When my wife Lis and I set up Kitchen Door Workshop in 1996, the internet was in its infancy, as was the concept of replacement kitchen doors. Until then, if your kitchen was looking tired and outdated, often your only option was to rip out and replace your entire kitchen, which was not only expensive, but messy and inconvenient. We believed that replacement kitchen doors was the ideal way for many people to refurbish their existing kitchen, re-using the best of what they already had, and fitting new doors and drawer fronts. So armed with not much more than enthusiasm, Lis and I set up shop in Hailsham, East Sussex and Kitchen Door Workshop was born, offering a replacement kitchen door fitting service to local homeowners.
Over the years the business grew and grew, however as ‘cheap money’ became increasingly easy to borrow and as house values exploded, some people turned away from replacement kitchen doors, preferring to borrow money against the future value of their house and fit a new kitchen. When the financial crisis stuck, not only did the supply of borrowed money dry up, but the value of property also fell. Uncertainty over future property values combined with the fear of unemployment caused people to think twice before embarking on costly home improvement projects. Not only were people looking for a cheaper and ‘greener’ alternative to buying a complete new kitchen, many wanted to do the job themselves. This revived interest in replacement kitchen doors coincided with the increase in online shopping and so we launched:
KitchenDoorWorkshop.co.uk to run alongside our kitchen door fitting business.
Our website was aimed not only at savvy online shoppers, but a growing band of DIY enthusiasts looking for help and advice on how to measure and fit their new doors. Over the years we had carried out thousands of replacement kitchen door projects, so we took this experience and made a series of ’how-to’ video and written guides. Looking back, the quality of the first videos we made was amateur to say the least, but they gave people the skills and confidence they needed to ‘have a go’ and replace their own doors. In writing this book I wanted to bring together the latest versions of our ‘how to’ guides, into one handy manual, which takes you step by step, thought the complete process of measuring and fitting your new doors, using just basic tools and DIY skills.