong enough to take the weight of books, ornaments and other items. To create the strength required, floating shelves are often made of engineered composite woods and sold as a specific product.

Built in shelves fit into the existing nooks and spaces of a home, such as those next to a fireplace. They often rest on ledges at each end, fixed to the wall with screws, but can also be supported by brackets. Corner shelves are a great use of space and like built in shelves, can be supported with brackets or custom supports.

In addition the brackets, the material a shelf is made from affects how strong it is, not to mention giving you various authentic options. Your joiner or carpenter can advise you on which shelves fit your budget, are suitable for your walls and make the best use of space.

Most important tool if doing it yourself is a spirit level.  There’s nothing worse than a shelf that isn’t straight as every time you look at it you will notice!

 

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