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Planning for New Kitchen Cabinets

by Kitchen Cabinet Depot • September 20, 2018

Nothing contributes more to the success of a kitchen cabinet installation than careful planning. Refacing old kitchen cabinets or installing new ones requires attention to detail, so be sure to take all the time you need to measure layouts and draw accurate plans.

Time spent for these activities is a small consideration, compared with the long-term rewards you'll reap. If you're doing the job yourself, detailed plans will help you stay within your budget and avoid costly mistakes. If you're contracting the work for kitchen cabinets, your plans will serve as the basis for bids and contracts and will give suppliers and contractors the information they need to complete the project successfully.

Can you install kitchen cabinets yourself? Doing it yourself can save one-third to one-half of the overall costs of refacing old kitchen cabinets or installing new ones. But time constraints and other factors may mean that hiring a contractor to do the renovation makes more sense.

Start looking for a reliable contractor by asking friends for recommendations. Contact at least three contractors and tell them you are seeking bids for the work on your kitchen cabinets. In order to get an accurate bid, have copies of your dimensional plan ready for contractors to study. Ask the contractors for references so that you can check the quality of their work.

Review each bid carefully. Be wary of bids that are substantially lower than the average of the others. Choose the contractor that will give you the best value for the cost.

If you decide to hire professional kitchen cabinet installers, make sure your contract contains these elements:

  • A detailed description of the work, materials used, and dates of completion for each step.
  • A clause that lets you back out if you change your mind- usually restricted to three days after signing the contract.
  • The name of the contractor's bonding agency and insurance carrier.
  • A warranty covering workmanship and material quality for at least a year.
  • Mechanic's lien waivers to protect you from liens -by subcontractors if the contractor defaults.

Use this checklist to organize your planning

  1. Measure the cabinet wall and individual units carefully.
  2. Create a scaled drawing with dimensions.
  3. Using the area of the kitchen cabinet surfaces or individual unit measurements, prepare a materials list and estimate quantities.
  4. Prepare and submit material orders and make sure of delivery dates.
  5. Plan adequate storage of materials, allowing sufficient time for them to acclimate to conditions of your home.
  6. Prepare a calendar that includes your construction schedule and contract specifications.
  7. Taking the time to do careful planning for the installation of your new kitchen cabinets may help avoid a two aspirin day.

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