Diary of a New Kitchen

August – We know we need a new kitchen – and we’ve wasted hours trying to design one ourselves – but we really don’t know which company to turn to for help.

We’re pretty sure we would like an induction hob & we’ve seen a Siemens one that ticks a lot of boxes. Local showroom at Kitchenology in Bury St Edmunds – time to go and ask some questions about induction cooking…

2 days later – Jennifer spent a lot of time with me explaining how induction hobs work and she let me play with the hob in the showroom – I’m sold!

Oh dear …. I really like the look of their kitchens – very stylish but they look rather expensive – maybe a bit out of my league? I liked Jennifer though – she seemed like someone I could talk to without feeling I was asking stupid questions and she is definitely not a pushy salesperson (unlike some other companies…)

THE KITCHEN – before and after

Cooking is now more of a pleasure than a chore and the room is easier to keep clean and tidy. It is no longer a room ‘just’ for preparing meals – it is much more of a social space and a good place to sit with a cup of tea and newspaper overlooking the garden. It is a world away from the kitchen that was there before.

Oh… and the price really was all inclusive!

Drinkstone : 2015

Sue and John, Diary of a New Kitchen

4 Months Later…
How did that all happen??…

We’ve had designs drawn up by Jennifer (much more to our taste than other companies came up with) and she has spent hours with us – patiently answering all our (sometimes nerdy!) questions and tweeking the designs to accommodate our requests and specific needs. She even arranged for me to go and see a local customer who told a very reassuring story of how Kitchenology operate and the standards of workmanship. Their kitchen looks really good too.

Tim came round to do his technical survey – good to know that we wouldn’t have to get involved with project managing any aspect of the job ourselves and that Kitchenology could do (or arrange) all the work for us.

Finally getting round to pricing – and the price is competitive – especially considering the quality of the units and appliances we are having. The price genuinely appears to be all-inclusive & we do not expect to receive any additional bills unless we ask for extra work to be done or change our minds about fittings at the last minute.

D-Day -1
Cannot believe how much ‘stuff’ I have in my kitchen cupboards – now all stored in the dining room.

We have volunteered to use our caravan for cooking etc for the duration. This means the boys do not have to spend time leaving us with a usable sink & food preparation area at the end of each day & we won’t be living off salads, takeaways and ‘ping chicken’!

Monday 3rd March
9am – the van rolls into the drive & Tim, Jon & Joe are here – confusing mix of excitement, anticipation and trepidation.

5pm – all the kitchen (including the ceiling) has gone and there is just a huge space waiting to be filled. Impressed that they’ve taken the time to clear up and not leave us in a complete mess.

4 March
Out for the morning – on my return there’s a huge hole in the back wall – ready for french windows.

5 March
French windows in – what a difference they make.

Very pleased that they are spending a lot of time asking exactly where WE want things to be (rather than making assumptions) and are helping us make sensible decisions about position of lights, sockets etc etc.

Very noisy day today – guess someone could make a fortune designing a silent drill or wall chaser!

Am thinking of entering Jon for the national karaoke championships – he does love to sing-a-long with Radio 2 ….

6 & 7 March
Lots of new wiring & holes. Ceiling back up – it all looks very different. Tim is keeping us up to date with when things are likely to happen – plasterers should be here on Monday.

10 & 11 March
Mike and Dan the plasterers have done their stuff. Looks like a good job although the kitchen looks like a dark and dingy cave at the moment with wet plaster on the ceiling as well as all four walls.

13 March
Oh my goodness – all our new kitchen arrived on the back of the van today & there are boxes and units everywhere – is it really all going to fit?!

14 March
Some of the units are now fixed into place & we can start to get an idea of how things will look – but it also looks like we have a problem. There is a space we have always referred to as the ‘microwave niche’ where we were going to have a freestanding microwave concealed behind a tambour door. Opened the ‘niche’ – it’s only 300mm deep – no microwave will ever fit in there – let alone operate safely.

15 March
Popped down to the showroom to discuss the problem & to see whether we needed to be looking at different units. Fortunately Tim was there and he said they would modify the cupboard space for us.

There are always be unforeseen problems on any building project – but we’ve always thought it’s less about the actual problem and very much more about how the problem is dealt with. This is a very positive response – we are reassured and smiling again.

17 March
Dimensions of microwave are relayed to Jon who promptly does a very neat and tidy job of making the ‘offending’ cupboard into the right size space – the problem has disappeared- we’re impressed.

More units being fixed.

18 March
Lots of activity today – all the units in place – bit of work on electrics – oven & fridge in – hood in – all ready for worktop templating tomorrow. Much discussion about whether the sink should be inset or under mounted and the position of the tap to ensure lever clearance at the back – so in depth at times you’d be forgiven for thinking the future of the world depended on it…. Tim takes it all his stride though – he has clearly been here before…

19 March
Paul arrives late morning to template the worktop. Hour and a half later & the kitchen looks surprisingly finished with the template laid on top!

Freezer & dining area shelves have gone in today – this is really starting to look as we imagined.

21 March
All units are now in place and we’ve had work done in the utility room to make a very useful floor to ceiling cupboard, box in some pipes, rearrange appliances and fit a new worktop & sink – all looks good – will be even better when we’ve some electrics and lighting!

3 April
We’ve had 10 days away and in the last couple of days made a start on the decorating.

At lunchtime today Tim arrived with Paul & co to fit the worktop. There will be a delay fitting the upstands because of a problem at the factory. There will also be a further delay supplying the dishwasher due to ongoing manufacturing problems. It’s a bit annoying but at least Tim is keeping me informed of developments as they occur. He has offered to replumb our old dishwasher as a temporary measure – which sounds like a good idea.

Very pleased with how the room is looking – more spacious and light.

4 April
Full team today for a big push to finish off as much as possible.

By 6pm all the electrics are working, all the plumbing is done & we have a working kitchen!!! Celebratory bottle of champagne placed in the fridge by Tim – very kind – we shall enjoy that.

Time to make a serious start on the painting!

11 April
Boys were here all day finishing off all the little jobs that needed doing (skirting boards, TV point etc etc). Just waiting for upstands and dishwasher now.

16 April
Decorating going well – even if my enthusiasm for doing it is waning a little! Day off today as the guys are fitting the upstands. They make things look finished off.

14th May
Dishwasher fitted today – we’re really pleased with it. There was a long delay which was entirely down to the manufacturers and shippers – nothing to do with Kitchenology. Decorating is finished – just waiting for the flooring now.

22nd May
Flooring fitted – the kitchen looks really good. Just need to get Tim back to refit plinths because some of them might need to be trimmed.

2nd June
Table & benches delivered – kitchen is now finished apart from a few finishing touches (artwork, splashback and curtains).

The kitchen is looking great and functioning really well.

SUMMARY

Before embarking on our kitchen project we were understandably concerned about making a sizeable financial (and emotional) investment in Kitchenology – a company neither we nor friends had used before. We really couldn’t afford to get it wrong – fortunately we needn’t have worried!

Having a new kitchen fitted is always going to be a disruptive affair with a few roller-coasters of emotions or doubts along the way. Kitchenology made the whole experience as easy and as painless as possible – from an unpressurised sales approach, through a highly receptive and inclusive design process to a careful, professional, attention to detail installation package – we have found it hard to fault them.

A couple of potential problems arose during installation but Kitchenology scored very highly by listening to our concerns, acknowledging the issues and then taking prompt action to deal with them to our full satisfaction.

The final result is a beautiful kitchen which really ‘works’ for us.

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