New home construction is mostly supplied by large kitchen retailers that have a huge range of stock. This stock is mostly off the shelf but they also stock various semi-custom options. These retailers often act independently to the manufacturers who supply them but sometimes they behave as a liaison between clients in the area. These retailers will set-up vast showrooms to display their products and they also provide an ‘in-house’ design service. The approach to kitchen installation in new build homes has evolved over the last ten to fifteen years, with most designers abandoning the utilitarian approach. Kitchens in new homes have been designed from the standpoint of the kitchen acting as a social hub for the entire household.
Designers of new kitchens are starting to pay more attention to the appliances and features installed in the room which in turns makes the home more desirable to potential buyers. Today’s kitchen cabinets have many built-in features that require specialist skills to install competently. In recent years there has been a trend where building suppliers are expected to supply products install ready which has led to an increased demand for specialist kitchen fitters. Contractors who use carpenters to fit kitchens save money initially but end up losing money overall as the project goes over time and budget. It has been proven time and time again that the employment of a specialist kitchen installer for such jobs is more cost-effective. Over the past few years, kitchen buyers have acted as middle-men (contractor or developer) between the kitchen suppliers and their clients. In these cases the dynamics of liaising with the client has changed greatly.
To be regarded as a kitchen specialist you will need to have the following:
- A rudimentary knowledge of kitchen design.
- A working knowledge of renovation and construction terms specifically for the kitchen fitting industry.
- An extensive knowledge of carpentry skills and techniques.
- Thorough knowledge of cabinet and worktop construction and fitting.
- Knowledge of how to install finishing materials.
- An extensive knowledge of all the latest appliances and equipment used in kitchens.
- A rudimentary knowledge of mechanized systems.
- Techniques for constructing floors and ceilings.
- A general mechanical ‘knowhow’ and understanding of how to maintain tools.
- An understanding of the need to attend pre-installation conferences.
- Strong customer service skills and the ability to communicate well with others.
- The ability to manage a work site efficiently.
- The ability to employ stringent site and safety recommendations.
- Familiarity with the legalities involved with fitting a kitchen.
If you possess these skills you will be adequately prepared to work as a kitchen fitting specialist. If you have some but not all of these, try to gain experience by working with a professional kitchen fitter.