Today has been something of a nightmarish day. My new Electrolux built-in oven arrived yesterday and I was actually quite looking forward to fitting it today. That didn’t last long, I can tell you!

I’ve managed for over two years with only half a kitchen, mainly because I’ve had other more pressing things to do with my time. I also didn’t fancy pulling down the existing ceiling, which I’ll have to eventually, as it’s full of filthy old fibreglass insulation and will not only cause a terrible mess but will also probably require the use of protective clothing. But with family arriving for Christmas, I must now at least install an oven to cook the turkey in, and put a cupboard on the wall as a temporary measure to provide a bit more storage.

I thought that all built-in ovens were of standard dimensions and would fit into any modern oven housing, but as soon as I offered the Electrolux up to my Brico-Depot top-of-the-range oven housing, I knew that there was going to be trouble. Sure, it fitted laterally and slid in nicely, but before entering in the whole way, it stopped. Its back had come up against something and I thought that it was the electric wall socket, which is surface mounted and that I had been resigned to probably having to chase into the wall in any case.

But it wasn’t that at all. The gas hob that is mounted above the oven has a supply pipe that is angled downwards so any pipe connected to it dips down even further before turning back towards the wall, and it was this that the oven was fouling against. This was much more serious, as it meant that not only did I need to remove the hob but I also had to take the oven housing right out to see how I could in some way modify the supply pipe that I put in.

Anyway, I did both of those things but still the oven won’t go right in as the following pictures show.

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I’m worried for two or three reasons. The back of the oven casing is now fouling the back panel of the housing. I can trim a lump off the back panel but even if the oven then clears it, it still looks as though its casing will foul the hob supply pipe. I’ve already adapted the connection fitting and there’s nothing much more that I can do if it does, so I’ll probably then have to look around for a gas hob with a different supply pipe configuration.

And say that it does clear the oven casing by a whisker, what then? The depth of the housing is just under 51cm but the depth of the oven casing seems to be 51cm or just a bit over. That means that without taking out the housing back panel and making up some kind of cross-bar of reduced depth that allows the oven to pass below it, the oven will never drop back in far enough and would always be standing proud of the kitchen cabinets. For goodness sake, what’s wrong with these designers who don’t seem to understand what is meant by the term ‘standard dimensions’!

And even if I can deal with all of these things, housing, electric wall socket etc, there’s still a possibility given the apparent extreme over-dimensions of this oven that it will then foul against the gas pipe that I put in that brings gas for cooking through the wall from an outside cylinder, and still not seat right into the cabinet. At the moment, it’s impossible to tell if that will be the case. I dearly hope that it will not be because what I thought was going to be a ‘routine’ fitting job will then turn into something much more major.