If you’ve decided that you’d rather trust kitchen fitters to install your kitchen rather than doing it yourself then the next step is to find tradesmen that you can trust to do a good job, and that isn’t easy. There are many stories of ‘rogue traders’; kitchen fitters who’ve caused problems and not put them right, or at worst, abandoned a job half done.
Kitchen Planning or Just Kitchen Fitting?
You need to be sure of the scope of the job in the first place. Are you asking for someone to help with the kitchen planning, or purely to fit what you have bought, or are about to buy? Will you need plumbing, gas or electrical work done, or is it purely installing the fitted kitchen cabinets?
There might also be carpentry or even masonry to be done, or flooring fitted. If you need that extra work done, you will need to make sure you use tradesmen who have the right accreditation for each of those skills. There is no recognised accreditation for being a kitchen fitter through.
Personal Recommendations for Kitchen Fitters
The best recommendations are personal ones, so see if you can find any friends, neighbours or local family members who have had a kitchen fitted recently. Ask them what their experiences were and whether or not they would recommend the tradesmen who installed their fitted kitchen. Bad recommendations are as valuable as good ones as at least you can remove those people from your list of possible kitchen fitters.
If possible, ask if you can see the resulting fitted kitchen and ask about how courteous the kitchen fitters were. Find out if they cleaned up after the end of each day and how sympathetic they were to allowing their customers to carry on living around their work.
Having kitchen fitters in will be disruptive and as a kitchen is such a central room in any house, it would be naïve to expect anything else. But good kitchen fitters will be planning the installation of the fitted kitchen in advance and letting clients know what to expect as each day progresses so that the disruption is minimised.
Finding Local Tradesmen
If you can’t get a personal recommendation, you will have to vet kitchen fitters personally. Collect likely candidates from local newspaper adverts, newsagent’s windows and the Yellow Pages or other local directories. It’s not really likely that you’ll benefit by using kitchen fitters from outside your local area as the cost of travelling to and from your job would make it uneconomic for most tradesmen.
Once you’ve got a short list, contact each kitchen fitter and have an initial discussion. Assuming you’re happy with what you hear, ask them for a number of local customers who they have installed fitted kitchens for and ask if you can visit them as references. Any tradesmen who baulk at this request, however plausible the explanations, should immediately be struck from the list.
Casting a Wider Net to Get Your Kitchen Fitted
Before exhausting all these possibilities, have a look at what the Internet is beginning to deliver in this arena. Lots of sites are springing up where people can not only select local kitchen fitters to hire (as well as all sorts of other tradesmen and services) but they can rate the service they receive. This way you can see what other people thought of certain kitchen fitters before you engage them.
You are more likely to be covered by sites like this if you are in a city or other large urban area. If you are not and you use them to look for kitchen fitters near you then you are likely to get results from people who are quite far away and also are not strictly kitchen fitters, the results are only as good as the data they have put in. But in time this will improve as more people get used to using these systems.
Don’t forget to check up on customer recommendations too, even if someone has glowing praise on an Internet site. No matter how you find someone, you need to check them out as best you can to avoid a fitted kitchen disaster.