Looking back: Questions I wish I’d asked my builder

A full month into our kitchen and we’re still absolutely loving it. But I have had a few things pop up that I wish I’d asked about before my builder walked out the door. Luckily when I need to, I can call him and ask but I do try to limit that to the absolute emergencies!

1. How do I gain access to my built in appliances?

Just this week, we had a hairball situation with our washing machine, which meant pipes needed to be cleaned before the water could drain. Cut to 35 week pregnant me on the floor trying to figure out how to pry off our baseboard without ruining it. It wasn’t pretty. A quick call to Simon and he told me where he’d hidden the screws. Five minutes and two screws later and we were in business. But if I’d asked before he left the house, I could have avoided a lot of scrambling around on all fours.

2. What’s the best way to remove the protective plastic covering from our units?

Most builders will leave the protective plastic cover on the cupboards until the absolute last second, just to protect the finish from errant grout, paint and scratches. The fronts of cabinets are a breeze, but first night in our kitchen and we were scratching our heads trying to figure out how to get the plastic off the sides were units have been screwed together. Our solution was some careful work with an exacto knife but I’d love to know what a professional would recommend.

3. How do I oil my wooden worktop?

Just watching someone do a job once usually means I can manage it the next time. To protect our wooden work surfaces, we’ll be re-oiling them at least once a year. Because I was unwell and pregnant, I stayed away from the kitchen and the fumes while this was happening so never got a chance to observe. So when it’s time for this chore, I’ll be relying on the YouTube experts to show me how it’s done.

4. How do I remove my range hood to change the light bulb or clean inside?

Again, not something I need to know now but I’ve suddenly found myself not using the light above our stove for future fear of having to replace the lightbulb. I’m sure it’s an easy one to figure out, but would have been good to know! Also, having rented properties in London for years I know how dirty and grimy range hoods tend to get. I’m hoping to keep on top of ours so it stays nice and shiny – and being able to swap filters or clean inside is part of that for me.

So that’s my list – hope it helps those of you about to redo a kitchen! Any questions you would add to the list?

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

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One comment

  1. The internet is a great place to find some of these answers. If you go to the maker’s website and look up service catalogs or maintenance books for your product (having the model and style number is essential here, and where to find those is also on the website), you will find how to clean and repair, plus troubleshooting in case the problem is not evident. There also should have been booklets the builder would have left for you that came with the appliances that have this information as well. Your hood probably has push-in areas (look for small thumb spaces along an edge) that allow panels to spring push in to drop down for cleaning. They do try to make them fairly accessible.

    Re the cat hair in the washer: I wonder if you tumbled your dry, dirty clothes in the dryer for just 5-10 minutes to remove most (?) of the hair first in the filter, if that would keep your washer tubing from clogging up. Is your washer/dryer one unit or two like we are used to in the US?

    Love your kitchen and how it looks, just spectacular!

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