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If you are thinking of installing a new kitchen yourself, remember that you will still need to ensure you have booked qualified service engineers and plumbers to connect up appliances, sinks and taps, plus electrical work as the installation progresses. Installing a kitchen is therefore never a true DIY project, as the law in the UK requires you to use competent tradesman for relevant works. When it comes to electrical work, apart from some minor exceptions, all new additions and alterations to existing circuits must comply to the current British Standards and any alterations to gas pipework or installation of gas appliances must be carried out by a Gas Safe engineer who can then issue a Gas Safety Certificate. So before starting a DIY installation, you need to make sure that any pre-installation work on re-positioning electrical sockets, gas and water supplies has been carried out before you start installing your new kitchen.
A little preliminary work is required to find the best contractor for your kitchen installation, but doing due diligence before hiring can pay dividends in the long run. Although finding the right kitchen contractor can seem like a daunting task, it doesn't have to be, a few common sense precautions can avoid sleepless nights and costly mistakes further down the line. Without doubt, word of mouth is the best way to find a qualified professional to install a kitchen (or for any other job in your home). Ask relatives, friends and neighbours about tradesman and companies they have had good experiences with in the past, finding out whether he or she would use the same contractor again. Once you have recommendations, check whether the contractor holds all the required licenses and trade association memberships if applicable. Kitchen fitters should have good problem solving and customer care skill, along with qualifications in other trades such as joinery, plumbing or electrical installation. Once you have created a shortlist of candidates, and set up meetings, ask for written quotations, request references and ask to see some of the contractor's previous projects. Remember that the contractor offering the lowest bid is not always the best choice, take into account other factors such as availability, professionalism, quality of work and even their demeanour - you don't want to have to deal with someone you find obnoxious and rude, just because they are the cheapest! Finally, when you have decided which contractor you feel most comfortable using, make sure that the written agreement includes a total price and payment schedule, along with a warranty (insurance backed if possible).
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