Have you read part1?
With everything cleared, units ripped out, a wall removed and a ceiling replaced we had two things: 1) a blank canvas and 2) lots of dust and mess.
Having a blank canvas to work with is both exciting and scary! We started by having spot lights fitted into the new ceiling and have chosen to have these on two circuits, although it is still a small kitchen, we liked the idea of having lights on only above the table (so all the other mess is out of focus while you eat ha ha!)
We had all the walls plaster boarded and skimmed (with plaster) so they are now all even and electric cables are now hidden in the walls as is the norm these days (they had previously stood proud in ugly chunky casing for some very strange reason!)
The mammoth task of planning what goes where fell to me! At first I wasn't sure about this as I'm trying to avoid stressful situations, (I'm 38 weeks pregnant and high risk for pre-eclampsia!) but I actually enjoyed it! - There are some restrictions such as where there is plumbing and where the cooker can go (we have a duel fuel cooker so gas is involved) Theres also things such as the boiler and electric cupboard to remain in their original place (They could be moved but the costs and added time involved meant in this instance, it just simply wasn't worth it)
Now, we had a look at a few kitchens and liked a cheap one in B&Q sidcup, we also looked at Homebase orpington - who had a very sexy but (very) expensive new collection called Modina, which of course I liked, but for the purpose of our lovely 2up2down which we want to sell and move on to a 4 bedroom family home - spending thousands on a sexy kitchen is out of the question! We also checked out Selco builders warehouse and Howdens - both are trade places so although you can look - there is absolutely no indication of price and costs are at the managers descretion with your builder (Tradespeople are all on a greatly varying discount level depending on their custom with the store) The thing I liked about both the trade stores was that they do a ready built collection so it's all ready to be installed and solidly built - an obvious benefit over flat pack kitchens! We also checked out Wickes Catford who had a nice flat pack take away collection at the back of the store, but the selection of units was limited. All the built for display kitchens at the front of the store have at least a 4 week waiting time on them so obviously that ruled them out for me.
The cheap B&;Q kitchen was our favourite, the sidcup branch didn't carry it in store and online ordering would take a whopping 5 weeks - which I find very disconcerning given that the kitchen in question was classed as instock online and part of their takeaway flatpack collection. However, just when I was ready to let the pregnancy emotions make me break down in tears, I found that you could reserve and collect the said kitchen from Dartford's B&Q so all was not lost!
Next came the planning tool - B&Q have a great online planning tool - except, I'm a mac user, and it's not mac friendly! (seriously! a design tool which isn't mac friendly - can you get any more silly!) I had to dig out an old pc laptop and keep my fingers crossed that the software wasn't too out of date to make it work!
I did enjoy the design tool and had lots of fun playing about and getting the most out of the space we have - There were a few issues, such as there isn't a slimline dishwasher on the design tool but I got round this by selecting a cabinet which represented the size. I also found adding obsticles a bit limiting and you are supposed to be able to add everything to your online shopping basket but this function would not work for me. I couldn't print it and if you selected to email it - it didn't actually email you the details - just a link to the planning tool - I had hoped to be able to email it to my mac and print that way. - I did find a very long winded process in the end of doing that by saving it as a print document to my pc desktop and then emailing that to my mac! I still couldn't add to my shopping basket so I had to type everything in manually and the product descriptions on the B&Q website are a bit lacking - it wasn't the easiest thing to figure out which door pack and cabinet sets go together etc (And I have a degree!)
However! We managed to get most of the kitchen units, a sink, tap, handles and bits and bobs reserved online ready for collection the next day from the dartford store.
Que - the man with a van (Uncle Martin) who drove Hubby all the way there, however, it wasn't all ready picked for us for collection as expected from the reserve online service, so it took quite some time (add 90 mins to what you expected) and a very helpful member of staff to help get everything together and loaded into the van!
We had a custom built cupboard built to house the boiler and electric cupboard and a joiner to fit all the cupboards and mitre the work tops to make sure it all fits in lovely! One or two hiccups we've encountered is that we had picked a drawer pack for the corner base units - our old corner unit had drawers - but they can't be fixed to the new corner units. Also, as we had chosen long handles, they don't actually fit horizontally on the dummy drawers! - I had wanted handles on the dummy draw fronts as I just think it finishes off the look so we are having to do without for now - had I known this in advance, I would have planned plain cupboard doors without the dummy drawers.
So here we have design, cupboards built and fitted, work surfaces in, a custom built cupboard and onto part3!