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Start from scratch
Getting a brand new kitchen is an exciting process – but before you install it, you have the not so exciting task of removing your old one.
If you want to take your kitchen apart and sell it, it’s important to make sure your removal process is as clean and efficient as possible.
First, you’ll need to shut off and clear a space around gas, water and electrical fixtures, and clearly mark them, so people can avoid damaging them during the process. If you aren’t sure at any stage, contact a professional tradesperson for help and advice. This is really important, as removing fixtures before shutting these off, can cause leaks, damage to the property, and will also put your safety at risk.
Electrical connections to appliances might be simply plugged into a wall socket, which is easy to unplug. However some appliances are ‘hard wired’ into fixed connections and will need to be disconnected and made safe by a suitable qualified person. Gas appliances and supplies must only ever be disconnected or moved by a qualified professional.
Before you begin removing items, think about where they’ll go. Depending on the size of your kitchen, you might want to hire a skip and keep it in a place where it can be filled and collected once full.
It’s important to wear adequate protection over your eyes, hands, nose and mouth. We also recommend you wear some clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty.
Setting up a temporary kitchen
Kitchen renovations can take weeks depending on the size and task at hand. So, if you’re planning on living through it, it’s a good idea to set up camp in another room to keep rumbling stomachs at bay.
Dinner time is one of the most anticipated parts of the day, so place your temporary kitchen away from all the chaos and somewhere you can escape.
Put your everyday essentials like a kettle, microwave, toaster and a fridge to another room and near a power source. If you’re packing up lots of your kitchen equipment during the works, make sure you have enough cutlery and plates for all the family.
Set up a washing up station with your washing up bowl, or if your bathroom sink is large enough that can also work well! Keep a tea towel aside and get somebody to help with you out with the washing up duty.
The lead up to a kitchen revamp may be busy with last minute decisions, but if you have the time try to batch cook food you can freeze and reheat in the microwave when you’re stripped of the luxury of an oven. If not, look for simple and quick meals that can be made in the microwave like a baked potato or omelette.
Having a refurb during the summer?
Perfect excuse for a barbecue! Or make sure you have a handful of your favourite takeaway menus to hand and give yourself a break from the renovations to treat the family.
Removing your kitchen
Once your utility supplies are shut off, you can safely remove appliances. These should be the first things to come out and go into the skip, so that other lighter items can be loaded safely.
If you’re removing plumbed appliances that might contain water, get a friend to help you keep outlets and pipes upright, so water doesn’t spill out around as you move it. Most fixed appliances will have two or three separate hoses, so keep an eye out when removing it.
Try to find the manuals and guides for your oven, hood and hob, to help accurately disassemble them. If you can’t find them, try searching online – as these items aren’t always the most intuitive things to take apart. Some items, like fridges, may have specific local disposal requirements, so you should search online first, to see if your local authority can collect them, or requires you to take them to a specific place.
Sinks are relatively easy to remove as long as the attached plumbing is disconnected, and the water supply has been turned off. Look beneath the sink to see if there are any hidden fixings and disassemble these before gently cutting off any sealant that might be attaching the sink to the countertop.
Work surfaces & tiles
Worktops are generally fitted from beneath, with joints that’ll need to be undone before you can take the worktop out. At each join, there might be a bolted or mitred joint, which will need to be undone as well.
If you have tiles on the wall above your worktop, the bottom row of tiles may need to be removed first, before the worktop can come away. Tiles can be removed with a hammer and bolster – just make sure you wear safety goggles and thick gloves while you do this.
Cabinet doors & drawers
Before unscrewing hinges, make sure there isn’t a release clip that allows you to bypass this step. If there isn’t, simply unscrew the hinges, with someone holding the weight of the door, so each of you can keep a hand free.
Drawers can be lifted up from their runners – although sometimes they might have a securing clip that will need to be undone before it will lift out.
For base units, there are usually simple fixings on the back of the cabinet to stop them moving around, and some screws holding adjacent cabinets together. Once you’ve removed each of these fixings, base units should be easy to pull out.
Wall units are a little bit trickier, as their brackets are built to take the full weight of the cabinet and its contents. Before you do anything else, remove the contents (including any shelves) so that nothing falls out while you’re working. Then, carefully loosen the screws on the brackets on each side, as well as removing any screws that connect cabinets in the middle. With the help of a friend, lift it up and out of the bracket. If it’s screwed directly to the wall, have your friend hold the weight of the cabinet while you unscrew the anchor points.