The Process of Changing Old Kitchen Cabinet Door Fronts

  • 20th November, 2013
  • Published by Kitchen Restoration

A kitchen refit is a big job. And when we say big, we mean it’s huge. For weeks, you could be looking at total disruption to your everyday life as a series of designers, fitters, plumbers, electricians, gas fitters and builders transform that old, dull kitchen into something out of ‘House and Home’ magazine. On top of that, there’s also a huge bill to take care of – and probably a lot of cups of tea to make.

However, a refurbishment is a lot simpler because rather than ripping out a perfectly good kitchen and starting again, you’re working with what you have; replacing the visual aspects of the design such as the doors, drawer fronts and work surfaces. It’s a much simpler and quicker process, it’s also a lot cheaper, and you won’t spend so much on tea bags for the workers, either. So what should you expect from start to finish? Here’s our quick guide.

Step 1- design

The first stage is pretty civilised – it’s you and a designer sitting around your existing kitchen table with a cup of coffee. The first step in any refurbishment is the design stage. After all, this is bespoke refurbishments we’re talking about and not ‘off the shelf’ door fronts from your local DIY store and a packet of screws. So a designer sits down with you and talks through ideas. What style are you looking for? What sort of house do you live in and is your chosen design going to fit in with the look of the rest of the property? Do you want a family-friendly kitchen, traditional Shaker or a sleek, ultra-chic minimalist look?

Step 2 – measuring up

“Not to worry, we can skip this stage. I’ve got a standard kitchen.” Actually, you haven’t. Your kitchen is unique, even if it’s come flat packed from a certain Swedish store. After a while the heat and humidity you find in any kitchen will cause minute movements in the units. While it may only be a matter of a few millimetres here and there, your kitchen units will need to be measured exactly to ensure a bespoke finish.

Step 3 – Custom-made drawer and door fronts

Talking to a refurbishment company that manufactures their own doors and drawer fronts means that you’re cutting out a weak link in the chain and going straight to source, as it were. This means you know exactly who is making your doors for you, and in return they know your exact requirements, specifications and measurements down to the last half a millimetre. Your doors will be made up for you, whilst your old kitchen remains intact and fully functional. This process usually takes around a week.

Step 4 – Fitting

The big day arrives and the installation team turns up with your new cupboard doors and drawers (and perhaps a nice, new work surface and a few other extras too). The kettle’s on, the kids have been packed off to their grandparents for the day and we’re ready to get started. There’s a flurry of activity – and it’s done. The fitting part takes a couple of days at most (for a major refurbishment) but if you’re just having some doors and drawer fronts replaced then everything can be expertly fitted, checked and completed in a few hours.

The result is a bespoke look for a budget price. So as you can see, the process is relatively straightforward, there’s minimum upheaval and fuss and you get a revived kitchen that really is the heart of the home once more.