Welcome to build kitchen cabinets website, a site dedicated to the whole and sole purpose of helping one build kitchen cabinets effortlessly. As time goes on, building kitchen cabinets have reached new heights, no longer being limited to only being a storage place.
Today, cabinets are increasingly becoming status symbols. With more and more people going for customized designs, it is no surprise that everyone wants to have the best in their kitchen.
Whether you are looking for ideas to purchase new cabinets or you are keen to add extra storage space to your existing hardware, this helpful guide has been written to offer you complete insights.
Although the basics of cabinetry designs tend to remain the same forever, it is up to the designer of the cabinet to mould the basics into something that leaves the eyes wanting more. Do you find yourself resonating with the above line?
Well, I believe you do!
Nevertheless, I have some amazing news for you. This quality, insightful-guide will cover each and every aspect, every nook and corner you ever wanted to know about building kitchen cabinets. Further, you will find a couple of questionnaires as you dig deeper into this article.
Although answering them is optional and you may well continue reading the article, I strongly believe and advise answering each and every question and making notes as you progress, as this will help you stay better informed.
Let us begin!
The first and foremost thing one needs to understand about building kitchen cabinets is they are storage spaces intelligently designed to offer extra space for things of different measurements without consuming greater space. When one is ready with the basics and a rough idea about the intended items to be stored, measurements can be worked out with better accuracy, since we are well aware of what needs to be stored.
Nevertheless, every unit that is designed and manufactured is more than a piece of a storage box. It is designed with amazing levels of customization, such as having pull drawers, doors, and racks to help its user carry out activities with ease.
Before getting into the design and installation technicalities, let us understand the different types of building kitchen cabinets. Some of the faster moving cabinets are:
Stock cabinets: Simple cabinets that are manufactured with various standard measurements that offer a plug and play option. Did you know, many people love going for stock cabinets due to the economic value they tend to offer?
A leading publication had interviewed once about what triggers most people to opt for stock cabinets despite all the glitz and glamour surrounding other cabinets like customized or semi-stock cabinets.
Interestingly, the price factor was seen to be the most common reason that made people go for stock kitchen cabinets. There were others who pointed out, “Purchasing stock cabinets is a good alternative to customized cabinets and you end up saving not only money but also time.” For those of you wondering how stock cabinets help save time, it is because you do not have to wait to see something take shape. Everything is ready-made for you and all one needs to do is plug and play.
When I say plug and play, many people will have quality issues at the back of their minds. I believe one of the many reasons could be rumors that are engineered to reach the masses about stock cabinets being of low quality from the manufacturers to bag more high-end customized cabinet sales.
No! Going for stock cabinets never means you end up compromising on the quality. Unlike their peers, stock cabinets too undergo stringent quality tests to the best of my knowledge.
Semi-Stock Cabinet: While stock cabinets offer no room for customization, manufacturers have intelligently come up with semi-stock cabinets to grow their market share. These cabinets offer limited customization capabilities.
If some of you have already visited offline shops, you might be well aware of the tricks salesmen play in convincing you to go for higher priced cabinets, or in simple words, custom cabinets. They come up with the choicest of reasons while maintaining their communication-level so as not to lose you.
Let me help you understand what exactly it means when one says semi-customized cabinets come with limited customization capabilities. It simply means you can have extra-detailing options changed to match your taste. For instance, you can have the door handles, knobs and other minor things modified or changed as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Some of the semi-custom cabinets also give you room for basic necessities, such as door fronts and drawers, resized to let you achieve better comfort and have your desired apparels fit inside easily.
These types of semi-custom, also known as semi-stock cabinets, can be an ideal option for those who are personalization hungry!
There are people out there who love to have some detailing of their own choice but do not want to end up mired in technical details. For people of this taste, semi-customized cabinets can help achieve a greater level of satisfaction whilst building kitchen cabinets and getting them up and running in a short amount of time.
Jessica, a mother of two beautiful children and one of my clients, says, “I believe in personifying everything that is within my view. And semi-stock cabinets suit perfectly to my tastes.”
Customized Cabinets: These cabinets come with a complete customized solution. You can design your own kitchen cabinet according to your whims and fancies. It would not be wrong to mention, this is one of the major reasons custom cabinets are insanely priced. It offers everything, for instance; the luxury of trimming doors to having the wooden sets carved into anything and everything.
Customized cabinets are something that you will never find off the shelf. Nevertheless, I would suggest walking into a store (any store) and enquiring about customized cabinets. Salesmen from each and every corner of the shop you can imagine will spring up and show you beautiful and mesmerizing designs beyond one’s imagination.
You can feast your eyes on these pretty cabinets. However, let me warn you, these pretty marvels come with insanely priced tags.
However, at times some of us will get so drawn to customized cabinets that we end up disliking everything else but customized cabinets.
Do you see yourself in a similar position as described above?
If so, continue reading and I will help you with an amazing hack that you would have never imagined exists!
I had one of my clients ask, “Mike, I like one customized cabinet that is out for sale in my neighborhood. However, my pocket doesn’t allow me to buy! Is there any way you can help me build a similar one?”
I calmly explained, there is a way; however, it will take some extra work on his end. First, you need to carefully run a visual check on each and every stock or semi-stock cabinet. Once you arrive at the right cabinet, intelligently ask the salesmen questions to add additional cabinets to the stock cabinet that you have just shortlisted.
You will be amazed how this little trick has helped many of my clients land on that priced cabinet, which they thought was next to impossible.
So who builds a customized cabinet? Are they built indoors or at a manufacturer’s facility?
Well, the obvious answer is anybody can build a customized cabinet provided they have the necessary experience. However, since many things need to be manually procured depending on the instructions and taste of the end user, it is highly advisable to seek a professional’s help.
It is a labor of intensive work. However, if you negotiate with the right person about your requirements, trust me; you will never regret spending a bomb to get that quality cabinet.
Liotta, a young wood-craftsman, has a different take on custom cabinets. “One thing I have learned during my 2 years of experience in the wood industry is custom means ‘custom,’ and nobody can deny it. With these cabinets, I have personally seen people letting their imaginations fly.”
The young craftsman further says he enjoys working with his customers and he doesn’t mind spending extra time since he is passionate about his customized skill sets.
Liotta says, “Whenever I am assigned a task of designing customized cabinets, I make it a point to design something that has both unique functionality and eye-pleasing design.”
Steps involved when building kitchen cabinets that make them a worthwhile investment
Many of my newer clients whom I work with have something in common. Most of them have newly procured/built cabinets that are discolored or have suffered from temperature abuse, blisters and other related damage which leave them with a soured experience and not wanting to trust a salesman ever again.
How do you avoid getting into these types of unwanted messes?
1. Know and Understand the salesman lingo
Alright! Some of you might argue with me, saying it is highly unlikely that you will ever be able to pick up the salesman lingo. After all, you just want to buy a cabinet that stays fit and fine for a long time. You wonder why on earth you need to familiarize yourself with their general lingo if you are never planning to get into cabinetry sales!
Well, what I mean to say is familiarize yourself with general cabinets, their types of make, (for example stock, semi-stock and customized cabinets), and what different prices each of them command. Equipping yourself with this basic information will definitely signal to the salesperson that you are not one to be taken for a ride.
2. Prefer Certified Brands
If you do not know and understand anything about wood and how it behaves with regard to changes in different weather conditions, your safest bet would be to prefer reputed and certified brands. Many people are guilty of going for an unknown brand because the salesperson convinced them to do so.
With quality brands, you do not have to worry because they are always subjected to the toughest of tests to withstand the harshest of environments.
3. Ask yourself, do you need customized storage options or just the standard ones?
Many of us get things that we never use. In my career spanning decades, I have seen cabinets to be the most abused thing when it comes to customization.
Many people get something that they never use. Their storage spaces will be lying ever empty. When I ask the reason behind their choice, almost 90 percent of them say, “Because the store salesman convinced me of a need for extra storage options for the future.”
4. Looks do matter
Yes! Looks do matter. And unlike the popular belief, you need not always go for customized cabinets when you think of looks. There are various amazing, sophisticated looking cabinets in almost any type of cabinet that is manufactured.
An amazing step-by-step guide to let you achieve Your Dream of Building Kitchen Cabinets Yourself
Designing your kitchen cabinet is not as hard as it sounds. Many of you might wonder how we can design a cabinet when we are unaware of the measurements.
A simple formula to begin is that most of the cabinets are around 24″ deep. These cabinets easily allow a 25″ countertop with a cabinet lip being slightly tilted. Earlier, I used to advise my clients to get in touch with their local stores, should measurement aspects confuse them. Unfortunately, many people out there play the dirty trick of confusing their customers rather than helping them learn to bag a quick sale.
If you find measurements confusing, the below list highlights the general/standard measurements for a majority of the cases.
Cabinets are generally 34.5″ tall | you end up 36″ height after adding the countertop material.
A quick hack to easily help you measure the cabinet or the wall size
First, add 18″ to 20″ to the counter height.
Then subtract this value from the total height of your ceiling. Now you have the exact measurements to begin working with cabinet designs.
Cabinet depth for a standard wall is 12″ to 14″ which allows room for a lower width of a cabinet to be in the range of 12″ to 60″. Note that I have pointed out the lower width of the cabinet in 3″ increments.
Further, you need to plan on the different sizes of the cabinet doors based on your design inputs.
Plan your side panels
Use ¾” medium density fibreboard (MDF) and carefully cut the cabinet side pieces. Even if you are not able to get the right finish, do not worry as the sides will be hidden beneath the cabinet post completion.
Nevertheless, have something in place that is both affordable and sturdy.
The standard side panels will usually be of measurements measuring 24″ wide and 34.5″ high. Have the two sides of the panels neatly clamped by using something like a toe-kick.
Use a jigsaw tool and carefully cut a 3X5.5″ notch into one corner of the panels. After successfully completing the side pieces, you can unclamp them.
Next in line is the bottom panel. You need to carefully cut the bottom panels.
Bottom panels are ideally 24″ deep. It should be noted that the width of bottom panels are directly dependent on your kitchen cabinet dimensions. An ideal formula is to keep the width equal to the total width of the cabinet you desire and subtract it by the width of two side panels that you had noted down in the earlier step.
If you are doing a wall cabinet, you can skip this step. If you are planning otherwise, cut a neat 1X6 lumbered piece and have its width similar to the bottom panel you arrived at in the earlier step.
The bracers are used to have the top portion of the side panels neatly braced. You need to cut two pieces of 1X6 to ideally the same width.
Have the face panels cut neatly. It should be noted that face panels can be seen from outside. Thus care should be taken that you complete the task with great accuracy and precision. A quick hack is to use dimensional lumbers that you find appealing.
Have the flat face of the base panel that you’ve finished in earlier steps and neatly fix it to the edge of the bottom panel. Perform similar activity to have the second base piece up.
You can try fixing it with either a glue or hammering a nail (Using glue is seen to be a good option as you won’t leave nail marks visible).
However, if you find hammering to be a better option considering its grip, you can try drilling neat holes and using butt joint clamps to get a neat output.
Attach the Side Panels
Complete the process using similar steps as discussed previously to attach the side panels to the cabinet. Ensure a neat measurement of 90 degrees when you attach the side panel.
Note: To get the accurate measurement of 90 degrees you can use angle measurements, levelers or clamps at your convenience.
Have the top braces neatly secured
Fit the braces and alternately have it glued to strengthen its fit. Care should be taken that the braces should comfortably be able to rest against the wall. Follow similar step for the second brace in order to ensure the countertop can be correctly installed without any hassles.
Nail the back panel
Use ½” plywood to neatly cut a back panel and have it carefully screwed.
Reinforce and check all the connections
After these tasks, completely reinforce and run a check again to see if all connections are in place. You can use screws and corner brackets to your aid while completing the process.
You can begin inserting the shelves. Nevertheless, if you find any hiccups while inserting the shelves, remove it and note down the measurements. Use a tool such as a leveler and have four corner brackets installed. It will help you to easily slide the shelves.
Assemble the face panels and install them
Use miltered or flat joints to assemble the face piece. If you are having difficulties doing so, imagine you are doing a picture frame assembly. This should leave enough room to imagine and assemble joints easily.
Use dowels or pocket holes to have the pieces secured. Once the task is done, you can either glue or nail to achieve a complete single unit. You can use paint and wood putty to cover up the countersunk nails.
Fit the cabinets
Now you can easily fit the cabinets into a location that you desire. Have them neatly secured into their destination by neatly screwing them through their back panel and right into the hanging wall studs. Further, you can use a pair of L brackets to allow the cabinet’s firm grip from their bottom.
A quick hack to installing doors
It is better to buy quality doors at a cheaper price than making them by using the different types of tools and tackles. Once you have them in place, follow the instructions given in the manual to have your cabinet up and running.
Let us understand why people prefer building kitchen cabinets on their own instead of hiring help available next door.
Build your own kitchen cabinets: An experience worth every drop of your sweat
Like everyone, curiosity took over me and I inquired with not one but with many of my clients to understand their craze to build kitchen cabinets, installing kitchen cabinets to making kitchen cabinets themselves.
Interestingly, the most common answer that I have gotten is, spending their time behind something that stays in their sight gives them a rewarding experience. Nevertheless, many homeowners today are tech savvy and love going the extra mile to achieve customization without having to worry about the price tag.
Further, getting and understanding the right kitchen cabinets design is not a difficult task. However, if you believe you might be the only one who believes this might be a big job, no! Even the most experienced woodworker also needs to spend considerable time to achieve that perfect design.
Nevertheless, one can never negate the importance of toolsets and basic woodworking knowledge in order to master the kitchen cabinets design.
You will be amazed to know the different and unique choices people have. One of my customers enjoys installing kitchen cabinets himself. However, he doesn’t enjoy doing the measurements or other technical stuff.
The craze of installing kitchen cabinets has taken him over and he offers his services to his near and dear ones. Nevertheless, installations have become more of a hobby to him.
I love interviewing my clients. I believe one should never stop learning and interviews help us stay ahead of the current generation’s mindset.
Jacob, one of my clients and longtime friend, says, “I have always been passionate about kitchen cabinets design. In fact, I make sure to teach my children how to be creative and stress to them to come up with unique kitchen cabinets design in their spare time.”
Let me help you understand something unique about myself. As many of you might well be aware of, I spend a lot of my time spreading my knowledge to the wellbeing of society. To achieve this, I had to polish my computer skills.
Thankfully, I am good at picking up things and my recent interest is to understand what exactly people want and plan accordingly for how I can help them.
Interestingly, I have been bombarded with questions such as “How do I make kitchen cabinets?” My neighbor asks, “Mike what difficulties did you face while you were on woodworking jobs?”
During our regular morning walks, my neighbor often kiddingly complains, “My grandchildren often drive me crazy about the cabinet stuff and I do not understand a thing about how to make kitchen cabinets.”
If you too find this thing going over your head, I will tell you something that will take your worries away. Making kitchen cabinets is an easy process. The only thing one might need is the right guidance and enough interest to achieve the task.
Janette, one of my clients in her early sixties, says, “My husband just seems to be passionate about kitchen cabinet. To overcome his passion, he loves making kitchen cabinets using cardboards.”
I found something very interesting about the way Janette put her husband’s interest and inquired more about it. She replied to me, “Mike, when you build your own kitchen cabinets, the experience is completely different.”
Janette feels it is high time that young children are taught from school age how to build your own kitchen cabinets, to help them steer around in their futures without any hassles.
Further, there are many who fret at the mention of cabinet building. However, it should always be noted that cabinet building is not as complicated as it is made to look like. It is as simple as arranging boxes in a certain predefined manner. It is interesting to note that cabinet mastery also gives you the flexibility to mix and match and you can experiment with a mix of doors and drawers.
However, it should always be noted that cabinet building is not a day or a week’s job. Rather it is a process that takes some time to complete. Nevertheless, if it’s your first time building a cabinet, it is beneficial to consult or take professional advice.
There are many people out there who love to master cabinet skills no matter what. If you believe you too are in the same wagon, it is beneficial to work on your activities with something like cardboard boxes to gradually hone the skills. Once you get a good grip on cabinet working, you can start working and begin to build your own customized cabinet. You will be amazed to find your measurements and design skills taking beautiful effect as you progress towards completion.
Let me help you with a quick hack. If you do not know or understand how to design and complete the measurement process, you can try browsing and searching for predefined online templates that can help you understand the ways one can easily start.
If you love any designs, I would advise you to read this entire guide from the beginning and match up with the predefined steps that you would love to have for your customized cabinet.
If you are starting from the scratch and it is your first time, it should be noted that it is okay to have a few heartbreaks, since the majority of us tend to make mistakes when beginning something for the first time. Never consider cabinet building a job, rather, take it as a fun activity that is meant to improve your home décor.
Further, try to shop as much as you can offline. Did you just say, “Mike, in the era of online shopping you want us to shop offline?” Yes! I stand by my words. Shopping offline has got advantages too. You can feel different materials and you can get good ones without spending a lot.
It further helps you to discuss your requirements with real people and discussions help one increase knowledge beyond the general browsing arena.
It gives immense pleasure to the one who builds it with his heart in place. It will not only help you in saving laborious costs, it will also help you get the unique design that only you will have and no one else.
So how do you plan to mark your cabinetry activities? Do you believe you have everything it takes to build a cabinet right from scratch or are you still left with many unanswered questions?
Believe me, building kitchen cabinet is something that has given me satisfaction and has led me to stick with it throughout my entire career. In case you think something is stopping you from hitting the nail, drop me a message or get in touch with me by heading straight over to the contact section and I will offer you the right assistance.