Friday, September 27, 2013

Making a Kitchen, Part 6 - Cabinet Installation

Do you ever find yourself in the middle of a project and feel like you've run out of steam? That's sort of where I am with this kitchen. The only problem is that I can't just set it aside for later, like I could if I were working on a simple craft. The longer this kitchen renovation lasts, the longer we have to survive living without a kitchen. So I have to just keep plugging away, checking things off the list one at a time. And keep reminding myself why I took on this huge project, and how great it will be when it's finished!

The latest item checked off the big to-do list was installing the cabinets. It took us a long time to do this. During Jeff's work week, we were only able to install one or two cabinets each night before he had to go to bed. Once his work week was over though, we knocked out the rest of the cabinet installation in a couple of days.

The first cabinet was the hardest to figure out. I nailed up a ledger, or guide board, to help hold up the cabinet while we attached it to the wall. Later I realized that using screws was much better! The nailed-up ledger kept pulling out of the wall. Anyway, we put the cabinet up to the wall and attached it to one stud, then realized that there wasn't another to use. So we had to take out the screws and pull the cabinet back down. I went to put a toggle bolt in the wall only to realize that without marking it on the cabinet and the wall, I wouldn't be able to line up the screw. So up went the cabinet again, this time so I could drill a pilot hole through the cabinet and the wall. Put the cabinet back down, and install the drywall toggle bolt. Then back up went the cabinet, for the final time. I screwed it into the stud and the toggle bolt while Jeff held it up, and it was finally installed!

After Jeff went to bed, I went ahead and installed the base cabinet directly below this one. During this process, I learned all about how to use shims. I also learned that our walls are not at all square! I ended up filling the gap between the cabinet and the wall with shims and wood filler.

The next day we installed the pie cut corner wall cabinet. It was very large and bulky, not to mention heavy! Thankfully there were at least two studs we could attach it to, so no up-and-down like the first cabinet.

After this, we just kept adding cabinets whenever we could for the duration of Jeff's work week. About this time, I also decided to install a small crown molding along the tops of the cabinets. This decision was directly based on the fact that I am not a professional cabinet builder and the cabinets I built were not completely square. The molding helped to camouflage areas where the cabinets didn't line up perfectly. I used PVC shingle molding because it was inexpensive and fairly easy to work with. One cabinet at a time, our kitchen began to take shape!

Corner unit, before I started adding molding

The first cabinet, with molding attached

The corner unit, with molding attached

All cabinets installed along the oven range wall. Man, you can really see a difference in picture quality between pictures I took during the day and those taken at night.

The cabinet on the right is shorter because I didn't want to have to move the phone jack. We tried to do as little with electric and plumbing as possible, so the oven, the sink, and the phone stayed where they were originally, and I designed the cabinetry around them. I do want to put floating shelves or something fun and pretty in that area though.

This one was a complicated beast to install! I had to make several cuts to allow for the pipes, the water lines to and from the dishwasher, and the a/c vent and duct work under the cabinet. I was so excited to have this cabinet finally installed!

All cabinets installed along the sink wall. We did these all in one day, since it was no longer work week for Jeff. His schedule dictates so much of our lives, and especially this remodel.

The little cabinet nook next to the fridge. Originally there were no cabinets here at all. We had a bookcase here with cookbooks and random stuff. I'm so excited to have this area, it will hold the stand mixer, the blender, the cookbooks, and lots of baking supplies.

It also houses the microwave. I'm not sure yet what to do with that cord hanging down, but it will be nice not to have to give up counter space for the microwave.

Yesterday we installed the very last cabinet.

It took just over a week to install all the cabinetry. I don't have all the molding up yet, it wasn't until the very last cabinet that it occurred to me to attach the molding before putting the cabinet on the wall. So on a couple cabinets, I just can't reach it. Once the counters are installed I'll be able to stand on them and attach the rest of the molding. But for now, I'm just really glad to have all the cabinets installed.

Expect more posts later on installing the hardwood counters, painting the cabinets, building the cabinet doors and drawer fronts, and doing the paper bag floor!

In case you missed it:
Part 2: A Day in the Life
Part 3: What Next? 
Part 4: "Before" Pictures
Part 5: Demolition and Prep Work

Linking to:
Link Party Palooza at tatertots & jello  
Project Inspire{d} at Dukes & Duchesses
Think Tank Thursday at Joyful Homemaking


Michelle said...

To disguise the cord, they have these paintable plastic cord covers at Lowes and Home Depot. A couple bucks, we used them in the boys' room to hold the modem cords so they don't play with them. The base piece screws to the wall, put the cords inside, and then the top snaps on. They have various options, including a 90* corner piece. Worth looking at, and once painted, will blend right into the wall.

Carrie said...

Wow...what a project! We did something very similar to this many years ago and I totally felt like stopping half way through. So glad I didn't. You can see our entire kitchen renovation

Oh, thanks for linking up to Think Tank Thursday. I'm your newest google follower.