1. Handle collisions. This occurs when an opening cabinet door is travelling toward, or beyond 90 degrees and its protruding door handle strikes a neighbouring carcass side. If this happens then invariably over time the door will leave an indentation in the opposing cabinet surface, resulting in permanent and irreparable damage.
2. Gas hobs. Planning restrictions around gas hobs are very specific in accordance with the gas safety register. Amateur designers may be unaware of these restrictions and can inadvertently place cabinets incorrectly, resulting in a fire hazard, as well as a design that any mortgage surveyor might report as unsafe. Gas hobs should not be situated closer than 150 mm to a neighbouring vertical solid wall, or 300mm to a neighbouring vertical kitchen carcass panel. The hob should not be situated any closer than 300mm to the end of a run of cabinets, i.e. where there is space to the floor. There are variations in the minimum height an extractor must be positioned above a gas hob. This information will be clear in the manufacturer's literature and should be considered when planning the kitchen.
3. Recirculating extractors. All new build kitchens must benefit from some form of mechanical exterior vented extraction, the minimum flow rate of which is dependent on the cubic volume of the room. Recirculating extractors by themselves do not meet this requirement- and if this is all you have allowed for, then separate mechanical extraction will be required.
4. Corner unit planning. Corner unit dimensions are not always as straightforward as they appear; they are almost always 1000 mm cabinets but with a planning void that increases as the door width increases. This means that the cabinet may be smaller in width overall than you were expecting, or worse still there is insufficient room left for it in your plan. Check the planning width of units very carefully, or better still have a professional do it for you.
5. Forgetting void spaces. Depending on the kitchen you are buying the cabinets may be up to 600 mm as a standard depth (570mm is the standard depth for a German kitchen with door fitted). If this cabinet is then fitted with a standard worktop blank it will leave no space behind the cabinet at all. This is not a problem if there is no pipework behind it- but if there is, it will not fit! When planning your kitchen you should leave at least 50mm for waste pipes, hot and cold feed, and gas pipes to be routed in.
6. Placing fridges/ freezers tight against walls. If you place one of these appliances tight against a wall on the side of the hinges, through attempting to open the door you will find it won't open beyond 90 degrees. On many appliance designs this is not a sufficiently wide enough opening angle to allow the vegetable or freezer drawers to be pulled out.
7. Placing microwaves in wall units. There are many microwaves available designed specifically for integration within wall units. There is nothing wrong with this per se; however, it is important to consider the height of the microwave from the floor, as well as the height of the members of your household who may be using it. If your worktop height is 910mm and there is a space between the wall unit and the bottom of the cabinet of 580mm, you have an available height to the bottom of the microwave of at least 1510mm. Bearing in mind the contents of the microwave could be boiling hot when you remove them, you really don't want to have to lift them out at a height above your head!
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