The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where friends and family gather for parties, children eat breakfast, and dinner is enjoyed each evening. Consequently, a kitchen should be stylish while still meeting the needs of the family. While there are many ways to have a kitchen designed, one popular method is to simply do it yourself.
Plan the Build
Before executing a build, it is important to plan it out carefully. The following steps will help any builder stay on track and avoid missing any important details.
Take accurate measurements of the kitchen before anything else. Because cabinets are custom-designed to fit the space, it’s very important to measure at least twice before recording the final numbers.
Create a Floor Plan
First, draw out a floor plan for the kitchen, including the space where the cabinets will go. A piece of paper with grid-lines and a pencil work well for this, but there are also special computer programs that are even more accurate and visual.
Use Measuring Tape
Next, use measuring tape to determine the dimensions of the cabinets. The standard height for base cabinets is around 88 cm. Wall cabinets are usually mounted about 137 cm from the floor. These numbers may need to be adjusted slightly if the ceilings are higher or lower than average.
Remember the Details
Don’t forget to include important items when measuring. Measure for all the appliances and also mark windows, doors, and other features appropriately. When laying out space for appliances, be sure to consider the plumbing and electrical layout, too. If possible, it’s best to keep the same design as the kitchen had before. Otherwise, plumbing and electrical fixtures will need to be moved to adjust to the new cabinets.
Build the Cabinets
Now that you have accurate measurements, it’s time to gather the materials to build the cabinets. You’ll need the following tools to get started:
- screw driver or drill
- wood glue
- shelf pins (optional)
- pin jig (optional)
- door hardware (hinges and knobs or handles)
Any type of wood can be used to build the cabinets, as long as it’s sturdy and cuts well.
Build the Carcase
Start by cutting the carcase for the cabinets. This includes the back pieces, which run along the wall, the side pieces, and the bottom pieces. Once they are cut, clamp two side pieces together. Cut a square section away from one corner for a toe-kick. If shelves are being included in the cabinets, drill holes for the shelf pins.
Assemble the carcase with wood glue and screws. Drill pilot holes for the screws to prevent splitting. Give the wood glue time to dry before moving on to the next step.
Cut the Shelves
Once the glue is dry, install the brackets on the insides of cabinets for additional support at each corner. Cut the shelves to fit, but don’t install them yet. It’s easier to install shelves once the cabinets are in place.
Build the Facing Panels
The cabinet doors are the most difficult part. First make a frame from several strips of wood and mitre them at the corners before they are fitted together with dowels or pocket screws. This frame is fitted around a panel, which creates the finished door.
Install the Cabinets
Set the cabinets in the proper positions to ensure everything fits flush and evenly. Use a leveller to ensure that the tops of the cabinets are all even. Now, starting with a corner cabinet (or one which fits flush against two walls), install the cabinets by screwing them to the studs behind them. You should also use smaller screws to attach the sides of the cabinets together for additional support.
Add the Shelves
Insert the pins into the pre-drilled holes, then set the shelves in place.
Add the Doors
Using the hardware included with the doors (or individual pieces purchased separately), install the hinges on the doors. Drill pilot holes for the handles and knobs, too. Attach the hinges to the cabinet, making sure to hold the doors flush and even.
The cabinets can be finished by painting or staining them any colour. Finish the look with a bit of sealant, and have a new kitchen that your whole family will enjoy. The tools and skills you need to get the job done can be found online on sites like eBay.