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What you secretly need to know when buying a new kitchen!

Chris Turnbull

What you secretly need to know when buying a new kitchen!

Everybody we speak to about what we do, friends, neighbours, clients, everybody reading this blog will have experienced or heard about the kitchen company from hell.  Stories about poor fits, leaky plumbing – you name it we’ve probably heard it.

And despite the fact that often all we can do is sympathise, such stories are a regular reminder to everybody involved in our business as to the level of trust people are showing us when they commit to buying their new kitchen from us and that we will never walk off a job until a client is truly happy.  And, as a result, we’ve never had any issues with unhappy customers.

Why?  Because we’re great believers in the fact that a good job starts with the right preparation so the very best tip we can give about selecting the right kitchen retailer is to look at the quality of the survey they undertake for you when making their home visit.

As a result we place a great deal of emphasis on our survey.  You’ll find us checking everything as we’d rather have too much information than risk making an error at a later stage.  So, our teams will always:

  • Measure the ceiling height checking if there’s any coving, or a beam or RSJ installed
  • Measure all walls, doors, windows and hatches including soil pipes
  • Measure the height and width and the height from the floor  of any windows
  • Note and measure internal/external doors and check whether they open in or out
  • Check if the boiler is in the kitchen and, if so, measure height, width, depth and the  height from floor
  • Check for pipes and anything else that could cause a problem for fitters when they go on site.
  • Look to see if any pipes will need moving/removing or adjusting during the installation.  We even look to determine where the stop-cock is in relation to sink!
  • Check gas installations and, if so, advise that a Gas Safe Registered engineer will be required to complete any works.
  • Observe the electrics to see if they are up to date with current legislation and explain any issues that clients need to know e.g. that sockets need to be a minimum of 300mm from any area of water including the hob.
  • Explain that if an induction hob is required it will need a higher ampage than an ordinary ceramic hob and a new feed back to the consumer unit.
  • Do a visual check the consumer unit (if possible) as it may be a new one is needed if it doesn’t have the required trip switches.
  • Check with clients if more sockets are required or existing ones are to be moved to accommodate new appliances or consumer goods and, if so, whether standard white fascias are acceptable (or if an alternative finish is required)
  • Advise regarding plastering.  If walls are poor after tile removal or electrical works are required a plasterer will be required
  • Assess how much waste is likely to be created and whether its removal will require a skip.  If it is, we check whether it’s to sit on a drive or on the roadside
  • Check if tiling to either floors or walls is needed and whether any redecoration will be required

Then, and only then, do we ask the customer about the kind of things that they like and, just as importantly, the things they don’t like so that our plans are tailored specifically around them

A good design on a paper is only that without the right preparation and is why we invest so much time in our surveys.  Clients buying a new kitchen could save themselves a lot of stress and money at the time of installation if you put the necessary effort into deciding who you trust most to do the right job for you – and the answer’s likely to be staring you in the face at survey time!

So, if you’re in the market for a new kitchen and have invited a number of potential suppliers to provide design ideas and a quote, take time to assess their survey efforts – it’ll give you a pretty good idea about their likely approach to installation should you award them the business.

For more information about Nicholas Hythe Kitchen Design Studio please go to or telephone 01480 468598 or email us at