STEP 8: THE INSTALLATION

1). The cupboard carcasses and appliances arrive

MyCasa Tip: Handmade Kitchens of Christchurch cupboards are assembled when they arrive, it's best not to have them delivered to site until you are ready to install, as they take up a lot of space. This also ensures they are not damaged.

2). A reminder of the kitchen layout

3). The installation begins. The base cupboards are fitted first, followed by the wall cabinets. The warehouse appliance cabinets which sit on the worktop, are not fitted until the worktop has been installed and until they have been painted. Scroll through the photos to see the progress... we were amazed at how quickly it was put together! Like a big jigsaw puzzle.

MyCasa Tip: Take into consideration the depth of your floor tiles if installing the cabinets first. We would have preferred to have laid the floor tiles first and assembled the units on top, unfortunately our tiler was not available and waiting for him would have led to a significant delay. If installing the cabinets first its important to take into consideration the depth of your tiles, especially if you want the range cooker to be the same height as the worktop once the tiles are laid. Unfortunately, we did not communicate this effectively and it meant we could not tile under the range cooker. We had to tile up to the range, which meant i). its not quite as neat ii). its going to be impossible to get it out in the future without breaking the tiles in front (we kept some tiles back for this). Unfortunately, once the area under the wine fridge was tiled, it no longer fitted under the work top... bye bye Sub-Zero wine fridge!

4). The process of undercoating and varnishing (inside of cupboards) begins ... this did seem to take quite a long time, compared to how quickly the cupboards were installed

5). The Silestone Yukon worktop is installed... I was very nervous about having this fitted prior to the painting being finished, but it worked well. Note the back-splash behind the range cooker is in the same Silestone (can be seen more clearly in the next set of photos).

6). The topcoat goes on ..... both the exciting and nerve wracking part!! Do we like the colours we chose.... answer YES! Phew...

The island colour is very different wet to the colour when dry. The cupboard doors are fitted and the x2 cupboards (appliance warehouses) which sit on the worktop are painted prior to being fitted. And finally the range cooker is installed. Yay... we can eat something that doesn't have to be cooked in a microwave!

7). The faux chimney is created. We were really pleased it hid the two projections coming out of the top of the wall.

MyCasa Tip: Fit the worktop and back-splash first and then build the faux chimney on top and around it. It gives a much neater finish and makes it look like it has always been there.

The MDF chimney sits on top of 2 base cabinets (625mm wide, 600mm deep) either side of the range cooker.

The front of the chimney is added and filling begins... To be honest I was quite horrified at this point. It looked totally out of proportion to the rest of the kitchen. However, our carpenter said 'have faith ...'

The faux chimney is painted and a hole cut to accommodate the extractor fan.

The next step is to add the moulding around the top (where it meets the ceiling) and add the decorative front... now its starting to look like a chimney! We also created a spice/herb cupboard by cutting a hole in the side of the chimney (the piece of wood cut out becomes the door).

That's the main install complete. Join us for Step 9: The Finishing Touches