February 13, 2009, Newsletter Issue #39: Installing Cabinetry Is a Professional Skill

Tip of the Week

You might take a look at a kitchen remodeling showroom and figure, How hard can cabinet construction be? Maybe I can save some money by making and/or installing my own cabinets instead. Halt right there. This could prove to be an unwise choice.

What happens if there are problems down the line? You'll have no workmanship warranty to fall back on. And, the monetary investment you make on wood and other materials could be lost. Do you know what a carcase is? What measurements it should be? Do you know what a doweled joint is? Or how it compares to other types of joints? Should you install an adjustable cup hinge or a traditional butt hinge? Can you design and build a half-moon, slide-out shelf for a corner cabinet? Do you have a random-orbit sander or a spokeshave with an adjustable pivot? Even if you get some cabinets built, who will help you install them? It takes at least two people to install cabinets correctly.

Cabinet-making is actually a fine art that goes back for centuries. It takes a tremendous amount of time and -- especially -- space. Even if you finish and install kitchen cabinets, what will you do if they warp? Kitchen design and remodel projects require significant experience in both plumbing and electrical work. Custom kitchen remodel jobs can take several months to complete and that's with several people working up to 8 hours a day. It's unlikely the average person can handle not only the design phase but especially the construction phases of such a huge undertaking.

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