Measuring Your Kitchen
Measure the Space
- First measure each wall length
- Then, measure the distance from to obstacles such as windows or doors. Take care to account for any trim moldings around these openings that may not yet be installed!
- Measure your centers to plumbing outlets or electrical outlets that may need to be accounted for in the final plan
- If measuring for an island or peninsula, be sure to take in to account isle distances. The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends 42″ for isles, and definitely try not to design with isles less then 36″
- Measure your ceiling height. Do not assume that it is exactly 8 or 9′.
Plot Your Cabinets
Once you are comfortable with your measurements, begin plotting your cabinets on your layout paper. Before doing so, you may want to read the section below on kitchen design. Using the available cabinet configurations from the CABINETS section, place the cabinets on the graph using an appropriate scale such as every 4 blocks equaling 1′.
When you submit your quote request, please attach this to your cabinet list. It will assist us in making sure that we have all the cabinets accounted for as well as options (finished ends, etc). It will also assist us in making sure enough trim is included as you layout greatly affects the quantity of crown, base and other moldings you may need.
Designing Your Kitchen
- Try to center your sink cabinet under the window, when possible.
- Place the dishwasher on the side of the sink that is most comfortable. If your sink is on an angle with the dishwasher on an opposing cabinet run, be sure to put a spacer cabinet between the sink and dishwasher so that the dishwasher door does not open into your legs.
- Be sure to account for fridge side panels in your design. This means that if you are planning on a 36″ refrigerator, you will need to add 1-1/2 or 3″on either side for your side panels.
- If planning on a range hood, make sure you allow at least 30″ to the bottom of the hood, especially if it is a combustible wood hood. In many areas, this is minimal fire code and this dimension may need to be increased to 36″ to meet your cook top manufacturers specifications. Always consult with your local inspector or your appliance dealer for details on this critical specification.
- Be aware of any ‘collisions’ between cabinets, especially in corners. Remember to leave at least 2-1/2 to 3″ space fillers in any 90 degree corners (especially critical in base corners) to allow doors and drawers on the opposing runs to open. If this is not observed, you may find that your drawer strikes the knob or handle of a cabinet in the opposing cabinet run.
- Always think about how far you want doors to open. You may need to consider using space fillers or extended stiles on some cabinets to provide clearances on certain cabinets.
- Think about the venting of your cook top. If you have a way to vent out an exterior wall or through a ceiling, you can plan on doing an updraft venting application. If this is impossible, your only options are re-circulating vents or downdraft cook top models (must vent out a crawl space or basement).
- Consider ‘staggering’ the height of the wall cabinets to provide the ever-popular ‘skyline’ look. However, when so doing, be sure all ‘higher’ cabinets are also ‘deeper’ so that you have a cabinet side to terminate your crown molding into on the lower cabinets.
- Consider bumping out appliance bases such as sink cabinets or cook top cabinets. Another nice touch is to flank these ‘bumped out’ cabinets with decorative elements such as turned posts or angled flutes.
- Consider glass cabinet doors in certain decorative areas of the kitchen.
- Remember that any cabinet side that touches a wall must have a space filler or extended stile of at least 3/4″. If this is not done, your household base trim will have no place to terminate in the front of the cabinet and will interfere with your cabinet door. This is commonly overlooked but can have disastrous consequences to your kitchen layout.
- Consider a valance over any window areas. This element ties together the two separate runs of wall cabinets and provides a cohesive look to the kitchen.
The main thing is, don’t let your kitchen project get you frustrated! Remember, this is supposed to be fun, and it can be so long as you take your time and plan well! If we can be of any help, just give us a call. We do hundreds of kitchens for our own local clients every year, so we know and understand today’s kitchen layout principles!
Planning Your Kitchen Remodel
When considering a kitchen project, the first question is always, ‘How long will it be until I can use my kitchen again?’ While this differs from project to project, here is a typical project plan for your review:
- Complete the space plan and generate a complete list of all that needs to be changed to accommodate the new plan. Consider such things as under-counter lighting, appliances moving to new locations (associated plumbing and/or electrical), walls to be moved, and flooring that may need to be patched in based on the new layout.
- Order your cabinets and appliances.
- Build your cabinets once they arrive. DO NOT wait until after you have removed your old cabinetry to begin building. There is always a chance that something arrives damaged or incorrect. If this is the case, the whole project plan now comes to a grinding halt and your sub contracting tradesman (like plumbers and electricians) are not easy to reschedule. By building the cabinets first, you know you have what you need to continue the project.
- Once the cabinets are built, remove the old cabinets and counter tops. To get rid of the old cabinetry, consider contacting Habitat for Humanity. They will pick the old cabinetry up at your home at no charge, saving you time and a possibly a sizable landfill fee.
- Complete all wiring changes (under counter lights, new appliances, moved appliances, new outlets in back splash and/or island).
- Complete all plumbing changes. Remember, even if no plumbing is moving, the existing plumbing still needs to be ‘stubbed off’ so that the new cabinets can be slid into place without having to remove most of the new sink cabinet’s back to fit the mass of plumbing shutoffs and drain goose necks. Also remember small plumbing issues that are often overlooked such as cold water feeds for the refrigerator, new ice makers, etc.
- Repair and re-paint all walls
- Re-finish and/or patch in any flooring that may be exposed now that was not exposed in the original layout.
- Begin your cabinet installation. TIP: To get you in to the kitchen faster, start your installation with bases and tall cabinets. When these are installed, get your counter top template done. Then, while the counters are being made, you can be installing the wall cabinets and trim.
- Counter tops get installed – usually about 7-10 days after templating.
- Plumbing is re-installed/hooked up – usually within a day or so after counter top install is complete.
- Back splash is installed – assumed tile back splash.
- Final electrical trim out – hook up outlets and switches, under counter lights, face plates, etc.
- Appliances can be installed as soon as the cabinetry is installed. Depending on your location, appliances may be installed by your electrician in step 13 or by your appliance dealer at any point after the cabinetry is installed.
In an ideally managed project where you take the time to line up any subcontractors and you hold them accountable, it is not unreasonable to expect to complete a kitchen project (from rip out to completion) in 3-4 weeks with the kitchen being unusable for only two weeks. However, we strongly recommend that you plan on worst case or most likely scenarios where some things do not go as planned. In other words, plan on 3-4 weeks with no real use of your kitchen. Trust us, in the end it is worth it!