Installing Kitchen Cabinets
Installing your own kitchen cabinets is a great way to save money on your kitchen renovation. Using pre-made or stock cabinets will make the job easier and allow for a quicker installation project.
Installing cabinets is still a big job, however, and it will require a friend or installation assistant–particularly when you start hanging the upper cabinets.
Your first step in the installation process is to prepare the area where your new cabinets will go. This step can be a big one or little one depending on what currently exists in this area. You may need to pull out old cabinets, patch and paint walls on which the new cabinets will be built, finish or renovate flooring in your design space, and possibly remove appliances and shut off the water and electricity in your renovation space.
Once your renovation space is prepared, you will want to measure the layout for your new space carefully and precisely. You may end up using your existing cabinets as a pattern; alternatively, you could seek out a template from a design center to create your new space. Either way, this step is essential to ensuring that the cabinets you will be installing will work in the available space. Sketches, whether professionally made or not, are important tools to assist you in this step. Don't forget to account for appliances such as your stove and refrigerator when making your measurements, and be sure to factor in your range hood if installing upper cabinets.
When your plans and measurements are prepared, and you have all of the cabinets and tools ready for installation, the assembly can begin. Upper cabinets are typically installed first so that you don't have to awkwardly work over lower cabinets later. You will want to assemble and install your cabinets first without their doors on to ensure that they are installed evenly and securely. You will need to find the studs of the support wall using a stud finder prior to actually installing the cabinets. You can then either hang your cabinets onto a support beam or French cleat screwed into the studs, or screw the cabinets directly into the studs.
Once the upper cabinets are installed, you can begin work on the lower cabinets. You will also need to locate the studs to screw the lower cabinets into. With the lower cabinet installation you may need to make cutouts for any electrical outlets or plumbing hookups that may be needed for your appliances. You will also want to ensure that the tops of your lower cabinets are level as you will be installing countertops on top of them at a later point in the renovation. It is important to note that it is generally preferable to begin the installation in a corner and work your way in. It's also a good idea to dry-fit the cabinets before securing them to the wall.
Finally, you can add your countertops. Caulk them into place, then install your appliances. Once everything is in place according to the design layout, you can attach your cabinet doors and install any hardware to complete your renovation project.