Advice about a ?ruined kitchen!

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21 Aug 2017
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The tenants have left...and we found the kitchen (relatively cheapo mdf one) in a bad state. A spare cold water feed (the washing machine is upstairs) had been dripping for months and the carcass and doors have swelled and split. Oh, and there was a 1/2" puddle behind the kick board which has wicked up the wall. Altogether not good, and they must have known, but anyway...

I can swap out the doors readily enough, but am really not sure what to do about the carcass. I can't see how the kitchen fits together. It's U-shaped with sink under the window (base of the U) and "magic" corner cupboards either side. I can't see any way to get at the carcass cupboards to replace them. Presumably it'd require removing the worktop (which has also swelled along the join, but not so badly)?

Am I doomed to getting a new kitchen fitted? Can I somehow just replace the damaged unit? Could I router-off the front section of the cabinet base (the worst part) and glue/screw some lipping on? Any other options?

Any advice on drying - we have a couple of dehumidifiers running 24/7 but the damp readings are still very high!

I know the standard playbook is torch the place before razing and making an insurance claim, but I'm not that kind of guy.
From what you have described it’s not viable to repair imho . However a few pictures of the damage might tell a different tale .When mdf/ chipboard/ particle board gets wet for even a short time it’s often too late to repair it . As it dries out the damage will just get worse. Shame on the tennants who could have let you know about the leak . You could make an insurance claim due to the leak above assuming you have insurance - if not and as it’s a rental property then replace the cabinets and worktops but save the sink and taps etc . You might be able to save and reuse some of the worktop but anything that has swelled even a little won’t last long .I know these magic units are not cheap but again if they have been subjected to water ingress they will also need changing -if you could buy the exact units you may be able to swap over the innards but this could be difficult . Access to the worktop fixing screws will be from directly underneath the cabinets . The damp that has tracked up the wall will soon dry assuming the source of the leak has been resolved and with ventilation / normal heating .. sorry if this sounds a bit doom and gloom but no point spending money on something that will probably not last much longer .. good luck
I replaced one earlier this year in similar circumstances, did the work myself via IKIA as I couldn't find a good installer in this area within my price range. From what you say it sounds like the kitchen is past saving, if that's the case I'd rip out and start again, no point in drying chipboard and it's only going to slow down drying walls etc. When a place is empty I always try to do the donkey work myself such as ripping out even if I'm going to pay someone else to do the rest when I can. Gas and electrical obviously have to be done professionally although I could tell horror stories on both and trade associations seem to have no interest if their members leave installations in unsafe / illegal conditions. I had another installed this year in the Wellingborough area, very please with the work / price / attitude as is my tenant, I'm not sure if the person I used works in your area but it's not unlikely, I'd be happy to recommend them. I don't think I'm allowed to name names on here so PM if you would like their contact.
I think the insides of magic corner cupboards are universal, so you can save those expensive bits and put them in the new one. We bought the mechanism part for one cheaply second hand and put it in a normal cupboard fine.

Sounds as if the units have had it though. Have you considered a second hand kitchen? We got a decent one really cheaply on eBay. If taking out is too much hassle, there are places that do all the removal and checking. You still save a lot compared with new.
+1 for 2nd hand from eBay. My son has a few rentals and refreshes the kitchens this way every few years. Some amazing stuff out there, the last one was 15 base and wall units, beech worktops, sink and a dishwasher for £300 already removed.
Though I do not use FaceBook, my daughter does and uses FaceBook marketplace and she showed me loads of kitchens at very cheap prices. Give it a look!
If you go the DIY route I highly recommend DIY-Kitchens. I just replace the kitchen in one of our rentals and the quality and price were very good.
We got our kitchen from them - very good quality and pre-assembled units not flat-pack all at a keen price.
It might also be worth keeping a look on EBay - secondhand kitchens are often cheap as chips. We’ve had a couple and used them as a basis for refits.
"Am I doomed to getting a new kitchen fitted? Can I somehow just replace the damaged unit?"

If there is only one base unit damaged it should be fairly straightforward to replace just that one unit. It may be screwed to the adjoining corner units, behind the back panel - worst case scenario screwed from the corner unit side. However, if the damaged unit is being scrapped it could be removed in bits - remove the back panel first and saw the middle out of the base. If the worktop is to be replaced the cabinet removal will be easy.
A standard size, white, replacement cabinet will be simple to source. B&Q is an obvious, off the shelf supplier. Just be wary of IKEA as their units are not standard sizes. IKEA base cabinets are 800mm high with lower legs and kickboard (standard is 720mm) and they certainly don't have the standard service void at the rear.
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If you can get the worktop off and its reusable
Then access to the under units and visual will show what can andcant be removed and new slotted in... perhaps from above

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