Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Part of a Kitchen

It would be nice to finish one project so we can move on to the next.  The garden is only almost done.  And then we worked on the kitchen.

We have all the cabinets, but there is a lot of work to be done.  First the upper cabinets had to be installed.  You don't want to be reaching over base cabinets to install the wall cabinets.  The problem with installing the upper cabinets first is you forget they are there and stand up or back into them.  Mostly with your head.  This can be painful.  Don't ask me how I know.


A trick you might not know about involves a long board screwed to the wall.  Of course it has to be the right height and perfectly level. But after that, you place the bottom of the cabinets on the board and they will be the right height and perfectly level.

Oh, you naïve fool.  Of course they aren't level.  You bought them from a store.  And the store bought them from China and they were shipped across a great ocean in a hot container and then trucked cross country.  Even if they started out perfectly square and level, they aren't NOW!

But you have a board to rest them on so that the wife (me) can hold them up without whinging (that's Brit speak for whining).  Then the husband (Lee) can use wooden strips in gradually increasing thicknesses, called shims, to finish the whole leveling process.  They don't just have to be level from side to side.  They have to fit together and be even across the front.  Now you also have to remember that the walls aren't straight.  They weren't shipped in from China, but they were installed by guys in a big fat hurry to be paid so they could go home.


All this means that the wife has to hold us the cabinet for a long time and the husband has to make sure the screws go into studs.  Otherwise they will fall off the wall with all your dishes!  He also has to make sure they are even and symmetrical, because if not, every time he looks in the cupboard it will bug him.


Then you have to screw the cabinets together.

Trust me and put up the board.  This does mean there will be holes in the wall to be fixed when the board comes down.  On the other hand the wife is planning to install a tile backsplash and it just might go up to the bottom of the wall cabinets and then she won't have to fix the walls.

Next the bottom cabinets have to be installed.  Oh, wait.  Some of the electrical boxes are either too high or too low, so now you have to move them.  Oh, goody.  We waited until the appliances came to make sure we were leaving enough room to put them in and not too much room for big old gaps.  Once again, you have to use shims to level the base cabinets.  You didn't expect the floors to be perfectly level for 13 feet, did you? 


Here is the weird part.  The corner cabinet is a lazy susan to make the most use of the space.  But it doesn't go all the way to the back.  Why is this???


I have no idea.  If it just went MOST of the way back we could just use blocks of wood to secure it.  But, no.  There was a gap of almost 8 inches all around.  We have always had custom built cabinets before and never saw these weird things.  This is the second kitchen in the house and a kitchenette, really, so we went with stock cabinets.   It meant we had to build a frame work to screw the cabinet into.  We also had to install a 2X4 along the back for the counter top to rest on.


Then we cut and installed another set of 2X4s along the back side of the cabinet.  Then we cut a short piece to hold the cabinet away from the wall so that it lines up with the other cabinets.  We have planned the range on one side and the dishwasher on the other side, so there was a big of wiggle room.  But we still wanted it to be perfect.  Lee used screws to go up under the two long strips and now the cabinet is secure.  Just to be sure, we cut 2 sections of pressure treated 2X6s to go behind the cabinet on the floor.  This will prevent the bottom from going back if bumped.  The counter top will hold the rest.  Not Going Anywhere. 


We need to get a few more things done and then we can call for the counter top guys to come and measure.

doors and drawers

I WAS going to build a tile counter top, but Lee and I have both reached DIY fatigue.  I think this is a true disability and should be treatable with...I don't know...professional guys and adult beverages.  So a professional guy will cut and install me a granite counter top.  And I will go drink an adult beverage.

We are now part way through building the kitchen.  And then we have the bathrooms.....  Can I get a pitcher to go?


  1. When we re-did a house in Maryland 10 years ago, we did most of it ourselves. We did hire out the scraping of the popcorn ceilings and also granite countertops. I don't think I could do another house ourselves.... too many years and this body has aged too much for that. Sometimes you just need to let the professionals do what they do best and have that adult beverage, sit back and watch them work. LOL

  2. That looks really hard. Yikes. I hope you enjoy your adult beverage. That sounds like a fine idea.

  3. We don't do much DIY because we know our limitations. I enjoyed my sister's little ride through your property. And your dog looks like a very happy boy.

  4. You really are doing a lot yourself!! Other than a few odds and ends I've mostly been on break for the last 2 months.... time to get those paint brushes and staining rags out again!
    Let's get together sometime? Are you ever up this way toward Lexington?