Do it yourself projects have been all the rage in these last few years. Many people are discovering that if they can do a project themselves, not only will it save themselves money in the long run for not having to pay the labor for a professional to build for them, it is also bringing many couples and families together.
Working on these huge projects helps some families get along and to put their family’s ability teamwork to the test. Whatever project that you may want to tackle next, doing it yourself instead of hiring a professional can be extremely rewarding in many different ways.
Many people who choose to go down the do it yourself pathway, usually try to tackle their kitchens first. It seems that people often get dissatisfied with their kitchens before any other room in their house. The kitchen is usually the place that the entire family spends the most time in, so it’s easily understandable as to why kitchen remodels are so popular.
Cabinets are the most important thing inside of a kitchen, besides the appliances. Cabinets are a huge portion of a kitchen remodel and it is important to get them installed exactly the way that you want them, so correct measurement are essential.
But before we can start measuring cabinets and choosing which style of cabinetry is right for your kitchen, first, we need to make sure that we have enough space in the kitchen for everything we want. How do you do that?
First off, you need to gather the materials needed to take kitchen measurements. You will need:
• A tape measure
• A piece of notebook paper, or preferably, grid paper
• A pencil to mark down measurements
Starting with an adjoining corner if there is one, working clockwise around the kitchen and measure the overall length of the entire kitchen. Using grid paper is the best option for this because the grid paper has boxes or grids that help you draw straight lines better and for you to use as a scale of the kitchen to help make your plan more three dimensional rather than two dimensional.
It is also important that you use a pencil when writing down your measurements, that way, if you accidentally make a mistake, you can easily change it and keep on working on your plan. Make sure that when you are drawing your plan that you skip over initially any of the bigger appliances, such as your refrigerator and your oven, and any windows because we need the overall length. We’ll go back and measure those at the end.
Secondly, working clockwise again, take your tape measure and measure the walls height from the floor to the ceiling. Any trim needs to be included in this as well. This will help when you decide if you would like your cabinets to go all the way to the top of the ceiling or if you would rather like them to stop before they get all the way to the top to accommodate for any type of new molding that you would like to add in addition to the cabinets.
Measuring the length of the kitchen will help with one person to hold the tape measure against one wall and have a second person walk to the other wall and stretch the tape straight to get an accurate reading. Do this with each wall of the kitchen. After the kitchen is completely measured, now we will identify any windows and door ways that are in the design. We will also mark down where all the windows are by measuring their distance from each wall. This is very important especially for placement of sink cabinets to be centered below a window. Now you’ll note the location of large appliances placement in the room. Standard sizes for appliances are as follows.
- Most Stove or cooktops are 30 inches wide while custom ones can be 36″ wide.
- Dishwashers are 24 inches wide.
- Wall ovens comes in measurements of 24″, 27″ or 30″.
- Refrigerators are mostly commonly between 30″-36″ wide.
You will also need to mark down where there are outlets, vents and plumbing to ensure that you are not losing those necessities due to the new cabinets. You will also need to include any other things or furniture that will likely be in the room with the new cabinets after they are completed.
Once everything has been measured and accounted for, you can now start drawing up the plans for your new cabinets. When designing where your cabinets will go, there are a few tips to remember. The work triangle is the area in which a kitchen’s three busiest spots – the sink, the oven and the refrigerator – are located. To save money on your kitchen remodel, leave all plumbing where it is unless the triangle is not working for you. Same thing for placement of the stove/cooktop. It requires more money to relocate electrical or gas lines for those appliances.
These three things should be as close to each other as possible to maximize work efficiency in the kitchen. Also, it would probably be a smart idea to put the dishwasher near the sink if possible and not put a cabinet between the two. Dishwashers will become more inefficient the farther away from the sink they are placed due to the length of the drain pipe. Cabinets need to be placed in just the right spot for the kitchen to “flow” the best way possible.
There are three different types of cabinets that are installed in many homes. Base cabinets are the lower set of cabinets that are 24 inches deep and 34.5 inches tall. Wall cabinets are between 12-15 inches deep and have various heights ranging from 15 inches tall to 40+ inches tall. The last type of cabinet is tall pantries that are 24 inches deep.
Base cabinets are really great for storage of pots and pans, and other large kitchen items that you would want to access quickly and easily. Newer base cabinets utilize drawers that are very helpful in accessing items that you would otherwise have to reach awkwardly on your knees for items in the back of the cabinets.
Wall cabinets are the upper cabinets that go above the base cabinets. Wall cabinets will have different heights depending on the height of the ceiling of the kitchen. Some people prefer to let the wall cabinets go all the way to the top of the ceiling, however, some people will stop the design of the cabinets touching the ceiling in favor of placing crown molding at the top of the ceiling for a better custom look and for higher resale value of their homes.
When you are installing wall and base cabinets, it is important to remember to leave at least eighteen to twenty inches of room between the two sets of cabinets. Factor in the height of your countertop material when measuring the placement of your wall cabinet. Most countertops are between 1-1.5 inches thick. Most newer countertop appliances such as coffee makers, blenders and food processors are taller and will need more room to fit underneath the wall cabinets.
Pantry cabinets are taller cabinets than the wall or the base cabinets. They are a great choice for a family that needs plenty of storage in the kitchen. If you have the room for pantry cabinets in your kitchen, it would definitely be a great idea to work them into the design.
Pantry cabinets are really useful because they do not necessarily have to be used to house groceries or other food items. These type of cabinets are really great all-purpose type cabinets. Usually these can be built with adjustable shelves too, which further enhances the storage options.
After you have chosen the right type of new cabinets to install in your kitchen, let the renovation begin! Installing cabinets is no easy task, but for someone who loves do it yourself projects, it will be a fun and enjoyable experience! Your new kitchen will be finished in no time, and your cabinets will be the awesome centerpiece or focal point that you were hoping for.