Do's And Don'ts Of DIY Kitchen Cabinets

Posted on: 16 October 2018

So, you want to DIY kitchen cabinets? That is a very brave thing you are doing. Brave, because kitchen cabinetry is the most extensive and difficult project you could ever take on by yourself. However, if you remain undaunted, then you should know a few "do's" and "don'ts" about DIYing kitchen cabinets.

DO Buy Prefabricated Cabinets

There are plenty of online retailers that have hundreds of cabinet designs and finishes already cut and RTA'ed (ready-to-assemble) for you. This is an opportunity to purchase cabinets you really love the look of, and they are very easy to assemble. No cutting or gluing is needed either. Just order the cabinets, they come in a box with assembly instructions, and they easily screw into the floor and walls of your kitchen. You may need some extra hands, however, to hold things tightly in place when you install the upper cabinets. That, you hire a remodeling contractor to install all of the cabinets you assembled.

​DO Make Sure You Know How You Want the Kitchen to Look (DO NOT Purchase and Attempt to Install Cabinetry Without Measuring Space First)

People who want to DIY their kitchen remodels do this a lot. They take the length and width of the kitchen and then think that these are the measurements they can use to purchase cabinets. There is just a few problems with that.

  1. They do not take into account the space needed for their large kitchen appliances (e.g., stove, fridge, dishwasher).
  2. Corners and cabinets decrease space where two walls meet because you cannot turn a corner in your kitchen with one cabinet opening into the flat side of another cabinet. You have to use corner cabinets.
  3. There are doorways where you are not going to put cabinets, and furniture needs room too
  4. Your new cabinets do not have to follow the old kitchen layout. Draw up a layout design you really want to incorporate into your kitchen.
  5. Take LOTS of measurements so that you know exactly how much width and length you have available for the new cabinets.

Then you can begin splitting apart the designated cabinet spaces to reflect your personal needs in the kitchen. In short, know where you are putting drawers, pull-out drawers behind cabinet doors, and shelved cabinets before you construct and install them. 

DO NOT Attempt to Create Cabinets from Scratch

If you have ZERO cabinetry experience, do not attempt to make cabinets from scratch! What you will end up with is something functional, but extremely bland and very outdated. Some people even end up piecing cabinets together from scraps, and using more scraps to support cabinet interiors and counter tops. It is a remodeling contractor's worst nightmare. You may even spot some of this "handiwork" done by previous owners. Do not do what they did by attempting to make cabinets from scratch with no cabinetry experience.