you CAN do it yourself

Howdy.. so let’s talk kitchens. Putting in a kitchen is a big investment right?  So it’s worth doing right and paying someone to do it for you? Well sure.. absolutely, if you feel that maybe it goes a little past your skill set.. but with just a power screwdriver, drill and some sweat (and a few tears maybe) you can DIY your kitchen.

When we moved into our house, we had left behind a gorgeous full fitted white and natural wood kitchen which had cost us thousands (and thousands more to have fitted) but during the fitting time, we watched the team doing it and though.. OH.. we could so do that ourselves next time.  (not taking away from the amazing joiners out there one little bit) .. but it’s possible to build your own kitchen and save a ton of money.  I repeat.. you will save MONEY.. not time.  It will take a lot longer and be harder work, but if you can live with that.. you will get a great kitchen on a tight budget.

So this is the kitchen we got when we moved in. Note the lovely green tiles which were broken and covered in grime of all sorts. The cupboards were falling to pieces. The oven never worked from day one and everything leaked. There was nothing worth saving in this kitchen.

old kitchen

Now this was the advertising picture they used when selling the house. it was definitely NOT the kitchen we got when we moved in, so goodness knows when this was taken.

Over on the right hand side of the picture is a window and back door, but the space you see is all there is. Quite a tight little kitchen.  We knew we couldn’t do much about the space, but we were sure we could rejig the layout to suit us better..

Firstly, whether you buy a 4k kitchen or a 40k kitchen.. the carcass is pretty much the same, so don’t get pulled into that when it comes to buying.  We calculated the space we had and the units we needed and headed to B&Q and bought flat pack carcass units to fill the space.  The units in total came to roughly £300 and since we needed a corner unit with a more specific sizing, we went online for that and got one for £126 delivered.

These carcass units are no more difficult to put together than an ikea flat pack and most have self leveling legs so you can make sure they are solid and strong (even on wonky floors)  Once you have them up, you simply screw them all together. VOILA.. your kitchen is already starting to look like a kitchen..

new kitchen3

basic B&Q carcuss units .. as easy as an ikea flatpack (actually easier)

newkitchen 1

Then we thought.. ok.. gonna need a worktop. We wanted a real wood one, but the solid oak ones were just WAY out of our price range.  I spent days looking at deals, and came across some real wood worktops of wickes. They were £130 each and we needed x2.  Once they arrived in was plain to see that they were in a natural state and could be treated any way you wish.. so a dab of oak stain and oiled like mad and voila.. pretty worktops at a fraction of the price..


We even used the left over pieces to build our very own wall mounted kitchen island in the centre of our kitchen..  Then we just added an mdf panel to the back and painted it white.

The little bench was hand built by my hubby because he knows all our best chats go down in the kitchen whilst we are cooking.. new kitchen4

I wanted a farmhouse style Belfast sink and this was an Ebay job and boy it didn’t disappoint. for £130 we had it delivered to the door.. and it looks the part.

Our flooring was from moreflooringforyou on Ebay at £64 for the roll

We bought some Ikea pine cupboards and painted them up for some wall storage..  The units are called IVAR and were £45.00 each.  They are untreated pine, so we just painted, sealed them and added cute knobs.  This gave us ample storage for dry goods etc. ikea ivar

I knew that the look of a kitchen comes really from the finishing touches. I wanted wipe clean doors and I wanted them at a decent price.  we looked at door suppliers and whilst there was a great choice, it was still going to cost a fortune. We went online again and found a little company in London who give you a choice of door styles and then spray/cover them in any finish you like.  We went for a soft blue/grey gloss finish and the cost of all our doors delivered right to us was £506 instead of 1150 quotes to us elsewhere.  If anyone reading this would like details of the company we used.. we can dig the details out for you.

Now after we ripped the kitchen out at the beginning there was obviously work to be done that was totally beyond us.. Ie we had to have the room plastered and the plumbing and electrical / gas side of things sorted out and I would definitely get professionals in for this as it’s major work..  this side of things did set us back about 1.5k in total, but absolutely worth it as it gave us a completely blank (yet safe) canvas to work on.

If you are local to us in Dunfermline (Fife)

we used :  Matts Plastering services to re – do all our walls  and Blairadam plumbing and heating for all our gas/ plumbing needs.  We had a local sparky come in to do the lighting stuff and move electrics around.

All in all, our kitchen cost us around 3.5k … but if we had bought a similar kitchen from any of the big suppliers and had it fitted, we were quoted around 8-9k in total.. so a great saving right there..  Yes it was hard work, but it looks amazing and what’s more it is completely individual and bespoke to us.

Lastly our wallpaper was a steal at rejects in Kirkcaldy. I got it in the sale and cost me about £24 for all the rolls.  It gives a lovely country cottage feeling to the kitchen.

We used antique white (the kind you can scrub/clean) from home base’s own range and covered walls and ceiling in it to give the whole kitchen a feeling of height and space.

So.. you wanna build your own kitchen? … go for it..



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