Kitchen designer looking to learn from fitters/carpenters

Discussion in 'Kitchen Fitters' Talk' started by LearningDesigner, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. LearningDesigner

    LearningDesigner New Member

    Hi guys,

    I've just recently moved into a kitchen design role (dropping boxes onto a layout, in other words) at my work and I was looking to get some insight from those who actually make the designs a reality. From what I've experienced and witnessed (mostly from the sidelines up till now), and from reading multiple threads on this forum, is that the fitter is often the de-facto designer anyway, constantly suggesting better layouts/arrangements than the so-called "designer".

    So I would basically appreciate your guys feedback, if you don't mind, on some of the most common issues you face when presented with a kitchen design: what gets overlooked, missed, etc. And what can a designer do that makes your lives that little bit easier?

    As I said, any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.
  2. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Active Member

    In my experience as a kitchen fitter, the thing that absolutely annoys me about kitchen designers is a complete "blindness" when it come to plumbing. In other words, look in base cupboards.............where is the stop tap ? Is there a water meter ? If there is a soil pipe in the corner and the sink runs into it, don't site a washing machine or a dishwasher along that run. Is the gas meter in a base cupboard ? No point in siting the fridge there then is there ?
    If a cooker hood is on an internal wall, no point in running ducting over the wall cabs to an external wall if the window lintel would be in the way of that ducting. Don't design a kitchen with a built under 1 and a half oven and then expect the fitter to be able to run a washing machine waste behind it to an outside wall.
    All the above is very very basic stuff, the amount of so called designers that have no comprehension of the above though beggers belief half the time.
    Jord86, LearningDesigner, CGN and 3 others like this.
  3. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Also being left or right handed can affect the layout of the kitchen.

    Had a friend she was left handed, found sink awkward to use, because draining board was on right side, not left.

    Same with appliance & the side the door is hung, washing machine is the main one, most have doors hinged on the left, wrong position in kitchen/utility can make things extremely difficult.

    Also sockets/fcu's/ cooker switches positions can cause grief.
    LearningDesigner likes this.
  4. joinerjohn1

    joinerjohn1 Screwfix Select

    Use drag n drop software if you must, but please don't use the same software WIckes use. I watched one of their designers a few years back, drag n drop a 500mm base unit into a 450mm wide space (the software compensated by changing the internal measurements) :eek::eek:..
    As kitfit has already said, pay attention to existing services (and use these as the starting point of any design) Last kitchen I fitted, the designer had a built in washing machine right over the point where the main incoming water supply was. (incoming water supply was even marked on the plan) :eek: He also placed a vented drier on an internal wall (at right angles to the washer, leaving no room for the actual vent to the outside)
    PS, don't do what Magnet did a few years back and supply a 780mm clad on end panel to be used to fabricate a flyover shelf to span a space of 850mm. (he went to the Diane Abbott school of mathematics)
    LearningDesigner likes this.
  5. CGN

    CGN Well-Known Member

    All the above...
  6. LearningDesigner

    LearningDesigner New Member

    Firstly, thank you for taking the time to reply. Much appreciated.

    Regarding your last point, just how difficult are those services to move from existing positions, in particular cooker points/switches? I'd like to gain a better understanding of those aspects, as the training I received didn't exactly go in depth about it, if at all!

    And I agree with you about the left or right handed issue! I always ask customers about that and most of them up until that point haven't given it any consideration.
  7. LearningDesigner

    LearningDesigner New Member

    Thank you for your insight, kitfit!

    Are you able to go into a bit more detail about the soil pipe issue, please? And can I ask, when you conduct a survey of a potential customer's kitchen, what are the main things you look at as a fitter?

    I'm sorry for my ignorance, guys!
  8. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Another issue is having combi or other boiler on wall in kitchen, can be very difficult working a layout around it, sometimes it's boiler location or pipework causing obstructions.
    LearningDesigner likes this.
  9. LearningDesigner

    LearningDesigner New Member

    Yes, the software can often be a ballache. Many an expletive directed at an inanimate screen!

    When you say about the incoming water supply, do you mean he designed the washing machine on top of it or in front (not that it makes a difference lol)?
  10. LearningDesigner

    LearningDesigner New Member

    Yes, I have found that it can be difficult to give the customer viable corner storage whilst also allowing enough of a void for pipework. I mean, a 300mm door on a blind corner unit is never ideal, but sometimes it's all you can do. Just have to be upfront with the customer that it is a compromise, I guess.
  11. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Active Member

    A very large proportion of houses now days have internal soil and vent pipes. Most of these tend to to come down in one corner of the kitchen along with the hot supply to the kitchen and the cold feed from the kitchen to the rest of the house. The waste pipe from the kitchen would normally run to that soil and vent pipe behind the kitchen base units. As a waste pipe it's 40mm plus the pipe clips, so it will be at least 65mm off of the wall. Because of that there is no way that any appliance can be sited between the sink and the soil pipe, unless the base cabs are fitted 65mm off of the wall and a 665 worktop is used along that run.
    When i survey a kitchen i look for all the above mentioned issues along with does the kitchen fit the space as it's designed. If it dosn't, i'll tell the customer that and how it can be got over even to the point of re-designing it so that it does fit.
    Jord86 likes this.
  12. ramseyman

    ramseyman Active Member

    One other thing I came across is requirement for a massive island unit right over pre-existing underfloor heating. Apart from the obvious undesirability how are you supposed to channel across for power.

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