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Candid, honest, useful advice on all things kitchens, furniture, design, and wood, from the younger brother at H. Miller Bros.

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" I'm nervous about the installation process. What should I expect? "

March

2024

Hey design-lovers,


This month, I’m discussing a topic that can sometimes make clients a bit nervous: installation. Allowing people into your home to complete a project can be daunting. Questions like "Will it be noisy and messy?" or "Are you going to damage my floors, dent the walls, or knock things over?" often come to mind.


Having had work compeleted in our own homes by contractors, Howard and I understand these concerns. So, below, I've walked through how we organize your installation, talk about what to expect, and tell you the measures we take to ensure a smooth process, and how we keep you updated.



2-4 weeks before installation

All through the design process, we’ll be co-ordinating with you and any contractors, and we’ll have drawn up a full co-ordination diagram so services are in the right place and ready to go.

Around 2-4 weeks before we’re due to install, we’ll contact you to update you on the progress of your project in our workshop and invite you to visit and see it being made. We fully assemble and mock-up all our projects prior to delivery to ensure that nothing’s been missed and everything will go together as planned on site. During your visit, you can examine the details, see how it all comes together, and meet our H. Miller Bros team, including the makers who will carry out the installation. We’re a friendly bunch and take pride in our work, so it’s a pleasure to show clients the intricate details that make their project unique.

We'll confirm that any enabling works have been completed (electrics, flooring, plumbing, or windows) and take notes and contact details of any contractors we need to coordinate with on-site.

 

2-3 days before installation

We’ll confirm our arrival time, provide an estimated installation duration, and check for any logistical considerations, such as a steep or narrow driveway or access points. We'll also share the installation team's contact details in case you need to reach them en route. To minimize disruption and get you up and running quickly, we often work longer hours, usually 8 am-7 pm. We’ll confirm if this is suitable and note any times when noise or disruption should cease.



 

Installation Day 1

We’ll arrive on time, maintain a neat workspace, and adhere to our strict ‘no builder’s bums’ policy. If there’s an existing kitchen, we’ll carefully remove it and prepare the area for the new cabinetry. We wrap our woodwork in packing blankets to protect it during transit and installation. Wrapping also safeguards your home and floors while we manoeuvre everything into position.

If the installation is far from our Liverpool base, we may arrive in the mid-afternoon. Regardless, we’ll have all cabinetry and tools in place by the end of the first day. You’ll receive a call from Howard to ensure everything meets expectations, answer any questions, and discuss the remaining installation process.

 

Installation Day 2:

Every project has a ‘set-out’ point from which we start the installation. This might be the heaviest item, an awkward corner of the site, or where a piece of our cabinetry needs to align with an existing feature in your home, like a staircase or window. We’ll begin to put the cabinetry in place, ensuring each is perfectly level and tightly positioned against its neighbour before fixing them together in sequence.

This fitting process helps form a strong, robust 'raft' that will support the drawers, doors, and stone to come, which is one reason our kitchens last a generation. It's an exciting day as the space starts to come to life, and many of our customers enjoy this stage. It also helps us install even large and complex jobs within a week, a fraction of the time traditional on-site joinery or flat-pack assembly would take.

We’re often asked how our cabinetry will meet walls and floors, especially if they are uneven or in old houses, and if there’ll be gaps or spaces for dust and debris to collect. We use a process called 'scribing,' where we cut the edge panels of our cabinetry to fit your space precisely (example in the left side of the image below), so there won't be any gaps, and everything will look neat and tidy. Caulk and sealant are used to ensure a hygienic and watertight seal for worktops and plinth boards.



Installation Day 3:

By this stage, we’re usually fixing the final cabinets in place and integrating your chosen appliances to work seamlessly and look fantastic. Dishwashers will be plumbed in, fridges turned on, ovens integrated, and extractors installed.

With the cabinetry in place, we’ll liaise with our worktop supplier and arrange templating, so the stonework can be made whilst we’re completing the final parts of the installation.

Safety for you and your family is a key consideration in our installation planning. Each evening, we unplug all equipment, put away any sharp tools, and remove hazardous materials to our van. We tidy the job site and remove rubbish daily, as a tidy site is safer, more productive, and easier for us to work in, and more pleasant for you to live with.

 

Installation Day 4:

Towards the end of the week, details start to be added. Cabinet doors will be attached, drawers inserted, and shadow gaps adjusted. If your new kitchen includes features like a shelf above the backsplash, the structure for this will be installed at this point. Your new kitchen sink will be inserted into its cabinet, and items like bin drawers will be installed and tested.

An often-asked question is, ‘Will there be loads of dust?’ We bring our own portable extractors, specially designed to work with our power tools, enabling us to keep dust to a minimum. They also allow us to vacuum up at the end of each day, minimizing dust migration around your home.

 


Installation Day 5:

Finishing touches will be completed, including adding and sealing plinth boards, fixing cladding boards in place, and plugging and finishing screw holes. Once everything is complete, we’ll walk you through the project, checking everything over to ensure you’re happy with the progress and that things are as you expected. We’ll take notes on any final bits that need attention and list any snagging that needs to be completed.

At the end of day 5, we’ll remove any remaining wrapping, packaging, and rubbish, pack our tools away in our van, and clean the work site. We’ll leave any appliances to be installed after the worktops go in (sinks, taps, hobs, etc.) in place, so they are ready for the stone installation.

You’ll receive another call from Howard towards the end of the day to ensure you’re happy with the progress and that everything’s going as expected.



Week 2

Items such as worktops can take some time to be made, so they are usually installed around a week after we’ve completed the cabinetry. We’ll supervise the worktop installation, ensuring your tap is plumbed in and your hob installed. Any ‘second-fix’ electrics, such as socket fronts and switches, can now be installed into the cabinetry and worktops.

Once everything has been cleaned, and final checks have been completed, we’ll do a walk-through with you to ensure everything’s just right. This last part usually takes a single day, and you should be up and running by the time we leave. Howard will call again to check that all the details have been taken care of.

 



3-months after completion

We’ll get in touch to arrange our 3-month post-completion visit. If any issues have cropped up or adjustments are needed, we can take care of them during this visit. We’re proud of the kitchens and cabinetry we make, and for many of our projects, we ask if it’s okay for us to take photographs for our LookBook. If you agree, this is when we’ll bring our press photographer, Robert, to capture a few shots of your new kitchen in all its glory. We hope you’ll join us for the shoot – you can even be in the photos if you’d like!

 

 

I hope this overview of our installation process has been informative. We work diligently to minimize mess, disruption, and stress. We want your memories of the installation to be happy ones and for your new kitchen to be a space you love to live in and use. If you have any questions or want more information about our process, feel free to drop me a note at hugh@hmillerbros.co.uk.


Cheers,

Hugh 

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