What To Expect During A Kitchen Installation

A Kitchen installation is basically a small construction project being carried out within a lived-in residential home. It goes without saying that this could be inconvenient & potentially stressful.

After the buzz of the creative design phase, it’s time to be more pragmatic and be ready to share your home and time with some tradesmen for a few weeks to allow the required process to take place and bring your kitchen design to life.

If it feels like you have been sold the dream from the outset, then anything less than the perfect installation experience will seem like a failure, but this is far from the truth. Remember, it’s a construction project, and it’s the end result that needs to be focussed on.


It is essential to work with a reputable company on any such project with lots of experience in delivering a project like yours.

Having realistic expectations from the outset is essential to stop any unnecessary frustration; the journey can sometimes be challenging, but the end result will always be worth it.

However, when a kitchen renovation is something, a homeowner may only do very few times in their lifetime. How do we know what a realistic expectation even is?

I aim to help clear this up for you below and outline what to expect during a kitchen installation project.

NB: I can only comment on how our own service works here and my experience of working with some other large kitchen companies.

Project Management

If you hire a company that provides you with a project manager, this will not mean somebody is stood over the tradesmen supervising every single movement they make; there will be an element of trust. But if you see something you do not like, just notify the project manager and give them the opportunity to sort anything out.

80% of the project management time (if done right) is done in advance of the job starting (planning) and dealing with queries and the supply chain during the project. The requirement on site should only be 1 visit per week in a well-organised structure with competent tradesmen doing the job.

If you want to self-manage, I would find the tradesmen and do that. If you want a manager provided, then you will pay more, but just make sure you select the right company for this and communicate with your manager only, resist getting in the middle of the tradesmen and their superiors.

Start dates

Start dates given well in advance of a job starting can only ever be an estimate. The biggest mistake here is to take a date for gospel when it is weeks away.

In this industry, you will be very lucky to set a start date in advance and be able to stick to it exactly. The real world will get in the way!

We give an estimated week we aim to start, then the week before, confirm the day. This works fine, but even then, the exact day can change – you just never know what is going to happen in the days leading up to starting your project…. and finishing the one before.

End dates

If the job needs to have a solid end date, then I would strongly consider moving the project start date so it cannot possibly cause you major inconvenience if it overruns.

If you are booking time off work to be at home while the workmen are there, I would not advise this. Reputable tradesmen are more than ok working in an empty house. Plus, if you have booked time off work, and the job takes longer than expected, then it was a waste of your holidays as you will be back at work before it’s complete.

You also want to avoid putting the team onsite or the manager under pressure where they feel like they need to rush. I put “rushing” down to most quality issues that I saw. This is another reason why the cheapest is never the best; the cheapest generally rush to make their jobs pay.

We do not work to a solid end date for any project; all we can ever do is estimate. The end result needs to be right, and it can’t be rushed. It’s just about being reasonable, as everybody wants the right outcome.

Preparing and protecting your home

Before the job starts, you will need to:

  1. Clear walkways of furniture and delicate/valuable items, including the pictures on the walls
  2. Clear some space for storage, preferably in a garage or spare room
  3. Empty the bathroom of all belongings
  4. Remove any items you want to keep
  5. Most importantly, make sure you have tea and coffee & milk


The installer should protect your furniture with sheets if needed and protect the floors along the access walkways with sticky plastic covering; we would avoid using cotton dust sheets on the floors – they do not repel water spillages, and they are tripping hazards.

Dust & cleanliness

Yes, it will get dusty. There is nothing that can be done about that. If you live in an older property, then the worse the dust will be, the newer the house, and the least dust as a general rule.

No matter what, The installer should maintain a good standard of housekeeping, but it won’t be 100% while works are in progress. Have patience here; it is hard to do a job in someone’s house and be perfectly clean. The rooms will be cleaned on completion within reason, but a sparkle clean once the installers have left and the dust has settled will be needed from you to get it perfect.

The Installation Itself

This industry generally adopts an 8 AM start and a 4/5 PM finish Monday to Friday.

Some installers may want to come in at the weekend, some may not, but if you have a preference, always make it clear.

Set boundaries if you need to from the outset. Moving the goalposts once the job is moving is not going to help.

Your designs should be brought to life, but your terms and conditions of sale should always be honoured on both sides. Ensure you understand fully what is being installed and how it will look. The computer designs to actual reality will never be exact, so bear this in mind.

All works should be carried out to the relevant British standards and last for many years.

Always raise any issues you have by email and always provide images.

Completing and signing off

Some companies will come and do a formal written sign-off; some will just get verbal or email confirmation from you. Either way, once you pay your invoices, you are deemed to be satisfied.

However, this does not prevent the company from putting anything right if you are not happy after the invoices are paid.

Ask us a question about kitchens.

Choosing a Kitchen company can be challenging and confusing… Elite Installations (South Yorkshire Ltd) are here to solve that problem.
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