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Design Your Own Kitchen? Install Your Own Cabinets? It Can Be Done!

by Shannon Dauphin

When a homeowner decides to design his or her own kitchen, the dream often begins with a few sketches on a piece of paper. Then, it moves to graph paper and more careful measurements. The design might then make the leap to a three-dimensional rendering on a computer screen. Finally, the dream look is in place, and the kitchen renovation is in full swing.

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But how much of that renovation can you do on your own? Arguably, hanging your new kitchen cabinets is the toughest part of the job, but if you're an enterprising do-it-yourselfer, even that daunting project isn't out of reach.

Installing Your Own Kitchen Cabinets

Before you decide to install kitchen cabinets yourself, consider what you need to make it happen:

  • Dead-on measurements: You must measure your cabinets perfectly if you want them to fit properly. When you think you've measured more times than you can count, do it again--just to be sure.
  • Find your studs: Wall studs are absolutely necessary for hanging cabinets. Mark them clearly, and make sure your cabinets are attached to them as solidly as possible.
  • Plumb and level: If a single portion of your new kitchen cabinets is out of balance, they'll all be crooked. You must keep the cabinets level and plumb with each other and the features of the kitchen itself.
  • Lots of finesse and brawn: Getting the cabinets level is half the battle. Actually getting them into position is the other. Have a few strong friends around to help you with your kitchen cabinet installation.

Not sure you can handle the heat? Get out of the kitchen, and turn the work over to a professional contractor.


About the Author

Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

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