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8 important considerations before tackling do it yourself kitchen cabinets

by Judi Sandall

Do it yourself kitchen cabinets are not for everyone, but if you're blessed with the handy gene, you can save a boat load of money when you install new cabinets yourself. Installation labor represents a huge percentage of the budget for a kitchen cabinet project. By investing a little of your own sweat equity, you can end up saving cash or even buy higher quality cabinets with the money you intend to save.

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Here are 8 things to consider so you don't blow all of the savings doing it yourself:

  1. Take your time. If you think you can knock out do it yourself kitchen cabinets in a weekend, you may want to think again. Haste truly does make waste, and it could be the money you were trying to save.
  2. Use proper tools. If you don't have the proper tools, a relatively simple do it yourself project can become a difficult and expensive nightmare pretty quickly.
  3. Invite a friend. Lifting heavy cabinets and holding them by yourself while you're trying to screw them in place can be a recipe for disaster.
  4. Demolition. Carefully removing the old cabinets should take more finesse and less crow bar. You don't want to invest time patching and repairing the walls if you don't have to. Time is money.
  5. Be prepared. Make sure that your kitchen walls are smooth, level and clean before you attach the cabinets.
  6. Get a square deal. Don't guess: make sure your cabinets are level. Starting with the corner cabinets can help.
  7. Find a stud. A wall usually cannot hold the weight of a full kitchen cabinet; wall studs, however, should be up to the task, so make sure to locate them.
  8. Screw it up. So that you don't screw up the installation, you need to screw the cabinets to the studs. Make sure the screws are long enough to go through a sturdy part of the cabinet and at least 1.5 inches into the wall stud.

So, has this list of things to think about reinforced your decision to install do it yourself kitchen cabinets--or encouraged you to hire a contractor?

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